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The award
MA

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
GBP 16000 per year

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September, January

International course fees
GBP 18500 per year

All study options

About Marketing Communications at Westminster Business School, London, University of Westminster

Marketing communications covers the selection and application of the main communication tools available to an organisation in pursuit of its marketing goals. This work is often carried out by specialist agencies, and involves both strategic thinking and the development of creative solutions. It calls for a blend of research-based knowledge with the practice of high-level, often extremely creative, skills. The course includes a study of the tools that underpin the development of a marcomms strategy and the media platforms to deliver a marcomms campaign.

As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to study digital marketing, which makes up the syllabus for the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing. This will prepare you to take the Diploma exams after your MA if you so wish.

The course covers the main marketing communication techniques. It provides you with a sufficient foundation in marketing to enable you to work easily with people involved throughout the marketing management process. The ultimate aim of the course is to enhance individual career advancement prospects through knowledge of how to apply academic learning to best marketing communications practice.

A highlight for many students is the residential at a Cambridge college and talks from practitioners and alumni organised throughout the course which provide an opportunity for networking and extending learning in new environments. 

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. 

Year long module

In this module you will come to understand the nature of learning and how you best learn. You will reflect on your progress and development throughout the course, helping you to generate a personal development plan. You will discuss current thinking in the field of integrated marketing communications, and debate new ideas and media issues. Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), and debate new idea and media issues.

IMC has developed in the last 20 years to be a vital element in the marketing management process. It embraces all of the communications tools, consumer behaviour, research and strategy covered by the course and seeks to place them within an overall context of how IMC has developed, what it seeks to achieve and how its success can be measured. The module explores the various criticisms which are levelled at IMC and examples of where it is considered to have succeeded and failed. The impact of digital delivery on the future development of IMC is also explored.

The module is delivered over one year and is designed to underpin your learning about marketing communications by introducing IMC concepts and issues at appropriate times throughout the course. It also serves as a lead into the IMC campaign project which forms the capstone of student learning and assessment on the course.

In semester one you will study the underpinning concepts and strategies for marketing communications.

Semester one modules

Organisations must understand their consumers and how they choose products and services so they can provide effective communications. Many companies have incorporated a customer focus in their overall strategies and use sophisticated approaches to consumer behaviour, which form the basis of their marketing communication strategies. In this module you will gain a critical understanding of factors influencing consumer behaviour and decision making which can be used in the development of more effective marketing communication strategies.

In this module you will consider the role of marketing communications within the broader context of an organisation's marketing strategy and competitive environment. The module explores contemporary concepts of marketing and brand strategy. You will learn to apply your knowledge to a broad range of organisations.

This module will give you a robust and comprehensive introduction to the theory, application and practice of marketing research in relation to the media. You will examine the need for research to support communications initiatives during their implementation, delivery and evaluation. A major part of this is the way in which research is used in audience measurement.

Students who start the course in January have a compulsory six-week summer school in May-June. This includes the Promotional Marketing module and part of the Semester Two modules. You will also start working on your Integrated Marketing Communications project.

In semester two you will study in greater depth the tools and media platforms for marketing communications. The January cohort will begin these modules during the summer school.

Semester two modules

This module will give you a greater understanding of advertising theory and its application. Advertising is a term often used to represent all forms of marketing communications. Important though advertising is, it is only part of the marketing communications mix. This module discusses how advertising as a media tool differs from other elements of the marketing communications mix and its role within an integrated marketing strategy.

It covers the advertising and creative process, campaign planning, implementation and metrics, advertising in society, and the problems and opportunities of advertising in a constantly changing media environment.

Reflecting the rapidly changing practice in the marketing communications industry, you will explore how direct marketing uses traditional, digital and social media platforms for the acquisition, engagement and retention of customers.

The ability to provide precise, accountable results and directly support the trend towards the development of long-lasting relationships with customers has increased the strategic value to the organisation of direct and digital marketing. This module includes the syllabus material for the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing.

This module takes a holistic view of the sales process and promotional marketing activities by drawing together a number of related themes such as sales and promotional management, customer loyalty, experiential marketing, packaging, and in-store marketing (including point-of-purchase and couponing). Analysing each activity as an individual discipline, the module draws the strands together to illustrate how post-modern concepts such as shopper marketing have come to prevail in contemporary strategic marketing communications thinking.

This module is delivered during the summer school in June for the January cohort.

This module concentrates on giving you an understanding of the role of public relations within an organisation, with special reference to marketing communications. You will examine the origins, scope and a range of applications of PR, focusing on its role in marketing communications management, the development and maintenance of corporate reputation and the growing role of sponsorship within the marketing communications portfolio.

Finally you undertake a project which allows you to bring together all the knowledge you have gained during the programme. This is a practice-based project in which you will make an assessment of a brand's current situation and future potential in relation to its marketing, brand and marketing communications strategies. With guidance from your supervisor you will develop an in-depth, comprehensive integrated marketing communications plan for the product.

The module is delivered through class sessions, workshops and one-to-one tutoring with an individually allocated supervisor. It includes a two-day residential at a Cambridge University College.

Professional association

This course is accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Download the Programme Specification

Course Leader

More about me

Anne Barker

Senior Lecturer

Anne holds Masters degrees in both Marketing and  Higher Education and is a Professional Member of the Digital Marketing Institute.

