Manchester Metropolitan University

MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Marketing (Communications)

2017 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
  • You will be taught in the internationally recognised multi-award-winning Business School on All Saints Campus.
  • The Business School enjoys established links with the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Institute of Direct Marketing as well as the Chartered Institute of Public Relations which means students can obtain student membership of these professional bodies.
  • This programme has an advanced standing route for mature students who have relevant professional qualifications or who have previously studied for a postgraduate certificate or diploma. Through advanced standing we can give you academic credit for your current qualifications. Consequently you only need to study selected units and can achieve an MSc in a shorter timeframe. The tuition fees for this route are also lower because you only pay for the units you need to take rather than having to study all the units for the MSc.

Adding value to your employability skills

Throughout your studies there is strong provision for employability and gaining graduate employment through our Careers and Employability Hub and a range of additional activites that include:

Live business project 

Many employers require graduates who posess a range of skills and knowledge, including experience in the workplace. Masters students of the Business School take a unit called Investigating Business Practice, where you will act as a marketing consultant for a real business. This will develop your project management, team working, client management and business consultancy skills.

In groups, you will be matched with a business organisation that is seeking solutions to an issue that is related to your subject area. You will be expected to meet with the client company, identify the key issues that the client is facing and be required to scope out their specific requirements and business needs, delegate roles and tasks within your team and then respond professionally to this brief, showcasing strategies and proposals that they can realistically implement into their business. 

Behind-the-scenes business visits

As a Masters student of the Business School, you have the opportunity to participate in a number of free business visits that allow you to see behind the scenes of real companies and learn about how these businesses are structured and operate. The business visit programme varies each year, the following are indicative of the type of business visits that are available:

  • Manchester United Football Club – museum and stadium tour plus guest speaker on business operations
  • Robinson’s Brewery – tour of 175 year old family run brewery and guest speaker
  • BBC at MediaCityUK - tour of BBC studios at MediaCityUK with an insight into how TV broadcasting works.
  • Jaguar LandRover - tour of the LandRover factory including every stage of the assembly process to the finished product.

Professional development weeks

The Faculty of Business and Law hosts two Professional Development Weeks annually. Free and open to all students, this includes a festival of skills-development activities, practical support in developing your CV and employability skills, and the opportunity to network with actively recruiting graduate employers. 

Consultancy dissertation 

The dissertation unit is your chance to undertake a consultancy dissertation, which could be based on a current or potential employer and aligned to your career goals in a specfic sector, organisation or industry. This would involve identifying and structuring an investigative managerial or business issue, producing a substantial written document of your conclusions and recommendations. 

Expert guest lectures

A number of guest lectures take place each year with leading speakers from industry. The Business School shares extensive links with over 25 professional bodies including the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership and Management. We invite speakers from various industries onto campus as guest lecturers to share their knowledge with current Masters students. 

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

Placement options

Postgraduate internship programme

Employers look favourably on candidates who can demonstrate relevant and practical work experience. All Masters students at the Business School are encouraged to undertake an optional, short-term internship with a real business in order to develop relevant experience relating to their studies. 

The Postgraduate Internship Programme is an optional unit which allows you to gain up to fourteen weeks of work experience in a business environment; putting your studies into practical application, at the same time as gaining practice credits, which are recorded on your degree qualification transcript. 

A dedicated Placement and Project Coordinator will guide you through this process, by sourcing and advertising suitable roles throughout the year, offering 1-2-1 application advice, and supporting you to make speculative applications to source your own Internships. 

Internships can be part-time or full-time but must fit around your scheduled classes.

About the course

Our postgraduate programmes aim to combine academic knowledge from leading research in the area with the professional skills that employers are seeking.

The Faculty is home to the Centre for Business and Society, which brings together a number of synergistic research centres and knowledge clusters and our doctoral school of PhD researchers who work with teaching staff on the design of the programme. This includes the Creative Industries and Digital Economies Knowledge Clusters, which bring together the latest thinking and research in the creative and digital media industries. 

