Marketing is about creating, communicating and delivering exchanges of value between an organisation and its customers that satisfy the customer, the organisation and society at large. The MSc Marketing course offers students from a wide variety of educational and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to understand and combine academic concepts and practice-related marketing issues. This unique combination of academic and practice allows for students to be well-positioned for future success in the field of marketing.
As part of the highly flexible method of learning, the following degree pathways are offered, all of which provide a route to an MSc, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate qualification. All students will register for the MSc course in Marketing in the first instance and be given the opportunity to change degree pathway at the end of the first semester.
The MSc Marketing is a specialist, 12-month full-time taught postgraduate course. The course is not restricted to those who have already studied Marketing or related Business subjects. As such it offers students from a wide variety of educational and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to understand and combine academic concepts and practice-related marketing issues. Participants are encouraged to draw on their own backgrounds and any existing management skills and work-based experience throughout this course.
The course is modular, so the credits awarded at the end of each assessed module can be accumulated towards a postgraduate qualification. As a student of Marketing, there are three core topics of study in the Autumn Semester which will provide you with a depth of relevant and up-to-date knowledge. In the Spring Semester MSc Marketing students have to apply this knowledge through a project undertaken for an external company and through an appreciation of Contemporary Issues in Marketing. In addition students may choose two elective modules to study alongside these core modules. The student must also complete an individual dissertation or group research project in a field relevant to the degree pathway.
MSc Marketing with Brand Management
The MSc Marketing with Brand Management is a specialist, 12-month full-time taught postgraduate course. The course offers students the opportunity to hone skills necessary to plan, manage and evaluate brand projects. This course provides a stronger focus on the specifics of developing and using brands and branding in the marketing context. All students will register for the MSc Course in Marketing in the first instance and be given the opportunity to change degree pathway at the end of the first semester.
The course is modular, so the credits awarded at the end of each assessed module can be accumulated towards a postgraduate qualification. Students of Marketing with Brand Management study three core topics in the Autumn Semester before deciding on their final course of study. In the Spring Semester MSc Marketing with Brand Management students have to apply this knowledge through a project undertaken for an external company and through an appreciation of Contemporary Issues in Marketing. To specialise in Brand Management students must also complete the modules on Brand Marketing and Digital marketing and Advertising and undertake an individual dissertation or group research project in the field of Branding.
MSc Marketing with Retail
The MSc Marketing with Retail is a specialist, 12-month full-time taught postgraduate course. The MSc Marketing with Retail provides students with the opportunity to acquire and extend their knowledge and expertise in this sector. The retail sector is a major employer throughout the world and one which requires a sound skill set in order to be able to manage profitable interactions with suppliers and consumers. All students will register for the MSc course in Marketing in the first instance and be given the opportunity to change degree pathway at the end of the first semester.
The course is modular, so the credits awarded at the end of each assessed module can be accumulated towards a postgraduate qualification. Students of Marketing with Retail study three core topics in the Autumn Semester before deciding on their final course of study. In the Spring Semester MSc Marketing with Retail students have to apply this knowledge through a project undertaken for an external company and through an appreciation of Contemporary Issues in Marketing. To specialise in Retail students must also complete the modules on Retail Marketing and Marketing and the Supply Chain and undertake an individual dissertation or group research project in a field relevant to the Retail sector.
CIM Dual Award
The MSc Marketing course at Stirling was one of the first in the country to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Upon the successful completion of the MSc Marketing Course, two modules will be waived, meaning students need only complete the remaining two modules (versus completing all four required modules) in order to gain a Professional Diploma in Marketing. This exciting opportunity will provide you with the competitive edge you are looking for to embark on a successful career.
The MSc provides you with an understanding of the concepts and systems underlying marketing practice and allows you to develop your skills of diagnosis and implementation in marketing management and research processes. On completion you will be able to:
- Nurture and consolidate a customer-focused management approach in a variety of different market settings, organisation types and policy situations
- Design, plan, implement and evaluate research-based marketing strategies
- Gain exposure to ethical issues that arise from marketing activities and to understand the impact marketing has on society in general
- Conduct research into contemporary marketing practice
A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encoruage to apply.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (5.5 in all bands).
