Marketing Communications MSc

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.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Taught

Study Options: Full time

Duration: 1 year full-time

Start date: September

Details

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.

cim-logo

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. 

Modules

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 - choose from:

July – September:

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

**Depending on whether you choose 10 or 20 credit modules

Fees and funding

Fees for 2014–15: £9,270 (UK/EU), £15,525 (overseas). Please check with the School for the latest fees information.

Learn more about fees and funding

Business School Scholarships may be available, see www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/business/courses/postgraduate-scholarships.aspx

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. See http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/international/students/finance/scholarships/index.aspx

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.  

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

Apply now

Learning and teaching

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. 

Contact

Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8273
Fax: +44 (0)121 414 2263
Email: mscadmissions@lists.bham.ac.uk

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Employability

Careers

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 is a dedicated service for postgraduate Business School students. We support you in planning your career, deciding upon your job seeking strategies, making applications, preparing for interviews and assessment centres and developing your skills.

At the start of your programme you will receive an email from the Careers in Business team giving details of how you can access Careers in Business Online. If you require any further information or support with accessing Careers in Business Online, please contact us.

View our alumni testimonials

Laura King describes her experience of studying a masters degree in Marketing Communications during her recent graduation.

For more information about studying within the department of marketing at the University of Birmingham Business School, please visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/marketing 


Emma Kearsley

The course would have not been what it was without its amazing network of lecturers that went out of their way to help everyone with their work

First degree:  My undergraduate degree was Commerce at Birmingham Business School. Because of the wide range of marketing modules I had studied, I was then eligible to study one of the specialist marketing programmes: MSc Marketing Communications.

What enjoyed most about the course: The course allowed me to build on the theory I’d already learnt at an undergraduate level and actually start putting it into practice. However, the course would have not been what it was without its amazing network of lecturers that went out of their way to help everyone with their work…and their careers! I’ve also made friends for life with people from all over the world.

Consultancy projects:  I had the fantastic opportunity of doing a consultancy project for Cadbury on social media, which has proved invaluable to both my skill-set and my CV! I now feel confident in my ability to negotiate with and present to clients, which will definitely come in handy when working at an advertising agency.

Future plans:  For the third term, the Business School set up an internship for me at the advertising agency Cogent Elliott; where I wrote my dissertation and also experienced account handling duties for 3 months. During this time, I was offered a place on Cogent Elliott’s graduate scheme 2009, so my internship here actually never ended! Without the help of the lecturers, this opportunity would never have been possible.

Key tip for prospective students:  Grab every opportunity the course throws at you (But don’t drink too much on the trip to Coniston because they make you get up at 8am the next day to do an obstacle course!)


Nadejda Tatarciuc

I would highly recommend this course to active people, looking for self-development and up-to-date industry knowledge applicable in real-time business environment

If you are looking for quality postgraduate studies in Marketing, MSc Marketing Communications is the right program to choose.

As a Chevening International Scholar, I had the opportunity to choose from many different institutions before applying for an MSc Programme, so I’m happy I was accepted for this particular programme at the University of Birmingham.

MSc Marketing Communications offered a vast array of subjects based on successful merger of theory and practice. We had modules which tested and reinforced our creative abilities (Marketing Communications), analytical skills (Marketing Research), industry knowledge (PR Skills and Practice, Strategic Brand Management, Consultancy Skills) and new trends for marketing mavens (E-Marketing). We also had unforgettable team-building experiences (Coniston Lake trip, Sheffield Arena evening, visit to world-renowned advertising agency in London: Ogilvy & Mather, etc).

Moreover, Consultancy Skills and Practice Module gives the opportunity to get in touch with  a real company, so that future Account Executives and Planners will have a chance to experience real client requirements and obviously…deadlines. I got the chance to work for Cadbury Plc. – world-known confectionary company, for our consultancy project. I could implement the knowledge gained during the course-time, new media techniques (the client is always looking for innovative solutions) and certainly visit Cadbury’s World, where “Chocolate comes to life” and where we could actually take part in the manufacturing process (I couldn’t wait to post all photos on Facebook).

Apart from that, I applied for Jaguar Global PR Graduate Placement, being selected for their summer intern for a 3-months period was an unforgettable experience considering company transparency and their willingness to involve a new-coming student into their daily activity. I was literally part of the team, invited on the official global launch of the new flagship model – Jaguar XJ, the event which welcomed guests as: Jay Leno, Elle Macpherson, David Hasselhoff, Sophie Ellis-Bextor etc. Also, as part of my research study I witnessed the 1st digital launch of a luxury car model, being responsible for new media support in the European Markets. The event received global online and offline media coverage for a strategy I could observe in real-time.

I would highly recommend this course to active people, looking for self-development and up-to-date industry knowledge applicable in real-time business environment.


Career Development Advice

Consultants provide an individual advice service to help you realise your career objectives. These appointments commonly focus on:

Career Review and Objective-setting

  • Job seeking strategies
  • CV Review or Application Advice
  • Interview and Selection Advice
  • Working in the UK
  • International Work Enquiries

Skills Coaching

A Skills Development Consultant is available to support you in developing personal skills such as team working, leadership, presentations and interpersonal skills.  Individual 45 minuteappointments can be made through Careers in Business Online

Liaison with employers

The Employer Liaison Team undertakes initiatives to attract employment/project opportunities into the Business School.  Information about vacancies and other openings will be made available on Careers in Business Online and on Business School noticeboards as well as through the Careers and Employability Centre vacancy database at www.as.bham.ac.uk/careers.

There is also an opportunity to meet with the members of the Employer Liaison team, via referral from one of the Careers Consultants. Upon referral, the team will be happy to discuss and explore careers openings with you and summer project opportunities if your course allows for this. 

Students keen to meet with a member from the Employer Liaison Team should first book an appointment with a Careers Consultant through Careers in Business Online

Careers Events and Workshops

A range of career management, personal development and employer events are run each year to help students make the most of the opportunities open to them after graduation.  They are advertised via Careers in Business Online, leaflets, noticeboards, email and on WebCT.  Sign up to events to find out about employment opportunities, develop your skills and network with professionals in various fields.

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 should use the Careers in Business team for individual appointments, CV checking, mock interviews and other job search related activities.  Full details of the services available through the Careers and Employability Centre can be obtained from www.as.bham.ac.uk/careers.

Professional accreditation

cim-logo

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.

Contact

Tel: +44 (0)121 415 8273
Fax: +44 (0)121 414 2263
Email: mscadmissions@lists.bham.ac.uk

alumni-career-profile-course-side
Visit Birmingham Business School Alumni to view the latest graduate career profiles.