MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Marketing Communications
This course is open for applications.
Page last updated 22 June 2020
This course develops thinking skills and will give you a general introduction to marketing with a focus on marketing communications. It is suitable for students wishing to work in a marketing communications agency or as a communications specialist, whatever your background or UG degree subject area.
The digital revolution has resulted in a widening of the number and types of organisations involved in communications. Previously advertising was often confined to larger commercial organisations, however, there is now a need to have a strong web presence. Organisations of all kinds have had to become far more professional in how they communicate with customers, the public and other audiences.
The MSc in Marketing Communications will give you a solid grounding in marketing, while also allowing you to position yourself as a marketing communications specialist. Whether you choose to go on to work in an agency, in house as part of a communications team, or as a freelance consultant, the course will help you gain the skills and insight needed to establish yourself confidently in this field.
Flexible study options
This course can be taken as a one-year full-time programme, which is ideal if you are at the start of your marketing career. It is also of particular interest to professionals in the creative sector, who can choose to take the flexible part-time route, if they wish to study without taking a career break.
The skills you need to succeed
We take a structured approach to developing the professional skills you need to be successful in this field. This includes both intellectual skills exploring different ways of thinking; and practical skills, such as communication, numerical and presentation capabilities.
A real-world focus
The course draws heavily on real-world issues, so you will learn the theory but also how to apply it to real-life situations. You will also have plenty of opportunity to engage with employers, with guest lecturers from industry, and research opportunities where you can work on real marketing problems.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
You will study the following core modules:
- Contemporary Marketing Practice - This module introduces you to the theory and practice of marketing. It begins by looking at the traditional target marketing approach before looking at more recent developments in marketing thought. This module will also introduce the idea of thinking skills, encouraging you to take a systematic approach to the way you tackle business problems, using theory to structure your approach.
- Strategic Marketing Planning - In this module, you will learn how to analyse an organisation's environment, making decisions on how it can deploy its resources for maximum advantage. The module will review a number of different tools and techniques which aid strategic analysis, strategy development and implementation.
- Principles of Marketing Communications - This module takes an in-depth look at the tools and techniques of promotion. As well as looking at the strengths of weaknesses of different communications media, you will learn the more fundamental principles of message development, framing and delivery, ensuring that communications media are used as effectively as possible.
- Marketing Analytics - Marketing depends on good information about the organisation, its customers and its competitors. In Marketing Analytics, you will learn how to design and implement systems for monitoring marketing activities, integrating financial and non-financial information to support organisational learning.
- Research Methods for Marketing - This module builds on the learning from the Marketing Analytics module. As well as learning how to define and plan research projects, you will develop skills in gathering data, whether from focus groups, surveys or observation. The focus on this module is primarily on marketing research, but we will also look at the similarities to and differences from academic research.
- Digital Marketing - Digital marketing is integral to marketing in any context, so most modules will contain a substantial element of digital marketing. This module focuses on the planning and execution of digital marketing campaigns, focusing on the practical skills that need to be developed to maximise the benefit derived from digital marketing channels.
- Corporate Communications - This module will help you to understand the practices and processes by which an organisation communicates with its internal and external stakeholders. Building on the Principles of Marketing Communications Module, you will take a more specialist look at topics such as media relations, crisis management and building an internet presence, as well as the principles and practices of internal communications to staff.
- Marketing Dissertation and Research Methods
- Work-based Project and Research Methods.
You will choose one additional subject from the optional modules* below:
- Customer Relationship Management
- Social Marketing Principles and Policy
- Promotion and Society
- Retail and Fashion Marketing: Design and Delivery.
* The availability of optional modules is subject to demand.
In addition to these modules, your dissertation gives you the chance to research an area of marketing communications that is of particular interest to you and of relevance to your career or company. You will have the choice of working on an academic-type dissertation or a work-based one, where you will work on a live communications project.
You will attend a number of dissertation workshops to provide you with the research training sufficient to produce a quality dissertation.
Previous dissertation topics include:
- A cross-cultural research: Investigating the role of Cultural Masculinity on Consumers' Buyer Behaviour of Luxury Goods
- Love at the core: the influence of brand-love on consumer outcomes
- A research of how celebrity endorsement influences on environmental behavioural intention of young people in Vietnam
- The influence of cosmetic advertising on the body image of West African students at UWE
Please also note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery, the same modules will be studied. However, the structure will differ.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
This is a 'conversion' Masters course, and we assume no prior study of marketing communications. You'll learn though formal classes and seminar sessions, as well as through group work and independent study. The work will include assignments, exercises, case studies and presentations with an emphasis on independent learning to develop your problem-solving skills.
You will also have access to a range of study materials online through our virtual learning environment. This includes online lectures, five-minute 'talking head' discussions and other syllabus-related material to support your learning.
For more details see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.
For the full-time course you will attend the Business School for one year, study two to three days per week, and submit your dissertation in September. You can, however, choose to submit your dissertation in December, therefore taking 15 months to complete the course.
The part-time route lets you fit study around work and family commitments. It runs over 24 months, during which time you'll attend the University for a total of approximately four hours per week during term time.
If you have been out of higher education for a while, we provide skills sessions to help prepare you for studying again, as well as sessions for non-native English speakers.
Assessment is through supervised mini-projects, presentations, time-constrained assignments and examinations.
For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.
While you are studying with us, you will have access to a range of facilities to enhance your learning experience. This includes the University library, which is open 24 hours a day and includes computer facilities. The library is well stocked with electronic and print books, newspapers, journals, government publications, statistics, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, company information, market reports and DVDs.
The University is also currently investing in new facilities, including a £50m project to build the new Faculty of Business and Law building. This will provide a state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment for business and law students.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.
Integrity Research Scheme
As a student on this course, you will be able to apply to take part in the Integrity Research Scheme. This gives you the chance to gain practical market research experience, where you will work with a client on a real research project and gain valuable insight into what it's like to work as a market research consultant.
Meet leaders of industry
As a student at Bristol Business School, you will have the opportunity to hear about the challenges, issues and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership. Our inspirational line up of speakers has included Will King, CEO of King of Shaves who spoke on 'The Power of Social Media'. Read more about the speakers you can hear from at the Business School.
Careers / Further study
Getting the right message across to the right people is fundamental to business success and those with expertise in marketing communications are always going to be in demand in roles such as advertising copywriter, PR manager, direct marketing executive, senior brand manager, account manager and marketing communications manager.
If you are already working in the sector, the course will help you take that vital step up the ladder or move into a more specialist role. Graduates of this course have gone on to work with employers such as Creative England, SCISYS and Telefónica UK. Many of our graduates also go on to further academic study by embarking on a PhD.
You will have access to careers support while you are studying with us (and for three years after you graduate). Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.
You will need:
- an honours degree of 2:2 or above) in any subject; or
- an equivalent academic qualification; or
- an academic or professional qualification such as the Advanced Certificate in Marketing, a BTEC or HND plus significant marketing or management experience.
UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.
English language support
If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.
Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.
English Language Requirement
If English is not your first language, you will be required to meet the UK Border Agency and Universities minimum English Language requirements such as the International English Language Test (IELTS) overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
Further details on our English Language requirements.
How to applyDeadline for application:
The deadline for applying for this course is three weeks before the start date.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333