MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Top Rankings for Marketing
The University of Stirling Management School’s Marketing Division ranks among the top in the country. We are positioned 2nd in Scotland and among the top 20 in the UK. Complete University Guide 2016.
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 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 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.
The MSc in Marketing with Brand Management offers students the opportunity to focus more on the specifics of developing and using brands and branding in the marketing context. All students will register for the MSc in Marketing in the first instance and will then have the opportunity to change degree pathway by the end of the Spring 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.
The MSc in Marketing with Brand Management provides students with the opportunity to acquire and extend their knowledge and expertise in the area of retailing. 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 in Marketing in the first instance and will then have the opportunity to change degree pathway by the end of the Spring 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.
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:
The University of Stirling Management School’s Marketing Division ranks among the top in the country. We are positioned 2nd in Scotland and among the top 20 in the UK. Complete University Guide 2016.
The 2013/14 PTES student survey results provide evidence of our students’ satisfaction, with 96% of our students rating the teaching quality as excellent.
The University of Stirling Management School equips students to flourish as effective managers in the workplace through enhanced self-awareness, critical thinking, leadership and team-working skills.
At the University of Stirling Management School, we are committed to ensuring that every single one of our students realise their potential.
The graduate job market has never been more competitive, and greater focus is now being placed on finding graduates who can demonstrate a wide array of skills, competences and experiences.
Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.
Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.
A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encourage to apply.
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
For more information go to English language requirements
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. View our range of pre-sessional courses.
If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email email@example.com to discuss your course of study.
From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.
Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more informationScholarship finder
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/
Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling
Find information on paying fees by instalments
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 FOUR modules from the following electives in Semester 2:
MSc Marketing with Brand students take the following two electives and two from the list above in Semester 2:
MSc Marketing with Retail students take the following two electives and two from the list above in Semester 2:
All students must complete a Research Project over the Summer Semester. This module is called:
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.
Full-time: MSc: one year; Diploma: nine months
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 University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.
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. Current knowledge
Our academic staff aim to link marketing theory with current trends in business in areas such as innovation, brand identity creation, multi-channel marketing, social marketing and sport marketing. By discussing not just the current situation but how we got there, we aim to establish an awareness of the need for ‘learning to learn’ and ‘knowledge reinvention’ that will help you throughout your subsequent career.
To this end, we draw on our own staff research, our industry links and the wider marketing sphere through the Chartered Institute of Marketing and our corporate membership of the Marketing Society Scotland. Our MSc students are often invited to attend either our own internal research seminars or the presentations put on by industry bodies. Our undergraduate and postgraduate students have won the Marketing Society Scotland’s Award for Star Marketing Student on several occasions in recent years.
2. A rich blend of theory and practice
The programme incorporates a range of mechanisms by which you can use the ideas taught in class and so better understand what they mean and how to use them in the future. These include the ‘risk-free’ management practice in the marketing strategy simulation in the Autumn semester, the public defence of your own ideas in our Research Poster Session, and the consultancy-style marketing project in the Spring semester.
a. Marketing strategy
In the Autumn semester you will participate in the 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, you will get to test and improve your skills in market analytics, decision-making, budgeting, planning and performance assessment. If you are going to lose a million dollars, then this is the place to do it because you can learn from your mistakes without the stress.
b. Research Methods Poster Session
All students on our MSc course present their evolving ideas for their individual dissertations or group projects in visual form as a ‘scientific’ poster with an accompanying presentation. You must defend the ideas presented in your poster to both staff and to the other MSc students. This event is held in the University Atrium each year and it has proved to be a very successful event, particularly for building your confidence in your own ideas.
c. Consultancy-style marketing project
This is only a one-year MSc course and so there is not space in the programme to allow you to take a placement in industry. So, instead, the Marketing Management Applications core module in the Spring semester aims to provide you with the next best thing. It gives you the opportunity to gain experience working on a ‘live’ marketing topic as you operate within the management boundaries and budget of an external client organisation.
In short, each group has a client organisation that provides a real problem that matters to them and asks the group to explore that topic and to come back with various suggestions or solutions. The range of topics typically come from a mixture of private, public and Third Sector organisations and can cover anything from identifying potential customers through to the opportunities for international expansion. It will be up to you, working with an academic supervisor, to set up the study, to investigate the issues that arise and to present your findings back to the client.
The combination of academic frameworks and theories within the constraints of what can feasibly be done by the organisation within its own resources, will prepare you for similar tasks that will be required of you in your future career. In some cases, a student conducting a project has been employed subsequently by the organisation with which they partnered during the module.
3. ‘Brand Me’
You will be pushed to explore your personal brand and the directions in which you want to develop. Beginning with the creation of an Insights® Discovery Personal Profile, the aim is to encourage independent, creative thinkers who know how to communicate their views and values to others, including potential employers.
Working with our team of consultants, you will receive your own Insights® Discovery Personal Profile which offers an engaging, reinforcing and transformational insight into your personality and how you compare to 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. The profile can help you to learn about your approach to decision-making; your key strengths and weaknesses in working relationships; your value to the team, as well as your communication style and possible blind spots.
There is a significant amount of required group and team work on the MSc which we use to reinforce this positive start by providing areas for self-development and career planning. You will be encouraged to become more effective communicators and supportive team members in a professional business environment. To help you, you receive feedback from other group members through formal peer assessment procedures and you will write reflective statements that consider why and how you made certain decisions and how they relate to the concepts you have been learning.
This is an MSc programme in Marketing aimed primarily at students wishing to convert from other disciplines or those who wish to gain a qualification that will validate their work experiences. However, you can gain recognition of your interest in a specific area of Marketing through our named Pathways in Brand Management and Retail if you wish.
4. Different interests, different pathways
This is an MSc Programme in Marketing aimed primarily at students wishing to convert from other disciplines or those who wish to gain a qualification that will validate their work experiences. However, you can gain recognition of your interest in a specific area of Marketing through our named Pathways in Brand Management and Retail if you wish.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.