A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged 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
Preparing and supporting students through their postgraduate studies
September 2014 will see the introduction of an intensive and invigorating period of ‘learning to learn’ for Stirling Management School’s postgraduate students. Activities, workshops and information sessions held during this period will help students better prepare for the year ahead in order to ensure that they make the most of their time at Stirling. Students will be provided with an opportunity to develop the necessary skills required to ensure that they can interact and engage with others and fully explore the subjects and themes covered by their course.
Providing students with the very best start to their studies, these activities will support students to:
- develop an understanding of the course expectations;
- get to know the teaching team and support staff;
- learn more about a diverse range of approaches to learning;
- understand what it takes to work as part of a successful team;
- develop presentation skills and build confidence in public speaking;
- learn about cultural and individual differences;
- discover all that the University campus and the vibrant city of Stirling has to offer;
- explore ethical issues;
- have fun and make new friends.
By the end of this period, students will be fully prepared to embark upon the formal teaching course invigorated and committed to the journey ahead with newly developed skills.
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.
Eight modules are taught over two semesters, plus either an individual project and or a group project (Knowledge Management and Transfer module) which is undertaken over the summer period. Core modules are:
- Professional Skills: Emphasises the importance of individual, team skills and leadership in bringing about market-led strategic change in organisations
- Reflective Practice and Learning: Focuses on forming successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to marketing
- Marketing Research Techniques and Applications: Focuses on doing client-based market research and covers the basic research methods and techniques
- Marketing Management Applications: Entails doing research for a real client, normally external to the University. It demonstrates the practical application of marketing techniques
- Critical Thinking: Concentrates on academic scholarly research. It involves critiquing published research and a poster session in which you present ideas for your project
The option modules, from which you select three, currently include:
- Retail Marketing: Investigates the nature of the retail ‘product’, segmentation and positioning, consumer behaviour and retailing, marketing communication in a retail context, retail branding, store formats and customer service
- Sports Marketing: Investigates the application of marketing techniques to the sport industry and whether sport is any different from other sectors
- Small Business Marketing: This module develops your knowledge and understanding of marketing in the smaller enterprise. In particular, the module is designed to put marketing theory into practice at the level of the smaller firm
- International Marketing: This module develops your knowledge and understanding of how the marketing concept can be applied within the framework of competitive and changing world markets. Although the module focuses on internationalising firms of all sizes, there is a specific concentration on the smaller internationalising firm
- Retail Buying and Merchandising: Explains the context of buying operations, the issues facing retail buyers in different types of retail organisations and their interaction with other functional areas
- Social Marketing: Marketing techniques can be used to influence health and social behaviour. The module reviews theoretical foundations, planning, research and communication and looks at international and ethical issues
- Logistics and Channel Management: Relates logistics to the economy and to business and develops an understanding of channel management
- Marketing Communications: Helps you to critique the diversity of theories that underpin marketing communications activities and to provide a semiotic analysis of marketing communications content
- Consumer Behaviour: This module provides students with an introduction to the study of buyer behaviour and consumer research. The various determinants of behaviour are examined and the applications of theory are considered and critiqued
- Services Marketing: This module aims to give students an understanding of the distinctive nature of marketing in service organisations and to critically assess the development of services marketing theories and their application in this diverse environment
- Retail Buying: The aim of this module is develop an understanding of the principles of buying and merchandising in the retail sector. The module will cover strategic and operational issues and will examine these from both a theoretical and a practical perspective
View full module descriptions
We are currently revising the curricula for our 2015/16 course.
Why study Marketing at Stirling?
Marketing is part of the Stirling Management School. The School is committed to a research-led approach in all of its activities. This was recognised in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which rated 85 percent of our research activity to be of ‘International Significance’.
In addition, the members of the Institute for Social Marketing were the recipients of the 2013 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for their ground breaking research. Further details regarding the prize are available at: http://www.stir.ac.uk/management/about/social-marketing/queens-anniversary-prize/.
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 serves 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 course 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 course 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 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. For example, the 2013/14 PTES student survey results provides evidence of our student’s satisfaction:
- 96% of our students rated the teaching quality of the course to be excellent.
- 89% were satisfied with the learning materials made available.
- 87% became more confident in their independent learning skills.
- 88% believe the course has made them present themselves with more confidence (this could be spun to be a more confident to future employers, the outside clients, the teaching staff etc).
Here is what our previous students have said:
The benefit of studying MSc Marketing at Stirling is the course design has led to me gaining practical marketing skills alongside a wealth of knowledge in the subject.
Key features I like about the course are the practical, real life projects and high quality business simulators. The lecturers are excellent and the scenic campus provides a great atmosphere to study. I would advice prospective students coming to remember that everybody is in the same position when starting – you will be nervous but don’t worry. Relax and Enjoy the course.
I feel I now have a more positive job prospect and higher-level of career aspirations after studying on the MSc Marketing course.
Marketing is a challenging area as the concepts and theories constantly evolve and students have to read throughout the course to stay current with the research. I feel the programme equipped with me the skills I need such as team work, presentation and communication skills in order to be successful moving forward. Importantly, the teaching staff and administrators are fantastic and ever ready to help students.
I could not have studied anywhere else because simply put, I feel at home here in Stirling. Every activity here in Stirling is centred on the students. Student's needs are attended to with swift response. Simply put, they are capable of assisting me as my career moves forward. It was without hesitation that I have chosen the University of Stirling for my PhD Course for the next three years.
Hayford Tawiah, 2013/2014
During my final year as an undergraduate student in a Greek university, I started my quest for the most suitable and interesting Master's Degree. The University of Stirling was among my favourites; most importantly, it was renowned for its marketing modules.
I attended the University for my MSc for one academic year. It was my most memorable experience of my life. I was really amazed by the way our tutors held a lecture: they were very well prepared, with incredibly informed materials, interactive classes and team projects. I really felt my opinion was valued and all lectures had a conversational character; I was excited every day to come to class and attend lectures.
I sincerely believe that this degree in particular really made a difference in building a strong CV. I would recommend this course with no hesitation to anyone. I now work at Google, in the EU HQ in Dublin, Ireland. I will always be grateful and cherish the moments the University of Stirling offered me. I wish the same luck to all graduate students!
Zinet-Sofia Chaidopoulou, 2010/2011
Where are our graduates now?
MSc Marketing 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 Marketing 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.
Lauren McQuade, Managing Director EASA Training provided the following feedback after completion of a student project with her company.
On behalf of EASA Training Ltd I would like to confirm that we were extremely impressed with the entire project completed last year by the University of Stirling MSc Marketing Management Applications students. The project was defined clearly and conducted with our regular participation throughout. The team was diligent, disciplined, and a pleasure to work with. They produced the resulting report and presentation to a very professional standard.
Their work has helped us to refine our market entry strategy for China and Taiwan and provided us with practical recommendations on how to approach these massively important markets with our tailored English Language Training 'Experiences'.
From the students’ perspective I believe their engagement with us helped them appreciate the challenges facing a relatively young company trying to penetrate international markets. They were dealing with a real market entry problem and had to communicate regularly with us to understand what we are offering. The methodology they developed and employed will certainly come in useful again during their careers.