This Marketing MA is aimed at students who have a keen interest in developing an intellectual understanding of the theories underpinning marketing concepts and processes. You will build a sound knowledge and understanding of the contemporary issues relating to marketing, consumers and culture. It is a distinct, research-led course based on contemporary theory and case material which is challenging and innovative. It draws upon the highest level of theory and practice in this field and builds on the extensive research and teaching expertise of our academics.
On graduating you will have an in-depth and critical understanding of a world increasingly defined by a culture of consumerism and the role played by marketing activities in building strong customer relationships and business opportunities. You will cover specialist marketing subjects, specially written for this Master’s programme and chosen for their relevance to contemporary marketing practice and research and develop forms of analysis and understanding at the very cutting edge. Your studies will cover issues such as the critical and practical understandings of marketing and consumers and branding. You will also explore the new marketing and consumer environment which both challenges and builds upon traditional marketing concepts.
As a member of the School of Management you will join an intellectually stimulating, friendly and supportive research environment and, through working closely with our expert and experienced academic staff, you will be in a position to realise your full potential.
- Distinctive from traditional marketing programmes by focusing on marketing and consumer culture from critical and creative perspectives.
- Flexibility to tailor your studies to suit your specific areas of interest, such as: arts marketing, marketing communications and marketing ethics.
- International profile created from regularly hosting visits by leading international marketing academics who present their research to faculty and students.
In this module you will develop an advanced understanding of marketing management principles. You will look at marketing not just as practical field, but also as an intellectual tradition strongly associated with values of neo-liberalism and managerial ideology. You will explore the practical utility, ethical status and intellectual standing of traditional marketing concepts and principles. You will also consider marketing topics in the media through blogs, the trade press, newspapers and other popular sources, in order to appreciate marketing topics within their cultural context.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how consumers consume brands. You will look at current ideas within marketing and consumption scholarship and practice, considering the centrality of brands to commercial practice and everyday living. With a focus on critical engagement, you will learn about branding and consumption theory, incorporating current thinking on the strategic management of brands, consumer behaviour and its role within general marketing practice, recent theoretical formulations concerning brand culture and consumer culture, and how personal experiences, relationships and identities are partly organised and mediated by the consumption of brands and their immanence in a constantly evolving symbolic order.
This module will help you to prepare for your dissertation with useful theoretical and practical lessons in research methods. You will develop your analytical and technical research skills, reflecting critically upon the theoretical and philosophical assumptions of the underlying research methodologies. You will develop an understanding of the ethical considerations when conducting research, and will learn how to write a structured research proposal that will form the basis of your dissertation.
The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to learn and practise researching and writing skills for your future career. You will apply the analytical and problem-solving techniques you have acquired throughout your studies to explore a specialist interest in greater depth. You will critically evaluate academic literature, collect data systematically, organise your findings, and present your research results in a clear and logical and manner. To help, your research proposal will be read by the programme director, who will select an appropriate member of staff to act as your dissertation supervisor. Your final submission will be between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length.
In this module, you will develop an understanding of core marketing concepts in order to help you develop a thorough understanding of marketing. You will apply marketing theories and frameworks to assess the effectiveness of strategic approaches. You will explore and critically evaluate the theory and applications of marketing concepts. You will also develop a solid working knowledge of the strategic marketing concepts, methods and practices, and apply this knowledge to practical problems and variety of contexts in analytic and creative ways.
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
This module will introduce you to the basic marketing theories and practices necessary for the successful running of art galleries. You will look at how art is consumed, its consumers, and how arts organisations operate across the private, public, and voluntary sectors. You will consider the particularities of 'marketing for the arts', such as audience development, corporate sponsorship, and philanthropy, and how they are addressed alongside conventional marketing concerns, such as segmentation, targeting, positioning, branding, intermediation, and promotions. You will also examine financial investment vehicles for theatre, film, and fine art, and the role of institutional critique by contemporary artists.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the scope and nature of marketing ethics. You will explore issues at the interface of marketing and moral philosophy, examining the complexity and interconnectedness of moral dilemmas in marketing practice. You will look at ethical reasoning and decision making, developing frameworks for approaching ethical problems that may arise in day-to-day marketing practice. You will consider the links between various ethical dilemmas in marketing mix decisions and marketing management more broadly, assessing the range of responses to marketing issues on behalf of businesses, regulatory bodies, and consumers.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how the role of service marketing is changing in society and the changing factors that influence marketing decision-making for organisations. You will look at the differences between services and goods, the key elements of service marketing, the service delivery process, and implementing and managing profitable service strategies.
