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Marketing Communications Management

MSc

Oxford Brookes Business School

This course will prepare students for careers as a professional marketers with a particular focus on marketing communications. It will enable you to work in areas such as advertising, public relations, social media marketing, influencer marketing, branded content, content marketing and media planning. The course will also facilitate a career in communications agencies. This could include working in advertising agencies, public relations agencies, digital agencies, social media agencies, content marketing agencies, and integrated agencies.

This is a conversion programme designed for students who have limited marketing experience.  However, the programme has sufficient flexibility to offer students with some marketing background the opportunity to further develop their knowledge and skills, particularly in the areas related to marketing communications management, such as brand communication strategies or the use of branded content and content marketing integrated with more traditional methods such as advertising and public relations. You will work on live projects for real clients and the course structure allows you the opportunity, if you start in September,  to integrate a paid year long work placement into your programme.

You may also be interested in having a look at our Digital Marketing, Marketing, International Luxury Marketing and Marketing and Brand Management courses. 

If you don't meet the entry requirements for our degrees, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take one of our pathway programmes.

Available start dates

September 2020 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 1 year or 2 years in sandwich mode which includes one year's full-time paid supervised work experience (a work placement). Sandwich mode is only available for September entry.
  • Part time: MSc: 24 months for UK and EU students (teaching normally structured to provide one whole day or two half days each week in the semester)

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Employability: Develop academically and professionally through professional skills workshops held throughout the course and enhance your future employment prospects. Our graduates are employed by large brands such as Amazon, Jaguar, KPMG, LinkedIn, MARS, Microsoft, Nestle, Oxford University Press, Procter & Gamble and Toyota, as well as agencies such as BBDO, Havas, JWT, M&C Saatchi, Mindshare, Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis, TBWA and We Are Social. Oxford Brookes is recognised as an exam centre for the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM), giving you access to the IDM's resources and job website. By focusing on the digital aspects of marketing you will also be prepared for a range of careers including customer relationship management and direct marketing.

  • Work placement: The course structure offers the opportunity for you to integrate into your studies a one year paid work placement in a marketing role.

  • Top 20 Ranking: We're ranked 14th for marketing courses in the Complete University Guide Rankings 2019, giving recognition to the quality of our teaching, research and learning experience.

  • Teaching and Learning: Oxford Brookes University Business School offers a great environment for studying marketing communications management. We have a track record of excellence in teaching, learning and research and you will be supported in your studies and beyond. Oxford Brookes University Business School received the top award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England to become a Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning. You will meet with top marketing professionals, recent guest speakers have included representatives from Rolls Royce, Tesco, the Branded Context Marketing Association, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ipsos MORI, Fremantle (The X Factor), Oxfam, Amazon, Lego and Facebook.

  • Oxford Location: As one of the world’s great centres of learning, it is a bustling and stunning cosmopolitan city. Located just over an hour from the hub of business life in London with easy access to international airports, you'll be at the heart of one of the UK's most successful economic regions. Oxford will provide you with a host of learning and employment opportunities with a range of internships and graduate jobs available.

  • Student support: You will be assigned to an Academic Adviser who will provide both academic and personal support. Student Support Co-ordinators provide guidance for your course and university-wide administrative issues. They organise a range of events to help you adjust to postgraduate study and are able to help you get advice about any issues you may have during your studies.

  • Experiences: Our course is interactive and social. During your first week you will have the chance to get to know your classmates and your new surroundings.

For more information about postgraduate study at the Business School, visit one of our Business School Open Days, or visit our web pages.

 

Compulsory Modules

You will study a series of compulsory modules including a module which helps develop your professional and academic skills. You then choose either a dissertation or client project. If you start in September, you can choose the sandwich mode, which gives you the opportunity to integrate one year's paid supervised work experience in a marketing role.

If you start in September and take the work placement, the course lasts two years. If you do not take the work placement the course lasts one year.

Please also refer to the course structure chart for September entry.

Please also refer to the course structure chart for January entry.

Introduction to the Principles of Marketing

This module introduces the key principles of marketing by studying the theories that underpin the subject. You will explore the roles of buyers, the marketing environment, and the ways in which marketers plan, manage, implement and monitor marketing programmes in the context of the international environment of the 21st century.

