Consumer Psychology MSc

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)


January, September

Full-time: September start 12 months; January start 15 months.

Part-time: September start 2 years; January start 2.5 years


This is your chance to gain an advanced understanding of consumer psychology. Put yourself at the forefront of the discipline by joining one of the few European MScs offered in this area. Understanding the consumer lies at the heart of many businesses, so upon graduation you'll be well placed to provide expertise to take companies forward.

Read more about MSc Consumer Psychology


This Masters degree is designed for graduates wishing to start, or further develop, careers in consumer psychology. The fact that this course is relevant to many job industries such as marketing, PR, advertising, and consumer research, marketing research and product development and is currently not commonly taught in the UK, will give the students a distinctive edge in a job market that is often competitive.

In order to further provide students with a springboard into the job market we will endeavour to facilitate research opportunities by encouraging students to engage with the Consumer Research Group based at ARU. Furthermore, the course staff work closely with a number of businesses with whom there may be opportunities for working experience or internships.

The abilities gained by undertaking the MSc in Consumer Psychology will place students in a strong position for pursuing a professional career in consumer psychology or further postgraduate study (eg, a PhD) and research, or employment in a university.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • This module is designed to help introduce you to the theoretical and practical complexities of the research process. The module will cover both qualitative and quantitative techniques, and it is aimed as a series of taster sessions. If you feel any of the techniques suit your research, your supervisor, and expert members of staff, will help you learn more about your chosen technique. Research training in the form of literature searching, constructing literature reviews, communicating and publicising your work will also be covered. Additional areas to be covered in this module include: the research process, research techniques, research ethics and scientific writing skills.
  • This module will focus on Social Psychological Approach to Consumer Psychology. Its overall aim is to provide an insight into the psychological and social factors that influence consumer behaviour at various stages of consumption. The module will emphasise the reasons why the study of contemporary consumerism is important in fully understanding human behaviour as well as modern economies. The module will discuss social-psychological aspects of consumers’ functioning such as social influence tactics used in sales, persuasion, advertising or e-commerce alongside the role of consumer’s personality and identity. Application of theories and research to topics such as sustainable consumption, food consumption, branding and advertising will be considered. The module is designed to illustrate the diversity of schools of thought, paradigms and methods present in the field and to demonstrate the multiple ways that the psychology of the individual and groups can be applied to understanding consumers. During the course of the module emphasis will be placed on critical consideration of the application of theory to consumer context. The module will equip students with a range of key transferable skills useful in the workplace, such as oral presentation skills, critical thinking, analysis of cases and application of theory to aid understanding of consumer behaviour. This module is delivered face-to-face over 12h of lectures and 12h of seminars (2h per week) and requires 276h of student managed learning (96 hours lecture/seminar reading and 180 hours reading and preparation for coursework and exam) totalling 300h hours of learning activities.
  • Develop an understanding of the most commonly used statistical techniques used in psychological research. This module develops a critical understanding of the principles of data collection and analysis for psychology of various quantitative methods. Practical issues surrounding statistical procedures are delivered in computer practical sessions. These will involve real-world research questions being presented to students. Example data sets will be provided and analysed. You will be required to analyse additional data sets independently and submit these for assessment. The statistical methods taught have been directed by the Economic and Social Research Council's Postgraduate Training Guidelines (4th and 5th editions). These will be written up in APA format, required by psychologists. The course will be delivered through lab-based practical sessions. The module will equip you with a wide range of highly useful transferable, research and analysis skills (such as numerical skills, use of SPSS, IT skills, experimental design, and presentations) which are highly relevant in the employment environment.
  • In the marketing literature, Consumer Analysis entails the initial steps in marketing research that identify and collect information on the target market’s needs, profiles and consumer behaviours. To do so effectively, an in-depth understanding of how the human mind works is essential. Therefore, this module will emphasise the workings of the consumer mind as well as how consumer responses can be altered and measured. In order to explain why humans respond to different types of consumer stimuli it is important to know what captures their attention, how they perceive what they encounter as well as how their memory works. For example, it will be explored how cognitive factors affect the consumer decision-making process and how tactile input can be used to alter or enhance the perception of a product. This module will also introduce you to the functional neuroanatomy and basic principles of brain organisation. Moreover, the module will cover different types of techniques that can be used to research consumer related activities, including experimental methodologies and neuroimaging. The capabilities and limitations of the methods will be discussed and practical examples of their application will be provided. The aim is to provide a coherent picture of how and why consumers act the way they do. The module will be delivered through lectures that will involve both taught content and interactive discussion. The module is assessed through a combination of a portfolio (consisting of 3 smaller components; one 2000 word essay and two 1000 word long critical evaluations) and one unseen exam. The module provides an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of Consumer Psychology, something that is a key requirement for effective marketing management.
  • This module requires you to undertake a significant research project in the chosen field of study and to present the results of that research in a thesis prepared to the highest scientific professional standards. The research will normally be based on preparatory work undertaken in modules: Issues in Psychological Research and either Quantitative Research Methods or Qualitative Research Methods. The topic may be drawn mainly from a selection of suggested topics related to School research groups (professional subject of interest will be considered provided that a strong case is made and suitable supervision is available). The project topics will be assessed for suitability to ensure that it has the potential for sufficient academic challenge. You will be assigned a supervisor, or, if appropriate, a supervisory team. You'll be expected to make regular reports on the state and progress of your work. These reports will normally be in a written format suitable for incorporation into the final thesis.


We use a number of ways for you to demonstrate your learning from the modules, and to ensure you develop the knowledge and skills required to complete the course. These include presentations, exams, essays, reports and projects.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2023/24 (full-time, per year)


UK students starting 2023/24 (part-time, per year)


International students starting 2023/24 (full-time, per year)


International students starting 2023/24 (part-time, per year)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us. Find out more about paying your fees.

International students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships and bursaries, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. These include an Alumni Scholarship, worth 20% off fees for ARU graduates.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements.

Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course; please email for further information. Applicants to undergraduate courses can also check our information about undergraduate entry qualifications.

You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting a course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

Teaching at ARU

We offer face-to-face campus teaching (with the exception of distance learning courses), supported by our established online learning systems, which provide additional support for individual study and engagement. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information.

In the event that restrictions are put into place due to the pandemic by the Government, we will endeavour to retain face-to-face teaching as much as possible but will respond accordingly to the restrictions placed on the University.

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