Anne's work as a Course Leader on the MA Marketing Communications focuses on preparing students for careers in the marketing communications world by helping to shape and develop contemporary knowledge and skills.

Employability skills are built into all modules on the course but are especially important in the integrated Marketing Communications Project module that Anne leads, which pulls together analysis, planning, implementation, and communication skills.

The integrated Marketing Communications Project module pulls together analysis, planning, implementation, and communication skills.

Course Team

Anne Barker - Senior Lecturer
Carol Blackman - Senior Academic
Chris Bestley - Lecturer
Vincent O'Brien - Staff
Jacqueline Lynch - Principal Lecturer Marketing, China Co-ordinator
Dr Kleopatra Konstantoulaki - Senior Lecturer in Marketing
Dr John Slevin - Lecturer

Careers

As a Marketing Communications postgraduate, you can look forward to excellent career prospects in both specialist agencies and within in-house marketing departments.

Past students have gone on to successful careers in advertising, public relations, brand management, direct and interactive marketing, sales promotion, market research and data manipulation.

With the MA Marketing Communications, you'll be particularly well-placed to pursue opportunities with organisations that require marketing specialists with the ability to think strategically and develop creative solutions.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing's Introductory Certificate gives you CIM membership during your MA qualification.

The Business Experience Team also offers full-time overseas postgraduate students the opportunity to take part in our Westminster Business School Mentoring Programme.

We will match students with a senior professional (mentor) from their field of expertise to give them an exact insight into British working practices and policies. Experienced professionals in any business field share their career experiences and knowledge with students who may wish to venture down a similar path in the near future.

Our mentors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including marketing, general management, finance and entrepreneurship. In addition, our mentors typically offer three hours of their time over a three month period to the mentee (student). In addition, to one-to-one meetings, students are encouraged to keep in touch with their mentor over email and telephone.

Our Career Development Centre has just been shortlisted for the Best University Careers Service in the National Undergraduate Employability Awards for 2017.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we are here to help you succeed.

In 2015–16, we helped over 1,500 students find work placements across a range of sectors, with 250 employers attending 14 on-campus skills and careers fairs.

As a Westminster student, you'll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements related to your course
  • find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
  • find international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • market yourself effectively to employers
  • write better CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our careers consultants
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events throughout the year

Find out more about the Career Development Centre.

Graduates of the course are employed throughout the world in marketing, media and communications organisations. These include advertising and digital agencies such as Mind Share and J.W.Thompson; media organisations including television, publishing, and Google; and large companies such as Procter and Gamble, and Coca Cola. Our students take up posts such as marketing managers, marketing planners, brand managers, corporate communication managers and social media community managers.

Student Highlight

Tanja Geser

Marketing Communications MA

One of the things I enjoyed most about studying at Westminster Business School was the close interaction with professors, who not only had a broad knowledge but were very supportive and encouraging. The central location of the Marylebone campus in the heart of London was an inspiring environment to me, full of business opportunities, creativity and interesting people.

We put our marketing and business knowledge into practice on a regular basis

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsSeptember, JanuaryDomestic course feesGBP 16000 per yearInternational course feesGBP 18500 per year

Notes about fees for this course

Alumni Discount See details

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • Undergraduate Degree

Applicants should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class Honours or international equivalent) and demonstrate interest and motivation in the subject area. Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years' relevant professional experience will also be considered. Applicants from different academic backgrounds are welcome.

If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each element.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

Applicants should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class Honours or international equivalent) and demonstrate interest and motivation in the subject area. Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years' relevant professional experience will also be considered. Applicants from different academic backgrounds are welcome.

If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each element.

More information

What students think about Westminster Business School, London, University of Westminster

    Vanessa De Silva, Management Consultant, Expertise Limited, Bermuda

    Testimonial from Vanessa De Silva, Management Consultant, Expertise Limited, Bermuda, student at Westminster Business School, London
    As an international student I was looking for a Master's program that would offer me an experience and education that I could utilise worldwide. The University of Westminster was a simple choice for me knowing the superior level of education, top quality professors and fabulous location offered. The culturally diverse group of classmates held various levels of professional experience which enriched my learning as we continued to develop and challenge each other.

    Having completed the MA Human Resource Management specialising in Employee Relations I have acquired an education which lead me to a fulfilling career rather than a short-term job. As a Management Consultant in an Employment Services firm I work with local and international clients and have continued to develop my practical experience in employee relations, policy development, recruitment and performance management.

    Andrew Behles, Trainee Chartered Accountant, Nexia Smith & Williamson

    Testimonial from Andrew Behles, Trainee Chartered Accountant, Nexia Smith & Williamson, student at Westminster Business School, London
    As a US national with relatively little experience in international accounting standards and practices prior to beginning the course, the WBS Msc in Finance and Accounting provided me with a useful blend of accounting theory and practice that has well equipped me for securing a job in international audit in the UK upon graduation. And with up to six exemptions from ACCA exams, its easy to see a quick and tangible return on investment.

    Owen Coughlan, RBS Global Banking & Markets

    Testimonial from Owen Coughlan, RBS Global Banking & Markets, student at Westminster Business School, London
    A Distinction in my Masters at the University of Westminster gave me the knowledge and confidence to gain a coveted job in an investment bank. Having a solid grounding in theory combined with practice in my Westminster Business School degree enabled me to take on the added responsibilities I needed to advance my career.

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