This Marketing MA is aimed at students who have a keen interest in developing an intellectual understanding of the theories underpinning marketing concepts and processes. You will build a sound knowledge and understanding of the contemporary issues relating to marketing, consumers and culture. It is a distinct, research-led course based on contemporary theory and case material which is challenging and innovative. It draws upon the highest level of theory and practice in this field and builds on the extensive research and teaching expertise of our academics.
On graduating you will have an in-depth and critical understanding of a world increasingly defined by a culture of consumerism and the role played by marketing activities in building strong customer relationships and business opportunities. You will cover specialist marketing subjects, especially written for this Master’s programme and chosen for their relevance to contemporary marketing practice and research and present forms of analysis and understanding at the very cutting edge. Your studies will cover issues such as the critical and practical understandings of marketing, consumers and branding and explore the new marketing and consumer environment which challenge and build upon traditional marketing concepts.
As a member of the School of Management you will join an intellectually stimulating, friendly and supportive research environment and, through working closely with our expert and experienced academic staff, you will be in a position to realise your full potential.
- Distinctive from traditional marketing programmes by focusing on consumer culture from critical and intellectual perspectives.
- Flexibility to tailor your studies to suit your specific areas of interest, such as arts marketing, sports marketing, digital media marketing and marketing ethics.
- Latest thinking and exciting intellectual challenges provided by academics who are at the frontiers of their subjects.
- International profile created from regularly hosting visits by leading international marketing academics who present their research to faculty and students.
- Innovative and rising Management School, moving up the rankings 11 places in just one year (Guardian University Guide in 2015) and Marketing ranked 4th (Complete University Guide 2017).
Foundations of Modern Management and Organisational Analysis
This module, taught during your induction week, will introduce you to the key elements of organisational management for commercial success. Through analysis of historical roots, you will develop an understanding of the current practices for managing customers, shareholders, and employees, and discuss how numbers and technology influence management decision-making.
Marketing - A Critical Introduction
In this module, you will develop an advanced understanding of marketing management principles. You will look at marketing not just as a practical field, but also as an intellectual tradition strongly associated with values of neo-liberalism and managerial ideology. You will explore the practical utility, ethical status and intellectual standing of traditional marketing concepts and principles. You will also consider marketing topics in the media through blogs, the trade press, newspapers and other popular sources, in order to appreciate marketing topics within their cultural context.
Consumers and Brands
In this module, you will develop an understanding of how consumers consume brands. You will look at current ideas within marketing and consumption scholarship and practice, considering the centrality of brands to commercial practice and everyday living. With a focus on critical engagement, you will learn about branding and consumption theory, incorporating current thinking on the strategic management of brands, consumer behaviour and its role within general marketing practice, recent theoretical formulations concerning brand culture and consumer culture, and how personal experiences, relationships and identities are partly organised and mediated by the consumption of brands and their immanence in a constantly evolving symbolic order.
Dissertation Preparation and Research Methods
This module will help you to prepare for your dissertation with useful theoretical and practical lessons in research methods. You will develop your analytical and technical research skills, reflecting critically upon the theoretical and philosophical assumptions of the underlying research methodologies. You will develop an understanding of the ethical considerations when conducting research, and will learn how to write a structured research proposal that will form the basis of your dissertation.
The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to learn and practise researching and writing skills for your future career. You will apply the analytical and problem-solving techniques you have acquired throughout your studies to explore a specialist interest in greater depth. You will critically evaluate academic literature, collect data systematically, organise your findings, and present your research results in a clear and logical and manner. To help, your research proposal will be read by the programme director, who will select an appropriate member of staff to act as your dissertation supervisor. Your final submission will be between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length.
In addition to these mandatory course units, there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
This module will introduce you to the basic marketing theories and practices necessary for the successful running of art galleries. You will look at how art is consumed, its consumers, and how arts organisations operate across the private, public, and voluntary sectors. You will consider the particularities of ‘marketing for the arts’, such as audience development, corporate sponsorship, and philanthropy, and how they are addressed alongside conventional marketing concerns, such as segmentation, targeting, positioning, branding, intermediation, and promotions. You will also examine financial investment vehicles for theatre, film, and fine art, and the role of institutional critique by contemporary artists.
In this module, you will develop an understanding of the scope and nature of marketing ethics. You will explore issues at the interface of marketing and moral philosophy, examining the complexity and interconnectedness of moral dilemmas in marketing practice. You will look at ethical reasoning and decision making, developing frameworks for approaching ethical problems that may arise in day-to-day marketing practice. You will consider the links between various ethical dilemmas in marketing mix decisions and marketing management more broadly, assessing the range of responses to marketing issues on behalf of businesses, regulatory bodies, and consumers.
