The importance of marketing communication in delivering clear, consistent and competitive messages about an organisation and its products is crucial to organisational success. Rather than seeing marketing communications as creating favourable brand images merely in the eyes of consumers, the field has witnessed a renewed focus on the effects of communication on the multiple stakeholders' organisations address, including their employees and the media.
Across multiple sectors, the utilisation of multi-channel communication strategies is growing and with this so is demand for professionals with expertise in this exciting field. Reflecting this need for a more corporate perspective and strategic approach to communications this course, developed with industry experts, is designed for new graduates with a background in marketing, media, management and social sciences, and practitioners seeking career development. The course also has a strong emphasis on the application of theory to practice through activities such real-life case studies, problem-solving exercises and a residential week or a virtual industry based conference with industry professionals
The course focuses on three strands key to the field; ‘Strategic Analysis and Thinking’ enhances understanding of markets, and the application of critical and analytic methods in solving communications problems; ‘Execution’ develops skills around writing and presenting communications plans and advertising briefs; and ‘Tools, Media and Settings’ contextualises the use of both traditional and innovative modes of communication in different settings, whether social, national or global.
*This course is subject to review
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We’ve made sure that the skills and knowledge that you’ll gain on your course will not change during the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, your module information is below
This module is designed provide a theoretical and practical understanding of persuasion theory and its broad application in the context of integrated marketing communications in both commercial and social marketing domains. Students will examine a range of models used in persuasion in traditional media as well as the challenges and opportunities presented with the growth of new media channels. As a core module on the Programme, there will be clear links to other modules of study, allowing students to develop a deeper appreciation of the importance of brand message structure and content as it reaches diverse audiences. Given the competitive nature of the marketplace, it is incumbent on marketers to design message strategies that can be heard above the ‘noise’ of competing organisations and brands. To that end, students will develop strategies for the creative use of media channels to devise persuasive message campaigns and thereby gain relevant employment skills for a range of industry sectors.
The aim of the module is to equip students with the key skills required for the strategic management of brands. Beginning with definitions of what a brand is, the module introduces students to the core concepts of branding and provides a wide range of analytical tools and frameworks for the analysis of brands.
The aim of the module is to explain the psychological foundations that direct consumers to choose products, services, experiences or ideas in order to satisfy their needs and wants. By understanding how thoughts, beliefs, feelings, perceptions, knowledge and attitudes drive decision making, the business can gain a powerful tool for company success.
The module will develop students’ insights into how events and experiential marketing activities create a mutually beneficial and authentic interaction between customers and brands.
The aim of this module is to develop students' ability to measure, predict, and critically evaluate key performance indicators of brands. Students will collect and analyse data, and then prepare reports and communicate the results of the data analysis in order to assist decision-making and strategy development.
Students will gain a solid grounding in the theory and practice of Public Relations and develop intellectual abilities, skills and knowledge needed to strategically manage the reputation of brands and organisations, add value to their commercial success and support their goals. Students will explore the most effective use of PR tools such as media relations when looking at managing public perceptions during moments of organisational or individual crisis; as well as develop specific skills of storytelling and writing for media across traditional and digital media channels. The module will explore the wider cultural and societal landscape in which PR operates, touching on areas such as celebrity, power and the impact of globalisation. The content will build upon the knowledge and skills from core modules and will appeal to students seeking to explore opportunities of employment within PR and communications related organisations.
Given the very dynamic nature of the advertising and communications industry, the module will closely mirror innovations and approaches used in practice. The experiential focus of the module will adopt a ‘hands on’ approach to advertising, where students will be required to engage in the process of analysing, critiquing as well as creating advertising communication across a range of traditional and digital media channels. The module content will give students both a theoretical and practical exposure to creative strategies in advertising, allowing the development of skills relevant to current and future employment opportunities in the creative industry sector.
Modern technology has been significantly shaping the ways businesses do marketing, especially in terms of promotional activities. The issues of increased promotional ‘clutter’ have affected consumer attention to advertising messages and in some cases negatively influenced attitudes towards brand messages. In such circumstances, traditional marketing finds itself ineffective and requires unconventional and more creative approaches to enable organisations to reach and influence target audiences. This module will explore the theoretical and practical applications of guerrilla marketing and present them in conjunction with more conventional approaches to promotion that use celebrities as brand ambassadors and spokespersons to act as ‘lures’ for target audiences. Students will examine the process by which guerrilla marketing tactics use unconventional approaches, employing a combination of tools as an offensive strategy to reach target customers rather than reliance on large marketing budgets. Further, students will develop understanding of different promotional approaches used within traditional media, as well as an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities presented with the growth of new media channels.
The ability to communicate in culturally diverse settings has become a key prerequisite of successful global brands. Although there is a worldwide convergence of technology, media and financial systems, globalisation has not consistently produced globally uniform consumers; global brands often encounter unfamiliar challenges in specific regions or parts of the world. This module examines the discipline of cross-cultural communications in relation to global marketing. It is concerned with the development, implementation and evaluation of marketing communication activities across a diverse range of cultural settings. Students in this module will consider how cultural values influence, and can be reflected in, global communication programs. Message creation, execution and the available vehicles of message distribution will be evaluated across different cultural contexts. Through exposure to a wide range of real-life examples, students will be able to design comprehensive communication solutions to boost brand shares globally.
This module aims to assist students to develop an understanding of the research process and to conduct research leading to successful completion of their dissertation. It enables students to demonstrate proficiency in relation to scoping the issue(s)/problems, consideration of appropriate literature, collection and analysis of data, and developing specific recommendations or conclusions in relation to the research project.
See the course specification for more information:
Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt in recent years by enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.
We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year.
We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our in-person teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.
Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.
The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.
This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.
Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22
Live in-person on campus learning
Contact hours per week, per level:
Live online learning
Average hours per week, per level:
Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.
Definitions of terms
You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.
Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.
You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.
MA Marketing Communications Graduate
The residential trip was a definite highlight as I was able to put theory into practice by visiting local and international businesses and gained insight into their value marketing practices. During the trip, I conducted an in-depth analysis of the business environment for the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. The report addressed key issues regarding reduced visitor footfall within the museum and my proposed strategies to enhance visitor awareness and experience. The trip helped me enhance my communication skills when dealing with corporate businesses and I've also learnt to value fellow peers and staff members experiences to add an insightful perspective into different topics.
This course has been a good challenge and has helped me enhance my skills and prepared for a future in marketing.
We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.
Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.
Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.
At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.