Manchester Metropolitan University

MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Marketing (Creative Advertising)

2017 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing which means you can gain exemptions from the Institute's professional qualifications 
  • You will be taught in the internationally recognised multi-award-winning Business School on All Saints Campus. 
  • Extensive use of the University's online virtual learning portal (Moodle) to provide additional learning materials, communication and also as an aid to discussions

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 activities that include:

Live business project 

Many employers require graduates who possess 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*:

Ms Michelle Gledhill | 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.

During your studies, you may have the opportunity to participate in:

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

Creative Advertising 

This unit will allow you to develop creative thinking and will encourage you to change the way you see, approach and respond to creative tasks. Creativity cannot be taught in its entirety but it can be developed and this is what this unit will aim for. The unit will cover the following topics and themes:

  • Factual and visual research
  • Development of creative thinking
  • Interpreting briefs
  • Advertising discourse
  • Visualising and critiquing ideas
  • Presenting creative solutions that respond to briefs.

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.

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 briefs – utilising the skills you develop through the unit content.

Investigating Business Practice (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 an advertising 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 Master's 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 is purely through course work.  You will need to produce development work for three advertising campaigns concentrating on the research, proposition and reasoning behind your ideas for each campaign. The work will also record the processes by which you generated ideas, the rationale for choosing one creative idea to move forward on: i.e. responses to peer critique or tutor feedback. You will be expected to document your process in a sketchbook as well as writing a creative report documenting your understanding of the briefs, your research and validating your creative decisions.

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 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.

Apply online now

Advanced Standing

If your qualifications are relevant, you may be eligible for ‘entry with advanced standing'. This entry route gives academic credit for your current qualifications. 

Please note, advanced standing applications cannot be made using the apply online feature. If this applies to you, please instead complete the Postgraduate Application Form.

Career options after the course

Many of our graduates have been successful in acquiring direct employment within the creative industries through a range of organisations, from small digital creative agencies to full-service advertising agencies. The Greater Manchester area hosts many digital and creative industry employers and all students studying on our programmes will be able to substantially improve their employability skills for employers internationally. Recent graduates of this course have taken up careers including: 

  • Account Manager, Love Creative
  • Premium Search Specialist, Microsoft
  • Corporate Partnerships Coordinator, Adelaide Fringe Festival 
  • Designer/Artworker, Echo Studios Ltd
  • Lead Designer, Riddle Digital
  • Junior Copywriter, BJL 
  • Sports Producer, ADI.TV

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. 

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.