Top Rankings for Marketing
The University of Stirling Management School’s Marketing Division ranks among the top in the country. We are positioned 2nd in Scotland and among the top 20 in the UK. Complete University Guide 2016.
Marketing is about creating, communicating and delivering exchanges of value between an organisation and its customers that satisfy the customer, the organisation and society at large. The MSc Marketing course offers students from a wide variety of educational and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to understand and combine academic concepts and practice-related marketing issues. This unique combination of academic and practice allows for students to be well-positioned for future success in the field of marketing.
- MSc Marketing
- MSc in Marketing with Brand Management
- MSc in Marketing with Retail
The MSc Marketing course at Stirling was one of the first in the country to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Upon the successful completion of the MSc Marketing Course, two modules will be waived, meaning students need only complete the remaining two modules (versus completing all four required modules) in order to gain a Professional Diploma in Marketing. This exciting opportunity will provide you with the competitive edge you are looking for to embark on a successful career.
Top Reasons To Study With Us
- The MSc Marketing course at Stirling is part of the University’s Management School, and follows the research-led approach that the School is recognised for. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 85% of our research activity was found to be of international significance.
- The course was one of the first in the country to be accredited for the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Multi-Award Pathway (MAP) which, as well as endorsing the MSc qualification with considerable authority, also allows candidates to gain the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing by undertaking two modules rather than the normal four.
- As a Marketing MSc student you will have access to the Markstrat simulation platform, a web-based approach to testing strategies in a realistic competitive environment.
- The course includes training events designed to build leadership and personal effectiveness, and you will have opportunities to work with our consultants to create a personal profile that offers invaluable insights into their approach to decision-making, communication and working relationships.
Different interests, different pathways
This is an MSc programme in Marketing aimed primarily at students wishing to convert from other disciplines or those who wish to gain a qualification that will validate their work experiences. However, you can gain recognition of your interest in a specific area of Marketing through our named Pathways in Brand Management and Retail if you wish.
The MSc in Marketing is a specialist, 12-month full-time taught postgraduate course. The course is designed for those seeking to develop their knowledge of Marketing but it is not restricted to those who have already studied Marketing or related Business subjects. As such it offers students from a wide variety of educational and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to understand and combine academic concepts and practice-related marketing issues. Participants are encouraged to draw on their own backgrounds and any existing management skills and work-based experience throughout this course.
The course is modular, so the credits awarded at the end of each assessed module can be accumulated towards a postgraduate qualification. As a student of Marketing, there are three core topics of study in the Autumn Semester which will provide you with a depth of relevant and up-to-date knowledge. In the Spring Semester you will gain an appreciation of contemporary issues in Marketing through your choice of four elective modules. The pool of elective subjects is refreshed on a regular basis; in 2016-17 we will include new modules on Innovation in Marketing and Multichannel Marketing and Retail. In the core Marketing Management Applications module, our MSc in Marketing students have to apply this knowledge through a project undertaken for an external company. Over the Summer you will then complete the MSc by showcasing your learning through either an individual dissertation or group research project in the area of Marketing.
MSc in Marketing with Brand Management
The MSc in Marketing with Brand Management offers students the opportunity to focus more on the specifics of developing and using brands and branding in the marketing context. All students will register for the MSc in Marketing in the first instance and will then have the opportunity to change degree pathway by the end of the Spring semester.
The course is modular, so the credits awarded at the end of each assessed module can be accumulated towards a postgraduate qualification. As a student of Marketing with Brand Management you will study three core topics in Marketing in the Autumn Semester before deciding on your final course of study. To specialise in Brand Management in the Spring semester you must complete the modules on Brand Marketing and Digital Marketing and Advertising as well as two other elective modules. The pool of elective subjects is refreshed on a regular basis; in 2016-17 we will include new modules on Innovation in Marketing and Multichannel Marketing and Retail. In the core Marketing Management Applications module, you will be asked to apply this knowledge through a project undertaken for an external company. Over the Summer you will then complete the MSc by showcasing your learning through either an individual dissertation or group research project in the field of Branding.
