The 16-week course, which will commence from 7 November 2013, comprises two core modules: Strategy and Planning for Digital and Social Media and Management and Leadership for Communications Professionals. It will conclude in an intense weekend school held at the MMU Business School.
Speaking at their open evening on 4 September, Course Director David Edmundson-Bird explained what set this programme apart: “Students will get two things; firstly, a proper academic award. There are many training awards around at the moment but nothing at this level. It’s a very original thing, because you have a lot of people experienced in operational jobs, but they’ve never had formal education or training for that. It will give them the input they need to start operating at that higher organisational level.
“Secondly, they’re going to be studying with people in their industry. It will be a broad group; there will be people that students may already know – their peers, supply chain and in some cases, perhaps even customers.”
Nick Jaspan, publisher of Prolific North explained where the idea to create a course began: “What we’re hoping for is that the university can bring all its weight to bear in terms of what it knows most about; digital communications.”
Prolific North have also organised an impressive roster of guest lectures from industry professionals. “By working with us, we’ll be bringing along a number of experienced folk who have run communications companies, everything from ad agencies to publishing houses.”
And it’s not just academic expertise that the course leaders want to pass on. “We hope the student will interact from each other,” said Jaspan. “Whether they’re from a PR background, publishing or radio, we hope that they’ll mix and hear from people working in communications in different sectors and learn new things.”
This course has limited spaces and will cost students £2,500 plus VAT. It’s the first educational venture for Jaspan, who collaborated with Edmundson-Bird to create content. “It’s been a pleasure to work with a new organisation that is already so successful,” said Edmundson-Bird. “It’s been an interesting experience, as Nick and I have planned and developed a programme that will exactly meet the need of the sector in the North.”
He also believes this programme will cement MMU’s reputation for producing world-class professionals: “I think for us it brings us into even closer proximity to our audience. The North expects us to do an award like this. It’s really unique and brings our audience even closer to us as we’re doing something that they are actually asking for. It’s an award written by industry, not ivory tower academics.”