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 Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
You'll need a 2:2 degree in a relevant subject, such as advertising or marketing.
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 all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
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?
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
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 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
Final Project (Global Advertising and Branding)
On this module you will put into practice the research and analytical skills that you have learned on the programme. Focusing on a contemporary advertising and branding issue, you will investigate this issue thoroughly to prepare a critical paper collatin...
Global Advertising and Branding 1
This module is the first of the programme and introduces global advertising and branding fundamental concepts. It will cover the investigation and analysis of advertising and branding visual language and the introduction to contemporary applications of ne...
Global Advertising and Branding 2
This module is the second core module of the programme. The module builds on some of the concepts and ideas used In Global Adverting and Branding 1 and you will be encouraged to go further into your reading understanding and application of advertising and...
Professional and Academic Skills 1
This module is one of the compulsory modules taken by all students in the creative management programmes at WSA. While the learning outcomes are the same across programmes, the content will be delivered with reference to your subject specialism and your...
Professional and Academic Skills 2
This module is one of the compulsory modules on your programme that provide you with a deeper engagement with the academic and professional skills to support the preparation of your Final Project work. The module encourages you to engage directly with...
Strategic Advertising Management and Marketing
This module is designed to help you further your understanding of advertising management within the context of marketing and brand positioning. You will be introduced to the essential marketing principles and and strategies and encouraged to think about ...
You must also choose from the following modules:
Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
The module been designed for the purpose of promoting and developing creative thinking and problem solving (CTPS) skills and addresses the need for individuals and teams who can ‘think outside the box’, and apply fresh thinking to practical, ‘real world’ ...
Digital Cultures is an elective module covering a broad range of topics relating to the encounter with digital environments, audiovisual content and the aesthetics and politics of media technologies in historical and contemporary contexts. This module int...
The module enables you to recognise entrepreneurial traits and behaviours and apply elements of these to the real world. With a strong orientation towards the future, realised through forecasting in both finance and marketing, the module will provide ...
The consideration of what publishing actual means today remains a relevant question for any creative practitioner. Over the past few years we have seen a huge rise in self-publishing, print on-demand services, tweeting and social media, from post-digital ...
Exploring the Visual Language of Display
The module provides thematic examples of the theories and practices of visual presentation and display explored through interdisciplinary and critical contexts appropriate to the MA pathways. It offers a number of critical “tools”, enhanced through refere...
The module seeks to advance your knowledge on key issues of globalization and changes to marketing approaches that have taken place due to internationalisation.. The module situates the concepts and terminology of global marketing in a range of different ...
Sustainability in Business and Design
This module addresses critical perspectives in relation to sustainability and its impact in art, design and the creative industries. The module seeks to inform your thinking in relation to sustainability issues, be they environmental, social or economic, ...
We live in a world that is saturated by images, from the far reaches of space to the sub-atomic level and just about everything in between. Images seem to have a special power in our lives, playing a part in the constructions of who and what we are and t...
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 2022). 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 thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- EU and international students pay £26,352.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
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 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.
Winchester School of Art Postgraduate Global Talent Scholarship
Twenty scholarships of £5,000 each are available to international students joining our postgraduate master’s courses at the Winchester School of Art in September 2023.
Find out more about the Winchester School of Art PGT Global Talent Scholarship, including eligibility, deadlines and how to apply.
Southampton Arts and Humanities Deans Global Talent Scholarship
Ten scholarships of £10,000 each are available to international students studying for an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate master’s degree in Arts and Humanities.
Find out more about the Southampton Arts and Humanities Deans Global Talent Scholarship, including eligibility, deadlines and how to apply.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
Funding for EU and international students
Find out about funding you could get as an international student.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
The deadline for applying for your course for the 2023 year of entry depends on where you’re domiciled (where your permanent home is and where you have the closest ties).
This is because:
- students from different countries tend to apply at different times of year
- we want a diverse and balanced mix of international students with exceptional academic ability
|Place of domicile||Deadline|
|China||7 December 2022 (closed)|
|Anywhere else (except the UK)||17 February 2023 (closed)|
|The UK (and others eligible for home fees)||7 July 2023|
We must receive new applications by 12pm.
Applications for 2023 are now closed to those domiciled in China. The deadline for applicants domiciled in other countries may still move to:
- an earlier date if we have already received enough applications before the deadline
- a later date if there are still places available on the deadline
We receive many high-quality applications, so places for many of our courses are very competitive.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
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
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.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We will aim to send you a decision 6-8 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
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
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