This exciting degree offers you the opportunity to study one of the major areas in contemporary media and communications – branding.
The unique programme introduces you to the variety of ways in which brands are developed and used, and helps you to understand how the growth of branding – in business, but also in politics, government, sport and culture – has changed the societies we live in.
What happens when the state starts to use branding techniques to communicate with its citizens?
And how does the rise of digital and social media change the relationship between brands and their publics?
What, for example, are the consequences of understanding political parties, artists or sports teams as ‘brands’?
An introduction to contemporary branding debates
The MA in Brands, Communication and Culture aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the history and development of brands and branding, and their relationship to contemporary forms of communication and culture. Specifically, you should acquire an in-depth knowledge of the social, political and economic backdrop against which branding has become so important, and an understanding of the key themes and debates surrounding its development and use, including the relationship between brands and intellectual property, and the extent to which branding promotes or inhibits openness and transparency within organisations.
You will also improve your ability to think critically and creatively about contemporary communications and cultural practices. When you have completed the programme you will have at your disposal a range of tools that will enable you to analyse contemporary communications, to make judgments about their significance and value and be able to thoughtfully contribute to contemporary communications.
A unique approach to the study of brands
This MA is not a conventional branding or marketing course. Instead it offers a unique approach to the study of brands. This is reflected in the topics taught on our core modules, which include:
The MA Brands, Communication and Culture is taught across two departments: Media & Communications and Sociology. This gives you access to experts in many fields. In addition to the two core courses you will have the opportunity to customize your degree by choosing from a range of modules from different departments to allow you to explore your own interests and make wider connections.
We welcome students who bring to the course a range of experiences and interests in communication, management, politics, design and the cultural industries.
Recent dissertation topics include:
The programme is made up of two core modules (60 credits in total), between two and four options modules (60 credits in total), and a dissertation (60 credits).
The first core module, Branding I, introduces you to contemporary definitions and theories of branding, its history and development, changes in the role of marketing, promotion and design, and their place in the global economy.
The second core module, Branding II, puts greater emphasis on contemporary themes and issues in branding, and their relationship to wider debates in society, economy and culture.
Throughout the core components of the degree, you will examine the wide range of ways in which branding is currently used, in organisations ranging from large corporations to public sector bodies, charities and other third sector organisations.
For the optional modules, you'll have an opportunity to explore some of the wider contexts for brands and branding by taking up to 60 credits of modules provided elsewhere in Media and Communications or neighbouring departments such as Sociology, Cultural Studies and Anthropology.
Part-time students typically take the two core modules in their first year, and the options modules plus the dissertation in their second year.
The department offers some practice-based options in areas such as:
Assessment consists of coursework, extended essays, reports, presentations, practice based projects or essays/logs, group projects, reflective essays, and seen and unseen written examinations.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
The programme helps students to develop a high-level understanding of contemporary branding and communications techniques and their social, economic and political contexts. You will be encouraged to develop your critical reasoning skills and your understanding of contemporary cultural and media theory, but also to develop greater visual literacy and a capacity for creative thinking. Assessments are designed to ensure that you are able to apply these skills in practical ways.
The programme equips you with the skills necessary to pursue a wide range of careers related to branding and communication in the media and other industries. Students are encouraged to seek work experience and work placements during the programme as time allows. The MA also allows you to pursue further academic research in one or more of the areas covered on the programme.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
This course is ideal if you wish to pursue media, communications and cultural inquiry in order to develop a media-based career.
On this course you will cover all aspects of media, communications and cultural studies, from exploring cultural theories and concepts such as Marxism, post-Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis, post-colonialism and globalisation, to the developments and debates around media and cultural industries such as TV, film, print media and the internet. You will analyse the politics of identity in the context of media and cultural representations, especially in the changing media and web landscape.
You’ll be taught by staff who have strong research profiles with publications in the area of cultural studies theory, culture and politics, tabloid culture, reality television, psychoanalysis, television history and industry, the globalisation of media and culture, contemporary trends in the television industry, as well as travel writing.
