Marketing MSc

Business to business, customer relationships, internal communications… marketing an organisation’s products or services makes you an ambassador of the brand, a key part in its commercial and reputational success. This programme is for graduates from all disciplines, and explores the principles, theoretical concepts and practice of marketing, with a strong emphasis on current thinking and contemporary issues. 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 is run and supported by experienced academics and marketing practitioners. Globally renowned for their expertise, they will give you significant insights into key areas of marketing, including brand marketing; advertising; consumer behaviour; marketing ethics; and innovation and strategy.

Programme content

The programme involves six taught modules, including four core modules (Consumer Behaviour, Marketing Management, Marketing Research and Marketing Strategy and planning) followed by a number of specialist modules such as Retail Marketing, Strategic Brand Management, Strategic Environmental Sustainability and Marketing Communications. You will also undertake a substantial research dissertation on a marketing topic of your choice. Recent dissertations have included investigations in areas such as interactive marketing, marketing communications and retail marketing.

For this programme, you do not need previous formal education in marketing. The programme is recognised by the ESRC for research training and is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and count towards fifty percent of the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.

For recent graduates and practising managers already familiar with basic marketing concepts, please also see our Marketing Communications MSc and Strategic Marketing and Consulting MSc programmes.

Programme details

The 12-month full-time programme begins at the end of September. The first nine months are spent developing knowledge through six or seven taught modules, comprising four compulsory modules and two/three specialist modules chosen from a list of options designed to give you flexibility.

A 24 month MSc Marketing programme is also available where students first take a nine month general business qualification, Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA) if they do not meet the 12 month course requirements. If a satisfactory performance on this GDBA is achieved students can then progress to the 12-month MSc Marketing programme.

Why study this course

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.

You will be taught by staff from one of the largest groups of Marketing faculty in the UK, including academics who are internationally recognised.

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


The Research Dissertation

You'll be required to undertake a major independent investigation on a marketing topic of your choice.

You will initially complete a research proposal prior to undertaking the main research, and workshops are organised to guide you through the requirements of a dissertation. You will then work under the guidance of a supervisor from the Marketing Group to carry out the research and submit your dissertation.

Late September: MSc Marketing Induction programme (one week)

Semester 1 

Core modules

Semester 2

Core modules

Optional modules*

Students may choose 2 or 4 of the following:**

*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

£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.

Entry requirements

At least an upper second-class degree or postgraduate diploma from a UK university or equivalent. For those not qualified for direct entry to the one-year MSc programmes, a preliminary year may be available (see MSc programmes – flexible route).

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

Apply now

During the year you will undertake a major independent research dissertation, which must be related to an international marketing issue. Some topics may be suggested and sponsored by commercial companies, which provides an opportunity to undertake research which will have a real impact on marketing decision making. Academic members of the Marketing Group will suggest topics consistent with their ongoing research, or you can choose a topic that is directly related to your chosen career path.

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 two conversion programmes (MSc Marketing and MSc International Marketing) 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.