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MSc Marketing

Study for a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) accredited Masters in Marketing and you'll graduate with excellent career prospects. We're ranked among the top institutions for marketing in the UK.

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Key facts

  • Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September
  • Duration MSc full-time: 12 months, MSc part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules
  • Accreditations Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

Our University of Stirling Management School’s Marketing Division ranks among the top in the country. Marketing at Stirling was ranked 2nd in Scotland and top 10 in the UK  in the Complete University Guide 2019.

Marketing is about creating, communicating and delivering exchanges of value between an organisation and its customers that satisfy the customer, the organisation and society at large. Our Masters in Marketing course gives you the opportunity to gain a theoretical and practical understanding of marketing, and its role within organisations. 

You’ll learn about the practice and theory of modern marketing, as well as current business trends in the areas of brand identity creation, multi-channel marketing and sport marketing.

Our MSc Marketing course was one of the first in the country to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). CIM accreditation means that when you successfully complete the course, it's easier to gain a Professional Diploma in Marketing. Two of the Diploma modules will be waived and to gain the CIM Professional Diploma you will only need to undertake two CIM modules rather than the usual four, giving you a competitive edge in your career.

Our research-led teaching approach is a key strength of this course. In addition to consistently engaging in academic literature through weekly readings and module assessments, the course gives you a number of opportunities to apply concepts, theories and frameworks to practical aspects. Our students collaborate during their studies with a wide variety of organisations including not-for-profit, third sector and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Degree pathways

This course is aimed primarily at students wishing to convert from other disciplines or those who wish to gain a qualification that will validate their work experiences. Additionally, you can gain recognition of your interest in a specific area of Marketing through our named pathways. You can work towards our core Masters degree, the MSc Marketing, or opt to specialise in one of the following pathways of study by the end of Semester 2:

MSc Marketing with Brand Management

This pathway offers you the opportunity to focus more on the specifics of developing and using brands.

MSc Marketing with Retail

You’ll have the opportunity to acquire and extend your knowledge in the area of retailing. The retail sector is a major employer throughout the world and one which requires a sound skill set in order to be able to manage profitable interactions with suppliers and consumers.

Both of our pathways are modular. If you take either pathway you'll take the same three core topics of study in Semester 1, to provide you with a depth of relevant and up-to-date marketing knowledge.

Then you can choose to specialise in either Brand Management or Retail, by taking related specialist modules. To complete your MSc, you're given the opportunity to showcase your learning through either an individual dissertation or a group research project in the area of branding or retail.

The University of Stirling Management School

At the University of Stirling Management School, the principle of responsible business, policy and practice is central to everything we do. This vision helps us to equip our students effectively with the skills to act as global citizens, capable of addressing the needs of society.

As a member of the Chartered Association for Business Schools, we have strong links with industry and were recently awarded the Small Business Charter for engagement with local and regional enterprise.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Course objectives

    The MSc Marketing provides you with an understanding of the concepts and systems underlying marketing practice and allows you to develop your skills of diagnosis and implementation in marketing management and research processes. At the end of the course you’ll be able to:

    • nurture and consolidate a customer-focused management approach in a variety of different market settings, organisation types and policy situations
    • design, plan, implement and evaluate research-based marketing strategies
    • gain exposure to ethical issues that arise from marketing activities and to understand the impact marketing has on society in general
    • conduct research into contemporary marketing practice
    Industry connections

    The University of Stirling Management School has excellent links with local and national organisations. Guest speakers from across the private, public and third sectors regularly engage with our MSc Marketing students, providing a practical perspective on contemporary marketing topics through a series of guest lectures and workshops. Speakers have included:

    • Garry Lace - Manchester University
    • Martin Raymond - Cloudline PR Agency
    • Ken Thompson – Breakthrough Business Research.

    Students have recently worked on projects with representatives from EASA Training Ltd, Indigo Lighthouse, RD Support, Snowsports Scotland, Scottish Biomedical, Stirling Art and Waterski Scotland.

    Our students have also benefitted from recent site visits to external organisations such as ASDA, Blue Sky Experience (specialist team building and team development company) and New Lanark Visitor Centre.

    Preparing Business Leaders of the Future

    Postgraduate education at the University of Stirling Management School goes beyond text books and lecture rooms, we also focus on your personal and professional development.

    Our unique Flying Start Leadership programme equips you with the awareness, knowledge and techniques essential for building a successful career. These range from practical skills, like effective public speaking, to developing ways to work under pressure in difficult situations such as conflict management. Find out more about Flying Start.

    The Marketing Management Applications core module in the spring semester aims to provide you with an equivalent experience to an industry placement. It gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge and increase your confidence working on a ‘live’ marketing topic as you operate within the management boundaries and budget of an external client organisation.

    The combination of academic frameworks and theories within the constraints of what can feasibly be done by the organisation within its own resources, will prepare you for similar tasks that will be required of you in your future career. 

