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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc Digital Marketing (1 year)

One of just a few specialist MSc Digital Marketing courses in the UK, this masters will bring you up to date with the latest digital marketing concepts and techniques, equipping you for a career in this exciting and dynamic industry.

Introducing your degree

Digital marketing techniques have become an integral part of organisations’ marketing strategies, generating demand for graduates who can make effective use of new and emerging platforms. On this specialised masters degree, taught in only a few UK universities, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on digital marketing concepts and techniques, and gain an understanding of the technologies that underpin them. You’ll develop your skills through real-world marketing projects and simulated business exercises. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities outside the course to practise your skills and grow your networks. One example is the innovative Digital Champions initiative, through which you could undertake paid digital projects on behalf of the University. You’ll be taught by academics who are active researchers with links to the University’s Web Science Institute, a world-leading centre for interdisciplinary web research. Their expertise ensures the course reflects the latest developments in the field.

This course is in demand - apply now

To have the best chance of being offered a place you should apply as early as possible. Applications will be reviewed and offers made to candidates in four rounds. The deadlines for each round are:

  • Stage 1 - 29 November 2019
    Decisions back to applicants by (5pm): Friday 20 December 2019
  • Stage 2 - 31 January 2020
    Decisions back to applicants by (5pm): Friday 21 February 2020
  • Stage 3 - 24 April 2020
    Decisions back to applicants by (5pm): Friday 15 May 2020
  • Stage 4 - 10 July 2020 (International only) and 28 August 2020 (EU/UK only)
    Decisions back to applicants by (5pm): Friday 31 July 2020 (International only), Friday 11 September 2020 (EU/UK only)

You will find out if you have been successful 3 weeks after the deadline of the round you have chosen to enter. For example, if your application is received by 29 November 2019, it will be considered with all the other applicants who applied before that date. You will then find out if you have been offered a place by 20 December 2019.

We will typically make one of four decisions:

  • To offer you a place on this programme
  • To offer you a place on a different programme to which we believe you are more suited;
  • To notify you that your application will be considered a second time in the next round;
  • To inform you that your application has been unsuccessful.

If you are made an offer, you will need to accept it within 30 working days and pay a deposit within 32 working days.

If you need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK

You need to have your visa in time to attend induction events from 20 September 2020.

If all offers have been made

If we make enough offers to fill all the places on this course in any of the rounds, we reserve the right not to open the later rounds.

About this course

Digital marketing techniques have become an essential element within organisations’ marketing strategies, creating a demand for graduates with an understanding of the latest trends and techniques in this area. This specialised MSc in Digital Marketing will give you the knowledge and practical techniques that employers in a wide range of sectors are looking for

The course reflects the latest thinking in the field, informed by expertise within the Business School and our cross-disciplinary links with the University’s Web Science Institute, a globally renowned centre for Web research. The curriculum is regularly updated to keep pace with new developments.

We emphasise a critical approach to marketing that will stand you in good stead throughout your career. For example, you’ll be encouraged to evaluate whether emerging digital trends are likely to stand the test of time, and how your marketing activities will impact on your business and consumer stakeholders. We also encourage you to consider how marketing principles can be harnessed for the benefit of society as a whole.

Throughout your time with us you’ll be encouraged to set up blogs, contribute to the course Facebook group and work on your own online profile and networks. This will give you experience of building an online community, using principles that you can apply within a business. Learning about the effective use of platforms such as Twitter can also enhance your career prospects, as employers are increasingly using these networks to identify potential recruits.

This masters programme will suit graduates who have undertaken some marketing or business studies and who want to gain more specialist skill, or those with professional experience in a digital or marketing field who want to update their knowledge and advance in their career, or change their career direction. We attract talented students from many different countries, so you’ll learn about diverse cultural perspectives on digital issues.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants


The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Programme Structure

This is a full-time, one-year course. During the first nine months you’ll take a number of taught modules; the final three months will be spent undertaking independent research and writing up your dissertation.

The modules will introduce you to the latest developments in digital and data-driven marketing and encourage you to critically evaluate them. For example, you’ll learn about:

  • advertising, PR, sponsorship, direct marketing and emerging digital communication techniques
  • how web analytics can generate insights into online customer behaviour and campaign effectiveness
  • the issues associated with online and multi-channel retailing
  • the technologies that underpin digital marketing techniques

You’ll also learn about the design and management of research projects, preparing you for your dissertation and developing skills that you can use in the workplace. 

The dissertation is an opportunity to study an area of interest in more depth and can be academic or practical in nature. For example, you could look for a relevant real-world project within a local organisation, such as the development of an online marketing campaign.

