Course overview

Delivered by the triple-accredited Aston Business School, our MSc Strategic Digital Marketing programme blends academic rigor with practical application to equip you for success in the dynamic field of digital marketing. This comprehensive approach ensures you acquire the essential skills and knowledge demanded by today's digital marketplace.

The programme addresses the critical need for skilled professionals capable of navigating the complexities of digital marketing across various sectors. From e-commerce to big data analytics, you will explore the latest trends and strategies, preparing you to meet the growing demand for digital marketing expertise both in the UK and globally.

Upon successful completion, graduates receive both an MSc Strategic Digital Marketing degree and a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), making you a valuable asset to employers worldwide.

Why Strategic Digital Marketing at Aston University?

Digital Marketing Institute DMI accreditation logo
Globally recognised
Our partnership with the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) means that you can graduate with two awards at no extra cost
Triple accredited icon
Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
Gain the advantage
Get ahead of the competition with the Aston Global Advantage professional development module
1st in the uk
Excellent prospects
Ranked first in the UK for ‘career prospects’ (Marketing and Public Relations; Complete University Guide, 2024)
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Safe in our hands
Ranked second in the UK for ‘graduate prospects – on track’ (Marketing; Complete University Guide, 2024)
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Global top 50
Aston University was ranked among the top 50 universities worldwide (Masters in Marketing; QS World University Rankings, 2024)

Course description

MSc Strategic Digital Marketing

Our MSc Strategic Digital Marketing programme blends digital marketing theories with practical skills, preparing you for success in diverse marketing roles in today's digital world.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. You will benefit from applied learning, research-informed teaching and constructive assessment. You will also have the opportunity to complete the DMI’s Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing at no extra cost.

We are also an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry.

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What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies – understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, a willingness to learn and an ambition and drive to excel.

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What skills we teach
Our programme fosters crucial skills for the digital landscape. You will gain proficiency in digital marketing tools, creative digital communications and branding, alongside analytical prowess in data metrics. Equipped with research and strategic abilities, you will lead digital transformation, while honing project management and teamwork skills for effective collaboration in diverse settings.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University Strategic Digital Marketing graduate, you will hold a dual award, combining academic excellence with professional certification from the Digital Marketing Institute. Equipped to embark on diverse roles in digital marketing strategy, e-commerce, content and social media management, you will thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

How you will learn

Our MSc Strategic Digital Marketing programme provides a dynamic learning experience. Engage in inspiring lectures on the latest digital marketing theories and benefit from guest presentations by industry experts, offering invaluable real-world insights. Through hands-on activities like case studies, you will apply theoretical concepts to practical scenarios, effectively honing your skills. With a focus on practical learning, you will develop strategies and campaigns, preparing you for the challenges of the real digital marketing world. This interactive approach ensures you acquire the essential skills and knowledge required to excel in today's dynamic digital marketing landscape.

At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor who can offer individual study advice and guidance. You will also benefit from access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals. Aston University's virtual learning environment supports your journey, providing resources like lecture slides, e-books and online journals.

In the Aston Global Advantage module, you will enhance your employability and global citizenship through experiential learning and reflective practice. Dedicated employability support, skill-building workshops and diverse learning streams will prepare you for both academic and professional success.

Student holding laptop in student study space

Gain the advantage

Our flagship professional development module provides a range of opportunities to apply your learning and increase your employability.

What you will learn

In the MSc Strategic Digital Marketing programme, you will gain comprehensive insights into key aspects of digital marketing. From understanding customer behaviour to harnessing the power of data analytics, you will develop a holistic understanding of modern marketing practices.

In the taught phase, you will delve into essential topics such as formulating digital advertising strategies, crafting content marketing for digital platforms and integrating communication strategies within digital transformation initiatives. You will explore the significance of e-commerce management and techniques for social selling in today's competitive digital landscape. Through practical case studies and theoretical frameworks, you will develop the skills needed to thrive in various digital marketing environments.

In the dissertation phase, you will complete a research project on a strategic digital marketing topic of your choice, showcasing your ability to conduct independent research with a clear consideration of ethics, theory and methods.

This course offers an Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway, meaning you can spend an additional year at one of our international partner institutions. If successful, you will graduate with two masters degrees.

Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway

Lillian Psylla

The clear choice

When choosing a university, Lillian had criteria in mind for what she was looking for: best faculty, good accreditation, a vivid student life with a variety of clubs and societies available. The clear choice - Aston University.

Postgraduate courses

Learn business, do business

Our classroom goes beyond traditional lectures, focusing instead on real-life projects and hands-on experiences.