Understanding Customer Behaviour

You will critically appraise the behaviours of customers and their interactions with marketing. Informed by behavioural science, you will analyse why customers behave as they do and how marketing activity influences their behaviours. This analysis informs your critical understanding and implementation of both strategic and responsible marketing practice. An innovative dimension of this course is the investigation of change agents that will significantly influence the behaviours of customers in the future, for example neuroscience, climate change and technology innovation. This is an analytical module that utilises research evidence to inform evaluation, behavioural and communications research.

Research Methods for Events and Marketing

This module delivers the skills that enable you to conduct marketing research independently. Students on the MSc programmes are expected to undertake effective research drawing upon a range of secondary and primary data sources in the preparation of coursework. It is important that you are exposed to a range of methodological issues, data collection techniques and study skills. In addition, this module is geared towards the preparation for, and successful completion of, high quality, rigorous and systematic research for business and management.

Professional and Academic Development

This professional and academic skills development module helps you to become a lifelong learner, develop career focus and enhances your employability. Starting with a focus on how to achieve your best academically, you then develop your skills for employment and career planning. You will work through a self-development plan, taking the lead in your own learning and development. You will be coached in identifying, engaging in and reflecting on how you can gain from developmental activities within the university and externally.

Strategic Brand Management

You will examine how brands are created and successfully managed. You will explore the latest research and practice in strategic brand management and focus on innovative approaches to new product development. Key ethical, environmental and socio-cultural implications for contemporary brand management are analysed within regional, national and global contexts. The latest research and practice in strategic brand management and the use of social media and digital communications technology, is investigated. On completing this module, you will have gained an advanced knowledge of the latest tools, techniques and broader societal implications of contemporary strategic brand management.

Brand and Marketing Communications

You will explore the role and usage of contemporary brand and marketing communications and the fundamental insight that an organisation's brand strategy needs to be at the heart of all its marketing communications activities. A professional and ethically responsible focus will help you to consider multiple stakeholders' needs – eg consumers, businesses, the media, pressure groups – in a global context. A broad range of marketing communications channels and tools will be critically assessed. This includes advertising, public relations, sponsorship and digital marketing communications. Creative and strategic insights from current practice will help your understanding and application of marketing communications skills.

Content Marketing Management

This module investigates the concepts of branded content and content marketing. You will particularly focus on the role and application of content marketing as a new managerial approach in marketing communications. The module critically examines the fundamental paradigm shift within the marketing communications landscape from push to pull marketing which has led to the rise of branded content and content marketing. Furthermore, this module clarifies what differentiates branded content and content marketing from other key marketing communications concepts and management approaches. You will learn to develop ethically responsible content marketing management practices across a variety of sectors and consider multiple stakeholders on a regional, national and international level. On completing this module, you will have an advanced comprehension of content marketing principles in the context of traditional communications activities as well as innovative social media and digital marketing communications.

Digital and Social Media Marketing Strategy

Digital technologies have transformed marketing, they offer new sources of customer insight, they have dramatically changed customer behaviour, enabled new business models and impacted how organisations interact with their customers and key stakeholders. This module aims to take a strategic perspective of the digital and social media environment. It focuses on the interaction between consumers, businesses and other organisations and how thinking digitally can assist in effective marketing. Web based media, mobile platforms, social media and digital tools are reviewed, practised and critically evaluated to identify successful performance and to create contemporary digital marketing strategies.

Marketing Practice (The sandwich mode work placement )

This module is a great opportunity to gain one year’s supervised paid work experience in the UK or internationally in a marketing role. You will investigate a marketing  challenge in a commercial or non-profit organisation. Throughout this module, you apply the practical concepts you have learned on the course. When you are working for the organisation, you will be responsible for managing a large proportion of your own learning, including tracking and recording your progress.

We provide lots of support to help you find a paid work experience and gain connections with various organisations. Our placements team (WAVES) has a database which records work placement opportunities and they run numerous placements fairs where you could meet potential employers. Securing a work experience placement is your responsibility and does take a lot of effort, but this gives you valuable experience. You would need to cover your own living and travel costs throughout this duration.

You must choose either a Dissertation or Client Project:

Dissertation

The dissertation is an opportunity for you to explore and develop expertise in marketing communications. You are encouraged to choose a topic that will be valuable in your future career. This is a self-managed activity, with you driving your own research project, with guidance and advice by a supervisor, based on the proposal developed in the Research Methods in Marketing module.