MSc in Marketing with Retail
The MSc in Marketing with Retail provides students with the opportunity to acquire and extend their knowledge and expertise in the area of retailing. The retail sector is a major employer throughout the world and one which requires a sound skill set in order to be able to manage profitable interactions with suppliers and consumers. All students will register for the MSc in Marketing in the first instance and will then have the opportunity to change degree pathway by the end of the Spring semester.
The course is modular, so the credits awarded at the end of each assessed module can be accumulated towards a postgraduate qualification. As a student of Marketing with Retail you will study three core topics in Marketing in the Autumn Semester before deciding on your final course of study. To specialise in Retail in the Spring semester you must complete the modules on Retail Marketing and Marketing and the Supply Chain as well as two other elective modules. The pool of elective subjects is refreshed on a regular basis; in 2016-17 we will include new modules on Innovation in Marketing and Multichannel Marketing and Retail. In the core Marketing Management Applications module, you will be asked to apply this knowledge through a project undertaken for an external company. Over the Summer you will then complete the MSc by showcasing your learning through either an individual dissertation or group research project in a field relevant to the Retail sector.
The MSc provides you with an understanding of the concepts and systems underlying marketing practice and allows you to develop your skills of diagnosis and implementation in marketing management and research processes. On completion you will be able to:
- Nurture and consolidate a customer-focused management approach in a variety of different market settings, organisation types and policy situations
- Design, plan, implement and evaluate research-based marketing strategies
- Gain exposure to ethical issues that arise from marketing activities and to understand the impact marketing has on society in general
- Conduct research into contemporary marketing practice
What makes us different?
A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encourage to apply.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17
If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.
Scholarships & funding
Stirling Management School Postgraduate Scholarships
Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, enabling them to further their education with a reputable qualification from one of the many postgraduate degree courses on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at Stirling Management School.
Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan
This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS.
Structure and content
The course begins with the two-week Flying Start Leadership Programme. This programme introduces all MSc students in the Stirling Management School to the University and explores what will be expected from them over their year at Stirling. Through discussions, group work, team-building exercises and meetings with local business people, it provides a solid platform for their future studies.
After completion of the Flying Start Leadership Programme, a series of three core modules in the Autumn semester will equip you with the essential skills needed to understand the theory and practice of marketing/brand management/retail. These skills are practised using marketing cases and the Markstrat computer-based marketing simulation which allows students to develop and run a portfolio of brands in the safety of the classroom. Our links with various commercial industries in Scotland and throughout the world allow our staff to draw on a wide range of marketing experiences and practices as well as providing guest lectures by practitioners and site visits to local businesses.
The MSc in Marketing is a one-year full-time course where you can choose to specialise in Brand Managment or Retail.
Delivery and assessment
The taught modules of the MSc course are delivered using a variety of methods, for example, lectures, tutorials, case studies, role playing, computer simulations, fieldwork exercises, site visits, guest speakers and company projects. Much of the assessment is continuous and may include research reports, essays, briefings, management reports, case analyses, debates, literature reviews, marketing communication plans, poster sessions and presentations. Assessed work is often conducted in groups, as developing teamwork and communication skills are seen as important.
The MSc courses at Stirling provides students with a strong academic grounding in fundamental marketing concepts. This grounding is accomplished through our research-led teaching approach. In addition to consistently engaging in academic literature through weekly readings and module assessments, the course provides the students with a number of opportunities to apply these concepts, theories and frameworks to practical aspects. Importantly, the students are offered the opportunity to partner with organisations across a wide-variety of organisations including non-profits, third-sector and small-medium enterprises (SMEs).
Listed below, you will find additional details of unique elements of the course that will position you for future success.
- Current knowledge Our academic staff aim to link marketing theory with current trends in business in areas such as innovation, brand identity creation, multi-channel marketing, social marketing and sport marketing. By discussing not just the current situation but how we got there, we aim to establish an awareness of the need for ‘learning to learn’ and ‘knowledge reinvention’ that will help you throughout your subsequent career. To this end, we draw on our own staff research, our industry links and the wider marketing sphere through the Chartered Institute of Marketing and our corporate membership of the Marketing Society Scotland. Our MSc students are often invited to attend either our own internal research seminars or the presentations put on by industry bodies. Our undergraduate and postgraduate students have won the Marketing Society Scotland’s Award for Star Marketing Student on several occasions in recent years.