Course objectives

  1. Provides you with a programme of study that meets your needs, whether you are local, national, or international, enabling you to learn through the exchange of experience as well as formal academic study.
  2. Provides you with an excellent learning experience that draws on the research and consultancy of Aston University academic staff, utilising the University’s links with business, professional and public sector organisations.
  3. Provides you with opportunities to enhance your employability by developing lifelong learning and personal development skills.
  4. Produces well-qualified graduates who are equipped for and aspire to senior positions.
  5. Causes you to reflect upon and develop your own positions in relation to corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethics.
  6. Develops specialist skills and knowledge in digital marketing to meet your needs as a recent graduate or someone already in employment, enabling you to embark or progress successfully in your chosen career.
  7. Develops your research skills to enable the completion of a masters dissertation on a topic associated with digital marketing.
  8. Enables you to critically examine theory, including tools and models used in digital marketing, in different business contexts.
  9. Enables you to understand the role and contribution of digital marketing to the achievement of organisational aims and objectives.
  10. Enables you to formulate, evaluate and select from alternative strategies, and develop associated strategic decision-making skills in a digital marketing context.


Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Integrated Communications and Digital Strategy
This module is about developing an overall strategic mindset in digital transformation. You will learn how to analyse critical issues, provide suitable strategic solutions and drive innovative change in a brand or organisation from a digital marketing perspective.
Digital Advertising
This module is about the theory and practice of advertising across various types of digital platforms. This includes websites, social media and mobile. You will not only learn about the nature of digital advertising but also how to improve the choice of digital channels and the effectiveness of the creative content.
Content Marketing for Digital Media
This module will explore the importance of content marketing for digital media. It is designed to help you develop an effective content marketing strategy across different digital platforms using an integrated approach. You will also learn how to develop creative and engaging content for different digital media.
Digital Analytics and Artificial Intelligence
This module explores the role of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) in digital marketing practice. It also covers the key digital metrics and analytical processes involved in assessing digital marketing performance and what actions need to be taken based on the resultant data.
Digital Psychology and Buyer Behaviour
This module is about understanding the underlying processes of customer psychology, behaviour and choice in the online digital environment. It will help you improve digital marketing communications at various critical touchpoints in the customer journey of different target groups.
Social Selling and E-Commerce Management
This module covers the important aspects of direct marketing, online selling and digital point of sale. It will help you critically examine the different aspects of e-commerce and sales across social media, website and online marketplaces.
The Digital Marketing Environment15
The Aston Global Advantage
The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year.
Ethics in Academic Practice
This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Analysis for Marketing Research Projects15
MSc Strategic Digital Marketing Research Project
You will carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical awareness, conceptual understanding and knowledge of current and contemporary digital marketing theories.
  • Critically evaluate appropriate strategic and operational decisions to create actionable and accountable digital marketing strategies.
  • Develop an in-depth appreciation of data-driven metrics and their relation to digital marketing activities considering how these can be both generated and used.
  • Apply rigorous analytical research methodologies and skills to conduct individual or team-based research that identifies and solves digital marketing problems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current and future trends, issues, debates and constraints within the digital marketing environment.
  • Communicate the findings/results of research effectively either individually or as part of a team and demonstrate essential skills in project management, self-organisation and management.

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.


Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • 2:2 (lower second-class honours) degree or equivalent
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University (see international students tab below for more information)

Subject specific requirements

Your degree should be in marketing or contain relevant marketing subjects. If you do not have academic qualifications in marketing-related subjects, we will consider relevant professional marketing experience. This can include two years of professional marketing experience or a full one-year internship in a marketing-related role. Work experience or prior studies in the field of digital marketing are preferable.

You will also need to provide:

  • A professional reference
    • If you are a current student or recent graduate (within the last 2-3 years), we will ask for an academic reference
    • If you are currently employed and not a recent graduate, we will ask for a professional reference
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study but also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications.

Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.


Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09:30-16:30)

Francis Mulleady MSc Strategic Digital Marketing

Meet your programme director

Francis Mulleady
Programme Director, MSc Strategic Digital Marketing

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying, you can get in touch via email and I will be happy to answer your queries.

Hear from Francis in this episode of the Aston means business podcast:

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£12,000

International students

Annual tuition fees:£23,500

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.


A variety of assessment methods, including exams, coursework, and practical sessions are designed to test your understanding of key topics. Every assessment is designed to combine leading theoretical and practical aspects of digital marketing.

Career prospects

Graduates of the MSc Strategic Digital Marketing programme possess a unique combination of skills that are in high demand across various industries. This positions them well for a wide range of career opportunities in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, both in the UK and internationally. The programme's focus on the latest digital marketing strategies and technologies prepares students for key roles such as:

  • Social media manager
  • Content marketing specialist
  • Digital analytics analyst
  • Digital advertising executive
  • Digital public relations manager
  • Search marketing specialist
  • Digital marketing consultant
  • E-commerce manager

These roles span across diverse organisations and marketing agencies, enabling our alumni to drive digital transformation and strategy, manage comprehensive digital marketing campaigns and lead digital change within businesses of all sizes.

Our graduates have successfully secured positions in leading companies and innovative start-ups, leveraging their skills to enhance digital presence, engage with audiences and drive business growth. 

Alex Chantrell Strategic Marketing Management graduate

Industry professionals

“The lecturers are industry professionals with years of real-work experience in marketing and heaps of trade knowledge.”

Our graduates achieve amazing things all over the world – whether it’s setting up their own businesses, landing jobs with high profile organisations, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates


Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Strategic Digital Marketing at Aston University?

