Teaching and learning in 2020/21

In order to prioritise the safety of students and staff, we are planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and onsite learning. For more details on changes to this course, see our undergraduate course changes page or postgraduate course changes page.

Course Overview

UK/EU Fees £16,500 *
International Fees £19,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Incorporating the latest digital and analytic marketing practices, the broad curriculum of our Master’s degree reflects the rapidly changing global marketing environment. Whilst at Westminster, you can also secure two internationally-recognised professional qualifications – the Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM) Certificate in Digital Marketing and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) Global Foundation Certificate, as well as joining the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Here at Westminster, we’ve been teaching postgraduate degrees in marketing communications for over 20 years. Our goal is to prepare you for professional life in the increasingly complex and dynamic marketing communications industry, incorporating the growing content of digital marketing and new innovations.

The learning required for professional membership of the CIPR and the IDM Certificate in Digital Marketing has been embedded into the curriculum, meaning you automatically qualify for both on successful completion of this degree. With some additional study and after passing an exam, you can also achieve the IPA Global Foundation Certificate.

Our multidisciplinary degree integrates the various specialisms and practices within marketing communications, while considering some of the current issues affecting marketing communications – anything from how to develop an authentic brand voice to hands-on practice on a social media dashboard and programmatic media planning.

We offer a practical learning experience with interactive employer-based projects that mirror industry practice and give you the opportunity to work as a marketing communications agency in a ‘real-life’ scenario, pitching for work with a client. In the past, our excellent industry contacts have facilitated projects with high profile clients such as IKEA, Trainline and Percol Coffee, as well as small start-up companies like MatchaNow and Boundless. Throughout your studies, you’ll also work on your individual project, based on a brand you select with help from your supervisor to bring together brand strategy, consumer psychology, research and the range of communications tools and channels.

Two new optional modules enable you to specialise in one of two career directions – data analytics (MSc route) or creative development (MA route) – taking you deeper into those fields. On the MSc, you’ll explore a range of quantitative research methods and techniques, such as the use of programmatic advertising and the evaluation of media effectiveness. MA students will focus on the planning processes typically used in advertising agencies, likely to be of particular interest if you have a flair for or interest in creativity and its application in the communications industry.

Top reasons to study

  • Opportunity to gain two additional professional qualifications at no additional cost from the IDM and IPA.
  • Successful completion of the course qualifies you for CIPR professional membership.
  • Regular guest speakers have previously included heads of global creative strategy at integrated marketing communications agencies, the Head of Product at Trainline and Ipsos Healthcare’s Digital Research Manager.
  • Industry field trips related to the curriculum, which have previously included company visits to the Mini Plant, the Morgan Car Factory, Sky and The Museum of Brands.
  • Taught by staff with substantial professional expertise in running communications, advertising, PR, promotional marketing and market research both in agencies and client-side.
  • On graduation, you’ll be prepared for a wide range of marketing communications careers in management, strategy, PR, advertising and communications.

Course structure

The aim of the course is to enhance your career prospects through knowledge and understanding of industry best-practice, balanced with academic theory. The curriculum is designed to give you an understanding of the marketing communications channels and tools that underpin the development of an integrated marketing communications strategy, which you deliver to complete the course.

It covers both the development of a communications message, along with the media and channel opportunities that together deliver an integrated marketing communication campaign. This involves the disciplines of branding, advertising, public relations, promotional marketing, digital marketing communications (including direct and interactive marketing and social media) and is underpinned by an in-depth understanding of consumers obtained through research and the exploration of branding.

All students will be initially enrolled on the MA to give you time to appreciate the different emphasis of each degree and reflect on your own ability, strengths and future career development. You will make your decision during the first semester of your study as to whether to continue to follow the MA or pursue the MSc. The new options allow a focus on either the development of creative solutions or a deeper examination of the insight data analysis offers for effective marketing communications.

Semester 1

You’ll start by gaining an understanding of the psychology that underpins modern consumers’ attitudes, perceptions, decision-making processes and behaviour. You’ll have the opportunity to put your learning of consumers into practice by designing research to collect and analyse data and generate insights for marketing communications. You’ll explore the wide range of media and platforms that carry marketing communications messages, including the digital platforms that are revolutionising advertising, programmatic buying, digital display, the growth of new media and the increasing importance of data. You’ll also examine the key concepts for managing brands as strategic assets both on- and off-line, all aiming to create value for customers and your organisation.