You will become a member of the Centre for Research in Film and Audiovisual Cultures (CRFAC), giving you access to a diverse programme of research seminars, symposia and special events organised in collaboration with institutions such as the British Film Institute. Your studies are complemented by visiting lectures given by media and cultural industry professionals such as film makers and scholars from other institutions.
Roehampton's location in London is ideal for media and culture students as you can take advantage of your location by immersing yourself in the wealth of creative cultural institutions and media companies that the capital has to offer, unrivalled by any other city in the UK.
On the course, you will gain an in depth understanding of the role of the media in everyday life, and of its relation to culture and formations of identity and subjectivity.
You will be introduced to, and evaluate, a number of influential and important communication theories and concepts associated with the public sphere, globalisation, promotional culture, media organisations and new media, as well as discourse analysis.
You will engage with the politics of identity in the context of media and cultural representations and explore debates around social difference through a consideration of various defining conditions including gender, class, ethnicity, history, nationality, sexuality, taste and consumer choices.
You will also explore the representation of social reality and the social self in both mass and new media. By focusing on a range of non-fiction formats including reality television, ‘unscripted’ video, user-generated content and the development of the social web, you will address established and newer scholarly debates concerning ‘truth telling’, confession, surveillance and the production of knowledge about the self and its place in the world.
You’ll end the year by undertaking a dissertation or research project which will give you the opportunity to deepen your research skills and knowledge about a topic of particular interest to you.
Some of the modules we currently offer include:
The MA helps students prepare for successful careers in communications and the cultural industries including film, journalism and publishing. Students may opt to do media research or further academic study.
The MSc Culture and Society gives you the opportunity to develop expertise in the social study of cultural processes. Its ethos emphasises tight integration of leading-edge cultural theory, innovative methodologies and attention to the most significant cultural trends and practices, globally and locally.
As a student on MSc Culture and Society you have free range to study and research any social processes that fall within the many broad understandings of culture. For example, we study areas such as textual or visual analyses of cultural texts; ethnographies of culture and media industries; studies of urban space, design or city culture; consumption and consumer culture; multi-culturalism and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; class and cultural capital. Moreover, the degree actively encourages you to think and research globally.
MSc Culture and Society students come from a diversity of backgrounds – anything from economics through anthropology to cultural and media studies and on to arts, design and humanities. The degree core course is designed to support all students, from whatever background, in developing a foundation in sociological approaches to cultural research.
Graduates have gone on to a diverse range of destinations including doctoral degrees, cultural policy and management jobs, teaching, creative industries (including advertising and marketing), performance arts and more.
MA Global Advertising and Branding, also known as WSAgab, is a programme designed with both vocational elements and a strong emphasis on research.
The advertising and branding industry is undergoing massive change as new technologies alter the way marketing professionals communicate with their target customers and understand the consequences of their campaigns.
In this programme you will learn how advertising is created. We will explore ‘the advertising pitch’, target audience identification and segmentation, creative strategies, briefs, carry out appraisals of creative ideas and evaluate campaigns. Through a range of set projects and live industry briefs you will build a critical awareness of the advertising industry and the challenges it faces today.
While creative issues and brand design are examined in depth, this programme is aimed at people who wish to manage the process and become the next generation of advertising leaders rather than those who wish to become creatives or designers in their own right.
This is the course page for MA Global Advertising and Branding at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Global Advertising and Branding and what studying here involves.
In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MA Global Advertising and Branding.
If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.
You will study visual analysis, management practice, theoretical models, communication design, existing and emerging media technologies, the advertising process and management of the collaborative iterative development of branding and marketing campaigns.
In an exciting environment, you will practice critical thinking and analysis of contemporary and global advertising campaigns. Great emphasis will be placed on developing a critical awareness of branded content, as well as of your written and verbal communication skills. This course is for the next generation of advertising leaders!
While creative issues and design are examined and discussed in depth it is aimed at people who wish to manage the process rather than act as creative people or designers in their own right.
