Course information

Length

1 year full time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

From analysing the theories of intellectual heavyweights such as Bourdieu and Lacan, to unpicking a global campaign, this MA explores the hinterland between the big three promotional professions, the media, and society.

Public relations, advertising, and marketing roles are converging. This MA isn’t about studying ads or press coverage, but about becoming a professional who can understand the dynamics of power that exist between these professions, and critically intervene in today’s media landscape. 

At its core, this masters looks at how you can better serve society by improving communications across the promotional disciplines, and how public relations (PR), advertising, and marketing professionals can best develop within a challenging media world. You’ll learn how to reflect on contemporary intellectual theories, and apply them to workplace realities so you plan the next decade of your career.

The questions we explore

  • We want you to understand existing power struggles between these three professions. Therefore, this programme will look at public relations, advertising, and marketing as inter-related disciplines, drawing on theoretical and professional debates around industry issues as they happen.
  • You will explore, for example, the implications of ‘fake news’, and its rapid circulation via social media, the repercussions of the media’s pivot to video, and the use of Artificial Intelligence in promotional work, among others topics.
  • You’ll also examine current industry expectations, and look at the crossovers between creativity, management, and strategy.

The processes we use

  • This is a theory-based programme, but you’ll have many practice-based options in subjects from different departments; from online news reporting and social media campaigning, to film making fundamentals or design methods, to consumer behaviour or marketing strategy.
  • You'll also get the latest insights from industry professionals across PR, advertising and, marketing through our visiting speaker series. Recent industry guests have discussed: earned vs paid media, transmedia storytelling, programmatic advertising, SEO analytics, and social media community management.
  • In 2019, we launched a public seminar series titled Critical Perspectives on Promotional Cultures, which hosts prestigious academic speakers from around the UK.
  • You will also be encouraged to attend the Department’s Media Forum, which covers everything from Why Local Journalism Matters, to Reporting Africa.

The approach we take

Note that this isn’t a business studies-style MA. It’s a rigorous, academic programme, which investigates promotional workers, their workplace experiences, and their use of media in today’s campaigns and debates. 

Our core modules apply fields such as sociology, anthropology, media and cultural studies to public relations, advertising and marketing, exploring how they work together, where they overlap, and where the tensions lie.

You also have the freedom to choose optional modules from across theory and practice in different departments.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Jacob Mukherjee.

What you'll study

Overview

Throughout the core components of the degree, you'll examine the many ways that public relations, advertising and marketing are represented in society, together with the skills and techniques enacted by practitioners in their day-to-day roles. You will be encouraged to develop your critical and analytical skills, but also to think creatively and become more confident in your academic judgment. 

Goldsmiths prides itself on its innovative and critical approaches, and you will be encouraged to immerse yourself in its wider intellectual environment to deepen your understanding of the cultural infrastructure surrounding PR, Advertising and Marketing.

Core modules

Core Modules Module title Credits
  Promotional Media I: Changing Fields & Contexts 30 credits
  Promotional Media II: Campaign Skills & Techniques 30 credits

You will also complete a 12,000-word dissertation (60 credits).

Option modules

In addition to the core modules and the dissertation, you will also choose 60 credits worth of optional modules from across different departments.

Choices made by current MA Promotional Media students include: 

Campaign Skills; Consumer Behaviour; Critical Social Media Practices; Design Methods and Processes; Digital Culture; Film Producing Fundamentals; Internet Governance and its Critics; Journalism in Context; Marketing Strategy; Media Law and Ethics; Media Ritual and Contemporary Public Cultures; Music as Communication and Creative Practice; Online News Reporting; Media Systems, Media Ecologies and Turbulence; Promotional Culture; Social Media in Everyday Life; Software Studies; Structure of Political Communication; and Understanding the UK Media Industries.

For a full list modules available in this department, see list of Media modules.