- A rich blend of theory and practice
The programme incorporates a range of mechanisms by which you can use the ideas taught in class and so better understand what they mean and how to use them in the future. These include the ‘risk-free’ management practice in the marketing strategy simulation in the Autumn semester, the public defence of your own ideas in our Research Poster Session, and the consultancy-style marketing project in the Spring semester.
- Marketing strategy In the Autumn semester you will participate in the Markstrat simulation, a web-based platform for developing marketing strategy and planning practice in a competitive environment. By means of various performance standards and protocols, you will get to test and improve your skills in market analytics, decision-making, budgeting, planning and performance assessment. If you are going to lose a million dollars, then this is the place to do it because you can learn from your mistakes without the stress.
- Research Methods Poster Session All students on our MSc course present their evolving ideas for their individual dissertations or group projects in visual form as a ‘scientific’ poster with an accompanying presentation. You must defend the ideas presented in your poster to both staff and to the other MSc students. This event is held in the University Atrium each year and it has proved to be a very successful event, particularly for building your confidence in your own ideas.
- Consultancy-style marketing project The Marketing Management Applications core module in the Spring semester aims to provide you with an equivalent experience to an industry placement. It gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge and increase your confidence working on a ‘live’ marketing topic as you operate within the management boundaries and budget of an external client organisation.
- ‘Brand Me’ You will be encouraged to explore your personal brand and the directions in which you want to develop. Beginning with the creation of an Insights® Discovery Personal Profile, the aim is to encourage independent, creative thinkers who know how to communicate their views and values to others, including potential employers. Working with our team of consultants, you will receive your own Insights® Discovery Personal Profile which offers an engaging, reinforcing and transformational insight into your personality and how you compare to others. Based on the model of personality developed by Carl Jung, the Insights® Discovery profile offers our students a framework for self-understanding and personal development. The profile can help you to learn about your approach to decision-making; your key strengths and weaknesses in working relationships; your value to the team, as well as your communication style and possible blind spots. There is a significant amount of required group and team work on the MSc which we use to reinforce this positive start by providing areas for self-development and career planning. You will be encouraged to become more effective communicators and supportive team members in a professional business environment. To help you, you receive feedback from other group members through formal peer assessment procedures and you will write reflective statements that consider why and how you made certain decisions and how they relate to the concepts you have been learning. This is an MSc programme in Marketing aimed primarily at students wishing to convert from other disciplines or those who wish to gain a qualification that will validate their work experiences. However, you can gain recognition of your interest in a specific area of Marketing through our named Pathways in Brand Management and Retail if you wish.
- Different interests, different pathways This is an MSc Programme in Marketing aimed primarily at students wishing to convert from other disciplines or those who wish to gain a qualification that will validate their work experiences. However, you can gain recognition of your interest in a specific area of Marketing through our named Pathways in Brand Management and Retail if you wish.
Why become an expert in brand management?
Brands add value
For a firm, having a positive and strong brand is a critical success factor. If created and managed correctly, a brand can add value to a firm’s business activities, serve as a form of protection from its competitors’ offerings, entice consumers and build loyalty.
Brands are more than names and symbols
Brands are a key element in a firm’s relationships with their consumers. Brands represent consumers’ perceptions, experiences and feelings about a firm’s offerings to the marketplace and everything the firm means to the consumer.
Brands are expressive devices
As consumers, we purchase particular brands to express who we are. We also avoid those brands that we believe have negative connotations; whether psychological, social or emotional.
Brands are not just products
Traditionally, brands related only to products and their performance. Nowadays, brands and branding is considered vitally important for financial services, retailers, politicians, celebrities, religions, towns, cities and countries – even ourselves, for example, as a method to differentiating who we are relative to others in the workplace and job market.
Brand management is exciting and interesting
Brand management is one of the most exciting and interesting career paths. Whatever the size of the organisation, brand management offers daily challenges and stimulus.
