On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.
- Principles of Advertising: During this unit you will become familiar with the relationship between advertising and other aspects of marketing communications, the functions of advertising agencies, the relationships between advertising agencies and their clients, and how advertising can contribute to brand building.
- Advertising, Media and Society: You will learn to understand and debate advertising as a socio-cultural phenomenon and cultural intermediary rather than just an organisational function.
- Advertising Skillset: This unit focuses on a range of tangible skills required for the successful study, pursuit and practice of advertising as an advertising practitioner and scholar.
- Decoding Advertisements: Here you'll acquire an in-depth understanding of the content and meaning of advertisements, through decoding campaigns.
- Brand Positioning for Advertising: You will be introduced to the theoretical principles and building blocks of branding, as well as their numerous applications in an advertising context.
- Applied Advertising Campaigns: Here you'll develop a thorough knowledge of the promotional industries and the roles, organisations, processes, structures and outcomes of advertising and its place within marketing, marketing communications and public relations.
- Insight Development & Account Planning: You will acquire critical planning skills in systematically approaching the challenges and opportunities of building the connection between a brand and its target audience.
- Digital Communications: This unit aims to provide an understanding of emerging digital technologies and to assess, apply and evaluate the role of digital communications in marketing communications.
- Developing the Research Imagination: You will get hands on experience of qualitative and quantitative research methods, modes of analysis, interpretation and presentation of research findings to understand how research is done from beginning to end.
- Media Planning: This unit provides both knowledge and practical application of media research and media planning skills to propose campaign solutions for products and brands.
- Creativity for Advertising: This unit will assist you to develop the ideas and concepts central to advertising campaigns.
- Live Advertising Campaigns: This unit provides an opportunity to gain valuable practical experience working on a 'live' project set by an agency practitioner. You will tackle a real advertising problem, in 'real time', using research, creativity and media planning to create your own recommendations.
The inclusion of a 30-week (minimum) placement is a key feature in helping you to develop your abilities and understanding of advertising in the work environment. It also provides a platform for successful entry into the profession following graduation.
- Academic Dissertation or Consultancy Dissertation: The dissertation offers you the opportunity to become an expert on a topic of particular interest to you, and undertake a study that connects your learning with real-world observations.
- Advertising Innovation & Enterprise: You will develop an awareness of the role of innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurial management within the advertising industry gaining a real world, global perspective on marketing and advertising strategy.
Option units (choose three)
- Advertising Culture: The unit addresses the sometimes rather marginalised subject area of the influence that advertising has on the broad area of culture.
- Applied Creativity: This unit will concentrate on developing nonlinear, creative thinking in addressing problems that motivate solution-finding, generating and developing ideas, and implementation (‘design thinking’).
- Behavioural Economics: This unit will focus on learning's from cognitive neuroscience, and how these can be appropriated for enhanced strategy and creativity.
- Brand Meaning: You will create your interpretation of brand meaning for a brand of your choice, producing meaning appropriate for a 21st century brand.
- Campaign Planning: You will work both within groups in pairs and alone with a problem-solving approach to marketing communications in the context of agency life. You will learn how to produce a campaign plan in its entirety.
- Consumer Futurising: You will gain a critical appreciation of state of the art thinking within consumer culture studies.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: You will be introduced to ideas relating to the creation of corporate social responsibility strategies, tactics and initiatives.
- Corporate Sponsorship: This unit will enable you to analyse the growing importance of corporate sponsorship as a marketing communication tool.
- Creative Direction & Copywriting: This module will extend your capacity to generate appropriate ideas, concepts, proposals and solutions, to critically assess the quality of your ideas.
- Data Driven Marketing: This unit provides the forum to critically assess, from a theoretical and professional perspective.
- Digital Futures: This option allows you to critically investigate the rise, impact and future of digital culture and digital technologies.
- Environmental Communications: You will explore and be equipped to understand how significant environmental communication is for organisations.
- Health & Science Communications: You will engage critically with health and science communications concerns.
- International Fashion Marketing Communications: You will be introduced to the key concepts, models and central philosophies, thinking and practice within the context of international fashion marketing.
- Media Economics: You will develop a critical understanding of the commercial dynamics of media industries, markets and firms in a period of profound change.
- Media (in) Equality: You will critique historical development of the representation of race, gender and class in the media from a range of critical perspectives and conceptual frameworks.
- Persuasion & Influence: The unit will explore theory and practice as it relates to persuasion and influence.