If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.
Our range of pre-sessional courses.
Modes of study
Full-time: MSc: one year; Diploma: nine months
Course start date
Structure and content
The course begins with the two-week Flying Start Leadership Programme. This programme introduces all MSc students in the Stirling Management School to the University and explores what will be expected from them over their year at Stirling. Through discussions, group work, team-building exercises and meetings with local business people, it provides a solid platform for their future studies.
Nigel McFarlane, MSc Marketing student quoted: "having completed this two-week programme I am feeling settled in and am now prepared to take on the modules ahead. I must commend the University for this initiative as it has served as a good orientation, especially as an international student."
After completion of the Flying Start Leadership Programme, a series of three core modules in the Autumn semester will equip you with the essential skills needed to understand the theory and practice of marketing/brand management/retail. These skills are practised using marketing cases and the Markstrat computer-based marketing simulation which allows students to develop and run a portfolio of brands in the safety of the classroom. Our links with various commercial industries in Scotland and throughout the world allow our staff to draw on a wide range of marketing experiences and practices as well as providing guest lectures by practitioners and site visits to local businesses.
The MSc in Marketing is a one-year full-time course where you can choose to specialise in Brand Managment or Retail.
All students must take the following CORE modules:
MSc Marketing students choose TWO modules from the following electives in Semester 2:
MSc Marketing with Brand students take the following electives in Semester 2:
MSc Marketing with Retail students take the following electives in Semester 2:
All students must complete a Research Project over the Summer Semester. This module is called:
Delivery and assessment
The taught modules of the MSc course are delivered using a variety of methods, for example, lectures, tutorials, case studies, role playing, computer simulations, fieldwork exercises, site visits, guest speakers and company projects. Much of the assessment is continuous and may include research reports, essays, briefings, management reports, case analyses, debates, literature reviews, marketing communication plans, poster sessions and presentations. Assessed work is often conducted in groups, as developing teamwork and communication skills are seen as important.
Detailed below are some recommended readings if you have not done any marketing before and wish to do some reading before the course starts.
- Baines, P., Fill, C. and Page, K. (2011) Marketing. Oxford.
- Dibb, S., Simkin, L., Pride, W.K. and Ferrell, O.C. (2012) Marketing: Concepts and Strategies 6th Edition. Houghton Mifflin.
- Jobber, D. (2012) Principles and Practice of Marketing 7th Edition. McGraw-Hill.
- Kotler, P., Armstrong, G., Wong, V. and Saunders, J. (2008) Principles of Marketing 5th Edition. Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
- Murphy, P.E. Laczniak, G.R. and Prothero, A. (2012) Ethics in Marketing: International Cases and Perspectives. Routledge.
Why study Marketing at Stirling?
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK's top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools. In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five. 64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.
Members of our academic staff regularly publish in journals such as British Journal of Management, Journal of Marketing Management, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Advertising, Industrial Marketing Management, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, and Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. Our staff consistently serve as conference and track chairs at international marketing conferences and hold editorial posts across a wide-variety of academic journals. Notably, current members of staff regularly consult industry across a number of high-profile issues such as the recent horse meat scandal, the role of marketing towards children and the issues facing the high street retailers across the UK.
The MSc courses at Stirling provides students with a strong academic grounding in fundamental marketing concepts. This grounding is accomplished through our research-led teaching approach. In addition to consistently engaging in academic literature through weekly readings and module assessments, the course provides the students with a number of opportunities to apply these concepts, theories and frameworks to practical aspects. Importantly, the students are offered the opportunity to partner with organisations across a wide-variety of organisations including non-profits, third-sector and small-medium enterprises (SMEs).
Listed below, you will find additional details of unique elements of the course that will position you for future success.
1. Personal Development and Training Events
In addition to the 'learning to learn' element of the course, students from the MSc Marketing courses participate in a training event that focuses on personal effectiveness. The Stirling MSc was the first in Scotland to integrate such professional inputs into the learning environment; and recently it was the first to introduce training in personal effectiveness in working relationships into the course.
