Advertising and Marketing Communications BA module details

Year one

Block 1: Marketing Essentials

This will serve as an introduction to Marketing as a discipline and its potential impact on businesses and organisations. It will introduce the relevant foundation theory and principles of Marketing, including where Advertising and Marketing Communications sits within the Marketing Mix, and external factors that impact on the discipline. It will also cover key skills that marketers are expected to have including research, data analysis, budgeting and creativity, plus academic skills such as research, Library use, critical thinking; report writing, essay writing; business plan writing; team collaboration

Block 2: Fundamentals of Advertising and Marketing Communications

This module will outline the basics of Advertising and Communications in both theory and practice, as well as examining how the disciplines interact with the wider world. The module will examine the role of advertising, brands and communication within a business environment whilst also assessing their impact on consumers. The module will provide an introduction to the Marketing Communications Toolkit, describing a wide range of channels and tactics and how each may be used. Finally, students will be asked to apply their learning to their own personal branding, embedding practical skills and preparing them for future career options.

Block 3: Marketing in a Digital World

This module will introduce students to marketing practices and concepts as applied to the fast-moving world of digital communications. Students will learn basic digital communication channels, and how they integrate to form persuasive digital marketing communications campaigns, placing particular emphasis on the role of social media.

Block 4: Regulatory, Ethical and Sustainable Communications

This module will demonstrate how professional communicators need to behave within ethical and regulatory guidelines. This includes outlining the statutory and regulatory frameworks for the sector and looking at real life case studies that have come before the relevant regulatory bodies, and legal challenges for privacy, slander and liable. The module will also explore how communicators may face ethical and moral dilemmas within their working lives, again working with real life scenarios. Finally, we will be covering how sustainability has impacted the work of communicators both as a subject matter and the implications for our own professional practice.

Year two

Block 1: Consumer behaviour and insight

This module will cover the implications of Consumer Behaviour for the contemporary communicator. Featuring a wide range of theory and practice, this module will include the basic definitions and concepts of consumer behaviour, the effectiveness of a range of techniques in impacting consumer behaviour and how society at large influences how we behave as consumers. This module will also feature an introduction to academic research methods, including primary and secondary research methods, in preparation for students who wish to take Dissertation at Level 6.

Block 2: Brand Strategy and Management

A deeper dive into the development of brand strategy and management including theoretical frameworks, the creative process, the importance of design and iconography within branding, and its impact on consumers and businesses. The module will feature live business briefs for students evaluate and the opportunity to apply their own creative branding skills.

Block 3: Digital Marketing and Media

This module is a comprehensive overview of the world of digital marketing, covering the development of the discipline from Web 1.0 to 2.0 and how new technology (such as AI) will impact the sector in the future. The module will also cover the importance of data, research and measurement, and their practical application in optimising performance. The module will also discuss the major digital marketing channels (including websites, email marketing, search marketing and paid media), how they interact with each other and how they are measured. There will also be opportunities for students to learn, apply and measure their own digital marketing skills.

Block 4: Public Relations

This module will be an exploration of the various roles of Public Relations in a contemporary communications environment. Covering both in-house and agency perspectives, the module will cover the basic theories of PR, and the elements covered by this wide -reaching discipline, including media relations, sponsorship, events, social media, influencer marketing, brand purpose and crisis communications. The module will also include key PR skills such as copywriting, identifying a news angle and pitching an idea (to media and client). We will work with local agencies and guest speakers to give students real life experience of the role.

Year three

Block 1: Market Analysis and Strategy

This module will cover the important topic of Marketing Analysis and its impact on strategy. An ever-increasingly important element of the wider marketing world, the collation and evaluation will be critically assessed as to its value for the organisational decision making. Subjects will include the collation of data, the governance of data collection and storage, and identifying and overcoming biases in interpreting statistics.

Block 2: Contemporary Issues in Advertising and Public Relations

This module will examine the impact of external factors and trends on the theory and practice of contemporary advertising and public relations. This will include the impact of emerging technology, social factors and academic research in the development of practice, concentrating on specific contemporary themes. 

Block 3: Choose one from the below:

Advertising and Campaign Planning

This module is the culmination of advertising and marketing communications studies. It is a strongly applied module that requires students to adopt an essentially practical stance in problem solving and application. It is recommended to those wishing to enter advertising/marketing communications/brand management careers in both client and agency organisations.

The module emphasises a student-centred orientation that is based around case method. Students are given the opportunity to play the role of advertising executives in determining, producing and defending the development of a campaign plan in response to a marketing communications brief. Skills of analysis, problem solving, and decision-making are emphasised throughout the module. Extensive group work requires the application of team skills and interpersonal communication.

Social Media and Influencer Marketing

This module provides the opportunity to explore the evolution and practices of social media and influencer marketing alongside more critical consideration of the social, cultural and technological impact of social and mobile technologies that are transforming consumer behaviour and the business environment. This module emphasises the central role of content as the unit of value in online communities and a key element of successful search marketing and influencer strategies. Practical workshops develop essential 'brand journalism' skills as students learn the principles and practicalities of creating compelling content for a range of audiences aligned to identified marketing objectives. Students will develop an understanding of the format, tone and style of content appropriate to a range of social media platforms. The ability to research, identify and negotiate with a range of relevant influencers will also be included. The development of key practical skills involved in analysing audience needs and researching and developing written materials will be emphasised alongside an appreciation of the value of images, video and interactive applications.

Block 4: Choose one from the below:

Marketing Dissertation

The Marketing Dissertation is designed to give students the opportunity to pursue a topic of their individual interest, from any area of marketing and retail; from brand to e-marketing, consumer behaviour to services marketing. Students frequently expand on a subject that has been of interest to them in previous marketing modules, link the study to issues that intrigued them from their work placements, or explore a topic that has not been studied in a formal module. With the guidance of lectures and support from an assigned supervisor, the dissertation should demonstrate the application of academic theory to actual marketing situations. Although supervised, the module requires the student to be able to work independently and set their own goals in exchange for the opportunity to explore a topic that excites and interests them personally. Recognising the scope of student led activities required for this module it will run over an extended time period, in parallel with the previous block.

Brand Portfolio

Within this module we will develop capabilities in applying theoretical knowledge in branding and marketing communication to assist the development of a new brand concept and launch plan.

This module is an alternative option to the dissertation, aimed at providing students with a more market orientated project with the opportunity to produce a substantial piece of work that could be presented to a future employer.  Within this course students are expected to carry out primary and secondary market research, analyse the data and evaluate the market situation in order to identify any potential gaps within the market for a new brand concept.

Recognising the scope of student-led activities required for this module it will run over an extended time period, in parallel with the previous block.