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At a glance

MSc Marketing

Course Duration
1 year (full-time)
Mode of study
Full Time
Durham City
Start Date
Download as a PDF

Our Marketing MSc will equip you with the essential skills and knowledge to excel in the long term across all marketing-related careers.

Course Summary

Course Summary


Marketing touches all aspects of an organisation and helps shape and direct corporate strategy.

Durham’s MSc Marketing programme will equip you with the essential skills and knowledge to excel long-term across all marketing-related careers.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the leading professional body for marketers worldwide and exists to develop the marketing profession, maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing practitioners. Durham University has joined forces with CIM to give students the opportunity to gain professional qualifications through CIM Graduate Gateway. CIM qualifications are highly sought after by employers, and map alongside our own degrees which ensures we are equipping students with the best opportunities for a successful marketing career.

Term 1:

You will learn the application of key marketing models and theories to apply to real world scenarios. In Term 1, teaching is based on core learning that provides you with the opportunity to develop skills and experience relevant to a multitude of business marketing careers, from the commercial sector to charities and beyond.

Core modules are:

  • Contemporary Marketing Communication
  • Consumers and Consumption
  • Marketing Theory
  • Marketing Management and Strategy
  • Research Methods in Marketing’


Term 2:

In Term 2, the course includes optional modules to enable you to gain advanced-level training in contemporary marketing and management. You will have the opportunity to select elective modules to customise your learning.

You will then choose three elective modules, from a range, which has typically included:

  • Advanced Marketing Strategy
  • Buyer Behaviour and Marketing Innovation
  • Consulting
  • Digital Marketing
  • Global Marketing
  • Global Sport Business
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Management
  • Retail Marketing Management

Term 3: Dissertation


In the third term, you will carry out an original research project. This may be an independent piece of work or, alternatively, you may decide to develop a more applied project with an appropriate organisation. Supervised by a faculty member with relevant experience, you’ll investigate in greater detail a subject that you’ve already studied as part of your programme. This is an opportunity for you to develop your business insight and present your analysis and ideas in a scholarly and professional manner.

Adding to your experience

International Experience

If your ambitions lie beyond the UK, we offer a number of places on our unique Dissertation Abroad scheme. This will involve writing a dissertation at one of our international partner institutions in the period June to August. A number of scholarships are available

Covid-19: As the health and well-being of our students is our main priority opportunities to travel to international locations may not be able to happen. If further or continued government restrictions necessitate, we will deliver these important global learning experiences virtually.

Guest Speakers

As part of your programme, you have the opportunity to enjoy presentations by academics and practitioners within your chosen area of interest. Past speakers have included representatives of major global multinationals such as Google, Deloitte and Sage in addition to leading academics, providing an ideal opportunity to gain practical knowledge and progressive insight.

Learning and Teaching

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures which may contain seminar-style sessions to allow for small group work. Lectures provide key contents of a particular topic. Occasionally lectures might be delivered by guest speakers who are internationally recognised academic experts or practitioners in their field. Students can also attend the Durham Speaker Series, providing the opportunity to network with senior business leaders, staff and alumni.

Students study 5 core modules, and select 3 elective modules to study which enables them to undertake more in-depth study of particular topics. This is followed by a 12,000 word dissertation to allow students to carry out independent research and develop their skills in analysis and scholarly expression, using an appropriate theoretical framework. They are supported in writing their dissertation through the study of research methods, and attending individual meetings with an allocated supervisor, who monitors their progress and provides advice.

Academic Support:

Throughout the year, students may have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. They also have the opportunity to attend the London Marketing Visit which gives students the opportunity to gain an ‘insider perspective’ on businesses and network with key business staff. 

Learning Resource:

Outside of timetabled contact hours, students are expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study in preparation for teaching sessions, assignments and other forms of assessment including exams, and general background reading to broaden their subject knowledge. All students have an Academic Adviser who is able to provide general advice on academic matters. Teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via appointments with staff.

Students also have access to the facilities available at Mill Hill Lane including an onsite library and IT helpdesk.


Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

Application Deadline:


October 2021 start

Please note: The application process is now open for Masters programmes commencing 2021

Our application deadline dates for this programme are:

  • Applications from individuals resident in Mainland China must be received by 12 February 2021. 

There is a high demand for places on this programme. To maximise your chances of being offered one of these places, we recommend that you submit your application to the University as early as possible. 

We aim to have a diverse student body and recognise that we can only offer places to a finite number of applicants. To help achieve our aim, we look to ensure we offer places to applicants from all nationalities and close applications when we receive the allocated numbers.