Working with our team of consultants, students receive their own Insights Discovery Personal Profile which offers an engaging, reinforcing and transformational insight into themselves and others. Based on the model of personality developed by Carl Jung, the Insights Discovery profile offers our students a framework for self-understanding and personal development. Profiles help the individual learn about their approach to decision-making; their key strengths and weaknesses in working relationships; their value to the team, as well as their communication style and possible blind spots.
This memorable, fun and fascinating day allows our students to explore adapting and connecting techniques. In addition, they learn about areas for self-development and career planning, as well as how to be a more effective communicator and team member in a professional business environment.
2. Marketing Management Applications Module
The Marketing Management Applications core module provides a unique opportunity for students to gain experience working on a live topic specific to their expressed interest and operating within the management boundaries and budget of an external client organisation. The range of topics available is selected from the external business community and typically includes a mixture of private, public and third sector organisations.
The combination of academic frameworks and theories within the constraints of feasibility prepares students for similar tasks required of them in their future careers upon graduation. The students conducting these projects have been subsequently employed by the organisations they partnered with during the module.
3. Poster Session
All students on our MSc course present their evolving ideas for their dissertations/group projects in visual form as a ‘scientific’ poster with an accompanying presentation. This event is held in the University Atrium each year and it is a very successful event attended by both staff and students.
The students participate in a Markstrat Simulation, a web-based platform for developing marketing strategy and planning practice in a competitive environment. By means of various performance standards and protocols, the students get to test and improve skills in market analytics, decision-making, budgeting, planning and performance assessment.
Our students arrive at Stirling bringing with them a wide-variety of academic, employment and cultural backgrounds. For example, our current students hail from the UK, Greece, Oman, China, India, and Thailand to name a few. Our approach allows for students to achieve their objectives – whether it be to pursue a career in marketing or to further their education through PhD programmes – we meet the needs of our students while offering a memorable and valuable experience.
At least 94% of our graduates are in work or further studies within six months of graduating. Many of our alumni are now working in leading organisations across the world
Here is what some of our alumni have to say about their experiences at the University of Stirling Management School and life after graduation. http://www.stir.ac.uk/management/viewpoints/
Why become an expert in brand management?
Brands add value
For a firm, having a positive and strong brand is a critical success factor. If created and managed correctly, a brand can add value to a firm’s business activities, serve as a form of protection from its competitors’ offerings, entice consumers and build loyalty.
Brands are more than names and symbols
Brands are a key element in a firm’s relationships with their consumers. Brands represent consumers’ perceptions, experiences and feelings about a firm’s offerings to the marketplace and everything the firm means to the consumer.
Brands are expressive devices
As consumers, we purchase particular brands to express who we are. We also avoid those brands that we believe have negative connotations; whether psychological, social or emotional.
Brands are not just products
Traditionally, brands related only to products and their performance. Nowadays, brands and branding is considered vitally important for financial services, retailers, politicians, celebrities, religions, towns, cities and countries – even ourselves, for example, as a method to differentiating who we are relative to others in the workplace and job market.
Brand management is exciting and interesting
Brand management is one of the most exciting and interesting career paths.Whatever the size of the organisation, brand management offers daily challenges and stimulus.
Why become an expert in retailing?
Retailers lead economies
Retailers are some of the largest and most powerful organisations within national economies, and increasingly influential in a global context. Examples include Tesco (based in the UK) and Walmart (in the USA). Their scale, complexity and growth result in an increasing demand for highly professional staff.
Retailers influence what people buy
Two thirds of all decisions on what to buy are made at the point-of-sale. Knowing how to win the bodies, minds and money of shoppers impacts on the success of retailers, manufacturers and everyone else involved in the supply chain.
Retailers dominate marketing
Retailers have taken over marketing leadership from manufacturers. The increasing number of highly successful retail brands, their role in new product introduction, their promotional power and their ability to leverage information about the customer illustrate exceptional marketing leadership.
