Bournemouth University logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 8.91k / Year
  • Foreign: $ 16.5k / Year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English

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    This course is for determined and driven individuals who are ambitious about their career within the Advertising industry. Whether you have recently graduated with a good degree in an Advertising related subject, or you are a Communications professional looking to further your career, this challenging MA degree provides the knowledge and tools necessary to become an Advertising specialist.

    The Media School at Bournemouth University has an excellent reputation within the Marketing and Corporate Communications industries in the UK. MA Advertising, benefits from strong industry connections and the degree will be endorsed by the IPA, D&AD, EACM and IDDA.

    A London based ‘Advertising Boot camp’ will be the penultimate task in the degree, where you will work as a ‘full service agency’ with a ‘live brief’, putting your knowledge and skills to the test.

    MA Advertising has academic, professional and practical relevance. Upon graduation, you will have a clear appreciation of the strategic dimensions of Advertising and the management of creativity. You will also possess the skills and knowledge to be able to develop valuable insights using a range of advertising research and evaluation techniques. The course covers theory and approaches to equip you with the tools to think creatively, become aware of calculated risk and to challenge assumptions; both academically and in practice.

    Why is this course unique?

    • Aimed at producing advertising specialist who are ambitious about their career within the Advertising industry
    • Benefiting from strong industry connections
    • A 3-week “Advertising Boot Camp” (delivered in London and Bournemouth) where you will work as a ‘full service agency’ with a ‘live brief’
    • The elective route allows you to specialise in either managing the creative advertising process or a more strategic and entrepreneurial approach to advertising
    • Your dissertation project can be an academic project or a consultancy project where students work to create a Communications/Advertising campaign for a client.

    Core units

    Advertising Strategy and Planning

    This unit allows students to gain a holistic appreciation of the strategic dimensions of advertising. Built on a platform of relevant theoretical perspectives, the following key subject areas are covered: Contemporary models and frameworks; Message processing; Involvement, motivation and goals; Positioning; Differential advantage; The Value Proposition; Sequential Planning; Message strategy development; Behavioural Economics; Effectiveness Evaluation. This unit also addresses the imperative for global practitioners to address intercultural communication principles and practices, in the context of contemporary communication platforms. All elements are integrated in the development of effective communications planning, and the compilation of the Creative Brief, considered to be the single most important document produced within the advertising industry. The unit is designed to attain an optimal balance between theory and practical application, and to develop professional skills in planning, implementing and evaluating communication strategies.

    Research Imagination

    This unit concentrates on drawing together students’ previous research knowledge and experience at undergraduate level, challenging their understanding of academic research and of applied research within the communications industries. The unit offers students a broad grounding in methods and processes of research and prepares them with the understanding and skills needed to rigorously design, conduct, report and evaluate research. Students will be exposed to a variety of cutting-edge research practices and will also be introduced to opportunities and challenges of conducting applied research using some of the main data collection and analysis techniques used by industry.

    Applied Creativity

    This unit is aimed at transforming problems and challenges into opportunities, for both entrepreneurs and organisations. Applied Creativity is the key to innovation. Through lateral thinking, questioning of assumptions, and calculated risk, the basis is developed for the creation and maintenance of favourable perception and competitive advantage. The unit utilises an interdisciplinary approach to the optimisation of opportunities, and ‘maps’ the process, from precise problem definition to articulation of the fit-for-purpose solution.Contemporary theory is balanced with ‘best’ professional practice to explore divergent and convergent approaches in solution development. This is done in both individual and collaborative contexts. Subject areas (and creative ‘tools’) covered by this unit are, inter alia: Conceptions of Creativity; Idea Generation Techniques; The nature and forms of Innovation; Creative Domains; Sociocultural Approaches; Brand and Organisation Instantiation (Re-framing); The nature and use of Storytelling; Neuro-economics; Trend Analysis and Optimisation; Choice Architecture; Experiential and Sensory Marketing.

