International Market Research

International Market Research


Malaysia / United Kingdom


Students utilise the primary and secondary research skills developed during the Marketing Research module to explore the attitudes of Malaysian and UK-based counterparts on the subject of student finance. Using research principles and methods developed during the module, as well as intercultural discussions, students design a research instrument to conduct short focus groups in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Learning Outcomes

  • Communicate effectively across cultures, considering International Marketing issues from a variety of perspectives.
  • Improve knowledge and understanding of differences in attitudes between Malaysian and UK students on the subject of Student Finance, with particular focus on the role of students’ own situational influences and assumptions.
  • Demonstrate teamwork skills by collaborating on a multi-country research project.

Project Design

Introductory Activity: background research (within respective institutions) 
22 February 2016

  • Project aim introduced to students within respective institutions
  • Using research skills developed during the module, students conduct secondary research using industry articles and databases such as Mintel to help explore general themes around student finance in Malaysia and UK
  • Students review and identify key variables relating to Student Finance based on the above research, and their own experiences and assumptions e.g. bursaries, grants, other sources of finance, part-time paid work, family pressures, spending money etc.
  • The secondary research informs discussions in relation to student finance in week 2

Interaction 1: discussion of relevant topics in each country and design of discussion guide
29 February 2016

  • First interaction between CU and TARUC students which includes introductions of themselves via Open Moodle
  •  Students arranged into groups
  •  Themes for discussion guides are directed by students with lecturers available to assist students where required
  •  Students in respective institutions discuss initial research findings from week 1 to create a discussion guide for use in the following week
  • Topics within the discussion guide are justified based on secondary background research

Interaction 2: online focus groups via Skype and open Moodle discussion forum
07 March 2016

  • Two focus groups: one set of students (from CU) asking questions to another group (from TARUC) before swapping roles
  • Every member of each group participates by asking at least one question from the discussion guides created in week 2
  • Focus groups will take place via Skype (with Open Moodle as a reserve option). Groups to record each other’s responses.
  • Tutors facilitate the interactions

  Skype Interaction David Cook

Intercultural Development

Reflective Activity (within respective institutions)
14 March 2016

Students share their experiences via Open Moodle and comment on what they learned about student finance in both Malaysia and the UK, how they found the experience of working with peers from different cultural and educational backgrounds, what they did and did not expect to happen.

CU Context

Course: BA Business & Marketing
Module: Marketing Research
Participants: 16

Image by Hans Splinter (CC BY-ND 2.0)