Client Project

You have the opportunity to link theory to practice by analysing a real organisational issue. Having identified a project (with the approval of both the client company and the Module Leader) you investigate a particular issue, one that can be supported through the relevant literature and by conducting primary research with the client. This module is not an internship but can be taken in conjunction with an internship you have identified and are participating in. The 'issue' in question may be current management problem for the client organisation or related to future strategic choices. The Client Project provides you with a significant learning and personal development experience.

Marketing Practice (sandwich mode - work placement module)

This module is a great opportunity to gain one year’s supervised full time paid work experience in the UK or internationally in a marketing role. You will investigate a marketing  challenge in a commercial or non-profit organisation. Throughout this placement, you apply the practical concepts you are learning on the course. When you are working for the organisation, you will be responsible for managing a large proportion of your own learning, including tracking and recording your progress.

We provide lots of support to help you find a paid work experience and gain connections with various organisations. Our placements team (WAVES) has a database which records work placement opportunities and they run numerous placements fairs where you could meet potential employers. Securing a work experience placement is your responsibility and does take a lot of effort, but this gives you valuable experience. You would need to cover your own living and travel costs throughout this duration.

Teaching and Learning

Much of the teaching on the course takes the form of interactive workshops, but there are also

lectures from staff and visiting speakers. Lectures, discussions, role-play exercises and seminars are linked with selected case studies and assessments to strengthen your practical analysis and decision-making skills. You will develop your skills in working as part of a team through structured group assignments and an online group-based marketing simulation.

You will gain practical experience and put your knowledge of marketing approaches and theory into practice during live research projects for an organisation. Teaching staff at the Business School are engaged in academic research and/or come from an industry background with in-depth practical experience of marketing issues. Visiting speakers from the world of business, consultancies and research bodies augment the programme through leading edge discussions and specialist events.

Approach to Assessment

You will be assessed in a number of ways, including individual and group reports and presentations, portfolios, reflective statements, an examination and open briefs that encourage individual creativity. Whilst you are are actively encouraged throughout the programme to work in teams to facilitate and enhance their own and collective learning, group work is only summatively assessed in two modules (Understanding Customer Behaviour and Strategic Brand Management).

Assessment methods have been designed to support the teaching and learning process. Where possible they provide a vehicle for learning rather than only an assessment of learning by using authentic workplace tasks. Classroom activities  will prepare you for the assessment process through structured engagement with both peer and tutor feedback. Each module is designed to encourage dialogue between tutors and students so that learning can be achieved. The Dissertation and Client Project are self-managed activities and focus on a marketing communications management topic. You will be supported by a tutor in the role of Supervisor who will provide regular feedback on progress.

reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, course content and module choices may change from those listed in the course entry.

After you’ve finished this master’s degree you’ll be ready for a range of careers in marketing communications. Possible job roles include: communications manager, account executive, content marketing manager, media planner, media buyer, strategic planner, creative planner, partnership manager, sponsorship coordinator, account manager, social media manager, public relations executive, and advertising executive, across commercial and non-commercial sectors.

Your final research project will allow you to further develop specialist skills and knowledge in an area of particular interest within marketing communications management. The final project is either a dissertation or a client project.

If you start in September you can choose the sandwich mode, which enables you to integrate a twelve-month paid work placement into your programme. This is an opportunity for you to find your own work placement and gain valuable experience so you are well prepared for your future career. Securing a placement is your responsibility and does take considerable effort.

Teaching and learning

Much of the teaching on the course takes the form of interactive workshops, but there are also lectures from staff and visiting speakers. Lectures, discussions, role-play exercises and seminars are linked with selected case studies and assessments to strengthen your practical analysis and decision-making skills. You will develop your skills in working as part of a team through structured group assignments.

You will gain practical experience and put your knowledge of marketing approaches and theory into practice during live research projects for an organisation. Teaching staff at the Business School are engaged in academic research and/or come from an industry background with in-depth practical experience of Marketing and Communications Management issues. Visiting speakers from the world of marketing and branding, consultancies and research bodies augment the programme through leading edge discussions and specialist events.

Approach to assessment

You will be assessed in a number of ways, including individual and group reports and presentations, portfolios, reflective statements, an examination and open briefs that encourage individual creativity. Whilst you are are actively encouraged throughout the programme to work in teams to facilitate and enhance their own and collective learning, group work is only summatively assessed in two modules (Understanding Customer Behaviour and Strategic Brand Management).