You will be able to develop your thinking and skills in the following advertising management challenges:
'A creative development workshop in action'
This interdisciplinary MA is taught on an interdepartmental basis by staff who cover an exceptionally wide range of expertise. The flexible nature of the programme enables students to develop their own interests whilst gaining a thorough understanding of modern literary theory and comparative literature.
Students develop a thorough understanding of modern theories of literature, the contexts of literature and the interaction between literatures, and gain practical experience in comparative literary studies. The programme also develops the critical and analytical skills necessary for research in this field.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. There are two pathways through the programme: taught and research.
Taught: two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits). Research: two core modules (60 credits), one optional module (30 credits), and a dissertation (90 credits).
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words (taught pathway) or 18,000 words (research pathway).
Teaching and learning
Teaching and supervision are organised on an interdepartmental basis. Teaching sessions are envisaged as interactive, with a limited amount of lecturing and an emphasis on student participation and critical discussion. Assessment is based on a combination of shorter and longer essays and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Comparative Literature MA
Publishing, academic teaching, research and journalism are the most common destinations for graduates with an MA in Comparative Literature but the civil service, teaching or employment as a translator or copywriter are becoming increasingly attractive alternatives.
Recent career destinations for this degree
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
With its exceptional range of modern and ancient languages and cultures, UCL provides a comprehensive environment for comparative literary study.
Departments housed in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities cover Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian, Latin, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish and Yiddish. The School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) deals with all the major languages, literatures and cultures of Central and Eastern Europe. A co-operation agreement with SOAS, University of London, covers teaching as well as research and ensures global coverage.
Many UCL staff have comparative and interdisciplinary research interests in addition to their subject specialism. We are particularly interested in innovative approaches to literary and cultural studies, and in research with a comparative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary focus, including research in the following fields: literary and cultural theory, material and visual cultures, reception studies, themes and genres, cultural history, comparative gender and performance studies, translation studies, diaspora and migration studies, and new media.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
From analysing the theories of intellectual heavyweights such as Foucault and Bourdieu, to unpicking a global campaign, explore the hinterland between the big three promotional professions and the media and society on this innovative MA.
Right now the roles within public relations, advertising and marketing are converging. So this MA isn’t about studying ads – it’s about becoming a professional who can understand the dynamics of power that exist between these professions, and critically intervene in today’s media landscape.
At its core this masters looks at how we can better serve society by improving communications across these disciplines, and how we can develop as professionals who can adapt within a challenging media world. You’ll learn how to reflect on the intellectual theories of the past and apply them to the present, so you plan the first decade of your career.
We want you to understand the power struggles that exist between these three professions so we look at public relations, advertising and marketing as inter-related disciplines, drawing on theoretical and professional debates around issues such as globalisation and homogenised consumption. We also discuss current industry expectations looking at the crossovers that exist between creativity, management and strategy.
We’ll tackle some of the big things that are changing when it comes to the way the world works - aspects such as globalisation, the control of knowledge, digital technologies, and the way content is created. You’ll also get an introduction to media and cultural theory, which lies at the intersection between the promotional professions, media and society.
This is a theory-based programme, but it also offers vocational elements, so you can take practice-based options in subjects ranging from online journalism and social media campaigning, to design methods and media law and ethics. You'll also get the latest insights from industry professionals across a range of sectors through our visiting speaker series in the Spring.
We take fields such as sociology, anthropology media and cultural studies to understand how public relations, advertising and marketing get together, where they overlap and where the tensions lie. This means we might take an anthropological perspective on how the promotional professions work together to develop a product – not just in terms of its messaging – but in terms of how it was conceived and came to market in the first place.
It’s important to mention that this isn’t a business studies-style MA; it’s a rigorous, academic programme investigating promotional workers and their use of media in today’s campaigns and debates.
Throughout the core components of the degree, you'll examine the very wide range of ways in which public relations, advertising and marketing is represented in society, together with the skills and techniques enacted by practitioners in their day-to-day roles. You will be encouraged to develop your critical and analytical skills, but also to think creatively and become more confident in your aesthetic judgment.
