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Advertising, Public Relations and Branding BA Honours

In the age of new media, how brands are created and managed has evolved which means this is the perfect time to launch your exciting career in Advertising, PR or Branding
October 2023
September 2023: EU/International induction
3 years full-time
Usually 5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,700 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Giannina Warren

The only degree in the UK that combines advertising, public relations and branding, this course is aimed towards those people who want a high performing, fast-paced career in the world of marketing and communications.

A degree from Middlesex University is a sign you can meet the professional demands employers are looking for. Our graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Ogilvy, Warner Bros, Universal, Adidas and many more.

Keep up with this constantly evolving industry

People are creating, consuming and sharing content in new and innovative ways. If you’re passionate about working in advertising, brand management or publicity campaigns, then our course will set you up with the tools to succeed.

The course covers core topics such as brand management, campaign planning, public relations, social media marketing and digital advertising. You’ll be equipped with the creative thinking, communication, and strategy skills required for a fast-paced and ever-evolving career.

During your course, you'll develop your understanding of the roles that PR, advertising and branding play in every aspect of society. You'll also build a portfolio of work by planning and implementing campaigns, producing adverts and other kinds of promotional content for both traditional and online channels.

You’ll also learn how to work in virtual teams using a variety of project management tools, and you’ll have free licensed access to the latest industry standard software such as the Adobe Creative Suite to ensure you’ve got the digital skills employers are looking for.

We support you and your career goals

London is the global centre for advertising and PR, and we use this to host virtual networking opportunities and online guest lectures with some of the industry's top performers. You'll also have an opportunity to take part in a work placement to build your professional network.

You’ll have a Personal Tutor directly related to your course and if you'll receive support with academic writing, numeracy and library skills. Our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants have studied your subject and can support you based on their own experience.

Diversity and decolonising the curriculum

We are working to actively overcome the prejudices both direct and indirect that young people (especially young people of colour and those from less advantaged backgrounds) might face in higher education and media industries. We have taken concrete steps in decolonizing our curriculum and we work hard to ensure we offer a diverse range of learning materials, resources and space for exploration and creativity for all students in our quest to further that commitment.

Find out more

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What will you study on the BA Advertising, Public Relations and Branding?

This innovative course explores a broad range of subjects and practices within the fields of advertising, PR and branding, from creative advertising and promotional video production to social media PR and place branding. You will learn about the traditional differences between paid, earned and owned media, but also the ways in which brand communications are transforming this media landscape.

This course will enable you to develop all the practical skills that are integral to the disciplines of advertising, PR and branding. You will learn the full range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, including digital data analytics, to generate insights into consumer behaviour. These insights will inform the design, development and pitching of creative work and campaigns, which will see you producing strategy documents and promotional media that will include social media content, adverts, events and videos.

By the end of the course you will have developed a compelling portfolio of academic and creative work, but also essential skills in self-branding and reputation management.


  • Year 1

    • Brands, Media and Society (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides a historical and critical introduction to the development of brands and their complex relationship with media and power in contemporary society. You will explore specific practices, processes and industries alongside key theories and debates about promotional practices within a broader social, cultural, ethical and political context. You will examine how brands both shape culture, and are shaped by it through field visits, case studies and guest speakers.

    • Creative Advertising (30 credits) - Compulsory

      Creativity is central to successful advertising, but plays an equally important role in developing brand strategy and public relations campaigns. The ability to conceptualise, develop and hone creative ideas is a key skill as graduates who possess an aptitude for creative thinking and innovation are in high demand, in a range of related roles across the creative industries. You will be equipped with the strategies and skills in conceptualisation and concept development required for a range of advertising applications that will further developed throughout the course.

    • Public Relations Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is designed to give a broad overview and understanding of the main concepts involved in public relations, and will prepare you for future work in campaign planning and brand reputation management. Through exposure to industry examples via lectures, guest lectures and workshops, you will consider how PR can assist in raising awareness, changing attitudes and behaviour, and managing relationships. The module is broken into three distinct blocks that will broadly cover the history and development of PR, understanding persuasion in a promotional or communicative context, and finally individual pitching and presentation skills.