Retailers lead innovation and change
Retailers are highly innovative and their operations increasingly sophisticated. Examples include multi-channel e-commerce trading, IT-driven Customer Relationship Programmes, merchandising systems, automated product ordering systems and flexible supply chains.
Retailers are now more than sellers of product
Retailers are very close to consumers and so enjoy huge influence on the placing and promoting of products and services. Thanks to this privileged position, retailers have been able to diversify their businesses into the service sector (insurance, mobile communications and banking) and manufacturing (clothes, consumer electrics, food and so on). Zara, H&M and IKEA, for example, have become large manufacturers in their fields, while Tesco has achieved a dominant position in market research by using its sales data. Understanding retail means understanding other sectors and parts of the supply chain.
Retailers offer excitement and interest
Retailers are now amongst the most exciting and interesting of organisations to work for whatever the size of the organisation, retail management offers daily challenges, stimulus.
Where are our graduates now?
MSc graduates are currently working around the world in countries such as Japan, China, Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, India. They are currently contributing to the performance of the following organisations:
- Yves Saint Laurent
- NCR Corporation
- Intelligent Media Ltd
- Capital Group UK
To provide you with an indication as to what you can do with your Master's degree, graduates in the past three years are currently employed as:
- Marketing & Communications Officer, Stirling Council (UK)
- Sales Consultant, Yves Saint Laurent (UK)
- Marketing Communications Associate, Eugenides Foundation (Greece)
- Global Sales, Karma Medical Products (Taiwan)
- Social Media Manager, Liquorice - Digital Innovation for Brands (Africa)
Building on that foundation, alumni of Stirling’s MSc Marketing degree who graduated between five and ten years ago have since advanced into some of the following positions:
- Brand Manager, Unilever (Greece)
- Senior PR Specialist, National Education Association (USA)
- Sales & Marketing Executive, Alma Lasers (Japan)
- Senior Marketing Specialist, Symantec (Mexico)
- Account Manager, Cheil (Taiwan)
- Account Executive, McCann Erickson (Greece)
- Senior Lecturer, University of Roehampton (UK)
Some of our more established alumni are currently leading and shaping marketing strategy across many different sectors – here is an example of how a few former Stirling MSc students have advanced in their careers:
- Marketing Manager, Nestle (Greece)
- Supply Chain Manager, Aibel Pte Ltd (Singapore)
- Director of Marketing & E-Business, Elsevier (Hong Kong)
- International Sales Manager, Importaco, S.A. (Spain)
Stirling Management School has excellent links with local and national organisations. Guest speakers from across the private, public and third sectors regularly engage with our MSc students, providing a practical perspective on contemporary marketing topics through a series of guest lectures and workshops. Speakers include: Garry Lace - Manchester University, Martin Raymond - Cloudline PR Agency and Ken Thompson – Breakthrough Business Research.
Students have recently worked on projects with representatives from EASA Training Ltd, Indigo Lighthouse, RD Support, Snowsports Scotland, Scottish Biomedical, Stirling Art and Waterski Scotland.
Stirling MSc students have also benefitted from recent site visits to external organisations such as ASDA, Blue Sky Experience (Specialist team building and team development company) and New Lanark Visitor Centre.
Malcolm McGregor, Director, Broadbreach provided the following feedback after completion of a student project with his company.
I can honestly say that I found the whole experience to be extremely useful. The students were highly intelligent and really switched on. The most useful aspect was their knowledge on how to use social media technology effectively, where to go to get essential knowledge, how to access analytics on traffic coming and leaving your website etc. The students were not afraid to provide a brutally honest appraisal of the business marketing, how it compared to competitors and provide useful, simple and fast solutions.
It’s very easy to become blind to all of the elements the students highlighted. The potential to make simple changes to create commercial returns is clearly very high. Altogether fantastic value for money. Thank you very much for permitting us to benefit!
Best wishes to you and the team.
You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.
Stirling Management School Postgraduate Scholarships
Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, enabling them to further their education with a reputable qualification from one of the many postgraduate degree courses on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at Stirling Management School.
This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS. More information
For further information on possible sources of funding, visit: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/