Marketing Communications MSc

Advanced communications practitioners can give companies a strong competitive edge, taking their brand into global markets through well-executed advertising campaigns, targeted communications and clear, sustainable strategies. Our MSc is designed for graduates and practising managers already familiar with basic marketing concepts. Building on your existing skills, you will develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of integrated marketing communications within a strategic marketing context and managerial framework. The MSc also counts towards 50% of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.

Recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, this programme will prepare you for a high-level career in marketing communications. You will develop your critical awareness of contemporary strategic marketing issues, have a clear understanding of the role of communications in marketing, and take a critical approach to planning, creating, managing and evaluating communications campaigns, incorporating both traditional and new media.

Ola Dantis

MSc Strategic Marketing and Consulting – Cornerstone Associates, Nigeria

“Lecturers and staff are open to collaboration and always ready to listen.”

This programme is designed for recent graduates and practising managers already familiar with basic marketing concepts. It will enable you to develop advanced knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of integrated marketing communications but within a strategic marketing context and managerial framework.

This programme is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and count towards fifty percent of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.

The programme will develop your critical awareness of contemporary strategic marketing issues, the role of communications in marketing, and a critical approach to the principles and practice involved in planning, creating, managing and evaluating communication campaigns which incorporate both traditional and new media.

Programme content

Core modules include:

  • Contemporary Issues in Strategic Marketing
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Marketing Communications
  • Advertising and Sales Promotions
  • PR and Media Skills
  • Direct and Interactive Marketing

These are followed by the opportunity to deepen and apply your understanding of marketing communications through a range of specialist elective modules and a major personal research dissertation or company project.

Why study this course

Our complement of academics and marketing practitioners offer extensive experience and expertise in areas such as brand marketing, advertising, retailing, international marketing, consumer behaviour, business-to-business marketing, product innovation, services marketing and consultancy. 

The programme is recognised by the ESRC for research training, and also has exemptions from parts of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Professional Diploma. The programme has close links with the marketing communications industry and is sponsored and supported by Wyatt International. Close links also exist with employers such as Cogent Elliott and Cap Gemini. 

We are a department of international researchers and teachers who pride ourselves on our wide reaching, rigorous and meaningful research. We have won a range of research grants from bodies such as ESRC and the British Academy as well as working closely with business organisations both regionally and nationally. We are actively involved with our discipline through our professional membership, editorships of leading journals and engagement with industry and the media.We also run four outstanding MSc Marketing programmes which attract students from more than thirty countries. 


The 12 month programme begins at the end of September.  You will focus on updating your understanding of contemporary issues in strategic marketing and the latest theory, principles and practice of marketing communications.  You will share a number of core modules with the MSc Strategic Marketing and Consulting programme, including the emphasis on;

  • marketing measurement,
  • analytics, research and
  • consultancy skills and practice

For a successful career in the marketing communications business you will need excellent personal and interpersonal skills alongside your specialist knowledge and understanding.

Core Modules

Late September: MSc Marketing Communications Induction programme (one week)

October - December:

January – April:

Core Modules:

Optional modules*

Students may choose two or three modules from the following (depending on whether you choose 10 or 20 credit modules):

July – September:

*Please note that the range of electives available may change each year 

Fees and funding

£9,630 (UK/EU), £16,525 (overseas). Please check with the School for the latest fees information.

Learn more about fees and funding

Business School Scholarships may be available

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. See

Entry requirements

At least an upper second-class degree or postgraduate diploma from a UK university or equivalent.

The degree must be in marketing, or a degree with at least two marketing modules. If not, at least two years full-time marketing work experience is required.

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements

English language scores of 7.0 IELTS (no less than 6.5 in any band), 95 TOEFL (with no less than 22 in any band), or 67 (in all skills) Pearson Academic Test of English are required.  

Please note that TOEFL IBT will only be accepted for applicants who do not require a Tier 4 visa to study with us

If you are currently studying at a Chinese university, please view our specific entry requirements including our list of acceptable universities for further study at Birmingham.

