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. 

Recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), 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.


We can confirm that EU students who are already studying at the University of Birmingham or who intend to start their studies in 2018 or 2019 will continue to be charged the UK fee rate applicable at the time (may be subject to annual increases for inflation) for the duration of their course. The Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan will also be available to eligible EU students for the duration of their course. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

Ola Dantis

MSc Strategic Marketing and Consulting – Cornerstone Associates, Nigeria

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

The programme will develop your critical awareness of contemporary strategic marketing issues, the theory and role of communications in marketing, and a critical approach to the principles and practice involved in planning, creating, managing and evaluating communication campaigns.  You will have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge in particular areas of marketing communications, through modules such as Contemporary Issues in Strategic Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Marketing Communications, Advertising and Sales Promotions, PR and Media Skills and Digital Marketing.  Subsequently, you will deepen your understanding by studying a range of specialist elective modules. The final component of the programme is an academic dissertation specifically focusing on a marketing communications issue, adding a further opportunity to apply theory to practice for your CV.

Why study this course

Our academics 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. This is complemented by input from marketing practitioners in the form of talks and guest lectures during various modules.

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 relevant employers.

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 MSc Marketing programmes which attract students from more than thirty countries. 

Modules

Core Modules

Optional modules*

Choose 30 credits from the following:

* From 2019-20, all optional modules will be capped at 200 student per optional module. The aim of this measure is to ensure that modules are appropriately resourced and that students have the best possible experience with their programmes.


The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate, staff changes can lead to changes in specialist areas and therefore the  modules that are offered. Where a module is no longer available, we will inform you as soon as possible so that you make alternative choices.

Fees and funding

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 our scholarships.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government;  find out more.

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

If you're an English-resident, or EU student, you may be eligible for a loan to study a taught or research Masters in any subject. The government-backed student loan will provide up to £10,280 in 2017. 

Detailed criteria and information regarding the application can be found on our postgraduate funding page

  • Questions about funding? Use our Student Help knowledge base to find the answer.

Entry requirements

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 Marketing Communications programme beginning in the following September.

How to apply

Making your application

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

Birmingham Business School aims to deliver a world class, research-led, connected curriculum that facilitates enhanced student experience. Learning and Teaching are a partnership between lecturers who enable learning opportunities and students who engage in the learning process actively and independently. To achieve this, we use a wide range of resources and blended learning techniques. Teaching and learning activities take place in various venues across all days of the week.

At the beginning of each module, you will be given course materials, which will explain the aims and objectives of the module, an outline of content and indicative reading. To benefit fully from your participation in the programme, you will need to commit yourself fully to it. You will need to engage with the learning process by attending all lectures and seminars, reading all materials provided or recommended, taking notes and participating actively during the lectures. Discussion is encouraged in many subjects. After all, one of the main benefits of studying in an MSc Programme is sharing of experiences and ideas.

You will work in teams, in classroom exercises and for various academic assessments that relate to real-life problems and/or marketing campaigns. You will develop an understanding of the principles and challenges of marketing communications in theory and practice. This could include real life communication issues facing organisations, such as evaluating consumer responses to recent advertising campaigns, developing marketing communications plans, evaluating approaches to branding, developing new web designs, among others. The focus of the exercises, case studies and assessments employed on this programme can vary from year to year. Through this programme, you will develop skills in facilitation, communication, negotiation, time management, problem-solving, relationship-handling, critical evaluation and team work.

You will also undertake a major independent research dissertation, which must be related to a marketing communication issue. 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 a marketing communication dissertation. Past topics have included:

  • Evaluating experiential marketing in the exhibitions industry. A case of CSI: the experience
  • The impact of Facebook on brand development in the health and beauty industry
  • An Examination of Hollywood’s Past, Present and Future Marketing Communication Strategies in the Chinese Film Market
  • Branding and Sponsorship in English Football
  • ‘28 Tweets Later:’ The Impact of Shock-based Experiential and Viral Marketing for Horror Films

The home of Birmingham Business School is University House, conveniently situated on the edge of the main campus opposite the main gate of the University. To the elegant old house of 1908, that houses staff rooms and social space, a new multi-million pound state of-the-art teaching and learning complex has been added giving a unique combination of historic elegance and cutting-edge facilities.

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.

Birmingham Business School’s brand new Postgraduate Teaching Centre opened its doors to students in autumn 2016. The building is called the Alan Walters Building after the noted economist of the same name. The high quality facilities provide a dedicated space for the Business School’s postgraduate students, and includes communal areas for studying and group work, which will look out over the Green Heart when completed in 2019.

A high-class learning environment

As a postgraduate student, you will have access to our award-winning £10 million postgraduate teaching space, the Alan Walters Building. This will provide you with access to facilities of the highest quality, including a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, dedicated computer clusters and seminar rooms as well as communal areas for studying and group work, which will look out over the University's ambitious Green Heart development, due to be completed in 2019.


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.

Learn more about the service that our Careers in Business team can provide.

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

cim-logo-black

The suite of MSc Marketing programmes have been accredited by The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).