This innovative programme fuses design with the concepts and principles of advertising, allowing you to develop a range of skills to thrive in a fast-paced and competitive industry.
Taught by the School of Design and Leeds University Business School - one of the world's top 100 business schools - you'll take a creative approach to solving communication problems in advertising and branding. You'll develop your own practice, collaborate with other designers and gain a deeper awareness of how design can convey a brand message, using a range of software and techniques.
At the same time, you'll study ideas, research and theories in advertising to explore the strategic backdrop of brand communications from the blurring of markets to the ways in which digital technology, such as social media and mobile, have changed the relationship between brands and consumers.
You'll mix creativity and innovation with advertising strategy to gain a valuable range of knowledge and skills.
We have plenty of facilities to help you make the most of your time at Leeds. You'll be able to develop your practice in well-equipped studios and purpose-built computer clusters so you can build your skills on both PC and Mac. There's also a computer-aided design (CAD) suite with access to the latest design software and some of the latest design technology, such as digital printing and laser cutting facilities, and colour analysis/prediction labs.
We also have an impressive range of resources you can use for research. We house the M&S Company Archive including documents, advertising, photos, films, clothing and merchandise from throughout Marks & Spencer's history, offering a fascinating insight into the changing nature of branding and advertising over time.
You'll begin to develop your understanding of advertising principles from the start of the programme, when you'll study consumer behaviour and explore how brands can adopt these different theories to inform their marketing strategies.
Focusing on contemporary issues, you'll look at the process of strategic marketing communications and how strategic marketing works on the global stage. At the same time, you'll study practical design modules where you'll learn to visualise creative communications ideas and present your proposals to clients, as well as considering how compelling text within an advertising concept can influence consumers.
In Semester 2 you'll build on this foundation by exploring integrated communication, developing creative concepts that can work for a range of different media outlets, as well as the broader aspects of campaign planning, print, radio and TV ad production and the ethics of advertising campaigns.
You'll think about reach, frequency and the often complex question of return on investment and even choose from specialist modules on topics such as social media, sales promotion, brand management and direct marketing.
At the end of the programme you'll submit a substantial project that demonstrates the knowledge and skills that you've gained. You can either complete a dissertation - an independent research project on a related topic of your choice - or develop a communication campaign concept of your own.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Visual Communication 15 credits
- Persuasion 15 credits
- Integrated Communication 30 credits
- Consumer Behaviour 15 credits
- Marketing Communications 10 credits
- Advertising 15 credits
- Global Strategic Marketing 15 credits
- Media Planning and Strategy 15 credits
- Creative Direction 35 credits
- Dissertation - Advertising and Design 35 credits
- Brand Management and Corporate Identity 15 credits
- Sales Promotion and Sponsorship 15 credits
- Social Media Marketing 15 credits
- Direct, Digital and Interactive Marketing 15 credits
For more information on typical modules, read Advertising and Design MA in the course catalogue
Learning and teaching
We use a range of teaching methods that reflects the diversity of the programme, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions, online learning and group sessions. Independent study is also an important element of this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills as well as your design specialisms.
You'll also be assessed by a variety of methods. Obviously these will include your own creative work as you develop campaign concepts in your taught design modules, but also presentations, reflective logs, reports, group projects and written assignments
Applying, fees and funding
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent qualification.
In exceptional circumstances we may also consider people who don't have a degree, but do have relevant work experience.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component . For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:
- don't meet the English language requirements for your course
- want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.
Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Business Management and Enterprise (6 weeks) and Language for Business: Business Management and Enterprise (10 weeks).
How to apply
This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Documents and information you need
A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts, or a partial transcript if you're still studying (please submit an official English translation if necessary)
Two academic references (in certain circumstances a professional reference may be considered)
Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English is not your first language
A personal statement, including evidence of your motivation and interest to study this particular programme and an indication to your future career plans. Non-design students should demonstrate how they can transfer their knowledge/skills to a different discipline, as well as their understanding about the field of advertising.
An electronic link or pdf to your digital portfolio. Your portfolio should show evidence of successfully generating and articulating concepts.
Applicants from non-design backgrounds must also have a portfolio showing evidence of your understanding of visual language and/or creative writing ability.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
School of Design Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy
UK/EU: £11,500 (total)
International: £21,500 (total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
This programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a dynamic and expanding sector.
You'll be a confident strategist, planner, account executive or creative advertiser or designer who also understands the relationship between advertising, brand development and consumers. In addition, you'll have important skills such as oral and written communication, presentations, research, analysis and commercial awareness.
We've designed the programme to prepare you for a range of opportunities working in the creative industries, traditional advertising and design agencies, digital and social media. Alternatively, you may want to explore different elements of advertising and design at PhD level.
Students from this programme have successfully gained employment at both traditional and non-traditional advertising agencies all over the world, and in a wide variety of roles including brand management, marketing and more.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
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