Semester 2

Acknowledging the importance of customer relationship marketing (CRM), you’ll study direct and data-driven concepts in marketing communications, together with creative, innovative ways to engage consumers in dialogue – from personal selling to sophisticated mobile apps. We examine a range of approaches to marketing communications from the traditional to the most contemporary. You’ll learn to use a range of contemporary digital tools and techniques, such as Google analytics, and data and social media dashboards, to evaluate channels for marketing communications, including mobile and content creation. Those studying the MA will explore how creativity and innovation can add value when planning marketing communications, while MSc students will experience a variety of data-analytic tools and methods which can be used to guide decision-making

The IMC project is a year-long module running through both semesters and integrates all of your learning. You will develop a well-researched, practical marketing communications strategy for a real company of your choice.

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

Core modules - MA/MSc

This module explores the role of brand strategy within the context the marketing communications environment, evaluates contemporary concepts of brand strategy and examines their application to a broad range of organisations. The module is delivered through lectures, workshops and seminars with assessment that are focussed on the student’s ability to apply and integrate the concepts to analyse, formulate and recommend future strategic propositions.

20 credits

The Consumer Psychology and Research module draws on psychology, sociology and economics. You will be exploring the theoretical underpinnings of consumer behaviour and apply these learnings, especially in the context of greater consumer choice, the changing face of technology, media, shopping channels, and globalisation. You will also learn the fundamentals of primary and secondary research to aid better understanding of consumers and the market and apply this to marketing communications decision making.

20 credits

Discussing advertising for a brand is something that everyone can do, but identifying the important issues and the concepts used in its execution in order to arrive at a detailed analysis is something that comes from practice and experience. By frequent and varied application, it is anticipated that a critical understanding of advertising and brand management will be gained.

20 credits

This module introduces the contemporary digital marketing environment. A range of innovative and disruptive approaches to digital marketing communications are considered in the contemporary business environment in a sustainable business context. Students will engage with material actively as a community of practice through classroom and online engagement, considering strategic, tactical and ethical perspectives and applying these to a range of contexts.

20 credits

This module explores those strategies and tools that focus on Sales Activation, to engage consumers and deliver a short-term sales advantage. This module will examine the key disciplines of Sales Promotion, Shopper Marketing, Field Marketing, Direct Mail & Email Marketing and Customer Relationship Marketing - much against a background of retailing and e- & m-commerce.

20 credits

This module considers public relations’ (PR) role in marketing and corporate communications and in both short- and long-term brand building. It examines PR’s origins, scope, character and applications in creating and defending corporate and brand reputation in today’s business environment. It investigates the use of PR tools and strategies to build and maintain stakeholder relationships, create trust, manage online reputational risk and evaluate PR value.

20 credits

Over two semesters this module will guide you through the two stages of the IMC Project (The Proposal and The Plan), helping you to synthesise content from other modules with contemporary issues and theories from the industry. As well as ensuring that you have a clear vision of what modern IMC is, and what is expected at both (assessed) stages, it will also be the unifying core of the course, from induction through the Residential Weekend, to the final submission of their IMC Project (The Proposal and The Plan).

40 credits

Option module - MA

This module will be the elective for those students wishing to pursue the MA route, involving them in a semester long exploration of the Creative Development Process that most creative agencies engage in.

20 credits

Option module - MSc

The module is a deep dive into the world of data collection, analysis and marketing decision making based on research. You will explore quantitative research methods such as regression, correlation, ANOVA, Factor and Cluster analysis using statistical software such as SPSS. You will also learn how to interpret these findings for marketing decisions such as A/B testing, gauging consumer attitudes towards advertisements, individual differences and how you can contribute to different purchase and engagement decisions. The use of programmatic buying and econometrics for the evaluation of media effects will also be covered.

20 credits

Professional association

We have excellent links with relevant professional bodies, including: the Institute of Data and Marketing, which exists to support, encourage and improve marketing performance with development programmes to help students be the best they can be; the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the world’s only Royal Chartered body for PR professionals; and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, incorporated by Royal Charter and the trade body and professional institute for agencies in the UK's advertising, media and marketing communications industry. All students will qualify to take the exam for the Certificate in Digital Marketing from the IDM. The qualification for this is core to the course and the syllabus is embedded in the curriculum so there is no additional workload. Students on the course also qualify for membership with the CIPR. Additionally, students can take the Global Foundation Certificate from the IPA, which requires them undertaking a series of online seminars and an IPA exam.

