Strategic Marketing Management MSc 2021

Stand out from the crowd and kick-start your career in marketing on our MSc Strategic Marketing Management. Learn the core concepts, discover how to develop and deliver successful strategy and explore specific areas, such as brand management or consumer behaviour including their aspects.

Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Duration

1 year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Why study Strategic Marketing Management at Aston University?
testimonial

“I recommend this course at Aston to those thinking about studying a Masters degree. Aston has everything you need for an academic study, and the PDP element is really important for an international student as it prepares you for work. Aston have everything you need.”

Phuong Hoang

testimonial

“I recommend this course at Aston to those thinking about studying a Masters degree. Aston has everything you need for an academic study, and the PDP element is really important for an international student as it prepares you for work. Aston have everything you need.”

Phuong Hoang

Course outline and modules

If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd and kick-start your career in Marketing, our MSc Strategic Marketing Management is the course for you. You’ll gain the knowledge and develop the skills you need to become a successful, well-rounded marketing professional. Learn the core concepts, discover how to develop and deliver successful strategies and explore specific areas of marketing, such as digital and brand management.

This course will provide you with detailed knowledge and understanding of one of the most exciting and creative areas of business. By the end of your studies, you will have gained advanced skills which will enable you to fulfil a variety of marketing roles across a wide range of organisations.

As well as using traditional teaching methods, such as lecturers and seminars, to equip you with the subject knowledge that you need there’s also computer-based simulations, case studies and visits from leading industry experts. Blackboard, our online learning platform, will also support you with your studies. With lecture slides, reading lists and even video recordings of your sessions, you will have the resources to ensure you get the most out of the course.

How will my skills develop?

We’ll give you the opportunity to apply what you’ve learnt and gain valuable experience in developing strategic marketing plans for businesses. You’ll also explore marketing communications methods and find out the most effective ways firms can get their message to their target audience.

There’s also the opportunity to explore specialist areas of marketing in detail, such as strategic brand management, digital marketing and sales force management marketing. This will allow you to excel in a variety of areas and gives you the opportunity to work in a number of different marketing roles. You can also benefit from broadening your commercial understanding by studying other business subjects, such as accounting or strategic management.

You’ll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.

You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

How will this course help my career?

You’ll discover how strategic marketing management is essential for firms to gain a competitive advantage over their competition and in sustaining businesses success. You’ll study the core concepts of marketing, learning about fundamental principles as well as modern practices, trends and challenges. You’ll be taught key market research and analysis tools and techniques, giving you the ability to confidently match companies’ strengths to gaps in the market.

We have students studying with us from all around the world. You’ll work with people from different backgrounds and gain an awareness of key cultural differences. This will enhance your communication, teamwork and management skills, which will be hugely beneficial in your professional career.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The course concludes with a Business Projector or Dissertation, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. Find out more here.

Modules

You will study four core modules as part of this course, ranging from the fundamentals to advanced-level marketing. Plus, you will have the opportunity to study four optional modules, from specialist marketing areas as well as non-marketing subjects.

Core modules
  • Marketing Management: In this module you will gain a comprehensive understanding and critical evaluation of marketing management practices, underpinned by relevant theories and conceptual frameworks. These frameworks are applied to contemporary issues and organisational strategies within national and international contexts and culminating with the creation and the proposal of a professional marketing plan.
     
  • Marketing Research: This module provides you with an understanding of the importance of marketing research in assisting organisations with their marketing decision making. You’ll learn how to examine markets, industries, consumers and businesses. You will develop statistical analytical techniques to analyse data and understand consumer behaviour and business relationships.
     
  • Marketing Strategy: On this module you’ll explore how to make best use of your market research to develop a clear marketing strategy and gain a competitive edge. You will examine the capabilities of organisations and learn how to segment markets and how to identify the most attractive target segments and develop differentiation strategies to achieve competitive advantage.
     