    Developing your brand

    You’ll explore your personal brand and the directions in which you want to develop.  Beginning with the creation of an Insights? Discovery Personal Profile, the aim is to encourage independent, creative thinkers who know how to communicate their views and values to others, including potential employers.

    Working with our team of consultants, you’ll receive your own Insights? Discovery Personal Profile which offers an engaging, reinforcing and transformational insight into your personality and how you compare to others. Based on the model of personality developed by Carl Jung, the Insights? Discovery profile offers you a framework for self-understanding and personal development.  The profile can help you to learn about your approach to:

    • decision-making
    • your key strengths and weaknesses in working relationships
    • your value to the team
    • your communication style
    • possible blind spots
    Preparation for International students coming to study in the UK

    Prepare for Success is an interactive web learning tool for international students who are coming to the UK to study. Take a look at the Prepare for Success website to get more information.

  • Professional accreditations

    Our Masters course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the world’s leading professional marketing body, and counts towards the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing. Upon successful completion, you’ll only need to complete two modules with CIM to gain the Diploma.

  • Flexible learning

    If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

  • Research

    The University of Stirling Management School is rated among the top 25 in the UK for research impact, according to REF 2014. In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five.

    64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour. We were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.

    Members of our academic staff regularly publish in journals such as:

    • British Journal of Management
    • Journal of Marketing Management
    • European Journal of Marketing
    • Journal of Business Ethics
    • Journal of Advertising
    • Industrial Marketing Management
    • Marketing Intelligence and Planning
    • Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services

    Our staff consistently serve as conference and track chairs at international marketing conferences and hold editorial posts across a wide-variety of academic journals. Notably, current members of staff regularly provide consultation to industry in high-profile issues such as the recent horse meat scandal, the role of marketing towards children and the issues facing the high street retailers across the UK.

  • Academic requirements

    A minimum of a second class honours degree, or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work experience are encouraged to apply.

    Other routes of entry

    INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma for those students who do not meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Business, Finance and Sport and meet the required progression grades, you'll be guaranteed entry onto this Masters degree.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 with minimum 162 in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 with minimum of 162 in each skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

  • Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

This is a one-year full-time course consisting of two semesters followed by a dissertation or a consultancy project over the summer months.

The course is modular. There’s three core topics of study in Semester 1 which will provide you with a depth of relevant and up-to-date knowledge. In the Semester 2 you’ll gain an appreciation of contemporary issues in marketing through your choice of four elective modules. The pool of elective subjects is refreshed on a regular basis. Over the summer, you’ll then complete the MSc by showcasing your learning through a research or business consultancy project in the area of marketing.



The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course Details

  • Teaching

    The taught modules of the MSc course are delivered using a variety of methods such as lectures, tutorials, case studies, role playing, computer simulations, fieldwork exercises, site visits, guest speakers and company projects. There’s a good balance between theory and practice.

    You’ll have access to the Markstrat simulation platform, a web-based approach to developing marketing strategy and planning practice in a competitive environment. By means of various performance standards and protocols, you’ll get to test and improve your skills in market analytics, decision-making, budgeting, planning and performance assessment.

    Research Methods Poster Session

    All students on our MSc Marketing course present their evolving ideas for their individual dissertations or group projects in visual form as a ‘scientific’ poster with an accompanying presentation.  You must defend the ideas presented in your poster to both staff and to the other MSc students.  This has proved to be a very successful event, particularly for building your confidence in your own ideas.

    Consultancy style project

    You’ll have the opportunity to gain first-hand practical experience by working on consultancy style projects with external clients. The Marketing Management Applications core module in Semester 2, aims to provide you with an equivalent experience to an industry placement.  It gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge and increase your confidence working on a ‘live’ marketing topic as you operate within the management boundaries and budget of an external client organisation.

    Each group has a client organisation that provides a real problem that matters to them and asks the group to explore that topic and to come back with various suggestions or solutions.  The range of topics typically come from a mixture of private, public and Third Sector organisations, such as charities and social enterprises.  The projects can cover anything from identifying potential customers through to the opportunities for international expansion.  It will be up to you, working with an academic supervisor, to set up the study, to investigate the issues that arise and to present your findings back to the client.

    The combination of academic frameworks and theories within the constraints of what can feasibly be done by the organisation within its own resources, will prepare you for similar tasks that will be required of you in your future career.  In some cases, a student conducting a project has been employed subsequently by the organisation with which they partnered during the module.

    Malcolm McGregor, Director, Broadbreach provided the following feedback after completion of a student project with his company:

    I can honestly say that I found the whole experience to be extremely useful. The students were highly intelligent and really switched on. The most useful aspect was their knowledge on how to use social media technology effectively, where to go to get essential knowledge, how to access analytics on traffic coming and leaving your website etc. The students were not afraid to provide a brutally honest appraisal of the business' marketing, how it compared to competitors and provide useful, simple and fast solutions.

