About this course
Develop in-depth knowledge of the global advertising and branding industry and find out how to run your own campaigns on this practical, industry-focused master’s degree. Learn from academics who are active in research and have a wealth of experience and connections in the sector. Explore creative problem-solving techniques that will prepare you for success in your chosen career.
This MA in global advertising and branding is ideal if you want to oversee the advertising process or brand strategy at a creative agency or client company.
On this UK course you’ll learn the theory and practice of advertising and brand management, and critically examine the latest industry issues. These includes celebrity endorsement, the use of social media, and the impact of technology.
You’ll develop essential practical skills, including how to:
- make a pitch
- identify a target audience
- build a creative strategy
- create a brief
- evaluate a campaign
Optional modules on everything from creative thinking to entrepreneurship will give you the freedom to personalise the course to match your career plans or research interests.
Course highlights include:
- a group project to devise a campaign in response to a brief from a real business
- a week-long competitive marketing exercise using the Markstrat simulation platform
- fieldtrips to locations where you can see the real-world impact of advertising and branding
- guest lectures by industry professionals
- a research project and critical paper on a topic of your choice
We put a strong emphasis on employability throughout, to make sure you graduate with both professional and academic skills.
Your course leader is Dr Nik Mahon, Principal Teaching Fellow at Winchester School of Art. His subject areas include advertising, art direction, corporate identity and design, creativity and idea generation. Read Dr Mahon’s staff profile to find out more about his work.
This course is based at Winchester.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2:2 degree in a relevant subject, such as business studies, advertising, marketing or media.
Find the equivalent international qualifications for our entry requirements.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need an overall score of 6.5 and the following scores for reading, writing, listening and speaking:
IELTS score requirements
We accept other English language tests, find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: email@example.com
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This full-time master's course runs for 12 months.
For the first 8 months (semesters 1 and 2) you'll focus on the taught part of the course.
Your studies in semester 2 will include preparing your research proposal for your final project and deciding on the best research methodologies.
For the last 4 months you’ll work independently on your final project. You’ll have meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules:
You must also choose from the following modules:
Learning and assessment
The learning activities for this course include:
- case study analysis
- guest speaker presentations
- study visits
- independent study
We’ll assess you through:
- written assignments for each module
- final project research proposal
- final project
For your final project, you’ll conduct independent research on a topic of your choice.
You'll present your findings in a 10,000-word critical paper, designed to show your research skills and in-depth subject knowledge. Previous students have investigated issues such as:
- how global brands adapt to local cultures
- the use of celebrities in advertising
- managing creativity in advertising
- technological trends in advertising
- advertising in games
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
You’ll graduate with sector-specific skills and knowledge and problem-solving abilities that are attractive to employers in advertising and related industries.
You’ll be equipped for roles including:
- account management and planning
- brand management
- art direction
- social media
- event planning
- market research
Our students have gone on to advertising management and creative roles in major global advertising agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi and Wieden+Kennedy.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £18,812.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000