Purpose - The aim of this paper is to review the debate on the purpose, focus and necessity of UK undergraduate marketing education. Design/met hodology/approach - Assumptions in this debate are challenged by the collection and analysis of interview data from practitioners, alongside additional data from UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in respect of their current marketing programmes. Findings - The results indicate that there is a large degree of commonality between the offerings at UK HEIs, and that some significant gaps between the teaching offered by the academy, and the knowledge and abilities required by practitioners do exist. Research limitations/implications - The data sets have limitations of depth and scope. Further research is needed in which the details of marketing education and the requirements of marketing practice are examined more closely, and at levels other than undergraduate, and in countries other than the UK. Practical implications - This paper should be of interest to marketing programme managers, and also to marketing module co-ordinators as a basis on which to consider the future development of their educational practices. Originality/value - The collation of data about marketing modules offered by UK HEIs will be of interest to most marketing teachers. Further value will be obtained if this paper is used as part of the re-engineering of a marketing programme.