MSc Creative Advertising Strategy

Dream of crafting attention-grabbing ad campaigns? Learn what it takes to capture imaginations and reach audiences all over the world.

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In today’s digital world there are more ways than ever to reach out to consumers.

Finding creative solutions to advertising challenges is a sought-after skill. It’s not only about crafting attention-grabbing images and slogans. Your campaigns need to be grounded in advertising theory.

This course will ensure you have the strategic knowledge to support your creative thinking. And with a range of options for placements and internships, you’ll be well on your way to an exciting career.

A perfect mix

You’ll explore every element of the advertising spectrum, from traditional print-based materials to digital media.

This course blends commercial, theoretical and creative units to give you the edge when you start work. Although it’s academically challenging, the practical nature of the course means you’ll be ready to create effective campaigns in various formats and media.

Learn about today’s advertising challenges and discover how to build brands. Specialise further with one of our option units to develop the skills you need for a career you’re passionate about.

Real-world skills

Your lecturers are experienced advertising experts, sharing real examples to bring the theory to life. With our enviable network, we bring in some of the industry’s leading figures as guest lecturers.

Test your new knowledge on units like the live client brief and internship project. Or spend a year in industry really getting to grips with things. Blend your creative skills with strategic awareness to create campaigns that get results.

Features and Benefits

  • Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) accreditation – this course is CIM accredited and allows you to work towards a CIM qualification. We also organise special events with the CIM.
  • Agency experience – go on ‘immersion day’ visits to agencies in Manchester to understand how every element of marketing works together.
  • Triple crown - study in a Business School that has prestigious triple accreditation from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA.
  • Creative and digital hub – Manchester has one of the UK’s biggest creative and digital sectors. You’ll find inspiration everywhere, as well as plenty of employers when you graduate.
  • Work with clients – work on a live client brief as part of your course. Choose to undertake an internship to fully immerse yourself in the world of creative advertising.
  • Bringing lectures to life – our team are all experienced marketers. They draw on their own experiences to show you how theory relates to practice.
  • Marketing network – access a host of practitioners and agencies, such as Seventy Seven, BJL and The E-Word. Hear from industry leaders at our guest lectures.
“I would definitely recommend that postgraduate students do an internship. I enjoyed mine so much that I decided to stay with it and I can see a career going forward with that company.” Max Simmons, Advertising graduate

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

“The live client brief is absolutely fundamental because it gives students an opportunity to work a liver project with real clients. We’ve had a number of students secure jobs with the clients or agencies they have worked with, it builds their confidence and fives them project management skills – it’s a win-win all around.”

Michelle Gledhill, Programme Leader

Career Prospects

Manchester is the perfect place to study and to start your career in marketing and advertising. It’s a leading location for creative and digital media.

The city boasts global agencies, big businesses with in-house advertising teams, and a host of exciting small creative firms.

Our graduates have taken on a range of roles, including:

You’ll have opportunities to build relationships with employers in Manchester and further afield while you’re studying.

Undertaking an internship is a great way to make contacts in the industry. Attending guest lectures and CIM events allows you to network with a range of industry professionals.

The live client brief project will allow you to show prospective employers what you’re capable of.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

You’ll need a good UK honours degree – at least a 2:2 – or the international equivalent. We’ll also welcome an application if you don’t have a degree, but you have significant relevant professional experience.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification.


It's very important to have employer partners as part of the curriculum because students need to be able to gain theoretical knowledge but also understand how that's applied in the workplace..."

Listen to what Dr Steven Rhoden, Head of Department, has to say about studying at Manchester Metropolitan University...

Course details

For anyone who mixes creative spirit with a business brain, there are few more exciting options than the world of advertising – a field that’s full of challenge and rewards. We can help you hone your creative skills, explore key marketing principles and gain invaluable industry experience – paving the way to an exciting future in advertising.

You’ll learn from an exceptional team, with the perfect balance of seasoned industry professionals and research-active academic experts. And, thanks to our strong industry connections, you won’t just learn about how advertising works, you’ll get to experience it for yourself – boosting your professional network and career opportunities. 

You’ll study nine core units, exploring topics like marketing psychology, where you’ll learn key theories behind people’s actions and behaviour, or strategy for digital, where we explore the latest tools in the industry. You’ll also tackle a live client brief before going on to complete a research project.

Your option unit lets you choose a specialised subject – like content strategy, consumers in the digital environment or business-to-business marketing. And, with our internship programme, you could even gain work experience as part of your course. We also offer the internship separately, so you can take another optional module as well.

As well as the timetabled classes, there will be plenty of other opportunities to learn about the subject. From special talks to industry competitions, we’ll keep you updated on everything going on.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Advertising Strategy and Trends

Learn theories of advertising, and how these apply in practice. Topics include advertising planning, social trends and message strategies. You’ll study people’s knowledge of advertising and learn to evaluate what really works.

Creative Advertising

Advertising is an industry where creativity can really pay off. We’ll help you develop your creative skills and improve the way you understand and respond to creative briefs.

Persuasive Communication

Persuasion has a big role in communications. You’ll explore its impact in different contexts, for different audiences. Examine theories, ethical issues, and writing techniques for different media and readers.

Strategy for Digital

Digital marketing never stays still. Learn about emerging techniques and best practice in the industry. You’ll develop the skills to create a winning digital communications strategy, measure your success and create a seamless experience for clients.

Marketing Masters Level Learning

Learn the critical thinking and advanced study skills you’ll need to work at Masters level. We’ll help you develop your analysis, writing and referencing skills – essential for your research projects and essays.

Live Client Brief

Apply your creativity and theoretical knowledge to a real business challenge, learning skills essential in the professional world. Set objectives, complete research, manage the project and present your recommendations.

Marketing Psychology

A skilled marketeer understands how emotions and behaviours influence people’s actions. You’ll study psychology and how it relates to consumers, stakeholders and organisations, in both the digital and analogue worlds.

Applied Research Proposal

You’ll create an advanced proposal for a research project. This substantial brief is where you’ll identify and structure the complex issue you’ll explore in your applied research project.

Applied Research Project

Now you’ve completed your proposal, it’s time to write your research project. You’ll investigate the issue you identified earlier, and present your conclusions and reflections.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Placement options

You can gain useful work experience through the Business School’s Postgraduate Internship Programme – which you can take part in alongside your studies. With a short-term internship, you’ll not only show potential employers that you’re ready to get to work, you’ll also gain some vital experience and make some valuable connections for your professional network. Some internships can even lead to permanent roles.

While an internship involves at least 100 hours of work – starting any time between November and early August – how you do those hours is flexible. You could work full time during a break in your studies, or you might do a day or two a week throughout term time, fitting it around your studies. Our Careers team will be on hand to help you explore your options.

Department of Marketing, Retail and Tourism

Our Marketing, Retail and Tourism Department is one of the UK’s largest providers of education in marketing, digital marketing, advertising and branding, public relations, retail management, place management and tourism management. The department’s mission is to develop its students into highly employable, socially and environmentally responsible professionals, delivering educational and research excellence, through courses accredited by key industry bodies.

More about the department

Taught by experts

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.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £17,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Other Costs


CIM Student membership – nominal cost of student membership and gaining of the professional certificate would be approximately £250.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

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

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate 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.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

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. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.