- Promotion Power & Democracy: You will be exposed to key theoretical ideas from social and critical theory, political economy and political philosophy.
- Psychology of the Media: This unit introduces you to those major paradigms in individual and social psychology which have been applied to the consumption of media.
- Relationship Marketing: This unit provides an opportunity for conceptual analysis of the scholarship within relationship marketing and a consideration of the implications of this analysis for relationship marketing practice.
- Social Communications: This unit will encourage you to create new ways of using promotional communication perspectives, insights and skills for social purposes.
- Strategic Marketing & Planning: You will develop, assess and implement marketing strategies at the corporate and operational marketing levels in a global organisational context.
- Transcultural Communications Practices: You will critically evaluate the main theories, concepts and principles of intercultural communication in order to apply them to varied communication practices.
Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.
Year 1 – 17% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 205 hours
- Independent learning: 995 hours
Year 2 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 213 hours
- Independent learning: 987 hours
Year 3 - Placement
Year 4 - 16% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 185 hours
- Independent learning: 1015 hours
How you will be assessed
You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 79% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
View the programme specification for BA (Hons) Advertising.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.
We will provide a great deal of support to help you find the most appropriate work placement for the subject you’re studying and the career you’re interested in, which means you could be based anywhere in the UK, or even overseas.
A placement should be a highly rewarding experience for you and the employing company and we do our best to ensure that everyone involved feels that they have got the most that they can from the experience.
The benefits to you as a placement student are many. You will have the chance to:
- Put the theory learnt throughout the course into professional practice
- Enhance your study and help you decide on subject options (where appropriate)
- Learn a wide range of skills such as time management, problem solving and team work (all of these are important to succeed in any career)
- Make contacts, as it is not uncommon for our students to be offered permanent positions to return to after graduating
- Gain a real insight into how the industry operates in roles that would be almost impossible to achieve for an outsider
- Many of our students, during their placement, are given responsibilities normally associated with graduate trainees.
Our students have previously worked for
- Bright Blue Day
- Grapevine Digital
- Soho Media Group
- Seed Marketing
- The Think Tank
- Serious Marketing
How long is my placement?
You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and you must complete a minimum of 30 weeks, although most students choose to work for a full year.
Find out more about placements and our student experiences here.
Background and experience
For BA (Hons) Advertising, we are looking for applicants who can:
- Demonstrate both intellectual and creative abilities
- Show an understanding of the advertising and marketing communications industry
- Work well within a team as well as individually
- Good presentation skills
- Demonstrate good written and oral communication skills.
You must have a good understanding of the advertising and marketing communications industry and potentially some work experience in this area. You should be able to communicate why you want to come on this course, what appeals to you about working in this industry and why you feel you have the edge over your peers. You must have basic computer literacy, including knowledge of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications, there are no interviews or selection activities needed. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.
Our offer making process
Our offer making will typically be based on your main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.
If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.
How we'll assess your application
We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.
If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.
Unconditional offer scheme
Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.
You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.
2018 entry requirements
We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.
The entry requirements for this course are 112-120 tariff points from 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.
Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies.
GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.
Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the Future Students Enquiry team to find out more.
Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Future Students Enquiry team – it may be that we can still consider it.
Access courses: 112-118 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.
- Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
- Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
- BTEC National Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
- BTEC National Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 112-120 tariff points from 2 Principal subjects.
Cambridge Technical qualifications:
- Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
- Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
- Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
- Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
International Baccalaureate (Diploma): 30-31 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects.
Scottish Advanced Higher: 112-120 tariff points from a minimum of 2 Advanced Highers.
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-levels or equivalent.
Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.
International entry requirements
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:
IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.
Academic entry requirements
You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.
We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.
CIM Graduate Gateway
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the leading professional body for marketers worldwide and exists to develop the marketing profession, maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing practitioners. Bournemouth University has joined forces with CIM to give students the opportunity to gain professional qualifications through the CIM Graduate Gateway. CIM qualifications are highly sought after by employers, and map alongside our own BA (Hons) degree, which ensures we are equipping students with the best opportunities for a successful marketing career.
Undergraduate students on the BA (Hons) Advertising degree have the opportunity to achieve CIM professional qualifications at level 3 Foundation Certificate in Marketing and level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing, as a result of exemptions awarded by the CIM for this degree programme. Students have the opportunity to achieve these awards during the course of their degree and after completion. For example, students can achieve the level 3 Foundation Certificate in Marketing prior to their placement year.