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

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Through working on two major consultancy projects you will develop an understanding of the principles and challenges of consulting in the communications sector and develop skills in facilitation, communication, negotiation, project management, problem-solving, relationship-handling, project leadership and team work. Part of your skills training will take place off campus at the university's Priestley Centre on Lake Coniston in Cumbria. 

Your projects will link to real live communication issues facing organisations – evaluating consumer reactions to recent advertising campaigns, developing media plans, evaluating approaches to branding, or developing new web designs.  Your performance on your two projects (one group-based and one individual) will be evaluated not just on content but also your professionalism and client relations. Your second project will also form part of your dissertation.  You will also have some media skills training as part of the programme.

There are a host of potential topics for an international marketing dissertation.

Topics have included:

  • International marketing strategies for a new cosmetics brand
  • Comparative analysis of Nestle’s marketing strategies in Europe and Africa
  • Positioning strategies for car manufacturers in China
  • Launching and licensing new magazine concepts in Thailand
  • Standardisation vs adaptation in international advertising
  • The impact of country of origin on the marketability of Georgian wines
  • Evaluating franchising vs concessions for an international fashion brand

Our students benefit from advanced teaching technology. All fifteen lecture theatres and seminar rooms contain comprehensive audio-visual equipment and sound systems, as well as wireless connectivity and data projection. Three large PC clusters add to computing facilities already available to students across the campus. The main lecture theatre, seating 200, is often utilised outside term-time as a conference facility for local industry.

Assessment methods

Taught modules contribute towards two thirds of your final assessment. The dissertation contributes one third. The majority of modules are assessed using written examinations and coursework. Coursework can take a variety of forms, including reports, essays, group presentations and practical assignments. Some coursework is group based. Not all modules will involve examinations. 

Recent graduates from our marketing programmes have gone on to work in a wide range of careers in companies such as Microsoft, Ogilvy & Mather, American Express, Accenture, Whitbread, Beiersdorf, DaimlerChrysler, AstraZeneca, Tesco, AC Nielsen, Mazda Motors, Leo Burnett, Nissan, both in the UK and in their home country for returning international students. 

Strong industry links

We enjoy active and close links with industry and the financial community. Many of our programmes have input from organisations such as GE, Biersdorf and Accenture. Companies such as HSBC, BP, Unilever and Deloitte visit the School to run workshops and business games, ensuring that you have the opportunity to put the theory you have learned into practice.

Particular programmes also offer the ability to obtain first-hand experience in the form of either work placements abroad or UK based consultancy projects with companies such as Jaguar, Aston Villa Football Club and Cadbury.

Careers in Business

Careers in Business is a dedicated service for postgraduate Business School students. We’ll help you in all aspects of your career management, from planning your job-seeking strategies, applying for jobs, preparing for interviews and assessment centres and developing your essential employability skills. At the start of your programme you will receive an email from our team, giving details of how you can access Careers in Business Online. Please get in touch to find out how our Careers in Business team can support you.

Career development advice

Our consultants offer an individual advice service, which includes:

  • Career review and objective setting
  • Job-seeking strategies
  • CV review
  • Application advice
  • Interview and selection advice
  • Working in the UK
  • International work enquiries

Skills coaching

Employers aren’t just looking for great qualifications. They want to see high-quality personal skills too, such as team working, leadership, presentation and interpersonal skills. Our Skills Development Consultants offer individual appointments to help you shape and hone these qualities.

Keeping you up to date

Our Employer Liaison Team regularly undertakes initiatives to attract employment/ project opportunities into the Business School. You can find information about vacancies and other openings on Careers in Business Online and on Business School noticeboards, as well as through the Careers and Employability Centre vacancy database .

Careers events and workshops

This is your chance to find out about employment opportunities, develop your skills and network with industry professionals. Our range of career management, personal development and employer events are a great opportunity to discover what’s open to you upon graduation – just sign up to the events to take part.

Using the Careers and Employability Centre

Postgraduate students in the Business School are very welcome to use the services provided by the Careers and Employability Centre such as online vacancy listings, employer presentations and fairs and accessing online careers information. You can use the Careers in Business team for individual appointments, CV checking, mock interviews and other job search-related activities.

Professional accreditation

The suite of MSc Marketing programmes have been approved and accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and count towards fifty percent of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.