Assessment

  • You will be assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects.
  • Both core modules include group presentations, including the opportunity to develop a promotional campaign.
  • Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted.
  • This MA will also include a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have extensive, relevant professional experience in PR, Advertising or Marketing, and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £8640
  • Home/EU - part-time: £4320
  • International - full-time: £17070

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Scholarships

The Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies often offers fee waivers for this MA. Find out more on our departmental funding page.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from 1 October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Staff

Careers

Our students acquire general transferable skills, including critical thinking, pattern recognition, research skills, and career management. 

Specific transferable skills for the promotional industries include: message framing; storytelling and narrative construction; segmentation, measurement and evaluation; professional ethics and regulatory standards. 

MA Promotional Media graduates work across disciplines and countries in wide-ranging roles, including: account executives, content marketers, corporate communicators, digital copywriters, event managers, government communicators, product managers, media buyers, media planners, marketing officers, programmatic advertising executives, SEO analysts, social media community managers, sponsorship coordinators and UI/UX copywriters.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student work

Your dissertation (60 credits) is an opportunity to dissect industry trends or issues.

Recent dissertation topics include:

  • Advertising Effectiveness vs Creativity: Modern ‘Wengqing’ Culture in Taiwan
  • China’s Millennials: Rejecting Luxury Products?
  • Empowering Disability Narratives: Disabled Bodies on Social Media
  • #IStandWithPP: Planned Parenthood and 21st Century Reputation Management
  • Live from the White House: Government communication and the Trump Administration
  • Online Ad Fraud and Search Engine Advertising on Baidu
  • Media Brands’ Response to ‘Fake News’
  • Place Branding and Hong Kong: Twenty Years Since the Handover
  • Public Relations and Participatory Culture in South Korea
  • Public Sector Brands on Social Media: The NHS and The Met Police
  • Rebranding Strategies in Aviation Marketing
  • #Repealthe8th: Social Media and the Irish Repeal Movement
  • Switzerland’s Stop AIDS Campaign: Advertising Practitioners as Cultural Intermediaries
  • Youtubers: Promoting Products…and Political Opinions?

What our students say

Zofia Bobrowicz

Studying along so many passionate students from around the world made me feel constantly challenged and inspired.

"The theories that I have learnt studying at Goldsmiths gave me a unique insight into the consumer's mindset, as well as helped me critically analyse marketing strategies. Studying along so many passionate students from around the world made me feel constantly challenged and inspired.

In my current role, I coordinate a variety of B2B event sponsorships and set up partnerships with, for example, the Financial Times on Future of the Cat Summit (May 2018).
I also oversee the production of visual content to promote the company's flagship product, working on everything from developing ideas and demonstrations, to final editing processes. I design and produce adverts, including slogans and banners for conferences and print magazines."

Lorenzo Del Seppia

The most valuable skill I gained at Goldsmiths is surely the critical thinking. I met bright people and teachers who inspired me to become a better version of myself both personally and professionally.

The most valuable skill I gained at Goldsmiths is surely the critical thinking. I met bright people and teachers who inspired me to become a better version of myself both personally and professionally.

Since leaving Goldsmiths, I have been invited for the past 4 years as a guest speaker at the MA in Promotional Media to talk about my experience at Goldsmiths, and my career development. I am able to provide unique insights, which should help students in making their choices on what could be their future career in the media world.

Johanna Böellmann

Meeting so many versatile people from all over the world made me develop a reflexive way of thinking, and a challenging argumentation strategy.

Studying at Goldsmiths taught me to broaden my perspectives. Meeting so many versatile people from all over the world made me develop an open minded mindset, a reflexive way of thinking, and a challenging argumentation strategy. My program offered me the possibility to analyse industry issues against a theoretical background. Thanks to the combination of practical cases and theoretical knowledge I always had the impression of gaining relevant information that prepared me for the start of my career. Looking back, I am glad to say that this impression has been confirmed: as I was aware of the challenges I might have to face I could start my career with confidence, power, and the willingness to prove myself.

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