    Consumer Culture Insights

    The overall aim of the unit is to enable students to develop competency in the application of consumer culture theory in generating consumer insights. Students will be exposed to a range of culturally informed conceptual and methodological frameworks to understand consumer worlds and draw competitive insights via theoretical and empirical exploration within different environments – including at ‘home’, international and transnational contexts. Through critical appraisal and research enquiry, students will also be equipped to propose innovative consumer culture insight frameworks that they will apply and test. This unit is divided into two key parts; to begin with intensive consumer culture theory workshops will be offered to familiarise students with culturally informed and focused concepts and methods, which will be applied within the context of live case briefs or case studies to generate insights. Students will be encouraged to critically appraise the ways in which contemporary CCT can be used to generate insight. In the second part of the unit, students will work towards the development and application of innovative consumer insight generating frameworks.

    Digital Insights

    This unit aims to provide students with strategic and tactical skills for developing advertising and marketing communications strategies in the digital sphere. It covers the both the fundamentals of digital communications, as a set of specific skills (such as SEO and Google analytics), but also provides students with a critical understanding of the nature of digital communications and its place in contemporary advertising.By the end of the unit, students will be able to draw up effective and measurable digital communications plans, and be able to evaluate and assimilate new digital trends in a constantly moving arena.

    Advertising Boot Camp

    This unit is a 3 week professional, part-delivered in London and part-delivered in Bournemouth with collaboration of advertising agencies and relevant professional associations, aims to situate advertising within integrated marketing communications, providing the context to planning a contemporary promotions campaign. This will be the ‘nuts and bolts’ of designing and implementing a campaign that considers a brand’s life cycle for all its stakeholders. The unit builds on work previously completed elsewhere on this MA, in both core and elective units. Students will work in groups as full service marketing communications ‘agencies’, engaging with a practical ‘live’ brief, analysing a contemporary brand for either the B2B or B2C market, and developing an integrated advertising campaign to a specific budget. The campaign will typically include strategy, a minimum of 5 executional elements, a media plan, and a clearly defined ROI.

    Professional Project OR Academic Paper

    Students will be required to prepare an academic paper, professional project or portfolio based on their particular chosen subject area. The unit will culminate in a student showcase where students present their work to peers, academic colleagues and industry contacts (where appropriate). The overall assessment will be equivalent to 10,000 words.

    Optional Units

    Creative Direction

    This is primarily a ‘practical’ unit, the aim of which is to provide students with an opportunity to develop the application of strategy to creative practice in advertising. The ability to conceptualise a creative strategy through the optimal use of visual, verbal and aural cues and techniques, is stressed as a means to create compelling and memorable communications. Students will work through a process of practical application of the ideas discussed in order to better understand their strengths and limitations. The unit elaborates ideas of critical analysis and then synthesizes that with strategic course material from elsewhere on the course to enable the students to develop the ability to produce distinctive communication ideas, and progress these into creative/message strategies and credible tactical executions. Strategic intuition and the application of research will then enable students to deduce the suitability and originality of the ‘creative product’. This demands the ability to achieve ‘balance’ in both the attitude and activity of the Creative Director; between concept and strategy, and between the verbal and the visual.

    Advertising Management

    This unit will focus on the management of advertising in both external and internal contexts.The unit will provide the skills to manage relationships between agencies and client organisations, between functions within the agency, and with other related service-providers and agencies. It will also address the role of advertising within the wider marketing and business contexts. Course content will span: techniques and practices to ensure a clear understanding of client and brand requirements; formal interpretation of these needs and requirements; balancing of agency and client requirements; systems for controlling planning, creative and production; and, an understanding of the role of media, whether outsourced or not. The unit will explore the complexity in negotiating media investment, identifying dynamics between media buyers and sellers, theories that underpin the development of media plans for one and/or multiple media, and for conventional and/or new media. It provides the skills and tools to investigate audiences’ media exposure and to evaluate media plans. Research undertaken in this unit will provide a critical understanding of relationships between: media, the product/brand category, and strategic thinking. Media theory and practice are integrated to provide a balanced appreciation of decision-making within the industry. Software programs will be used to support strategic media decisions.


    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    program_requirements

    A good Bachelors Honours degree, 2:1 or above or equivalent in any discipline that includes an element of advertising and/or 2 years of relevant comprehensive professional experience within the Advertising industryFor applicants for whom English is not their first language, there is a requirement of IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall or equivalent with 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components. For more information please see International Students under Entry Requirements.If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the askBU Enquiry Service for more information. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

    For fees and funding information, please visit our website.

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