Digital Media Marketing
In this module, you will develop an understanding of digital media within contemporary marketing practice and its impact on marketing theory. You will look at the influence of digital media and the internet on marketing practice, including the ways consumers are able to communicate with others interactively, how digital technologies are becoming incorporated into products, and new terms such as blogging, podcasting, and voice over internet protocol (VOIP). You will gain practical experience in using digital media, learning how to use these as marketing tools to engage consumers online and offline.
Not-for-Profit and Public Sector Marketing
In this module, you will develop an understanding of marketing in the not-for-profit and public sectors of the economy. You will look at the management of complex relationships both with donors and recipients, reconceptualising citizens as consumers of public services, cause-related marketing, public service announcements, branding nations, political marketing, and marketing religion.
In this module, you will develop an understanding of how the role of service marketing is changing in society and the changing factors that influence marketing decision-making for organisations. You will look at the differences between services and goods, the key elements of service marketing, the service delivery process, and implementing and managing profitable service strategies.
In this module, you will develop an understanding of the unique application of marketing principles and processes to the sports industry. You will consider sport as both a product, looking at the applications of marketing theories and principles to promote sports and sport-related products and sport as a medium, considering how sport can be used as a vehicle to promote a product or service.
Business to Business Marketing
In this module, you will develop an understanding of industrial marketing theory and how it is different from consumer marketing. You will look at the marketing mix, business networks, customer relationship management, promise development and delivery, and industrial buyer and seller behaviour, including pricing, negotiation, and strategic sourcing. You will examine how the marketing mix can be manipulated by industrial marketing managers, and look at business networks and how buyers and suppliers behave in them. You will also consider business-to-business marketing through the focused study of two industries and analyse industrial marketing strategies.
In this module, you will examine the principal means of marketing communications – advertising, promotion, public relations, direct marketing and sales teams. You will develop an understanding of the contemporary media environment and how this impacts on marketers’ efforts to communicate with stakeholders. You will examine how communications must be tailored to the market segment, and look at the impact of communication cultures, particularly overseas, on market entry.
Consumption, Markets and Cultures
In this module, you will develop an understanding of the broader socio-cultural issues relevant to marketing practice in the 21st Century. You will look at the interactions that occur between the market, consumers and the marketplace, focussing on how particular manifestations of culture are constituted, maintained and transformed by broader forces such as cultural narratives, myths, ideologies and grounded in specific socio-economic circumstances and marketplace systems. You will engage with complex theoretical concepts including consumer culture theory, symbolic consumption and the production of culture.
Technology and Macromarketing
In this module, you will develop an understanding of the theoretical analysis of macromarketing at the intersection of marketing, markets, and society. You will look at selected challenges and typical responses arising from the theoretical analysis of macromarketing, examining the ways in which digital innovation and technology in general may be used to promote a market-driven ideology within society.
Teaching and assessment
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.
UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent.
Relevant professional qualifications related to the field of marketing and work experience in an associated area will be considered.
The MA Marketing course is appropriate both for those who have prior study experience in marketing and for those who have studied alternative disciplines at an undergraduate level.
A successful applicant will usually have the following qualities:
- students should be self-motivated, keen readers, open to considering marketing in terms of abstract theory
- willing to participate in class discussion and happy to work on team projects.
English language requirements:
IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in all subscores. For equivalencies, please see here.
If you require Royal Holloway to sponsor your study in the UK, your IELTS must be a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).
Your future career
On graduating with a MA in marketing you will have a theoretical and empirical knowledge of marketing and employed a variety of academically based marketing techniques and practices as well as a critical awareness of current issues at the forefront of marketing in society. Our graduates are highly employable with the potential to move into variety of different marketing-related roles.
- Graduates in recent years have been appointed into roles including Marketing Consultant at Viewpress TV, Sales Officer at Standard Chartered, Category Analyst at Kantar World Panel UK, Research Assistant at Maritz Research Europe and Private Banker at ICICI Bank.
“My degree from Royal Holloway helped me get this role at Microsoft, thanks to the valuable insights into the digital Marketing world I gained, it also taught me how to team work in an international environment. An experience I can only highly recommend to prospective Marketing students.” Vera Hoelscher. Sales Solutsion Specialst at Microsoft (MA Marketing, 2010)
Fees & funding
On graduating with an MA in marketing you will have a theoretical and empirical knowledge of marketing and employed a variety of academically based marketing techniques and practices as well as a critical awareness of current issues at the forefront of marketing in society. Our graduates are highly employable with the potential to move into a variety of different marketing-related roles.
Graduates in recent years have been appointed into roles including Marketing Consultant at Viewpress TV, Sales Officer at Standard Chartered, Category Analyst at Kantar World Panel UK, Research Assistant at Maritz Research Europe and Private Banker at ICICI Bank.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated February 19, 2018