- Principles of Marketing: This unit introduces you to the principles of marketing and marketing communications. You will become familiar with the marketing mix, traditional and innovative marketing techniques as well as the nature of marketing strategy.
- Marketing Communications, Media & Society: You will learn about the relationship between marketing communications and other promotional and communication industries and be able to consider their cumulative effect on society at local, national and global levels.
- Marketing Communications Skillset: This unit focuses on a range of tangible skills required for the successful study, pursuit and practice of marketing, as marketing communications practitioners and scholars.
- Business Environment: You will acquire the knowledge necessary for understanding the national and global economic, cultural, political, financial and business contexts within which marketers and organisations operate.
- Branding Principles for Marketing Communications: You will be introduced to the theoretical principles and building blocks of branding as well as their numerous applications in a marketing communications context.
- Applied Marketing Communications Campaigns: This unit will provide an understanding of marketing communications processes and the integrated marketing communications mix, and an appreciation for the work involved in meeting a real-life campaign brief. You will acquire the knowledge of marketing communications, to create effective communications that build sustainable relationships with customers and other stakeholders in an organisation.
- Global Marketing Communications: This unit will enable you to develop an understanding of the concepts, principles and activities of international marketing and international marketing communications and the analytical skills required to examine the challenges raised by both globalisation and different international market situations.
- 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 the promotional and media communications industries.
- Developing the Research Imagination: You will get hands-on experience of qualitative and quantitative methods, modes of analysis, interpretation and presentation of research findings to understand how research is done from beginning to end.
- Consumer Insights Development: You will become familiar with consumer culture and behaviour theory, and will hone insight-generating skills through applied work, specifically by researching and crafting consumer insights, and their application in meeting marketing communications objectives.
- Brand Management & Communications: You will develop a critical understanding and application of theories related to brand management and brand communications, in the process creating a communications plan.
- Live Marketing Communications Campaigns: You will learn to critically apply the tools, techniques and theories of marketing communications to apply creative solutions to.
The inclusion of a 30 week placement (minimum) 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, and to develop a study that connects your learning with real-world observations.
- Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Marketing Communications: You will develop as a critical reflective thinker who can approach marketing and marketing communications challenges innovatively.
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 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 emphasis of this course is in guided independent learning, which helps you develop into a self-motivated learner. When not attending lectures and seminars, you will be expected to read around the subject. Your typical week’s activities will include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments. The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course.
Year 1 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 210 hours
- Independent learning: 990 hours
Year 2 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 204 hours
- Independent learning: 996 hours
Year 3 – Placement year
Year 4 – 16% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities
- Learning and teaching: 156 hours
- Independent learning: 1044 hours
49% of the course is assessed by coursework
- Year 1: 46%
- Year 2: 83%
- Year 3: 0% (placement year)
- Year 4: 65%
Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.
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) Marketing Communications.
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.
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.
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 help and support to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement. What’s more, you can also choose to undertake your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.
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. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?
"I'm really picking up a great wealth of experience, right from time management to how to be more organised with things, through to a lot of industry knowledge, specifically about the film marketing industry, but also just general marketing knowledge.”
James Harrison, BA (Hons) Marketing Communication, placement at Warner Bros., 2016
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:
- Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
- En Route International Ltd
- Fifty Times Media
- Really B2B
- NBC Universal
- Warner Brothers
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.
Background and experience
For BA (Hons) Marketing Communications, we are looking for applicants who can:
- Demonstrate both intellectual and creative abilities
- Show an understanding of the marketing and communications industry
- Work well within a team as well as individually
- Demonstrate good presentation skills
- Demonstrate good written and oral communication skills.
You must have a good understanding of the PR 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 use the UCAS applications to create a shortlist of candidates that we would like to find out more about. 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 three 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
Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.
We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements.
*Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.
2017 entry requirements
The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.
The entry requirements for this course are 112 to 120 tariff points from 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM
UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.
Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies.
GCSEs: 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.
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 askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.
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 askBU Enquiry Service – it may be that we can still consider it.
Access course: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.
Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.
Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level to achieve the overall tariff.
90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels in relevant subjects to achieve the overall tariff.
A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.
Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.
European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 73% overall.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 30-31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.
Scottish qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.
Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff
OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.
Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.
Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.
Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.
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) Marketing Communications degree have the opportunity to achieve CIM professional qualifications at level 3 Foundation Certificate in Marketing, level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing and level 6 Diploma 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.
- CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing: L6 Strategic Marketing module. Students will be required to pass two modules: Mastering Metrics (mandatory) and one elective module to obtain the L6 Diploma in Professional Marketing.
- Students need to take and pass the Strategic Marketing and Planning option in the final year to have exemption from the L6 Strategic Marketing module.
- 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.
Every business needs to market itself to its target audience, no matter who they are, which means competent and versatile marketing professionals are always in demand. This course will give you all the skills you need to get ahead in this thriving sector and the work placement will allow you to make contacts and build relationships with those already working in the industry.
Within six months of graduating 88% of our students are in work or further study, earning an average salary of £22,000 per year, with many employed by well-known companies such as Sony, Twinings, Unilever and Siemens. Among the roles you could take on are:
- Marketing manager
- Media executive
- Media planner
- Marketing executive
- Press assistant.
This course has been awarded Graduate Gateway status by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), which will allow you to enter the CIM qualification system at professional postgraduate diploma level once you graduate. Having CIM accreditation will also make you stand out to potential employers.
Industries worked in
- Marketing & 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.
Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the marketing communication 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 am the Programme Leader for BA Marketing Communications and I teach Corporate Social Responsibility, Marketing and Reputation in a Global Context.
I am an active researcher, focusing on marketing, ethics and corporate social responsibility, including changes that result from digital media. In 2012 I co-founded an annual international conference in ‘Social Responsibility, Ethics and Sustainable Business’, and I am now preparing for the sixth conference in the series. In 2015 I co-edited two books titled ‘Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Age’ and ‘Social Responsibility, Ethics and Sustainable Business: Theory and Practice’, and in 2016 I co-edited a book titled 'Corporate Social Responsibility in the Post-Financial Crisis Era. CSR Conceptualisations and International Practices in Times of Uncertainty.'
I completed a doctorate in Marketing at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies where I used relationship-marketing theory to examine the impact of corporate social responsibility on stakeholders. During this period I was also a visiting researcher at De Montfort University, UK. Prior to my doctorate, I received a master’s degree in Strategic Marketing and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the same university. Before my PhD, I was a marketing specialist and consultant in the retail industry and a trainer for a series of workshops and short marketing courses.
The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.
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- Applied Marketing Communications Campaigns: This unit will provide you with industry contextualised knowledge of marketing communications, to create effective communications that build sustainable relationships with customers and other stakeholders in an organisation.