Marketing Communications MA
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
- Full-time: Marketing Communications MA (January)
View course-specific 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. 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.
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.
As part of the course, you will have the opportunity to take exams for the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing and upon successful completion of the exams become a professional member of the Digital Marketing Institute.
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 are the study trips and company visits organised throughout the course which provide an opportunity for networking and extending learning in new environments.
Download a suggested timetable for the Marketing Communications MA.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Year long module
Contemporary Issues in Marketing Communications
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 (IMC), and debate new ideas in marketing 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.
Semester one modules
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 communication strategies. In this module you will gain a critical understanding of factors influencing consumer behavior 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 Management
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 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.
Semester two modules
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.
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 the 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. This module includes the syllabus material for the Professional Diploma in 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, 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.
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 two-day residential at a Cambridge University College.
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.
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.
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
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.
All full-time postgraduate Westminster Business School students have the opportunity to apply for an eight week part-time, unpaid internship with local organisations, so as to further enhance their academic experience.
The internship counts as one 10 credit module (the PG/MBA Internship Programme Reflective Practitioner Module) and can be taken in addition to core and option modules. Our internships take place during the summer and are in various fields including marketing, project management, retail, marketing communications, finance, HR and the charity sector.
In order to apply, students must complete an application form (along with a copy of their updated CV) and submit this to the Business Experience Team (BET). Subsequently we then shortlist from the applications received and conduct group meetings with the students, which provides them with an opportunity to understand more about the internship programme and for the BET to better understand their internship aspirations.
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 our postgraduate students and employers and expect that the Internship Programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.
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 dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Business and Management - why Westminster?
Digital Marketing Institute (DMI)
Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM)
In a bid to provide invaluable work experience to our full-time postgraduate business students we are giving you the opportunity to apply to undertake an 8-week unpaid accredited internship with a London organisation.