  • Analysis for Dissertation Research: Lectures and workshops prepare students to undertake their master’s dissertation; developing skills required to tackle particular aspects of the dissertation process. Includes setting objectives, undertaking literature reviews, identifying research questions, identifying appropriate research methods and reporting and discussing results. Assessed by the submission of a research proposal, ensuring that you have a clear understanding prior to commencing the final dissertation.
     
  • 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.
     
  • The Aston Global Advantage: The AstonGlobal 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.
     
  • Business Project or Dissertation: The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to 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.
Optional modules

Note: Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Tailor the course to suit you by choosing from a wide range of specialist marketing topics and non-marketing modules to study. Select 4 optional modules:

Intellectual Property Strategy and Management

This module will look at intellectual property, strategy and management exploring intellectual property rights relevant to an innovative business and will allow you to practice your understanding of the strategy, strategic management and valuation in commercialising these valuable rights.

Accounting for Non-Financial Managers

This module will give you a good grasp of key finance and accounting concepts. You’ll be competent interpreting financial information, such as company accounts and you to be able to communicate effectively using the terminology of finance and accounting. It will also enable you to use accounting to make informed management decisions.

Strategic Business Sustainability

The module looks at how sustainable development as a process can lead to a certain level of sustainability within an organisational context. It places sustainability within the strategic orientation of an organisation and as such as it takes a view of sustainability both in the short-term as well as in the long-term.

Marketing Channels and Strategic Salesforce Management

This module addresses theoretic and contemporary practitioner issues surrounding the fields of channels of distribution and sales force management. These areas are highly important to the marketing, selling and distribution of goods in both domestic and international markets. Although all products and services are considered, business-to-business products are emphasized.

Integrated Marketing Communications

This module introduces you to the various elements of modern marketing communications to be applied to a specific initiative within an organisation. You will analyse current trends within marketing communications with the intention to apply theoretical concepts to a practitioner setting.

Consumer Behaviour

This module introduces key theories surrounding consumers and how they navigate through modern marketplaces considering the whole consumption cycle. As a consequence students will not only evaluate how consumers make purchasing decisions, but also formulate a critical understanding of how they may use possessions or get rid of stuff (e.g. gift-giving) especially in the context of their own consumer behaviour.

Strategic Brand Management

Most branding modules focus on what brand perfection looks like. Most organisations do not want perfection they want to use their brand practically to support the delivery of the organisations objectives. This module focuses on the art of the practical not the art of the perfect.

International Marketing Management

This module evaluates how organisations operate in the global marketing environment. The module critically explores theories/concepts relating to the global marketing environment, international marketing activities and decisions. Implications for international marketing strategies and actions are also considered through a number of relevant case-studies and practical materials.

Digital Marketing

You will produce a strategic understanding of the opportunities provided by digital marketing and the challenges of preparing and formulating successful digital strategies. It evaluates the role of digital media in marketing strategy and how new technologies can be embraced for marketing purposes. It evaluates the impact of web based innovations on marketing and consumer behaviour.

Strategic Management

This module starts with the purpose of strategy including stakeholder and governance issues and introduces tools and techniques for analysing external environments and internal capabilities. Students learn theories and frameworks/ models for assessing and evaluating organisations’ strategic options which are then applied in analysing contemporary case studies and through engaging in a rich business strategy simulation that involves strategic decision-making.

Entry requirements

UK/EU students

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.
International students
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
Extensive work experience

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.

Learning, teaching and assessment

The course will be delivered using a wide range of teaching methods and techniques. This ensures you get the most from your learning experience.

In lectures, you’ll be taught key marketing theory, which provides you with the relevant background knowledge for each topic. You’ll examine real-life contemporary examples of marketing activity and strategy. These include video and written case studies, as well as input from guest speakers. This helps to give you further insight into specific marketing roles and practices.

You’re assessed in a number of ways throughout this course, including exams, coursework and presentations. There’s also group work, an important aspect of postgraduate study requiring you to collaborate with team members and develop teamwork skills highly regarded by employers. Our teaching staff will support you and make sure you’re well prepared for your assessments.