The University is under no obligation to make any offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme.

This programme is intended for graduates in any subject or discipline; no previous study in Marketing is necessary. Please note however, Marketing undergraduate students, or students who have completed a professional Marketing qualification may find some content on this programme overlaps with their prior learning.

What do I need first?

You will need the equivalent of a UK first or upper second class honours degree. Check the full list of equivalent qualifications.

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

NB Chinese Applicants: Applications will be accepted from students who have graduated from a prestigious university in China. Entry requirements may vary depending upon the reputation of the university you have graduated from and the academic programme you have applied for. As a guide, applicants are expected to have achieved an overall average of 85%.

How do I apply?

You will need to complete an online application form.

Fill out the online application form

To support your online application form, you will need to provide the following documents.

  • Two academic references using our standard form (Download the form - Word format)
  • Official transcript of marks
  • Copy of degree certificate (if available)
  • Copy of English test results (if available).

You can either upload your supporting documents with your online application or email or fax them to the Postgraduate Admissions Office using the contact details below.

Only files of type .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf are permitted to be uploaded.
The maximum file size is 5MB.

College membership

If you’re applying for a full-time programme you’ll need to become a member of one of our Colleges as well as being accepted by a department. Here’s more information about how the college system works. Once you accept your programme offer, the College Postgraduate Office will get in touch with you to arrange accommodation. Please note that demand for college accommodation usually exceeds availability, so please try to arrange it as soon as possible.

Application fee

Once we receive your online application form, you’ll get an automatic email within 48 hours asking you to pay the £60 application fee* which is required to progress your application.

You’ll need to follow the link in the email to the webpage where you can confirm your details and make the payment using a debit or credit card. This is a secure website operated by Secpay, which will send you an automatic receipt of payment.

Once we receive confirmation that your application fee has been paid, we’ll be able to progress your application. If you do not pay the application fee your application will be automatically withdrawn.

*Please note you will only be able to make a payment for one programme in each suite i.e. one MSc Finance programme, one MSc Management programme, one MSc Marketing programme, one Islamic Finance programme.

Admissions process

Here are the steps in the admissions process:

  1. We will let you know when we’ve received your application.
  2. Once we’ve received all of your supporting documents, we will email you to let you know our decision.
  3. If the decision is to make you an offer of a place on the programme we will let you know by email. Please note we do not issue hard copy offer letters as these are not required to obtain a student visa.
  4. You should confirm acceptance of your offer as soon as possible. In order to secure your place, you are required to pay a deposit within six weeks of the date of your original offer (check your offer documents for details of payment methods).
  5. International students requiring a student visa will receive a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Studies) via email once all offer conditions are met, acceptance and deposit have been received and you are within five months of the start date of your programme. 

Please Note: You must let us know your own personal email address when applying. Please do not note use a University-linked email which may stop working once you complete your bachelor degree. 

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Fees and Funding

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £25,500.00 per year
Home Student £14,000.00 per year
Island Student £14,000.00 per year
International non-EU Student £25,500.00 per year


The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

Open Days and Visits

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits


Career Support

Key to your career

Whatever your specialist interests, you’ll find our careers team is one of the most useful resources to support you on your way to your target career. Now more than ever, it’s the skills you’re able to demonstrate in addition to your academic abilities that will make you shine in a fiercely competitive jobs market.

That’s why our facilities and services are designed to complement your course and help you develop essential professional and practical skills – from personal resilience and self-awareness to CV writing and interview techniques.

We work in partnership with the University's Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre to connect you with events, organisations or individuals to help kick-start your career.

One-to-one career support

As a Business School Masters student, you can take advantage of one-to-one appointments with a specialist Masters Career Consultant to help you with specific issues, from finding a route into your career to applying for your dream role.

Career development programme

Our Career Development Programme has been designed alongside our core academic programme to help you achieve your career goals and develop the skills that employers are looking for.

This starts at the beginning of Term One with our Careers Weekend. This weekend will provide insight and enable the development of essential career management skills. Covering a wide range of topics, the event will support career planning, facilitate skills development and enhance your knowledge of the full recruitment cycle. The weekend will be actively focused on identifying, preparing and securing employment opportunities throughout your studies.

Sector specific presentations

Our Career Insights sessions are delivered by external professionals with expertise and knowledge of their particular sector which provide insights into working in areas that are popular with our students.

Previous guest speakers have delivered presentations on working in banking, professional services, and management development programmes within international companies.

