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Marketing Communications (MA)

Course Description

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.

Course content

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. Students have the opportunity to take exams for the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing as part of the course.

Core modules

- Contemporary Issues in Marketing Communications (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.

- Buyer Behaviour for Marketing Communications
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 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.

- Marketing and Brand Strategy
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.

- Marketing and Media Research
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.

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.

- Advertising Management
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.

- Direct Marketing and Social Media in a Digital Age
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.

- Promotional Marketing and Event Management
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.

- Public Relations and Reputation Management
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 focussing on its role in marketing communications management, the development and maintenance of corporate reputation and growing role of sponsorship within the marketing communications portfolio.

- Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign Planning Project
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 one-day workshop developing a marketing communications campaign for a real organisation, normally at the Tower of London, and a two-day residential at a Cambridge University College.

Accredited internship

All students on our full-time business Masters courses can apply to undertake the PG/MBA Internship Programme Reflective Practitioner Module. This is an 8 week unpaid accredited internship, which can be taken in addition to option modules and will help students to gain invaluable work experience. The internships, which are with London-based organisations, take place during the summer period. To apply, students must submit a completed application form and a copy of their updated CV to the Business Experience Team; the team then shortlist from the applications and conduct group meetings with the applicants.

Ultimately it is up to our internship employers to decide whether they would like to interview the candidate(s) and offer him/her an internship. We have received very positive feedback from both postgraduate students and employers and expect that the internship programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.

Associated careers

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.


At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

Visit the Marketing Communications (MA) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

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. Directly relevant degree disciplines include business studies, economics, geography, management, and operation research. However students with qualifications in other disciplines such as engineering, environmental sciences, the humanities and languages are also encouraged to apply.

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