For your Business Project or Dissertation, you’ll be able to choose from a wide choice of interesting subject areas or even develop a strategic marketing plan for a company of your choice. Both options involve using the skills you’ve learnt across the course. You will receive specialist support from an assigned supervisor who will have knowledge and expertise to help guide your studies.

Classroom activities

  • Create your own marketing strategy: We do business, we don’t just talk about it. That’s why you have the chance to put into practice the skills you’ve learnt and gain experience in developing a strategic marketing plan. Working in a small group, you will research a company of your choice, analyse its industry and the wider external environment. Using your findings, you will produce a market report outlining the opportunities and threats facing your chosen company, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. You will then come up with a marketing strategy for your company. You’ll need to explain your approach and why this will be a success.
     
  • Marketing strategy simulation: Working within a small group, you will get the chance to manage two brands using an innovative computer simulation programme. You’ll have to make decisions on key marketing strategy issues, such as competitive positioning, production level, pricing, distribution and whether to launch new brands. How well you perform is based on your decisions but also the actions of your competitors. The team with the highest share price index at the end of the module is the winner. This task will enhance your skills in analysing and interpreting complex, competitive markets and develop your ability to apply marketing strategy concepts.

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia, to China, and USA to Singapore.

Placements

As part of this course you have the option to undertake a work placement. Spend one month to one year with a company of your choice and gain valuable professional experience. You will take what you’ve learnt and apply it day-to-day during a placement with either an international, national or local firm. Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in general marketing executive positions as well as specialist marketing roles, both in-house and with marketing agencies. They’ve worked in a wide variety of industries and business sectors, both in the UK and internationally. Most recently students have secured work placements with leading brands including L’Oreal and Rolls Royce.

You will also have the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with real-life business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. Working with other students, you’ll collaborate to solve a strategic problem for a company or carry-out an important piece of work.You can get support in finding work placements and graduate positions from our careers team. The team will also be on hand to assist you with your CV and interview technique. No matter what career path you’re looking to take, we can help you gain valuable work experience and get one foot on the career ladder.

Trips and visits

Module leaders will organise a series of networking opportunities and guest lectures for you. Marketing professionals as well as senior business leaders will give you with an insight into specific marketing roles, practices, industry challenges and growth areas.

There’s also a large number of graduate employers which visit campus throughout the year. You’ll have the chance to chat to companies about their graduate opportunities and get an insight into their selection process.

 

 

Fees and scholarships

Fees

UK students (2021/22): £10,900

International/EU students (2021/22): £20,800

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.

More information on fees
 

Scholarships

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. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

This course prepares you for a wide range of general and specialist roles in marketing and other business fields.

Recent graduates

Our recent graduates have setup their own businesses as well as into roles including Brand Manager, Head of Marketing, Marketing and Sales Manager, Brand Manager, Business Development Manager, Business Analyst, Market Researcher, PR Assistant and Social Media Manager. Companies our graduates have gone on to work at include:

  • Muller Dairy
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Merlin Entertainment Plc
  • Barclays Bank
  • KPMG
  • Nielsen
  • Tesco
  • Moncler
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Microsoft.

International students

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

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Find out more information on post-work visas.

 

Frequently asked questions

Why study Strategic Marketing Management at Aston University?

This course was ranked 3rd in the UK (Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking, 2019) and will equip you with the knowledge and skills for you to launch your career in marketing. You’ll gain a breadth of applied and practical experiences, from developing your own marketing strategy, to opportunities to work with start-ups, or undertake an internship, helping to bring what you study to life in a real-world context.

What kind of career will I develop with a masters in Strategic Marketing Management?

You'll discover how strategic marketing management is essential for firms to gain a competitive advantage over their competition and in sustaining businesses success. You'll get the chance to specialise through the elective modules you choose, meaning you can shape this course to suit your interest and career ambitions.

Our graduates have on to work across a breadth of roles for organisations around the world including KPMG, Ralph Lauren, Mercedes Benz and Microsoft.

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career.

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing students with a competitive advantage to the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships.

 

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