In association with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising this course prepares you to take the exam for the IPA Global Foundation Certificate.

This course is accredited by the Institute of Data and Marketing and prepares you to take the IDM Certificate in Digital Marketing

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. You gain student membership of the CIPR and can progress to Accredited Practitioner status

Find our more about the course

Programme Specification

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

Careers

As a graduate, you will be prepared for marketing, advertising and PR roles around the world and across many different sectors in specialist communications agencies, private companies, non-profits, social enterprises and government organisations. You may even follow a consultancy path with a view to becoming your own boss.

Taught in the heart of London, close to many of the city’s national, international and global employers, our emphasis on skills, capabilities and attributes – with multiple opportunities throughout the course to apply these capabilities to real-business projects – will provide direct work experience to enhance your CV and narrative when applying for new positions. These applied projects will not only expand your professional networks, but directly enhance the prospects for early employability after graduation.

Figure with connections
Grow your network

Build connections with peers and future business leaders.

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Kickstart your career

Learn how to use social media in your job hunt or LinkedIn to kickstart your career.

CQ
Develop your CQ

Develop your cultural intelligence – or ‘CQ’ – studying alongside students and staff representing more than 100 nationalities.

Industry links

This course has been designed with input from a range of industry professionals working in brand and marketing consultancy, digital and data-driven communications, and creative and social media. We have excellent links with relevant professional bodies, including: the Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM ), which exists to support, encourage and improve marketing performance with development programmes to help students be the best they can be; the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR ), the world’s only Royal Chartered body for PR professionals; and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA ), incorporated by Royal Charter and the trade body and professional institute for agencies in the UK's advertising, media and marketing communications industry.

Staff who currently teach on this course have extensive professional experience and many continue to offer ongoing consultancy services. Their roles have included working with J Walter Thompson in Bangkok, in research management for Mars, in marketing communications and creative management for a national charity, a major university and a supermarket chain, as planning director for Bates Communications, as managing director of a marketing communications agency, and communications manager for Shell and Unilever.

Job roles

Graduates of this course may go on to such roles such as:

  • Account executive
  • Brand builder/manager
  • Campaign optimisation executive/campaign manager
  • Client consulting manager
  • Content manager
  • Customer experience strategist
  • Digital marketing executive/Head of digital
  • Founder & CEO
  • Marketing coordinator/manager
  • Media buyer
  • PR officer/manager
  • Sales & marketing manager
  • Social media manager

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have found employment at organisations including:

  • Adidas
  • Aira
  • AKQA
  • CSM Sport and Entertainment
  • Diageo
  • DWA Media
  • IMG Media
  • M&C Saatchi
  • McCann
  • McLaren Automotive
  • MediaCom
  • Press Association
  • Propaganda
  • Quantum
  • Rufus Leonard
  • Sky
  • the7stars
  • Tribal DDB
  • Wavemaker

Westminster Employability Award

Employers value graduates who have invested in their personal and professional development – and our Westminster Employability Award gives you the chance to formally document and demonstrate these activities and achievements.

The award is flexible and can be completed in your own time, comprising a set of core and optional extracurricular activities. 

Activities might include gaining experience through a part-time job or placement, signing up to a University-run scheme – such as mentoring or teaching in a school – or completing online exercises.

Westminster Employability Award

Teaching and assessment

Your learning experience is designed to develop the capabilities needed by the graduate labour market, integrating practice-based learning and projects alongside academic learning and marketing theory. At Westminster, we’ve been teaching and researching marketing for over 20 years and have implemented communications both in agencies and client-side.

How you’ll be taught

Through a variety of teaching methods – from traditional lectures and seminars to live case study analysis and client-led projects – we aim to bring study to life by incorporating real-world experience.

Group work is a core component of the programme, which allows you to deepen relationships with classmates, get a more thorough understanding of subjects by interacting with people from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds, and mimic the office environment in which projects are often conducted in small teams across different departments. Collaboration will be developed and amplified by using the new digital marketing classroom, Switch-23, designed to replicate the environment of an advertising agency and cultivate an agency style and approach to a new working culture.

The teaching team has strengths across multiple subject disciplines and, thanks to our excellent industry connections, we are able to facilitate significant practitioner contribution, not just by sharing our own experience, but also through a selection of industry guest speakers and workshops that provide valuable insights into the industry and keep you up-to-date with industry practice. Previous speakers have covered topics including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and global brand strategy, for example.