Industry experienced teaching expertise

Teaching staff on this programme are from the Department of Marketing, Operations and Digital Business and combine a rich mix of industry experienced and research active academic staff. 

Meet the lecturers*:

Mrs Angela Hall | Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer

*If you have questions about the course, please contact Course Enquiries at courses@mmu.ac.uk instead of contacting the programme leader.

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

Units on the programme are designed to develop your critical thinking on key areas whilst allowing you to apply your learning into practice by undertaking a live business client project, before embarking on a consultancy based dissertation.

You will study the following units:

Integrated Marketing Communications Planning & Control 

This unit is assessed through coursework only, there is no exam. Assignment 1 is a group piece of work and involves a group report and a group presentation.  Assignment 2 is an individual piece of work, based upon the same organisation selected by the group previously.

Unit content includes:

  • Corporate & brand communications
  • Marketing strategy & marketing communications planning
  • Segmentation, targeting, positioning
  • Integrated marketing communications
  • Creativity and developing the creative message
  • Direct marketing & loyalty
  • Sales promotion
  • Public Relations
  • Traditional media & media planning
  • Digital media & social networking
  • Ethics, corporate social responsibility, legal controls, codes of conduct
  • Monitoring, control & evaluation of communication tools and campaigns
  • Current trends within the marketing communications area

Strategy & Planning for Digital and Social Media Communications

This unit is assessed through one piece of coursework. You are required to develop a digital marketing strategy and plan for an organisation of your choice. 

The digital skills gap is widely recognised as a major barrier to organisations maximising the benefits of successful digital marketing.  The unit takes a detailed view of developing a digital and social media communications strategy and plan. Learn from digital marketing specialists – each with active practitioner experience in their fields, such as email marketing, search, social media, mobile. You will also work on live client briefs – utilising the skills you develop through the unit content.

International Brand Strategy

This unit introduces you to the role and nature of brand development and management within an international environment. You will be introduced to a range of issues such as: the brand development process; brand architecture and management; global v local brand strategy, international macro-environment, international culture, corporate branding; international brand strategy and the role semiotics and marketing communications play in the brand development process. You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and exam.

The unit is delivered by practical academics who have considerable experience in the brand development and marketing communications sector.

Investigating Business Practice (marketing communications live client brief) 

This is your opportunity to gain real consultancy skills with a live business client. You will be matched with a business partner and in groups, you will have to investigate a marketing communications issue that needs addressing for a client. This will involve setting clear objectives and goals, scoping out the project, assigning roles and responsibilities before undertaking live research and synthesising your theoretical knowledge in order to apply it to the client’s issue. You will then develop a proposal, considering factors concerning the client’s issue, before drawing up and presenting a set of recommendations that the client can realistically, apply to their business as a solution.  This unit provides you with real-life experience in managing a client-consultant relationship, enhancing your C.V and developing your employability skills by allowing you to experience the realities of managing teams, projects and expectations. 

This will be challenging, and will involve writing a group report for both the university and client along with a presentation where the client will be invited to attend.  The experience you gain throughout this unit will be invaluable in the workplace.  A number of students have continued to work with clients they have been involved with in this project, with one student securing a full-time job as a result of their impressive work.

Research Methods 

This unit covers a range of areas.  Initially the focus is on developing your study skills, especially the ability to research and critique journal articles. You will be learning about research philosophy, qualitative and quantitative research methods in order to prepare you for your dissertation.  Tutorial activities such as being part of a focus group will give you first hand experience of the difficulties involved in undertaking primary research. 

The unit develops your critical thinking, reflective writing and other study skills, including analysis and referencing, to successfully study at Masters level.  In particular, the unit will introduce you to general research methods needed to successfully develop a dissertation proposal or research brief.

Dissertation

To successfully complete the Masters award, you are required to undertake a 15,000 word dissertation, supported by an individual tutor. This piece of individual work can be used to inform research in industry or sector that is aligned to your management career aspirations.

