Sector menu


This Marketing MA is aimed at students who have a keen interest in developing an intellectual understanding of the theories underpinning marketing concepts and processes. You will build a sound knowledge and understanding of the contemporary issues relating to marketing, consumers and culture. It is a distinct, research-led course based on contemporary theory and case material which is challenging and innovative. It draws upon the highest level of theory and practice in this field and builds on the extensive research and teaching expertise of our academics. 

On graduating you will have an in-depth and critical understanding of a world increasingly defined by a culture of consumerism and the role played by marketing activities in building strong customer relationships and business opportunities. You will cover specialist marketing subjects, especially written for this Master’s programme and chosen for their relevance to contemporary marketing practice and research and present forms of analysis and understanding at the very cutting edge. Your studies will cover issues such as  the critical and practical understandings of marketing, consumers and branding and explore the new marketing and consumer environment which challenge and build upon traditional marketing concepts.

As a member of the School of Management you will join an intellectually stimulating, friendly and supportive research environment and, through working closely with our expert and experienced academic staff, you will be in a position to realise your full potential.  

  • Distinctive from traditional marketing programmes by focusing on consumer culture from critical and intellectual perspectives.
  • Flexibility to tailor your studies to suit your specific areas of interest, such as: arts marketing, sports marketing, digital media marketing and marketing ethics.
  • Latest thinking and exciting intellectual challenges provided by academics who are at the frontiers of their subjects.
  • International profile created from regularly hosting visits by leading international marketing academics who present their research to faculty and students.
  • Innovative and rising Management School, moving up the rankings 11 places in just one year (Guardian University Guide in 2015) and Marketing ranked 4th(Complete University Guide 2017).

Entry requirements

UK Upper Second Class (2:1) (Honours) or equivalent.

Relevant professional qualifications related to the field of marketing and work experience in an associated area will be considered.

The MA Marketing course is appropriate both for those who have prior study experience in the Marketing area and for those who have studied alternative disciplines at undergraduate level.

A successful applicant will usually have the following qualities:

  • students should be self-motivated, keen readers, open to considering marketing in terms of abstract theory
  • willing to participate in class discussion and happy to work on team projects.

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other subscores. For equivalencies, please see here

If you require Royal Holloway to sponsor your study in the UK, your IELTS must be a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).

Course modules

Pre-course preparation

  • Foundations of Modern Management

This module, taught during your induction week, will introduce you to the key elements of organisational management for commercial successs. Through analysis of historical roots, you will develop an understanding of the current practices for managing customers, shareholders, and employees, and discuss how numbers and technology influence management decision-making.

Core modules

  • Marketing - A Critical Introduction

In this module you will develop an advanced understanding of marketing management principles. You will look at marketing not just as practical field, but also as an intellectual tradition strongly associated with values of neo-liberalism and managerial ideology. You will explore the practical utility, ethical status and intellectual standing of traditional marketing concepts and principles. You will also consider marketing topics in the media through blogs, the trade press, newspapers and other popular sources, in order to appreciate marketing topics within their cultural context.

  • Consumers and Brands

In this module you will develop an understanding of how consumers consume brands. You will look at current ideas within marketing and consumption scholarship and practice, considering the centrality of brands to commercial practice and everyday living. With a focus on critical engagement, you will learn about branding and consumption theory, incorporating current thinking on the strategic management of brands, consumer behaviour and its role within general marketing practice, recent theoretical formulations concerning brand culture and consumer culture, and how personal experiences, relationships and identities are partly organised and mediated by the consumption of brands and their immanence in a constantly evolving symbolic order.

  • Dissertation Preparation and Research Methods

This module will help you to prepare for your dissertation with useful theoretical and practical lessons in research methods. You will develop your analytical and technical research skills, reflecting critically upon the theoretical and philosophical assumptions of the underlying research methodologies. You will develop an undertanding of the ethical considerations when conducting research, and will learn how to write a structured research proposal that will form the basis of your dissertation.