Hands-on learning

As well as covering core concepts, we provide opportunities to try out marketing techniques and develop practical business skills. For example: 

  • As part of the Marketing Communications and Media Management module you’ll work on a live marketing agency brief, working with an organisation on a real project. For example, students have looked at ways in which organisations with small marketing budgets, such as charities, can make the most of social media to get their messages across.
  • The Web Applications module includes a simulated website tender process. This team exercise involves taking on the role of web consultant and interviewing an academic who will play the part of a potential business client. You’ll then analyse their requirements and prepare and pitch a commercial proposal.
  • You’ll learn basic web programming skills, giving you an understanding of the underlying technologies and steps involved in developing successful web applications.
  • In the Web Analytics module you’ll learn to use Google Analytics – a useful skill to add to your CV.

Additional learning and networking opportunities

The University offers a wealth of additional opportunities for you to learn new skills and put your knowledge into practice.                  

  • Our Digital Champions programme offers paid opportunities for students to use their digital skills on behalf of the University. This could involve running workshops on topics such as blogging, using Twitter or staying secure online; helping students or academics set up and manage their online profile; or making videos to promote Business School events. As a digital marketing student you’ll be ideally placed to take part; you’ll gain hands-on experience and learn new skills that will enhance your CV.
  • You can engage with students on the Business School’s digital marketing MOOC (massive open online course), which runs at the same time as your introductory modules. It will give you access to a global online community of around 15,000 students, enabling you to discuss the concepts and practices you are learning about and build a worldwide network.
  • Students are also invited to attend and contribute to regular events organised by the University’s Web Science Institute, a world-leading interdisciplinary centre for Web research and education. 

Research-led learning

Our academics are active researchers who specialise in a range of digital fields. Their cutting-edge knowledge informs the content of the course. For example:

  • Programme leader Dr Ioannis Krasonikolakis has been building strong links with businesses through several research projects related to web atmospherics, consumer behaviour in retailing, and user experience in retail banking, all of which which are reflected on his course 'Retailing in the Digital Age'.
  • Dr Dina Rasolofoarison's research interests include visual communication, advertising and media reception, cultural practices, and consumer research. She leads the Building Customer Insight module.
  • Dr Cheng-Hao Steve Chen's research explores the way concepts of self influence the purchasing choices of people in different cultures. He leads the Designing and Managing Research Projects module.
  • Dr Mike Molesworth's research provides critical input to the course over three modules, teaching on aspects of online consumer culture and marketing.

Key Facts

A specialised digital marketing masters degree, only taught in a handful of UK business schools.

Constantly reviewed and updated to reflect the latest developments in this rapidly changing field.

A hands-on approach to learning; for example you’ll undertake a real business marketing project and a simulated consultancy exercise.

Informed by the professional and research expertise of Business School academics and cross-disciplinary links with the University’s renowned Web Science Institute .

Photo of Nader Tibi
The MSc course is a well-crafted one-year plan of study that will smooth your way into today’s digital-friendly world!
Nader TibiMSc Digital Marketing
Photo of Ashley Stout
The programme offered a more forward-thinking view of the marketing profession that I felt would be invaluable when it came time to start my career.
Ashley StoutMSc Digital Marketing

Programme Leader

Typical entry requirements

Bachelors degree

2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent.

Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Acceptable subjects: A wide range of subjects accepted in Business, Economics, Management and Marketing.

Required module areas: Business, Management, or Marketing.

Excluded subjects: English translation, Art/Performing Art, Vocational Studies

Work experience in a related field can compensate for degree subject/grades.

Selection process

The University’s Admissions Policy, available on the University Admissions Policy page, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.

The following scores are accepted for direct entry:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking

All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.

For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Pre-sessional courses

Our pre-sessional English language courses are the best way to prepare for study at the University of Southampton. The courses will improve your capability and confidence in using English language in your studies.

Pre-masters course

If you do not meet our entry requirements for direct entry to one of our MSc programmes, you could progress to one of them via the University's Pre-masters course

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

All Core and Compulsory modules must be taken.

Year 1

Semester One
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Digital MarketingMSc2020Full-time£11,950£20,728
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit
TravelSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

The course is delivered through lectures, small-group seminars and computer lab sessions, alongside which you’ll undertake your own reading and individual study. Our academics use a variety of interactive learning methods, such as group discussions, case studies and problem-solving activities. You’ll also be encouraged to practise your digital skills by writing blog posts and taking part in online discussions. You’ll regularly work in groups, which will help you to develop vital team-working skills.

Some modules include talks by visiting speakers from industry, who can give you an insight into digital marketing careers and current issues in the industry. Speakers include former Southampton graduates who have gone on to work in digital roles for organisations such as Microsoft and the National Trust.

Assessment methods vary by module, but will include exams, group assignments and individual coursework, as well as marketing blog posts, and reflective reports that encourage you to assess your own learning practices.

Student support

We aim to stretch your intellectual abilities, offering plenty of support to help you keep your studies on track. You’ll be learning in an informal, friendly environment, and regular meetings with your personal academic tutor provide an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the course. There are also numerous University services that offer advice and support in a range of areas, from study skills to CV writing.

Study locations

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