This unit is your chance to undertake a consultancy dissertation, which could be based on a current or potential employer. This would involve identifying and structuring an investigative managerial or business issue, producing a substantial written document of your conclusions and recommendations. Conducting primary research in the client organisation would be required in order to offer short to medium term solutions to the business, identifying implications of these actions for the wider managerial profession.

You may also wish to do one of four other types of dissertation including:

  • Enterprise Based Business Plan: Developing a Business Plan for a start-up business, underpinned by secondary data and fieldwork on the proposed business area, with the objective of a possible launch of a small enterprise.
  • Empirically based: Answering distinct research questions, triggered by an issue of strategic or operational importance, mainly by conducting fieldwork (collecting primary data), with the objective of drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice.
  • Action Learning: This involves examining, in a reflective way, a problem-solving ‘action intervention’ made by the author in his/her organisation through the lens of relevant literature, with the objective of demonstrating insights and enhanced managerial competence, and drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice.
  • Library based: This would involve answering distinct research questions, which are triggered by an issue of strategic or operational importance, mainly by gathering secondary data and doing a meta-analysis of published interpretations of existing data sets, with the objective of drawing out the implications for the wider managerial professional practice.

You will complete an outline topic form in order for a supervisor to be allocated.  With the help of your supervisor you will submit initially a research proposal, which is marked and worth 15% of your overall grade for the unit.  Once this has been approved you will continue to work under the guidance of your supervisor and complete a 12-15,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice, relating to marketing communications (worth 85% of your overall grade for this unit).  This will be submitted in September at the end of your course.

The number of units you study will depend on if you choose the PgCert (60 credits), PgDip (120 credits) or MSc (120 credits of units + 60 credit dissertation).

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Assessment details

Assessment in each unit takes the form of a combination of coursework and examinations. Coursework comprises both individual assignments and group and project work. Assessment is progressive and takes place at the end of each term.

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/business-school/about-us/our-staff/

Typical entry requirements

Normally a good UK honours degree (minimum 2:2), or international equivalent in any subject. We will also consider your application if you have significant, relevant experience or degree equivalent professional qualifications.

International students please see mmu.ac.uk/international

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

How do I apply for this course?

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Please note it is not possible to apply online if you want to apply for the advanced standing route for this programme.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for full- and part-time taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

Career options after the course

Marketing graduates from the Business School have an excellent record in gaining employment in a variety of disciplines and roles.  Manchester offers a vibrant and exciting business atmosphere, offering fantastic opportunities to work in marketing during and after the course, including MediaCityUK (a purpose built home for digital and creative businesses which includes the BBC and ITV).

Recent graduates have taken up employment opportunities with advertising agencies, pharmaceutical companies, financial and legal services and within the FMCG industry. Examples of such roles include: 

  • Marketing Executive at webuyanycar.com
  • Senior Digital Marketing Consultant at The Co-Operative Bank
  • Client Support Worker at Scope
  • Account Manager at Cheetham Bell
  • Media Assistant at MediaCom North
  • Junior Digital Producer at McCann Manchester 
  • Marketing Manager at WTB Solicitors
  • Marketing Manager at Hawke International 

Read a graduate profile

Emma McGinley, MSc Marketing (Communications)

Dedicated career and employability support

The Faculty of Business and Law’s dedicated Careers and Employability Service is at your disposal during, and up to three years after you graduate.  With a focus on developing and enhancing your employability skills, there is a range of careers support services on offer during your time here including Professional Development Weeks twice a year, where a festival of skill building activities, training and employer networking takes place.

You are encouraged to explore your employment options during studying for your postgraduate qualification and you will have the opportunity to engage with employers through careers fairs, guest speakers and internships. 

Course Fairs

Come and find out more about this course and our facilities at our course fairs.

Book now for the:

Manchester Course Fair Wednesday 15th November 2017

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.