  • Dissertation

The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to learn and practise researching and writing skills for your future career. You will apply the analytical and problem-solving techniques you have acquired throughout your studies to explore a specialist interest in greater depth. You will critically evaluate academic literature, collect data systematically, organise your findings, and present your research results in a clear and logical and manner. To help, your research proposal will be read by the programme director, who will select an appropriate member of staff to act as your dissertation supervisor. Your final submission will be between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length.

Optional modules

  • Arts Marketing

This module will introduce you to the basic marketing theories and practices necessary for the successful running of art galleries. You will look at how art is consumed, its consumers, and how arts organisations operate across the private, public, and voluntary sectors. You will consider the particularities of ‘marketing for the arts’, such as audience development, corporate sponsorship, and philanthropy, and how they are addressed alongside conventional marketing concerns, such as segmentation, targeting, positioning, branding, intermediation, and promotions. You will also examine financial investment vehicles for theatre, film, and fine art, and the role of institutional critique by contemporary artists.

  • Business to Business Marketing

In this module you will develop an understanding of industrial marketing theory and how it is different from consumer marketing. You will look at the the marketing mix, business networks, customer relationship management, promise development and delivery, and industrial buyer and seller behaviour, including pricing, negotiation, and strategic sourcing. You will examine how the marketing mix can be manipulated by industrial marketing managers, and look at business networks and how buyers and suppliers behave in them. You will also consider business-to-business marketing through the focussed study of two industries and analyse industrial marketing strategies.

  • Consumption, Markets and Culture

In this module you will develop an understanding of the broader socio-cultural issues relevant to marketing practice in the 21st Century. You will look at the interactions that occur between the market, consumers and the marketplace, focussing on how particular manifestations of culture are constituted, maintained and transformed by broader forces such as cultural narratives, myths, ideologies and grounded in specific socioe-conomic circumstances and marketplace systems. You will engage with complex theoretical concepts including consumer culture theory, symbolic consumption and the production of culture.

  • Digital Media Marketing

In this module you will develop an understanding of digital media within contemporary marketing practice and its impact on marketing theory. You will look at the influence of digital media and the internet on marketing practice, including the ways consumers are able to communicate with others interactively, how digital technologies are becoming incorporated into products, and new terms such as blogging, podcasting, and voice over internet protocol (VOIP). You will gain practical experience in using digital media, learning how to use these as marketing tools to engage consumers online and offline.

  • Marketing Communications

In this module you will examine the principal means of marketing communications – advertising, promotion, public relations, direct marketing and sales teams. You will develop an understanding of the contemporary media environment and how this impacts on marketers’ efforts to communicate with stakeholders. You will examine how communications must be tailored to the market segment, and look at the impact of communication cultures, particularly overseas, on market entry.

  • Marketing Ethics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the scope and nature of marketing ethics. You will explore issues at the interface of marketing and moral philosophy, examining the complexity and interconnectedness of moral dilemmas in marketing practice. You will look at ethical reasoning and decision making, developing frameworks for approaching ethical problems that may arise in day-to-day marketing practice. You will consider the links between various ethical dilemmas in marketing mix decisions and marketing management more broadly, assessing the range of responses to marketing issues on behalf of businesses, regulatory bodies, and consumers.

  • Not-for-Profit and Public Sector Marketing

In this module you will develop an understanding of marketing in the not-for-profit and public sectors of the economy. You will look at the management of complex relationships both with donors and recipients, reconceptualising citizens as consumers of public services, cause-related marketing, public service announcements, branding nations, political marketing, and marketing religion.

  • Service Marketing

In this module you will develop an understanding of how the role of service marketing is changing in society, and the changing factors that influence marketing decision-making for organisations. You will look at the differences between services and goods, the key elements of service marketing, the service delivery process, and implementing and managing profitable service strategies.

  • Sports Marketing

In this module you will develop an understanding of the unique application of marketing principles and processes to the sports industry. You will consider sport as both a product, looking at the applications of marketing theories and principles to promote sports and sport related products, and sport as a medium, considering how sport can be used as a vehicle to promote a product or service.

Assessment methods

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.


Qualification Study mode Fee status Fee Study period Duration
MA Full-time Home/EU £ 10,050 Whole course 1 years
MA Full-time International £ 17,000 Whole course 1 years

Get in touch today and increase your future employability