Goldsmiths prides itself on its innovative and critical approach, and you will be encouraged to immerse yourself in its wider intellectual environment in order to deepen your understanding of the cultural infrastructure surrounding branding and promotional media.
We offer a wide range of option modules each year. Below are some examples of modules that are currently running. For a full list, please contact the Department of Media and Communications.
The MA is assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects. Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted. It will also include a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.
From account executives to digital copywriters and from product managers to media planners and sponsorship coordinators, our graduates enhance their careers by working across disciplines, across countries, and across everything from social media and content generation, from sponsorship and events marketing, to corporate communications or government communications.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
This programme takes a philosophical, theoretical and historical approach to cultural studies, exploring the work of cultural criticism, reception and production through new critical perspectives, interdisciplinary insights and a vast spectrum of applications and opportunities.
We study the major traditions of cultural theory, including semiology, deconstruction, feminism, psychoanalysis, and Frankfurt School theories of the aesthetic, the media and technology. This training enables you to shape your thinking critically and develop your interests in a rigorously analytical context.
These theoretical and historical perspectives allow us to tease out the critical charge embedded in the notion of culture itself, and the transformative potential of creative and critical work in the arts and humanities.
Close reading and textuality are at the heart of the course, encouraging you to think critically about issues of modernity and postmodernity, the postcolonial, subjectivity and sexuality.
Diverse and dynamic
Founded in 1987 (as MA Cultural Studies), and situated in the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, this programme appeals to students from across the humanities who are interested in a broad range of objects and genres including literature, film and the visual arts, performance, music, and philosophy.
You’ll work alongside students in different creative and critical disciplines and benefit from the diverse research interests of our tutors. It’s a dynamic environment where you’ll gain valuable knowledge and skills in a city with a vibrant cultural life.
Leeds University Library is one of the major academic research libraries in the UK with extensive print, online and manuscript collections. The University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them. The School houses Parallax, published by Taylor and Francis, an internationally distributed journal of cultural theory and analysis.
The two modules that sit at the heart of this course will develop your understanding of cultural theory over time.
A core module in Cultural Theory offers an introduction to key paradigms, focusing on theories of the commodity, language, discourse, subjectivity and sexuality.
The second core module, Cultural History, explores the genealogies of contemporary theory in relation to a longer tradition of cultural criticism that emerged, with modernity itself, in the 18th century. Emphasis is given to practices of close reading, the question of textuality and the case study.
You will develop an understanding of the ideas of ‘commodity’ and commodity fetish’ that are central to the study of consumer culture, as well as issues around language, sign and discourse and subjectivity. You will put this into the context of the development of cultural studies, focusing on thinkers from Rousseau to Kant and Homi Bhabha. You will use film and other texts to explore these ideas.
In each semester, you will also have the chance to specialise when you choose from a range of optional modules.
We provide an integrated course of training in advanced level research. The skills you will develop, combined with the specialist knowledge built through your optional modules, will ultimately be focused in your dissertation ― an independent and self-devised research project, which you will undertake with the guidance of your supervisor. In Semester 2, you will present some of your own research at the annual MA Symposium.
If you choose to study part-time, you will study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
To help you benefit from the expertise of our tutors, we use a range of teaching and learning methods. These include seminars, film screenings, lectures, online learning and tutorials. Independent study is also a crucial component, allowing you to form your own ideas and develop your research and critical skills.
Assessment methods will vary depending on the modules you choose. However, among others they may include essays, in-course assessment, group and individual presentations, poster presentations and portfolio or e-portfolio work.
This programme will develop your critical and cultural awareness and expand your subject knowledge in theories and histories of culture. In addition, it will equip you with sophisticated research, analytical, critical and communication skills that will put you in a good position to succeed in a variety of careers.
Many of our graduates have also continued with their research at PhD level and secured external funding to support them – including AHRC scholarships. A large proportion of our former research students are now developing academic careers in the UK, Europe, Asia, USA and Australia.
Some have taken up posts working as curators and education staff in museums and galleries, as well as in journalism, publishing, arts marketing, public relations, university administration and teaching.
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.