    • Content Design (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on the design of content for print and online publication. You will learn how to design material that communicates information clearly and persuasively, gaining an understanding of the conventions and practices of content design and exploring the history and context of its development in the advertising, PR and branding industries. The module explores the influence of design theories on the production of material in print and web design and you will work with industry standard desktop publishing and web design software to produce material in response to creative briefs. You will develop an appreciation for the unique demands of designing across different media and for the challenges and opportunities, developing your digital media production skills in the creation of videos, images, layouts for print, online and mobile channels. Also, you will use your knowledge and skills developed in this module to gather, analyse and present information in ways that are creative and communicate meaning effectively.

  • Year 2

    • Understanding Consumer Culture (30 credits) - Compulsory

      With social media and mobile use now ubiquitous, it has become ever more crucial but also more feasible for brands and companies to monitor consumers’ everyday practices and participate in their shared culture. In order to integrate such grass-roots consumer culture into their advertising, branding and PR processes, companies and organisations need to deploy traditional market and social research methods but also augment these with new methodologies capable of accessing and providing insight from an ever-expanding range of digital data sources.

      This module provides students with cognitive skills and ad hoc methodologies for researching consumer culture across offline and online spaces. Through a range of lectures, case studies and practical wprkshops combined with ample and varied opportunities for formative feedback, students will learn how to collect, organise, analyse, visualise and interpret qualitative, quantitative and digital data as well as connect them to advertising, PR and branding strategies.

    • Brand Management (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In a context where a diverse range of organisations and individuals are required to imagine and communicate themselves as brands, (a set of symbols, values, and emotions that convey a certain narrative vision of the world), brand management has emerged as a key discipline that integrates a range of competencies from across the spectrum of marketing communications. This module introduces the knowledge and skills that are required to create, manage and communicate brands as well as assess their socio-cultural impact and economical value.

    • Campaign Planning (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the practical process of campaign planning and communicating awareness of a product, service, idea or societal issue in an effective and engaging way. You will work on briefs set by external clients or organisations and this practical work will develop skills in key areas of campaign communications such as:

      • undertaking research and deciding the most appropriate communication strategy
      • developing creative insights and campaign objectives
      • devising a media/media relations strategy
      • working in creative teams to plan and produce promotional materials
      • working in teams to pitch the campaign
      • reflecting on the planning process and evaluating the campaign.
    • Creative Industries Work Placement (30 credits) - Optional

      For this module, you will be required to complete a work-placement (100 hours) in a selected sector of the industry. The module runs in cooperation with our Employability Centre.

    • Promotional Cultures (30 credits) - Optional

      In recent decades, the advertising, PR and branding industries have become central to public life - in business, politics and culture. This module provides an opportunity for you to critically engage with the major ethical issues, regulatory frameworks and political debates arising from the economic and digital transformations of contemporary society., You will learn about the changes brought about through the rise of promotional cultures and develop advanced skills of critical analysis through a range of case studies and practical workshops with regulatory and industry professionals.

    • Promotional Video Production (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will allow you to gain valuable work experience in professional ‘client-led’ promotional video production scenarios. You will gain an insight into working with clients in a professional context with the aim to enhance your transition into a range of roles across the advertising, PR and branding industries. You will explore ethical and compliance issues with production opportunities from both external clients and in-house productions.

  • Year 3

    • Independent Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will allow you to demonstrate, in the execution of a complex and large-scale project, high level academic and/or practical skills, relevant to your field of study and creative and professional interests. The project will take the form of either an independent project or a work placement project. For the work placement, you will undertake a Middlesex-approved work placement and base your final project around your experience of being a participant observer.

    • Digital Advertising (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will give you the necessary knowledge to understand the complex relationship between digital technologies and consumer behaviour in an evolving context. You will explore the latest developments in advertising practice, from data analytics and programmatic advertising to augmented reality executions of branded content and experiences. You will gain the knowledge and skills to design and manage advertising content across a range of digital channels and platforms.

    • Social Media and Public Relations (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces the ways in which organisations use social media to develop and deliver public relations campaigns and how those technologies can also be used to develop a person's professional profile online. You will develop the skills for strategic planning, design and evaluation of online campaigns and you will have the opportunity to refine your own personal brand; promoting your achievements and capabilities to enhance your employability.