To assist the learning experience, we provide reading lists, lecture and seminar materials in advance via Blackboard, our virtual learning environment (VLE). Where possible, lectures are recorded using specialist Panopto software and similar tools to make sure you can really listen to what is said in class and don’t miss a thing.

How you’ll be assessed

We use a wide range of engaging assessment methods and prioritise more innovative, industry-focused tasks, including video creation, portfolio production, client meetings, blogs and digital content creation, poster presentation and team presentation, as well as time-constrained assessments. The focus on practical resolution of real problems and the encouragement of analytical skills and creativity make this an attractive course. For example, we encourage a reflective learning journey report following the consultancy or work project undertaken in the placement organisation. We also pay attention to the development of creative work, as well as more ‘traditional’ strategy development projects, which is why the final project is a marketing communications strategy from a ‘live’ brief.

Why study this course?

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Outstanding facilities

Access to our dedicated Digital Marketing Lab – Switch 23 – which is set up to mimic a creative agency environment with large touch screen and linked desktop displays for group work.

World
Combine theory and practice

Link theory to global industry practice through real-life case studies, problem-solving and live business projects.

Group talking
Get industry insight

Strengthen business insight through interaction with businesses and discussions about current market challenges.

Online open evenings

Find out more about the University by visiting us at one of our open evenings.

 

Visit our open days page

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Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years’ relevant professional experience will also be considered. Applicants from different academic backgrounds are welcome. If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

 

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years’ relevant professional experience will also be considered. Applicants from different academic backgrounds are welcome. If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

More information

What our students say

Hayley Millard photo

Hayley Millard

Marketing Communications MA, 2011

Data Applications Manager at YouGov The best part of the course was working in teams using real life case studies with industry partners, putting together integrated marketing communication plans for brands with objectives and strategies. This gave us a real insight into the marketing communications world and now, five years after graduation, I’ve returned to work with the MAMC team, bringing my expertise as a mentor, a guest lecturer and in workshops.  

Pierre Bizeul photo

Pierre Bizeul

Marketing Communications MA, 2012

Senior Strategist at ORM London This course more than matched my expectations. The programme is structured, modern, practical and interesting and I developed a real understanding of managing marketing communications strategically. The international diversity on the course enriched my learning experience immensely. The industry workshops and residential program at Cambridge really enhanced the learning experience.

Carolyn Chin Ong photo

Carolyn Chin Ong

Marketing Communications MA, 2015

Programmatic Analyst at OMD International Throughout the year the teaching team and the careers team were incredibly supportive and really employment focused. Because of this, I have been able to secure an amazing job with OMD International, a leading London Marketing Communications agency. Most of my coursemates are working in really credible marketing communications agencies in London and all over the world.

Student work

On the three-day residential workshop in Cambridge, students work with a client company on a comprehensive integrated marketing communications campaign culminating in a pitch. This is immersive, collaborative and employment driven and provides real transformative learning for the students. The process builds a range of leadership, team and communications skills which is interlocked with the core content of Integrated marketing communications project. It is often the highlight of the year for students and is an inspirational gamechanger in their career journey. Past client briefs have included Ikea, Cadbury and Percol.

Postgraduate students

Learn new skills

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Develop a diverse skillset

Improve your creative thinking, presentation skills, social media management and learn creative prototyping for digital products.

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Improve your problem-solving skills

Improve your problem-solving and business diagnostic skills to better understand and tackle business issues

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Explore digital marketing

You'll have the opportunity to study digital marketing, preparing you to take the Diploma exams after your MA if you so wish.

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Read our blog and get an insight into life and studies at Westminster Business School.

Visit the WBS blog

Facilities

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £16,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £19,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Supporting you

Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

  • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
  • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
  • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
  • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

visit our student hub

Illustration for the Student Hub

Course Location

In the heart of London, our Marylebone Campus is home to the Westminster Business School and our Architecture, Planning and Tourism courses. Specialist workshops, dedicated digital and architecture studios, and our extensive Marylebone Library offer students everything they need for academic success.

Marylebone Campus is opposite Baker Street tube station and within easy walking distance of Regent's Park and Marylebone High Street.

For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Westminster Business School

Westminster Business School is one of London’s leading centres for business education based in the heart of London and its political, media and financial services scene.

We are a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) Centre of Excellence, recognised by professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and APMG International. 

Contact us

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