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.
The final step in our postgraduate law pathway, this course prepares you for a high-level career in an international law firm, multinational company or governmental organisation.
Our LLM International Trade and Commercial Law course has been developed by subject experts and experienced legal professionals with many years of experience. It builds on your knowledge from the PG Cert and PG Dip programme modules and allows you to undertake a piece of original research by completing a 60-credit dissertation.
Law is a widely recognised and highly respected subject and the knowledge gained on our LLM International Trade and Commercial Law will open up many opportunities for you to develop your career a high-level career in an international law firm, multinational company or governmental organisation.
Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.
All of our online courses have an indicative study duration which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability. It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.
All of our courses have regular start dates throughout the year. Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one- or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.
Teaching methods and style
As we are a 100% online university, we utilise a Virtual Learning Environment instead of a traditional campus. The system tracks and manages the learning process in real-time and provides you with immediate access to your learning materials.
This learning platform allows both students and tutors to actively take part in real-time conversations and you can listen to, and view, live lectures and seminars over the internet. All courses are delivered in English only.
You are supported throughout your course by a dedicated Student Adviser and have the opportunity to regularly interact with fellow students and your tutor. To ensure you receive the support you need from your tutor, we cap our class sizes at 20 students.
We adopt an assignment-based approach to assessment instead of exams. Assessment for the LLM International Trade and Commercial Law will be based on a combination of written coursework and work on a dissertation or individual project.
At the end of your studies, you will submit a 60-credit thesis.
You will be able to see your current provisional marks from the start of the programme, allowing you to evaluate the success of your current study methods and clearly identify areas to improve. We believe that this transparency gives you the information you need to make the most of your Masters course. We achieve this by:
· showing your marks clearly in your gradebook, which can be viewed whenever you log onto the learning platform;
· the rapid turnaround of work assessed to ensure that your gradebook is always up to date;
· assessing your work throughout the module rather than waiting for end of year exams;
· ensuring you have regular contact with your Student Adviser; and
· the simplicity and transparency in the design of our assessment criteria.
We also have a policy of ensuring that work submitted by students is authentic. As well as the fact that all work is frequently assessed, we use a well established electronic monitoring system to check for plagiarism.
On successful completion of your LLM International Trade and Commercial Law degree, you will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus.
We are dedicated to improving employability amongst our graduates. Our online courses give you the opportunity to improve your career prospects and earning potential with a mix of key skills that are directly transferable to the workplace.
The legal knowledge gained from the LLM International Trade and Commercial Law could prepare you for a role in an international law firm, multinational company or governmental organisation.
Qualified solicitors or barristers will also be able to use the skills and knowledge gained from studying the course to meet their annual Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.
This is a course designed to meet the needs of students who have completed an undergraduate degree in a relevant area of business, accounting or finance. Whether you are planning a career with a major accounting firm in the UK, or in an international firm, this course helps prepare you for such roles by developing your understanding of the internationalisation of accounting.
The course will help enable you to develop critical insights, provide vocationally-relevant subject matter, and is focused on critical evaluation of financial regulation and transparency. We will explore topics such as international regulatory frameworks, the economic consequences of creative accounting, corporate governance and ethical matters that support good practice in corporate reporting. You’ll be taught by academics with professional qualifications and/or significant practitioner experience. Our focus is on using varied teaching and assessment methods to help develop a wide range of academic, analytical, presentation and practical skills in our students.
Our focus is on using varied teaching and assessment methods to help develop a wide range of academic, analytical, presentation and practical skills in our students. Teaching methods include; lectures, seminars, workshops, student-led discussions, group projects and presentations, case study analysis and advanced level accounting exercises, and e-learning.
Our strong connections with the financial world are demonstrated through our ‘Partners in Accountancy’ scheme, which links you with accountancy firms of national and international repute. You will be invited to guest lectures presented by experienced practitioners from the world of business. Recent guests have included KPMG and an Internal Auditor specialising in health insurance.
The Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development MSc is unique in preparing students for the major challenges ahead globally in the infrastructure field. The programme offers a holistic approach to the field offering decision-making and problem-solving that lead to more robust investment outcomes.
This MSc provides a critical review of infrastructure planning and appraisal methods and international practice and assesses how 'fit for purpose' these are for current sustainable development challenges. The programme focuses on generic lessons and principles that apply across the different sectors, while also covering the sectoral and context-specific considerations that determine success in different development contexts.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of seven core modules (105 credits), one option (15 credits), dissertation (60 credits) and a field trip (not credit bearing).
A Postgraduate Diploma, seven core modules (105 credits), one elective module (15 credits), full-time nine months and part-time 2 to 5 years is offered.
Students choose one elective module from:
All MSc students undertake a supervised independent research project which culminates in a substantial dissertation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of traditional lectures, tutorials and seminars, a field trip, individual and group project work, and skills-based practical project work, with direct practitioner involvement. Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, examination and project work.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Development MSc
Students have gone on to take up positions in:
Graduates have also undertaken PhD studies at the Bartlett School of Planning.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The programme has been conceived to provide enhanced capacity-building opportunities for those currently working in the field of infrastructure development and offers an invaluable qualification for new entrants into the field. With strong links to industry, government and academia on a global scale, a very high percentage of past students have gone on to find placements within the first year after graduation.
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.
Originally based on the work of the OMEGA Centre, the programme still draws on the numerous studies undertaken in this field by the centre and other leading research institutions.
The programme is interdisciplinary and international, drawing from experiences both in the developed and developing world. It seeks to provide students with insights, knowledge and skills that will assist them in planning, appraising and delivering future infrastructure developments in a manner that is sensitive to the risks, uncertainties and complexities of different contexts.
Completion of the MSc programme leads to eligibility for professional membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The MSc programme is also accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a 'specialist' fourth year for graduate students who have successfully completed an RTPI-accredited three-year undergraduate programme, and by the Joint Board of Moderators as a Further Learning programme for holders of a Chartered Engineer (CEng) accredited first degree.
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.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Bartlett School of Planning
81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.