    • Campaigns and Social Impact (30 credits) - Optional

      From angry street protests to sophisticated charity lobbying and from populist political insurgencies to online activism, campaigns designed to change society are an integral part of the 21st century media environment. This module will help you understand how these campaigns develop, what they mean and how they reflect the way in which power works in societies. You will have the opportunity to effectively design, manage and deliver a campaign designed to address an issue of importance to your community.

    • Entrepreneurship (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will give you the opportunity to engage with realistic scenarios that you are likely to encounter during your career in the media industry. Through seminars, directed study and experiential learning, you will explore the employment and self-employment opportunities in these industries. Entrepreneurial activities, both supervised and self-directed, are at the core of the module with a constant focus on your budding enterprise ideas and ambitions.

    • Place Branding and International Diplomacy (30 credits) - Optional

      Places, just like products, require a brand strategy to compete in today’s international globalised environment. Cities, regions and nations worldwide have begun to use promotional strategies to position themselves favourably in the minds of target groups such as tourists, businesses, potential residents and foreign investors. As an entry into a relatively new and highly interdisciplinary field, this module will explore tourism, investment, migration, planning and governance through a promotional lens. You will gain a global understanding of international communication flows and place promotion strategies through an interactive mix of lectures, guest lectures, field visits and case studies. You will also benefit from developing your skills in audience segmentation, stakeholder relationship management, public administration and promotional policy implementation.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

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.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Advertising, Public Relations and Branding support your career?

You will have developed knowledge and skills that are valuable across the creative industries, most specifically in advertising, public relations, brand strategy/consultancy and Marketing, but also in related roles in a range of sectors. You may go on to become self-employed and run your own business, agency or start-up, or go on to postgraduate study in a cognate area of media communications, media management and marketing.

Recent students successfully gained employment in the following roles after graduating:

  • Creative Copywriter at Forever Beta
  • Senior Account Executive at Whynot!
  • International Events Director at Innovation Enterprise
  • Social Media Specialist at Marin Software
  • Account Manager at APS Group
  • Researcher at THIRD BRIDGE
  • Student Engagement and Marketing Officer at Compass Group
  • Content and Social Media Manager at HeadShotBG
  • PR Account Executive at Samphire Communications Ltd
  • Community Manager at Adidas
  • Account Executive at TBWA

The students in the last two roles also won the coveted Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence for the highest grades across the School on graduation, exemplifying not just the calibre of the degree but also our vision of how academic achievement and practical expertise go hand in hand.

Dr Giannina Warren
Programme leader

Dr Warren is a Senior Lecturer in Advertising and Promotional Culture and holds several Postgraduate Certificates in promotional fields and an MA in International Communications with a specialism in place branding and public diplomacy. Prior to embarking on her PhD studies, her career spanned 17 years as a specialist in visual identity, branding, advertising and public relations in high impact sectors such as finance, energy, legal, tourism and economic development. She spent six years at Toronto City Hall, working on city branding strategies, international promotional campaigns for public cultural events, resident-engagement programmes and tourism initiatives before coming to the UK.

She was honoured to be awarded the ‘Outstanding Academic of the Year’ for the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries in 2017, and shortlisted for ‘Most Inspiring Teacher of the Year’ in the Student-Led Teaching Awards at Middlesex University in 2018.

Dr James Graham
Senior Lecturer, Director of Programmes

Dr Graham teaches broadly across media and communications and researches in the fields of postcolonial media and literary studies. He is the convenor of the Promotional Cultures Research Cluster and has supervised two PhDs to completion in this area. Prior to taking on the role of Director of Programmes, he led the BA Advertising, PR and Branding programme, taking it through two successful reviews and overseeing its expansion and delivery internationally in London, Dubai, Mauritius and Vietnam.

He was shortlisted for the ‘Most Innovative Teacher' at the 2015 Student Led teaching Awards and won the award for ‘Academic Staff Member of the Year’ at the 2018 awards.

Dr Tim Riley
Lecturer in Branding and Digital Media

Dr Riley's specialisms concern the internet, social media and digital design. He holds a PhD from University of Westminster, where he explored digital content creation and online sharing. In 2008, he completed an MA in Digital Media that investigated the use of online creative repositories and new mediums of distribution, accessibility and interactivity on the internet. Previous to this he worked as a senior motion graphics graphic designer, director and manager in broadcast television and media organisations for over 24 years.