Business Projects and Placements

The business project or placement is a great way to gain practical work experience and develop consultancy skills. We can help you choose from a range of regional, national and international organisations of different sizes in different sectors or you can source your own project – some target an organisation they’d like to work for. However you tailor the project, it will help you to put new knowledge and skills into practice and influence real life business issues.

International opportunities

We’re proud of our strong international connections. Helping you get an inside perspective on global business is a key part of the programme. That’s why you’ll have the opportunity to go on the optional International Study Tour to a European destination in March/April. This self-funded, one-week programme is a great way to immerse yourself in the country’s business environment, providing the chance to make new contacts and helping you stand out in the competitive jobs market.

If you are interested in carrying out research or a business project in an international location for your dissertation, we may also be able to connect you with our international partner institutions.

Support for International Students

We recognise that many of our students will progress their careers outside of the UK once they finish their studies, and our career development programme is designed with this in mind. We offer events focused on career opportunities in China and are continually developing relationships with international recruiters.

If you’re an international student interested in working in the UK after your studies, the careers team works closely with Durham University's Student Immigration & Financial Support Office to provide you with information related to immigration. Their advisers are dedicated to helping our students understand the requirements and restrictions of their visas during their studies and can provide limited advice on post-study visa requirements.

You can access English language support from English Language Centre.

Online resources

Through the Career Development Programme you will have access to a huge range of career resources including an interview simulator with a bank of interview questions, a CV builder, and our international Jobs Board.

Alumni career support

You can continue to make the most of our specialist career development advice after you graduate, including on-going one-to-one support from our Masters Career Consultants, workshops in our key locations, and continued access to our online career resources.

What our students think

Minglun Xian

MSc Marketing 2016-17

After getting into Durham University, I had many opportunities to take part in career planning activities, such as the London tour, career development lectures and alumni panels. Those activities greatly enhanced my skills and I believe my study experience at Durham helped me to be competitive in the job market.

On graduation I was offered a position as Key Account Manager with P&G China.

MSc Marketing one-year Durham University

Elias Koenig

The Masters in Marketing Programme at Durham was an outstanding and invaluable experience for me. I was able to broaden my horizon and shift my perspective on marketing, and as for my future career in marketing, I feel well equipped and very confident.

Fabiano Rocha-Rodrigues

The quality of the Masters in Marketing programme truly measures up to the worldwide reputation of Durham University. The expertise of the academics comes across through the dynamic and thought provoking lectures, and the level of critical thinking stimulated by the course has enabled me to be a better professional.

Shreen Sugeeta Nobbel

I decided to leave the corporate world and go back to school after working for a few years. It was Durham University’s exceptional reputation and standing that initially attracted me.

It was refreshing to unlearn obsolete concepts and learn new theories in marketing and business. The combination of theory, guest speakers, case studies, presentations, discussions and the opportunity to work with organisations on real business issues allowed for a comprehensive learning experience. The lecturers were professional, engaging and thought provoking which adds significant value to a Master’s program.

Having worked with an organisation on a class project for one of the modules landed me a full time position. As the Business Development Manager, I work on the company’s marketing and business strategy. I am glad that I am able to utilise the concepts I learned.

Durham lived up to my expectations. It was a challenging program and hard work. However it was worth it - my year in Durham was one to remember. 

Nazila Wilson

The highlight of the Marketing programme is being taught by lecturers that have a real passion for what they teach. I chose Durham for its excellent research reputation and from day one have felt challenged on both an academic and creative level. I can say that it has been one of the best career decisions of my life. It has been an unforgettable experience … I have met people from different cultures and gained an invaluable amount of knowledge.

I have secured employment with an innovative marketing and PR company.The Masters has been extremely useful in terms of economics, qualitative research methods, creative thinking and social media marketing.

Core Modules

Please note

The module content below applies to the currentr academic year and may be subject to change for subsequent years. It is provided as an indication only.