Assessment methods have been designed to support the teaching and learning process, and where possible provide a vehicle for learning rather than only an assessment of learning. Classroom activities  will prepare you for the assessment process through structured engagement with both peer and tutor feedback. Each module is designed to encourage dialogue between tutors and students so that learning can be achieved. The Dissertation and Client Project are self-managed activities and focus on a marketing communications management topic. You will be supported by a tutor in the role of Supervisor who will provide regular feedback on progress.

Specialist facilities

Oxford Brookes Business School has now moved to its new home at our Headington Campus. The university’s Headington Campus have undergone a £30m refurbishment to provide a new home for the Business School, which consists of a lecture theatre, teaching rooms, social learning space and a café. There is a new modern hall for teaching and special events like graduation.

This new home will help us to collaborate even more closely with university colleagues in other departments. It also provides a new Main Hall and a vibrant gateway into the Headington Campus. With these innovative spaces, students and staff can interact and collaborate in first-class facilities.

The Headington Campus is also home to the new John Henry Brookes Building, being the most significant project in the history of Oxford Brookes University. Set at the heart of our Headington campus, it has been designed for the future of higher education and has transformed the experiences of our students and the entire University community. The John Henry Brookes Building brings together the library and essential support services that offer academic, careers and international student advice. Find out more about the John Henry Brookes Building.

The majority of our student halls are close to the Headington Campus.

Field trips

Field trips

We offer an International Business in Practice Study Trip module. The purpose of this study trip is to give postgraduate students a hands-on, intensive experience with the ideas and practices of global business. The programme will include presentations from local management executives and experts. Students will have direct interaction with management executives and practices through site visits to major corporations and agencies.

This study trip is voluntary and all costs associated with the trip will need to be funded by you. It is not linked to university assessments in any way. If you successfully complete this module you will have the following non-credit bearing module recorded on your transcript: P58335 International Business in Practice: Study Trip.

Whilst the destination and therefore precise costs vary from year to year, as an example, the programme fee of the study trip to Boston USA in July 2019 was £1580, which included 7 nights’ accommodation in the Boston area, insurance, the company visits (e.g. Facebook, Dunkin Brands, Trip Advisor, Microsoft, Bank of America), group transportation for all activities and some of the meals, but excluded for example International airfare, Visa application fee (if relevant), dinners and activities during your free time.

We also run a study trip to Chengdu, China.

If you choose the study trip, you will be provided with additional details regarding the trip (which runs in July) by March, in order to inform decision making, ahead of the trip in July.

 

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: £8,490 2020/21: £10,000

Home/EU - part time fee: 2019/20: £5,200 2020/21: £5,000

Home/EU - sandwich fee: 2019/20: £8,490 (first year taught) 2020/21: £10,000 (first year taught) £2,550 (second year placement)

International - full time: 2019/20: £14,880 2020/21: £15,400

International - sandwich fee: 2019/20: £14,880 (first year taught) 2020/21: £15,400 (first year taught) £4,600 (second year placement)

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by up to 4% each year.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

Entry requirements

This programme is designed to attract students from a wide range of backgrounds, disciplines and nationalities. Applicants are welcome from any academic discipline. Admission is normally open to those with:

  • a minimum of a second-class honours degree
  • or equivalent overseas degree from a recognised institution
  • or equivalent professional or other qualification.

Those who do not meet any of the above criteria may be eligible for entry, provided they have compensatory work experience. This should include, in particular, further professional training and accreditation and the demonstration of appropriate career development. Please contact our Admissions team (admissions@brookes.ac.uk) for further information.

Entry will also be subject to two satisfactory references (one of these must be an academic reference).

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will need to satisfy the university's English language requirements:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing and 5.5 in listening and speaking).
  • If you have completed your undergraduate degree in the UK (at least one full year of study) you will automatically meet our English language requirements

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • If you need to take a pre-master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course, you can take our two year master’s course. This course combine the pre-master's diploma and your master's in one application. You can apply for one visa for the two years of study.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

Please contact business@brookes.ac.uk if you need help with your application or require any further information.