Benefits for students:
- Improved employability prospects, due to achievement of academic and professional qualifications whilst in higher education
- Improved placement prospects through achievement of Foundation Certificate in Marketing
- Membership of CIM and associated benefits
Benefits for employers:
- Graduates and placement students with proven practitioner and academic skills
- CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing: L4 Marketing module. Students will be required to pass two modules: Integrated Communications (mandatory) and one elective module to obtain the L4 Certificate in Professional Marketing.
- CAM Diplomas in marketing communications and digital marketing: Marketing & Consumer Behaviour module, provided students have taken and passed the Relationship Marketing option in their final year of study on the degree.
- Students on this programme need to achieve a 2:2 or above degree classification and successfully pass the specified (non-exempt) modules at the chosen level of study to be awarded the CIM professional qualification.
- Students need to pass the additional two modules within three years of graduation for exemptions to be valid.
There are CIM studying membership and assessment fees, as well as tuition fees. If these costs have an impact on students you will be advised before you begin your course.
The CIM awards the suite of CAM Diplomas in the areas of marketing communications and digital marketing on behalf of the Communications Advertising and Marketing (CAM) Education Federation.
Our advertising graduates are primed and ready for a career in this fast-paced industry, with 90% of them in work professional/managerial roles within six months of graduating*. We'll give you all the skills you need to get ahead in this exciting sector, as well as providing you with the opportunity to make great connections with those in the industry through work placements.
There are a wide range of careers open to you once you graduate, including:
- Account executive
- Conceptual creative
- Copywriter and content marketer
- Digital and press planner and buyer
- Digital display executive
- Media planner
- Press assistant
- Twitter TV analyst
You can work in a host of industries with your transferable skills, as well as working for media and marketing agencies, you could also be employed in-house with a company that requires an advertising professional. Among the companies that our graduates have worked for are:
- Saatchi & Saatchi
- United Advertising
- Granada TV
- Sony Music
- Marks & Spencer.
“You know if you’re getting a BU graduate you’re getting someone who is a bit special and has had a quality level of education through their degree. I think it’s a really great university and I’d recommend anybody to go there.”
Sarah Chastney, BA (Hons) Advertising and Marketing Communications graduate and Product Communications Manager at LV – watch Sarah’s story
Industries worked in
- Marketing and communications
Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.
*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.
“Bournemouth University is very impressive and I miss it very much. When I came back to China, my experiences in Bournemouth played a big role in how my career developed.”
Shuyi Liang, MA Advertising and Marketing Communications graduate and Director of Membership for Greater China at the International Education Alliance for Creative Industries (IEACI) – read Shuyi’s story
Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the advertising sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.
I’m a marketing communications expert, with almost 12 years experience at leading UK universities (Manchester and Liverpool), and consulting for some of the UK’s iconic fashion retail brands, such as Selfridges and House of Fraser and TopShop. I enjoyed 3 years at Sanctuary Music as Head of Global Fashion & Licensing, where I led a team of creatives and brand managers to develop and create fashion music merchandise for bands/artists ranging from the Stone Roses to Girls Aloud. Equally I have worked extensively in a marketing agency environment, and managed client advertising accounts from food and drink to sport and wellbeing sectors. Areas of teaching expertise are: International Marketing; Strategic Marketing; Fashion and Retail Marketing; Fashion Advertising; Media & Campaign Planning; Consumer Behaviour & Profiling; PR and Entrepreneurial Marketing. I’m a graduate from Manchester University Business School, (2004) with a PhD, in consumer behaviour in fashion /streetwear.
Externally, I’ve delivered and presented research at conferences, (British Academy of Management) and my research interest areas are namely (but not limited to) consumer decision processes; fashion mobile apps; fashion ethics & theory; sustainable British fashion; heritage fashion branding; fashion advertising in global markets and fashion branding values. I’m currently drafting a proposal for a new fashion-marketing textbook: “Contemporary Issues in Fashion Retailing: Case studies of challenges and changes in the fashion world”. I have also worked and studied internationally, and speak French fluently. In my spare time you can find me on the beach, travel writing (my other passion), scuba diving, or biking with my kids.
The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.
||Changes to this course
||Where the change was made
After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee, a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.
2018 entry requirements have changed to 112 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.
|Key facts and 2018 entry requirements
The entry requirements for this course are 112-120 tariff points from 3 A-levels. BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM.
|2018 GCSE entry requirements have changed to This course requires GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.
||2018 entry requirements
This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.