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 Clea Bourne
What you'll study
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||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).
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.
- 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.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
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.
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 2019/20 academic year.
- Home/EU - full-time: £7750
- Home/EU - part-time: £3875
- International - full-time: £16570
Please note that EU fees are being fixed at the above rate for 2019 entry. The fee level will be fixed for the duration of your programme.
If you're an international student interested in studying part-time, please contact our Admissions Team to find out if you're eligible.
If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.
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.
Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.
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
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- 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.
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.
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.
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?