The course focuses on developing your knowledge and understanding in key areas of integrated marketing communications systems: public relations, advertising, and digital media. A key theme and driving force of the course is the concept of integration, both at an organisational level (integrated marketing) and at a campaign level (integrated marketing communications). The course is practical in nature enabling you to develop skills in creating marketing communications, campaign planning and evaluation, and acquire a critical knowledge of brand management and buyer behaviour.
The teaching team includes researchers and staff with extensive industry experience and there may also be active involvement of practitioners in the course. You will benefit from lectures and `live assignments from UK agencies and brand owners which will help to prepare you for employment on completion of the course.
The assessment strategy underlines the programmes concern with research and independent thinking, critical knowledge of marketing theory and practice, the ability to make information decisions and communicate these under time pressure and, finally, the all-important skills of teamwork and oral communication of ideas.
The written assignments and group reports contribute to the learning outcomes focusing on the proposal and implementation of integrated marketing strategies and plans based on prior brand, customer and other relevant research. They also address the development of creative and management abilities in the specific marketing communications areas.
The end-of-unit examinations focus primarily on critical discussion of integrated marketing communications theory, ethical and social issues of marketing communications and current practice.
By contrast the time-constrained tests are more practical and task-orientated in nature. These are designed to allow a wide and free-ranging critical discussion of core plus any additional themes covered during the units and draw primarily on prior research in addition to application of theory to a particular context.
The relatively important weighting given to individual and group presentations stresses the primacy of team work and of effective oral communication based on research and creative, `holistic thinking about brand, organisational, media and stakeholder issues. Students are, however, assessed on their individual contribution to the task and will subsequently submit a personal reflection that will be marked to provide further evidence of the individual contribution to the task. Whilst presentations are recurring in the assessment strategy these may vary in length and depth depending on the specific task, but should always be concerned with a structured approach to the communications task. Presentations are distinguished from `pitches which aim to develop the skill of persuasion practiced particularly in the second Semester.
Portfolios require students to present evidence of tasks involving, research, creativity and critical thinking on a number of current issues in marketing communications which may be presented to potential employers to demonstrate `practice in marketing communications.
Overall, the assessment strategy comprises a comprehensive test of a set of intellectual and practical skills exercised in a simulated professional environment (agency, client, or wider stakeholder groups). Assessments reflect the educational aims of the course in developing practitioners in marketing communications who are able to make an impact in a competitive industry though knowledge, ideas and continuous personal and professional development.
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to:-
1. Propose and implement strategies addressing brand, target customer and media issues that acknowledge and involve all internal and external stakeholders.
2. Demonstrate conceptual, theoretical and methodological rigour in the application of knowledge of marketing communications strategies and tactics to solving contemporary communications problems.
3. Demonstrate specific creative abilities in the use of the tools of marketing communications
4. Communicate a critical awareness of cutting edge marketing communications thinking.
5. Produce and justify a creative integrated marketing communications plan that emanates from knowledge of current practice and a critical appraisal of relevant academic literature.
University of Bedfordshire Level Descriptors: Level M;
QAA Masters Awards in Business and Management.
In addition to the Communications Skill (CS) classes offered by the University, students on MSc Marketing Communications are supported in a number of ways.
The Student information Desk (Sid) provides an interface to the University counselling service and mitigation team if an extension to an assignment hand-in date due to extenuating circumstances is required.
A Student Advisory Service is provided within the Business School to assist with general academic advice.
Subject Librarians can assist with advanced information retrieval for assignments and the dissertation in particular.
Professional Academic Development (PAD) provides advice and guidance on developing academic skills e.g.
o The quality of written assignments
o Understanding of mathematical or statistical concepts
o Organisational skills and how you approach studying
o Time management and prioritising
o The strategies you use when reading
o Language skills
o Aspects of IT skills
o How you prepare for exams
A Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who meets with students on a regular basis.
The programme employs a range of traditional and some innovative teaching and learning strategies. Within that broad statement the T&L strategy can be summarised as:
Being student-centred and student performance-driven
Emphasising directed and independent research
Necessitating effective student communication orally and in writing
Having a substantial team work component
Using up-to-date examples and case studies of integrated marketing and the sub-elements thereof
Employing the virtual learning environment Blackboard as a teacher-student support and communication mechanism
Encouraging self-reflection and peer evaluation
This is not a conversion course and assumes that candidates already have a good honours degree in one of the following areas: marketing, advertising, public relations, media studies or business (with a strong marketing focus), or other cognate discipline.
Exceptional entry for mature students is available for applicants who can demonstrate their ability to study at this level and/or have considerable experience in the field of marketing communications.
Special Entry Requirements
English language qualifications for International students: IELTS 6.5.
No work experience is required.
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Only 30 minutes by train from central London, and you arrive at the University of Bedfordshire. Although a new University, it remains an institution with a rich heritage, and academic roots dating back to 1882. The University has a growing global reputation. The number of applications to the University has nearly doubled in two years (UCAS) and our popularity makes us the most upwardly mobile university in the country according to the Times Higher Education.