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MA Corporate Communication

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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time

Corporate Communication is an all-encompassing term referring to businesses, government bodies and not-for-profit organisations (Non Governmental Organisations), and is increasingly replacing the terms public relations and public affairs in the communication industry.

The Faculty of Media and Communication has extensive experience in the research and teaching of corporate communication and public relations, having been one of the first UK universities to launch undergraduate studies in PR in the late 1980s. This course draws on the expertise of academics who are engaged in leading-edge research and consultancy work, and you will benefit from studying in a department with an excellent reputation within the industry, as well as strong links with both the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). The course is also accredited by the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) and there is an opportunity to obtain the IDM Certificate in Digital Marketing alongside the degree course. 

This course offers you the opportunity to specialise in a variety of areas of communication management, whilst developing insights into the latest techniques used in communication research, planning and evaluation. A professional ‘Boot Camp’, with the collaboration of public relations and communication agencies and relevant professional associations, will offer you the opportunity to be embedded within agencies or in-house communication departments for up to two weeks, typically in London. By the end of the challenge, you will be able to draw on real-world experience and will be able to start to develop your professional career, capitalise on networking opportunities and evaluating and planning your own career trajectories.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


1 year full-time, or 2 years part-time


Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM)

Required subjects:

PR, Marketing Communication, Business Studies, Communication, Media

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in a required subject, or equivalent. For more information see our full entry requirements

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 (Academic) or above. For more information see our full entry requirements

Course details

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.

Core units

  • Analysis & Decision-making in Communication Management: You'll analyse an organisation’s internal and external environment and foster strategic thinking in a global environment, evaluate and prioritise an organisation’s corporate objectives, analyse difference and identify competitive advantages. You'll also assess the organisation's resources and capabilities before moving on to decision-making for strategic corporate communication.

  • Research Imagination: Drawing on you research knowledge and experience from undergraduate level, this unit challenges your understanding of academic and applied research in the communications industries. You'll be exposed to cutting-edge research practices and introduced to the opportunities and challenges of conducting applied research using industry data collection and analysis techniques.

  • Strategic Corporate Communication: This unit uses global case studies as a key teaching and learning mechanism. You'll be encouraged to become a listener and storyteller who appreciates the cultural differences existing in and outside of the organisation. The corporate communicator’s role in shaping the organisation’s narrative will be explored, along with corporate branding, thought leadership and managing reputational risk.

  • Crisis Communication: Considering the role of communication in an organisation in times of crisis, you'll be prepared for management roles in the communication industry with an overview of crisis communication. This is a strategic-level specialism of public relations. At the end of this unit, you'll understand how crisis communication is used in for-profit and not-for-profit organisations.

  • Digital Insights: Tactical skills for developing digital advertising and marketing communications strategies. You'll look at a set of specific skills, such as SEO and Google analytics, and understand digital communications and its place in contemporary advertising. By the end of the unit, you'll be able to draw up effective and measurable digital communications plans and evaluate and integrate new digital trends.

  • Integrated Campaign Planning: Built on a platform of theoretical perspectives, this unit brings together marketing, management and communications approaches for creating and distributing messages to stakeholders through appropriate communication channels. You'll identify media relations processes in communicating messages to target audiences and in representing an organisation. An organisation's response to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethical issues will also be explored.

  • Professional Boot Camp: An intensive work experience and networking opportunity that draws together all the work you've completed on this course. You'll get the chance to apply what you've learnt in the real world of Corporate Communication and PR. A mentor will be assigned to you and you'll spend two weeks working in the mentor’s organisation. This experience will help you develop a professional portfolio and career plan.

  • Final Project: You'll complete an academic paper or a professional or consultancy project, applying the principles of systematic research to support academic and professional thinking in corporate communication and PR. Your project will be underpinned by what you learnt in the Research Imagination unit. You'll explore your chosen discipline in detail and generate new insights. This unit ends with a showcase where you'll present your work to peers, academic colleagues and other guests.

CIPR Postgraduate Diploma

We've recently strengthened our relationship with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the UK's largest communications professional body. Our academic department is now an accredited teaching centre for delivering CIPR Diplomas. This means we can offer you a CIPR Diploma as well as your MA, with no extra cost beyond your tuition fees. Having a CIPR diploma will help you stand out as it shows you have a professional attitude and commitment to best practice. If you're interested, you'll begin your diploma in Semester 3, after you've completed units in Semesters 1 and 2.

You can choose between the following diplomas:

  • Internal Communication

  • Crisis (Response) Communication.

You can find more information about CIPR Diplomas here.

Programme specification

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.

Download the programme specification for MA Corporate Communication (Word doc).

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.

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in a required subject.
  • Typically, such applicants will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practice of corporate communication, gained through relevant undergraduate study or work experience (including placements that were part of an undergraduate degree) or 2 years of relevant comprehensive professional experience within the corporate communication/PR/marketing communication industry.

Please note that applicants with a Bachelors Honours degree at 2:2 may be considered for admission to the MA dependent upon the degree attained and level of relevant work experience. Such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow. Some of these are based on experience. Contact the askBU Enquiry Service for more information.

International entry 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 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in all other components or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.


Some of our Corporate Communication graduates are now undertaking roles within agencies and communication departments of organisations like Porsche, Weber Shandwick and NBC Universal. Some graduates have also found employment with local and central government*.

As a Corporate Communication graduate, you will be prepared to undertake roles such as:

  • Campaign manager
  • Business manager
  • Media planner
  • Marketing manager
  • Advertising manager.
Matt Desmier, BU alumni

“My Master’s was brilliant and it was a fantastic opportunity. It was hard work but the impact has been immeasurable purely because of the way it made you think. It’s a huge step up from a degree.”

Matt Desmier, MA Corporate Communications graduate, founder of Silicon Beach and Director of Think Create Do – read Matt’s story

Industries worked in

  • Media
  • PR
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Communications.

Further study

If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.

*All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Professional Boot Camp 
  • The option to take either the CIPR Internal Communication Diploma or the CIPR Crisis Communication Diploma

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, non - financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, ( with our without attendance) you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course Changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text
26/01/18 Deletion of: An interview is required for this course. Full Entry Requirements. An interview is required for this course.

Additional information

Simon Phelps

Career development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

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International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.