In this module you will examine the principal means of marketing communications – advertising, promotion, public relations, direct marketing and sales teams. You will develop an understanding of the contemporary media environment and how this impacts on marketers' efforts to communicate with stakeholders. You will examine how communications must be tailored to the market segment, and look at the impact of communication cultures, particularly overseas, on market entry.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the broader socio-cultural issues relevant to marketing practice in the 21st Century. You will look at the interactions that occur between the market, consumers and the marketplace, focussing on how particular manifestations of culture are constituted, maintained and transformed by broader forces such as cultural narratives, myths, ideologies and grounded in specific socio-economic circumstances and marketplace systems. You will engage with complex theoretical concepts including consumer culture theory, symbolic consumption and the production of culture.
This module, taught during your induction, will introduce you to the key elements of organisational management for commercial success. Through analysis of historical roots, you will develop an understanding of the current practices for managing customers, shareholders, and employees, and discuss how numbers and technology influence management decision-making.
Digital technology is transforming the world of business and marketing creating a demand for marketers with sophisticated digital media and IT skills”. This module combines marketing and technology to prepare you for work in this exciting and developing area. You will examine how digital technology can be used for marketing by both commercial and not-for-profit sectors, gaining an excellent reinforcement of both basic marketing principles and an understanding of specialist areas such as brand management, international business, marketing ethics, and cutting edge developments such as digital media and netnography.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the contemporary issues regarding the theory and practice of communication in accounting. You will look at the nature of the international reporting environment, examining the roles, needs and characteristics of lay and expert readers of financial reports. You will consider how impressions are created through the use of graphs, narratives and pictures, and the role of experimental research. You will also explore rhetorical, literary and cultural theory perspectives in the critical study of financial reporting documents, and will examine case studies on a variety of international reporting practices.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the contemporary issues in the theory and practice of sustainability accounting and accountability. You will explore the philosophical underpinnings of corporate social responsibility and sustainability accounting, and examine the roles of stakeholder engagement and dialogue, including the motivations for social and environmental reporting. You will also consider the applicability of sustainability reporting to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), full impact accounting and the role of silent and shadow accounts in sustainability.
Teaching & assessment
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.
Normally we require a UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent but we will consider a high 2:2 or relevant industry experience. Candidates with relevant professional qualifications related to the field of marketing will also be considered. Where a ‘good 2:2’ is considered, we would normally define this as reflecting a profile of 57% or above.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start. Find out what scores we require.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
On graduating with a MA in marketing you will have a theoretical and empirical knowledge of marketing and employed a variety of academically based marketing techniques and practices as well as a critical awareness of current issues at the forefront of marketing in society. Our graduates are highly employable with the potential to move into variety of different marketing-related roles.
Graduates in recent years have been appointed into roles including:
- Marketing Consultant at Viewpress TV
- Sales Officer at Standard Chartered
- Category Analyst at Kantar World Panel UK
- Research Assistant at Maritz Research Europe
- Private Banker at ICICI Bank.
“My degree from Royal Holloway helped me get this role at Microsoft, thanks to the valuable insights into the digital marketing world I gained, it also taught me how to work as part of a team in an international environment. An experience I can only highly recommend to prospective Marketing students.”
Vera Hoelscher, Sales Solutions Specialist at Microsoft
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £11,600
International students tuition fee per year**: £19,000
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. This means that the overall cost of studying the programme via part-time mode is slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees see our terms and conditions.
Please note that for research programmes, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.