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Unit of study_

MKTG6006: Persuasive Advertising: Illuminating Dark Art

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit is a mix of psychological science and marketing practice. The unit starts with an academic perspective on communication and review of various persuasive techniques. However, this is not only a scientific and research-based unit. It is also a practical unit that explores persuasive effects. The acquired knowledge of psychology and communication will place students in the driver’s seat to decode and explain how persuasion works. Students take what they learn from the science and delve into the practice behind why and how it works. As a consumer, this unit is designed to open students' eyes, stop and think, and understand why we buy what we buy. As someone in the persuasion business (and we are all in the persuasion business), students will find the applications useful.

Unit details and rules

Unit code MKTG6006
Academic unit Marketing
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Tom Van Laer,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation Participation
Participation in in-class discussions
13% Ongoing
Due date: 25 May 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 25 May 2023
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Portfolio part I
Site visit
2% Week 02
Due date: 28 Feb 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 28 Feb 2023
45 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4
Supervised test
In-semester test
Closed book exam
42% Week 08
Due date: 17 Apr 2023 at 14:00
1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Participation Business research component
Participation in marketing research
2% Week 12
Due date: 19 May 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 19 May 2023
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO2
Assignment group assignment Portfolio part II
41% Week 13
Due date: 25 May 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 25 May 2023
8 advertisements and 4,500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Portfolio part I

Walk through public shopping streets for 45 minutes, take a picture of every advertisement you see, and answer questions about your collection.

  • In-semester test

Answer questions during the scheduled exam time.

  • Business research component

Experience marketing research firsthand as either a participant in a research study or as a reviewer of a research paper.

  • Participation

Take part in discussions during lectures and workshops.

  • Portfolio part II

Review the Portfolio part I assignment, select a portfolio of 8 different ads, and write a report about it.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. describe the differences in effectiveness between persuasive techniques.
  • LO2. evaluate and improve on persuasive messages.
  • LO3. apply analytical insights to identify different solutions to advertising challenges.
  • LO4. analyse enablers and barriers to the effectiveness of individual persuasive techniques.
  • LO5. experiment with different persuasive techniques to simulate creativity in advertising.
  • LO6. evaluate the problem of communicating effectively to a target group.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This unit has been updated in response to student feedback since it was last offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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