Why become an expert in retailing?
Retailers lead economies
Retailers are some of the largest and most powerful organisations within national economies, and increasingly influential in a global context. Examples include Tesco (based in the UK) and Walmart (in the USA). Their scale, complexity and growth result in an increasing demand for highly professional staff.
Retailers influence what people buy
Two thirds of all decisions on what to buy are made at the point-of-sale. Knowing how to win the bodies, minds and money of shoppers impacts on the success of retailers, manufacturers and everyone else involved in the supply chain.
Retailers dominate marketing
Retailers have taken over marketing leadership from manufacturers. The increasing number of highly successful retail brands, their role in new product introduction, their promotional power and their ability to leverage information about the customer illustrate exceptional marketing leadership.
Retailers lead innovation and change
Retailers are highly innovative and their operations increasingly sophisticated. Examples include multi-channel e-commerce trading, IT-driven Customer Relationship Programmes, merchandising systems, automated product ordering systems and flexible supply chains.
Retailers are now more than sellers of product
Retailers are very close to consumers and so enjoy huge influence on the placing and promoting of products and services. Thanks to this privileged position, retailers have been able to diversify their businesses into the service sector (insurance, mobile communications and banking) and manufacturing (clothes, consumer electrics, food and so on). Zara, H&M and IKEA, for example, have become large manufacturers in their fields, while Tesco has achieved a dominant position in market research by using its sales data. Understanding retail means understanding other sectors and parts of the supply chain.
Retailers offer excitement and interest
Retailers are now amongst the most exciting and interesting of organisations to work for whatever the size of the organisation, retail management offers daily challenges, stimulus.
Where are our graduates now?
MSc graduates are currently working around the world in countries such as Japan, China, Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, India. They are currently contributing to the performance of the following organisations:
- Yves Saint Laurent
- NCR Corporation
- Intelligent Media Ltd
- Capital Group UK
To provide you with an indication as to what you can do with your Master's degree, graduates in the past three years are currently employed as:
- Marketing & Communications Officer, Stirling Council (UK)
- Sales Consultant, Yves Saint Laurent (UK)
- Marketing Communications Associate, Eugenides Foundation (Greece)
- Global Sales, Karma Medical Products (Taiwan)
- Social Media Manager, Liquorice - Digital Innovation for Brands (Africa)
Building on that foundation, alumni of Stirling’s MSc Marketing degree who graduated between five and ten years ago have since advanced into some of the following positions:
- Brand Manager, Unilever (Greece)
- Senior PR Specialist, National Education Association (USA)
- Sales & Marketing Executive, Alma Lasers (Japan)
- Senior Marketing Specialist, Symantec (Mexico)
- Account Manager, Cheil (Taiwan)
- Account Executive, McCann Erickson (Greece)
- Senior Lecturer, University of Roehampton (UK)
Some of our more established alumni are currently leading and shaping marketing strategy across many different sectors – here is an example of how a few former Stirling MSc students have advanced in their careers:
- Marketing Manager, Nestle (Greece)
- Supply Chain Manager, Aibel Pte Ltd (Singapore)
- Director of Marketing & E-Business, Elsevier (Hong Kong)
- International Sales Manager, Importaco, S.A. (Spain)
Stirling Management School has excellent links with local and national organisations. Guest speakers from across the private, public and third sectors regularly engage with our MSc students, providing a practical perspective on contemporary marketing topics through a series of guest lectures and workshops. Speakers include: Garry Lace - Manchester University, Martin Raymond - Cloudline PR Agency and Ken Thompson – Breakthrough Business Research.
Students have recently worked on projects with representatives from EASA Training Ltd, Indigo Lighthouse, RD Support, Snowsports Scotland, Scottish Biomedical, Stirling Art and Waterski Scotland.
Stirling MSc students have also benefitted from recent site visits to external organisations such as ASDA, Blue Sky Experience (Specialist team building and team development company) and New Lanark Visitor Centre.
This school offers programs in:
Cost & Fees
- Overseas £14,600
- Home/EU £7,750
From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.
Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies.
Last updated January 16, 2017