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Marketing in action

Whether you are interested in a career in marketing or merely curious about how marketing works, this module provides an opportunity to explore marketing practice in action. The module is built around marketing communications as a fundamental marketing practice and is informed by insights from practitioners. You’ll learn how marketing is applied in different contexts, how to keep pace with marketing trends and emerging practices and appreciate the role of marketing research. You’ll also examine social and environmental sustainability, enhance your ethical awareness and analysis skills, explore stakeholder marketing and navigate the plethora of marketing evaluation measures.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module

Module code

B328

Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
30

Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
Level of Study
OU SCQF FHEQ
3 10 6

Study method

Module cost

Entry requirements

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What you will study

Block 1 explores the topic of marketing communications. This is a dynamic area of marketing, and you'll be introduced to the key drivers and trends in the field and be provided with an overview of the marketing communications mix. The material then proceeds to encourage you to explore the key elements needed to develop an effective marketing communications campaign. You'll examine how communications theory and branding help inform the messaging and media strategy for a campaign. With the rise of digital marketing, you'll explore its role when developing an integrated marketing communications mix. Finally, you'll consider the importance of creativity in the execution of a marketing communications campaign.

Block 2 immerses you in a range of different contexts to explore the nuances of marketing theory and practice. From exploring the differences for marketers operating in the areas of services, B2B and SMEs within the commercial sector, you'll expand your appreciation of the role of marketing to the public sector, charities and non-profit organisations. This includes coverage of strategic and operational aspects of social marketing. You'll look at a range of wider social and consumer trends that are impacting all marketing practice, such as big data, AI, blockchain and authenticity. The block concludes by exploring the marketing research process and the methods of data collection and analysis employed by marketers when developing new campaigns.

Block 3 takes a wider perspective, considering a number of issues that directly and indirectly inform marketing practice. Topics covered include sustainability and marketing ethics; stakeholder marketing; and finally, evaluating marketing communications campaigns, considering variations in evaluation between marketing contexts. These topics involve assessing an organisation's activities and their impact on society, the environment, stakeholders and the organisation's performance.

Vocational relevance

In this module, you'll cover a range of topics related to marketing practice and will be encouraged to cultivate a broad spectrum of skills pertaining to marketing, employability and professional practice. The content, activities and assessments are designed to help you develop and demonstrate your mastery of these skills. You'll be asked to reflect on and document your skills as you progress through the module; this will enable you to record and evidence them for future use. Many of these skills, such as cultivating creativity and staying up to date with developments, will have benefits to you beyond the practice of marketing.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to provide an integrated, incremental and tutor- and peer-supported experience. The first assignment includes a collaborative activity conducted in small groups, which will be assessed and contribute to 20% of the marks for this assignment. The remainder and the other assessments will be conducted and assessed individually. The assessments are integrative and will build incrementally, with each assessment paving the way for and underpinning the next. This should help you tackle each successive assessment, facilitate and integrate your learning, enable you to benefit from your tutor’s feedback and assist you in successfully progressing through the module.

A series of online tutorials will be offered. If conditions permit, we will also offer two face-to-face day schools in a range of locations students can travel to, though we cannot guarantee these will be able to take place or close to where you live. While you’re not obliged to attend any of these learning events, you are strongly encouraged to take part.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

Future availability

Marketing in action (B328) starts once a year – in April. This page describes the module that will start in April 2025. We expect it to start for the last time in April 2029.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Course work includes:

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment


Entry requirements

This is an OU level 3 module. OU level 3 modules build on study skills and subject knowledge acquired from studies at OU levels 1 and 2. They are intended only for students who have recent experience of higher education in a related subject, preferably at the OU.

Although there are no formal entry requirements and the module is open entry, we strongly recommend that you are suitably prepared for study at this level and have some familiarity with basic business and marketing concepts. Shaping business opportunities (B207) would be ideal preparation. 

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Register

Start End England fee Register
05 Apr 2025 Sep 2025 £1818.00

Registration closes 13/03/25 (places subject to availability)

Register
This module is expected to start for the last time in April 2029.

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In the meantime, explore our overview of Fees and funding.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of not more than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

You'll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • assignment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access
  • OpenStudio
  • a collaborative wiki

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying B328 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.