Choosing to study Strategic Digital Marketing at Aston University positions you for global recognition and unparalleled career prospects. Through our partnership with the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), you're offered the unique opportunity to graduate with dual certifications, setting you apart in the job market. Aston Business School's prestige is underscored by its triple accreditation, a distinction held by only 1% of business schools globally, ensuring you receive education of the highest quality.

Our curriculum is designed not just for academic excellence but for real-world success, as evidenced by our top UK rankings for career prospects (Guardian, 2024; Complete University Guide, 2024). The Aston Global Advantage module further enhances your employability, providing professional development opportunities that give you a competitive edge.

With 100% of our students confirming they had appropriate access to extensive library resources and facilities (PTES, 2023), and our position as a leading institution for graduate prospects, your educational journey here is supported at every step.

At Aston University, you're not just gaining a degree; you're preparing to lead and innovate in the ever-evolving field of digital marketing.

What kind of careers does a degree in Strategic Digital Marketing lead to?

The MSc Strategic Digital Marketing course at Aston University will develop your specialist skills and knowledge in digital marketing to enhance your personal career development and meet the needs of future employers.

The dual award will enhance your career prospects across a wide variety of industries in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. There are significant employment opportunities in the UK, international and global labour markets. If you choose to start up your own enterprise or are already involved in an expanding small business, this postgraduate programme will enable you to enhance digital marketing strategies and drive business growth. 

Career options include professional roles in organisations and marketing agencies such as:

  • Social media: Managing a social media portfolio for social selling, branding, and customer engagement.
  • Content marketing: Developing organic content strategies across the entire digital portfolio of a brand or organisation for customer engagement and organic search optimisation.
  • Digital analytics: Analysing off-site and on-site user/customer data for marketing intelligence purposes.
  • Digital advertising: Creating and deploying digital advertising for a brand in-house or through an agency.
  • Digital public relations: Managing digital PR and online reputation in-house or at an agency.
  • Search marketing: Managing paid and organic search marketing and liaising with content marketers in-house or at a specialist agency.

Integrated digital communications, for example:

  • Digital consultancy: Working in a digital marketing consultancy or as a freelancer in digital marketing strategy.
  • Digital transformation and strategy: Managing digital change in a business or organisation.
  • Digital marketing for SMEs: Assisting small businesses in managing their entire digital portfolio and digital marketing strategy.
  • E-commerce: Managing digital selling and transactions through websites, social selling and direct marketing.

What is the ‘Aston Global Advantage’?

Embedded in all our masters degrees, this assessed, year-long credit-bearing module aims to develop professional and personal transferrable skills relevant to any workplace and create a bridge between the degree and the world of work.

The Aston Global Advantage

Why should I study my postgraduate degree at Aston University?

There are lots of benefits of studying a postgraduate degree at Aston University.

Watch this video from MBA student, Monique, who talks about just a few of them:

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

What will my timetable look like?

We understand how important it is to know your timetable in advance for planning around work, childcare, or other responsibilities. Here's some basic guidance on what to expect regarding your student timetable.

Full-time programmes
As a rough estimate, full-time postgraduate students in the College of Business and Social Sciences should expect to spend about 12-15 hours per week in lectures and on-campus seminars. This is in addition to independent study, and there may be additional guided learning activities during certain weeks. The exact distribution of these hours will vary depending on your course and module choices.
Part-time programmes
Part-time students will have fewer weekly on-campus hours compared to full-time students. This reduction is proportional to the number of modules you're enrolled in.
Timetable availability
Complete timetables are usually released shortly before the start of your programme. This timing is necessary to ensure that we accommodate all course requirements and that rooms are allocated based on the number of students likely to enrol on each programme. We aim to provide these timetables as early as possible, to assist you in your planning.

As your induction week approaches, you will be sent more information about your timetable via email, and you will be able to access your timetable by logging into MyAstonPortal. For any further queries or information regarding your timetable, you can reach out to your programme director or the Student Support team.

Online/distance learning programmes
The above information also applies to students enrolled in online/distance learning programmes. Please note that both full-time and part-time distance learning students are still required to attend scheduled synchronous learning sessions.


What can I get involved in at Aston Business School?

At Aston Business School, you will dive into a dynamic blend of innovative learning and hands-on experiences. With our acclaimed triple-crown accreditation, we offer you academic excellence and a track record of producing successful graduates.

Located in Birmingham, the UK's vibrant second city, Aston Business School provides you with a culturally rich environment and superb connectivity. You will benefit from real-world business engagements, international study opportunities and entrepreneur support programmes like BSEEN and Pitchfest.

You can also engage in practical consultancy at the Aston Business Clinic and collaborate with global peers in events such as the Maastricht Case Competition or the Universities Business Challenge. Our partnership with The Prince’s Trust, alongside a range of student clubs including TEDx and Enactus further enriches your learning experience.

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Hello, what would you like to ask us?

Hello! We are a team of current Aston University students from various parts of the world, studying a wide range of postgraduate subjects.

Feel free to ask us anything about studying at Aston University.

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