Apply for this course »

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

Class discussions, hands-on projects, consulting assignments and guest talks with marketing professionals from a broad range of organisations create an intellectually stimulating environment. We have recently welcomed visiting speakers from Rolls Royce, Tesco, The Branded Context Marketing Association, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ipsos MORI, Fremantle (The X Factor), Oxfam, Amazon, Lego and Facebook.You will learn about marketing communications management in practice, about the latest research developments and about what it takes to succeed in a career in marketing. We provide personalised guidance and access to a large range of workshops and networking opportunities.

The compulsory Professional and Academic Development module enhances your professional career opportunities through structured sessions on personal skills development, developing yourself as a brand and specific marketing-based careers advice. Furthermore, presentation skills workshops can be included on the programme to enhance your chances of making a good first impression through the use of an external expert coach and video feedback.  This module requires you to develop and implement a personal development action plan which moves you towards your professional goals.

The course structure offers you the opportunity to integrate a one-year work placement or to complete a work-based client project instead of a dissertation. These opportunities give you invaluable experience for your future career.

The team is currently seeking to extend IDM accreditation (available on all of our MSc marketing programmes) to MSc Marketing Communications Management.  If successful this will mean that you will have the opportunity to study for the professional level Certificate in Direct and Digital Marketing via the IDM for which Oxford Brookes is an approved centre. We offer free revisions session for the IDM exam. You must register for the IDM exam - the cost in 2017 was £120.

In addition, the careers service at Oxford Brookes runs workshops and a series of events for graduate and international students with bookable appointments to enable one-to-one support for those seeking professional employment.

You will have the opportunity to become a student  member of CMI – your membership will support your studies and development through a range of resources and activities. This makes you stand out to employers and boosts your career opportunities. Cost of membership in 2017 was £25. The team is currently seeking CMI accreditation (available on all of our MSc marketing programmes).

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

 

  • studying at a Brookes partner college

  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Careers

The MSc Marketing Communications Management Programme provides essential knowledge through the core modules Introduction to the Principles of Marketing, Understanding Customer Behaviour, Digital and Social Media Marketing Strategy, Research Methods for Events and Marketing and Professional and Academic Development. The programme further develops specialist content through Brands and Marketing Communications, Strategic Brand Management and Content Marketing Management and the Dissertation or Client Project. This learning enables our graduates to choose career pathways in a range of marketing generalist and specialist areas as follows:

Marketing/Business Sector (which covers both Business to Business and Business to Customer disciplines)

  • Marketing Communications
  • Communications Agencies (e.g. Advertising, PR, Media, Digital, Integrated, Social Media)
  • Market/ Marketing Research
  • Business Consultancy
  • Retailing (online/ offline)
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Ethical/ Green Marketing
  • Non- Profit Organisations
  • International Marketing

Employers include:

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Hitachi
  • DK
  • Avis
  • PWC
  • Nielsen

Our graduates positions in marketing communicaitons are: communications manager, advertising manager, public relations executive, media planner, media buyer, content marketing executive, marketing researcher, customer relationship manager, strategic planner, creative planner, partnership manager, sponsorship coordinator, account manager, social media executive, and sales manager, across commercial and non-commercial sectors as well as communications agencies. In addition, some of our students go on to start their own companies.

We have strong relationships with companies in a range of industries that inform the programme design and delivery, and provide opportunities for placements and employment. Our Careers Service helps students gain the ‘competitive edge’ when applying for jobs by offering help with CVs, and mock assessment centres and interviews.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

We take great pride in the personal, academic and career development support provided to our postgraduate students. Our student support coordinators ensure that whatever problem you may have it is addressed rapidly.

Our careers centre provides advice and workshops to help develop the key skills needed to develop your career and get the right job. The programme lead and all academic staff provide open office hours so that you can walk in without an appointment to discuss academic or personal concerns. A dedicated team of postgraduate programme administrators ensures efficient and effective support of students, delivered in a friendly and approachable manner.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

The Department of Marketing hosts one major research cluster: ‘Marketing, Society & Technology’. Research in this cluster is wide-ranging in its appraisal of societal and technological impacts at the forefront of marketing theory and practice. Its major research strengths reside in behaviour change, digitalisation, sustainability & ethics, emerging & developed cultures, and customer-metrics. Furthermore, it has substantial expertise in qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including visual, textual & contextual analysis, multi-cultural surveys and interviewing, neural networks and neuroscience.

Research areas and clusters

Research clusters