    It’s very easy to become blind to all of the elements the students highlighted. The potential to make simple changes to create commercial returns is clearly very high. Altogether fantastic value for money. Thank you very much for permitting us to benefit!

    Malcolm McGregor, Director, Broadbreach

    Final project

    In your final semester, we give you the choice of doing a dissertation or a consultancy style project. Find out more about what's involved on this consultancy project in our video:

    Be a successful team member

    There’s a significant amount of required group and team work on the MSc. You’ll be encouraged to become more effective communicators and supportive team members in a professional business environment.  To help you, you receive feedback from other group members through formal peer assessment procedures and you’ll write reflective statements that consider why and how you made certain decisions and how they relate to the concepts you have been learning.

  • Assessment

    Much of the assessment is continuous and may include research reports, essays, briefings, management reports, case analyses, debates, literature reviews, marketing communication plans, poster sessions and presentations. Assessed work is often conducted in groups, as developing teamwork and communication skills are seen as important.

    In your final semester, you have the choice of doing a dissertation or a consultancy style project. 

  • Course director
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships and funding
    Stirling Management School postgraduate scholarships

    Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, helping them to further their education with one of our degree courses. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies.

    If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

    Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

Stirling Management School has a dedicated Employability Manager and from the very beginning of the course, your career is our focus.

Career opportunities exist not only in manufacturing and services but increasingly in public, social and non-profit sectors. There’s high demand for marketing professionals with specialist qualifications throughout the world across virtually every sector of business. As a Stirling graduate in Marketing you have excellent career prospects.

Our graduates have gone on to work with well-known brands and with organisations in countries such as Japan, China, Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, India. They’re currently contributing to the performance of the following organisations:

  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Nokia
  • Unilever
  • eBay
  • Pepsico
  • Bloomberg
  • NCR Corporation
  • Intelligent Media Ltd
  • Nestle
  • Capital Group UK
  • Google

HigherEd Global Talent Portal

As a Management School student, you have access to the HigherEd Global Talent Portal where you’ll find internship, trainee positions, apprenticeships and graduate positions from companies around the world.  It helps international students looking for placements back at home and local students that want to explore an international experience.

The global talent portal is in addition to all other existing initiatives and resources available for you through the Careers and Employability Service, and the Target Connect vacancy and events system.

  • Employability skills

    You’ll have the opportunity to gain first-hand practical experience by working on consultancy style projects with external clients.

     The Marketing Management Applications core module in the Spring semester aims to provide you with an equivalent experience to an industry placement. It gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge and increase your confidence working on a ‘live’ marketing topic as you operate within the management boundaries and budget of an external client organisation.

    Before you start your MSc course, you'll have the opportunity to take our unique Flying Start leadership Programme. Throughout our two-week programme, we'll challenge your perspective of culture and develop your self-awareness, as well as team-working, problem-solving and presentation skills.

  • Companies we work with

    MSc Marketing graduates in the past three years are currently employed as:

    • Marketing and Communications Officer, Stirling Council (UK)
    • Sales Consultant, Yves Saint Laurent (UK)
    • Marketing Communications Associate, Eugenides Foundation (Greece)
    • Global Sales, Karma Medical Products (Taiwan)
    • Social Media Manager, Liquorice - Digital Innovation for Brands (Africa)

    Building on that foundation, alumni of the University of Stirling’s MSc Marketing degree who graduated between five and ten years ago have since advanced into some of the following positions:

    • Brand Manager, Unilever (Greece)
    • Senior PR Specialist, National Education Association (USA)
    • Sales and Marketing Executive, Alma Lasers (Japan)
    • Senior Marketing Specialist, Symantec (Mexico)
    • Account Manager, Cheil (Taiwan)
    • Account Executive, McCann Erickson (Greece)
    • Senior Lecturer, University of Roehampton (UK)

    Some of our more established alumni are currently leading and shaping marketing strategy across many different sectors:

    • Marketing Manager, Nestle (Greece)
    • Supply Chain Manager, Aibel Pte Ltd (Singapore)
    • Director of Marketing and E-Business, Elsevier (Hong Kong)
    • International Sales Manager, Importaco, S.A. (Spain)
Siriphat Jirapathomsakul
I completed a project which allowed me to put learning into practice for a local business, which gave me an understanding of the marketplace, team work and a real business environment.
Siriphat Jirapathomsakul
Thailand MSc Marketing with Brand Management
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The benefit of studying MSc Marketing at Stirling is the course design which has led to me gaining practical marketing skills alongside a wealth of knowledge in the subject.
Craig Black
MSc Marketing
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I feel the programme equipped me with the skills I need such as teamwork, presentation and communication skills in order to be successful moving forward. I feel at home here at Stirling.
Hayford Tawiah
MSc Marketing
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