Martin McGrath

Martin has 30 years’ experience of working in public relations and the media. He worked in film PR and as a magazine editor before moving into political public relations, working in the NHS and then for a number of British trade unions before going freelance in 2010. He started teaching part-time at Middlesex University in 2012 and continues to mix teaching with practice as a freelance PR professional. He graduated from Brunel University in 1991 with a BSc in Communications and Information Studies, went back to university a decade later to do an MA in Politics and then completed a PhD on the impact of the internet on political debate at Nottingham Trent University. He has had work published on the science fiction of playwright Alan Ayckbourn and author Arthur C Clarke, amongst others, and is currently interested in the radical political roots of public relations practice. He holds Accredited Practitioner status with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, is a Fellow of Advanced HE and has a PGCert in Higher Education Teaching. He teaches public relations, branding, social media and social campaigning, is the author of over 30 published short stories, a member of the National Union of Journalists and was 17th in the Daily Mail’s list of the funniest tweets of 2014 for a joke about an American tourist locked in a London bookshop.

  • Denize student

    Denieze Rudo Nyarirangwe

    Advertising, PR and Branding BA, 3rd Year Student

    Everyone is so warming and was so ready to support me from the start. I enjoy using the Grove building as a little hub to meet like-minded people from different creative areas.  I specifically enjoy the campaigns that we work on within the course. They all come in at different times and you have all these diverse briefs and they are so helpful in terms of presentation skills and getting ourselves out there, really thinking about how we can make an impact when we graduate. This course has given me great presentation skills and I learned how to brand myself and believe in myself so that when I introduce what I do and what I have learned from this course I feel extremely confident.

  • Student

    Evana Carmel Sequeira

    Advertising, PR and Branding BA, 3rd Year Student

    I chose Middlesex University because it is very multicultural and I wanted to study with a lot of different people from different cultures. I really like the lecturers, they are very experienced and they have done a variety of things in the past so is great to pick their brains. In terms of the course I specifically enjoy the social media element, and I first had the opportunity to use my skills while working for the North London Story festival on campus.  I now also work in the library, I help with their communications so I can use all the knowledge from the course in real life situations.

  • Bogdan Gheorghe

    Advertising, PR and Branding BA, 2nd Year Student

    I enjoy the practicality of the course. I feel inspired by all the things that we are taught and I like that I have my creativity challenged. In class, we had a guest speaker who made us create some fictional campaigns and I took that and I created it for myself just so I can expand my portfolio. My graphic design and photo editing skills have been improved the most and those areas are the ones I have been enjoying the most too.  I am interested in video production and video editing, but I am also now diving into campaign planning and visual arts.

  • Caryn Coley

    Advertising, PR and Media BA graduate

    I cannot express how glad I am to have undertaken this course. The lecturers were well informed, approachable and really cared about the future of their students. The course itself was interesting and challenging, providing me with the theoretical understanding and practical skills I'd need to excel in my career. I graduated with a 1st, but like many others, I needed more than that to set myself apart from the competition. For me, these were the transferable skills I acquired along the way:

    • building rapport; an attribute I learned from lecturers and later used in interviews and when managing clients
    • Critical thought; a skill which proved immensely important when overseeing advertising campaigns for the likes of Sainsbury's, Porsche and Clinique
    • being adaptable; there is no handbook for success and success means something different to each person, but being able to adapt to the challenges you will face in life is key. Being adaptable is at the heart of growth and is something that was impressed upon me from day one of the course

    If you are fortunate enough to be accepted, know this is your ticket to an amazing future.

  • Lotte Pernille Backer Jaeger

    Advertising, PR and Media graduate

    My experience at Middlesex made me aware of all the opportunities that are opened to you with a degree in Advertising, PR and Media. I got a job before I graduated as a project manager at Mediaplanet back home in Oslo.

    I have nothing but positive things to say about my three years on the degree. I loved the combination of the different modules, I feel like I got a lot out of the years at Middlesex, and that it prepared me for a future job and career in the media business.

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.

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