Contemporary Marketing Communication

  • Studying contemporary marketing communications to indicate the broad scope of study in this complex and evolving area
  • Persuasive communication: Hierarchy effects, consumer affect
  • Communication research techniques
  • Legal knowledge and the changing communication environment
  • Trouble-shooting and 'crisis' planning
  • Digital marketing analytics and intelligence
  • Review of consumer behaviour and consumption studies
  • Trends in digital and interactive marketing communications and integration of social media content

Consumers and Consumption

Content will include, but is not limited to, subjects such as:

  • Consumer Society
  • Organisational Buyers
  • Consumer Culture Theory
  • Consumption Experience
  • Consumer Choice
  • Cultural and Brand Meaning
  • Brand Communities and Subcultures
  • Reference Groups
  • The Self, Identity and Symbolic Consumption
  • Consumer Motivation and Desire
  • Involvement
  • Attitudes
  • Learning and Memory
  • Retail Psychology/Situational and Environmental Issues
  • Consumer Misbehaviour
  • Impulse Buying

Marketing Management and Strategy

  • The Marketing Concept
  • The Marketing and Strategy Environment
  • Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
  • The 4 Ps (product, promotion, place and price)
  • Marketing Strategy- Introduction and Context
  • Developing a marketing strategy

Marketing Theory

  • The Development of Marketing Theory and Thought: Multiple Paradigmatic Perspectives
  • Paradigms and Marketing Theory (logical empiricism, interpretive research (CCT), critical theory, postmodernism, feminism and postcolonialism)
  • Marketing as Exchange, Transactions, Relationships, or Seduction?
  • Conceptualising the Consumer: As King? As Sucker? As Guinea Pig? As Amateur? As Postmodern Chameleon? As Misbehaving?
  • Market Research Practices
  • Co-Creation and the Mobilisation and Manipulation of Consumer Practice
  • Service Provision, Emotional Labour, Sexualised Labour and Abject Labour
  • Power and Vulnerability in the Marketplace
  • Marketing in Non-Western Contexts
  • The Darksides of Marketing
  • Final Reflections on Postmodernism and Marketing


The Business School operates on three campuses: Durham City; Ushaw College (a short bus ride from Durham City); and Queen’s Campus in Stockton.

The MSc Marketing programme is delivered primarily at Ushaw, with some elective modules taught in Durham City.

Accommodation is recommended in Durham City.

From 2016 all teaching may be moved to Durham City. Further details will be published in due course.

Ushaw College lies 6 miles west of Durham City. Ushaw College – a place of learning since 1808 – offers the heritage and history of the beautiful North East city of Durham, together with the facilities of a leading business school. Thirty acres of stunning grounds and rolling English countryside will give you focus and calm for your rigorous academic studies; yet hop on the free bus and you’ll be in the heart of Durham City within minutes.

Durham University Business School’s main campus is also based in Durham – at Mill Hill Lane. So, as well as enjoying a close-knit, friendly community and inviting social spaces at Ushaw, you’ll have full access to the facilities of the recently developed Business School, including IT, library and restaurant. You can engage with students from other programmes at the main site too, such as our Masters in Management and MBA students.

With a population of around 43,000, Durham has a compact, friendly feel yet enjoys a constant buzz of activity. Cafes, bars and restaurants are plentiful. You’ll find a mix of popular high-street shops and individual boutiques with their own ranges of goods. And the Gala Theatre and Cinema in the City’s Millennium Square offer culture and entertainment. You’ll be among some of the world’s finest architecture too. The iconic Durham Cathedral is voted UK’s number one landmark (Trip Advisor 2013), which together with the City’s castle, has made Durham a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Take a virtual tour of Ushaw College

"Living in Ushaw College has been a very pleasant experience. If you are studying an MSc in Marketing, classes are only one minute away from the dorm, which makes it very convenient to get to class or submit an assignment. There are free buses every hour on weekdays and a few over the weekends, so you don’t have to worry about transport.

Staff are very friendly and helpful and the atmosphere is very nice. Highly recommended if you are studying MSc in Marketing. On top of that, it’s very rare to get the chance to live in a UNESCO-protected, 200-year-old building. It has been a very good year for me at Ushaw."

Paranee Tantbirojn, MSc Marketing

This location introduces new, different and exciting aspects to the learning experience.

"Ushaw College gives students the space and tranquillity to learn in an environment steeped in history. The quality of the transformation of the historic college buildings into a world class business school, with associated facilities, has been nothing short of exceptional. This location introduces new, different and exciting aspects to the learning experience at Durham University Business School. I feel privileged to have experienced it."

Rebecca Walters, Durham graduate

CIM Graduate Gateway

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the leading professional body for marketers worldwide and exists to develop the marketing profession, maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing practitioners.

Durham University has joined forces with CIM to give students the opportunity to gain professional qualifications through CIM Graduate Gateway. CIM qualifications are highly sought after by employers, and map alongside our own degrees which ensures we are equipping students with the best opportunities for a successful marketing career.

Please contact us for further details

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"When a company sees you are from Durham they know there is more to you than just your studies."

Mary Douglass
MSc Marketing
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