Strategic marketing needs high-level skills, critical awareness of current issues and challenges, and the ability to respond rapidly to ever-changing markets. This MSc is designed for graduates and practising managers already familiar with basic marketing concepts. Here, you will develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of contemporary and complex issues facing marketers, deepening your insights into the theory and practice of specialist aspects of marketing.
Recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), this programme offers you the unique opportunity to access consultancy projects to enhance your learning, strengthening your existing critical thinking, research, communications and personal skills and equipping you for your highly rewarding marketing or consulting career.
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MSc Strategic Marketing and Consulting | Cornerstone Associates, Nigeria
“"Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK, with a very diverse mix of cultures and a community of students from around the world. It was a no-brainer for me to attain my education in a city of culture."”
Designed for recent graduates or practising managers who are already familiar with basic marketing concepts, this programme will enable you to develop advanced knowledge and understanding of contemporary and complex strategic challenges facing marketers, and to deepen your insights in the theory and practice of specialist aspects of marketing.
The suite of MSc Marketing programmes have been approved and accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and is recognised by the ESRC for research training.
The programme will develop your critical thinking, research and communications skills and, uniquely, will feature consultancy projects as a vehicle for learning and as a means of developing further personal skills for later marketing and consulting careers.
The programme will focus on developing your knowledge and understanding of marketing through advanced modules on Contemporary Issues in Strategic Marketing, Strategic Management and Marketing Analytics, Problem Solving & Strategic Marketing as Practice. Subsequently you will deepen your understanding by undertaking a live consultancy project alongside a range of specialist elective modules (including Retail Marketing, Strategic Brand Management, Strategic Environmental Sustainability and Marketing Communications). The final component of the programme is an individual consulting project and dissertation, adding a further opportunity to apply theory to practice and a further company experience for your CV.
On this programme our students have undertaken live consultancy projects with a range of top companies – for example, Cadbury, Hobbs, Honeywell, Land Rover/Jaguar, Cogent Elliot, TRW, Helix and Aston Villa Football Club. These consultancy projects will give you valuable experience and substantially enhance your marketing career prospects. Graduates from the programme have moved into a range of marketing and consultancy roles with top UK and international companies.
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.
Choose 30 credits from the following:
The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.
For programme fees and information on further costs please visit our
Fees and Financing page.
Business School Scholarships may be available, find out more about
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government;
find out more.
Postgraduate Loans for Masters students
The new postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK will be introduced for students commencing in the 2016-17 academic year. As part of the UK’s Chancellor’s 2014 Autumn Statement, the government has reconfirmed its commitment to loans for postgraduate Masters degrees as part of the 2015 Spending Review.
The government-backed student loans will provide up to £10,000 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Detailed criteria and information regarding the application process is expected in early 2016.
For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page.
Questions about funding? Use our Student Help knowledge base to find the answer.
A good Honours degree (2:1 or higher) 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.
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.
24 month flexible route
This course is also offered in a 24-month format. Applicants with a 2.2 bachelor’s honours degree or overseas equivalent may be eligible for the 24-month version of this course. The first year of the 24-month course involves completing our Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA) programme, which will provide you with a broad foundation of knowledge in business disciplines. On successful completion of this first year with a grade average of 60% or higher, you would be able to proceed directly onto the 12-month MSc Strategic Marketing and Consulting programme beginning in the following September.
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
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.
The 12 month programme starts at the end of September and will focus on developing your knowledge and understanding of marketing in the context of the strategic management of organizations. It will update your awareness of contemporary issues and challenges in marketing.
The early part of the programme will also feature intensive training in research, marketing measurement and analysis and an introduction to consultancy skills and practice. Subsequently, you will deepen your understanding of marketing by undertaking a live consultancy project, alongside studying a range of specialist electives, such as Strategic Brand Management. Guest marketing practitioners will input to the programme to help you engage with the very latest issues.
You will work on two major consultancy projects during the programme, and this may involve working with an SME or a major corporate, a UK-based or overseas company, and/or a commercial or social enterprise. You will work through the entire consultancy process – from receiving the client brief, developing the proposal, negotiating deliverables, managing and completing the research, presenting the results, and ensuring a satisfactory outcome for the client.
In addition to direct consulting skills, we will further develop your analytical capabilities, critical thinking skills, communication skills and your ability to use IT to support marketing analysis and decision-making. Part of your skills training will take place off-campus at the University’s Priestley Centre on Lake Coniston in Cumbria.
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
Interview and selection advice
Working in the UK
International work enquiries
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.
This programme is accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).