Communication, Media and Advertising

MA, PGDip, 2 years, by distance learning

This is for you if... you want the flexibility of studying by distance learning whilst increasing your understanding of the role of advertising both as an activity and an industry in a global context.

Course Description

The MA in Communication, Media and Advertising provides a thorough and critical understanding of advertising in a broad media context. The course combines a reflective analysis of media and communication studies with issues of policy and professional practices across a range of media industries with a specific focus on advertising.

This distance learning MA is designed for graduates with experience in advertising, marketing or related sectors who want to enhance their qualifications, and for those with an academic background in the social sciences or humanities who aspire to careers, or to teach, in these sectors.

The first year of the course, which is common to all our Media and Communication distance learning courses, will give you a thorough grounding in the knowledge and research expertise needed to address a wide range of themes and debates related to media communications.

In the second year, specialist modules explore the advertising industry in a global context, examining advertising as a form of communication shaped by economic, cultural and social factors, and as an occupational practice. These modules will explore how advertising works in different media; advertising history and development; ethical, regulatory and social issues; the nature and impact of advertising; and consumer behaviour and marketing research.

This degree will develop your ability to think both analytically and critically and develop your independent learning and research skills. You will have access to the current thinking of key researchers and writers in the field from around the world.

By choosing to study by distance learning, you will have the flexibility to fit your study around existing commitments and enhance your career prospects without having to leave employment.

Key Facts
Start date
April and October each year
Media and Communication
Admissions enquiries

Social Science Distance Learning Hub
+44 (0)116 252 5164 or 5780 or 7575

Department of Media and Communication website

Why Leicester?

In 1978 the University of Leicester launched the UK's first Masters Degree in the field of media and communication.

You will be taught by experienced and highly qualified tutors and leading researchers in the field.

As the UK’s leading provider of postgraduate distance learning courses, the University of Leicester is a centre for e-learning and is committed to the further development of flexible learning systems.

Leading scholars from many different institutions around the world have created learning materials which are exclusive to our courses and which build into an invaluable resource for the study of the media.

Course Structure

  • Year 1


    • Key Issues and Approaches in Media Study
    • Media History and Social Regulation
    • Media in Global Context
    • Communications and Globalisation
    • Investigating Media
    • Media Industries: Convergence, Divergence
    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.
  • Year 2


    • Professional Practices
    • Audience and Reception
    • Advertising: industry, contexts, impacts
    • Advertising as Communication

    Plus your Dissertation

    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years. 


What's the difference?

If you complete all of the required modules and a dissertation you will be awarded an MA, however it is also possible to compete only the required modules in order to gain the qualification of Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip). This is an 'exit award' only which means that you cannot apply for the PGDip directly; you must apply for the MA.

Teaching and Assessment


This distance learning course is taught primarily through the study of texts and other media including email, website and audio-visual resources. There will be provision for some face-to-face tuition.

The teaching materials produced for our distance learning courses are the product of very considerable preparation, drawing on a range of expertise from universities around the world and assessed by experts of high standing.

The flexibility of materials-based learning offers you more scope to develop study patterns that fit in with your preferred pace of study and are adapted to your particular needs and circumstances.

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will support you with all academic aspects of the course. Our Distance Learning Office is another point of contact and support. Study support is also provided by the online conference which all registered students, personal tutors, alumni and others can subscribe to. All you require is an email connection.

Course conferences are held annually in the UK and arrangements may be held elsewhere where there are sufficient numbers of students. Conferences are open to all students. They provide an invaluable opportunity to meet fellow students and academic staff.


In Year 1 you will complete five written assignments and one examination. In Year 2 you will complete four written assignments and a dissertation of 12,000 to 15,000 words.

Distance Learning

Online learning is an important feature of this course, therefore it is essential that you have reliable, regular access to the internet (preferably with a broadband connection) in order to participate.

As a distance learning student, you will have access to the University Library's electronic service, the Leicester Digital Library, which includes a large number of e-journals and e-books. You are also welcome to join campus-based activities (by prior arrangement) at any time.

If you live close to Leicester you can, of course, visit the Library in person. For UK-based students who wish to use other libraries, we can issue you with a card which allows you to do so. This is a national scheme which allows distance learning students to borrow material from up to three other participating libraries.

Entry Requirements

2:1 or equivalent professional qualification

We can give special consideration to applicants who have significant work experience in a relevant field.

You may be invited to submit an entry assignment in support of your application.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees for 2015

  • This is the total course fee for the MA or the Postgraduate Diploma. Please note that the fees for our distance learning courses are based on where you will be residing in the world during your studies.

    Starting in October 2015 or April 2016

    • £8,910

  • This is the total course fee for the MA or the Postgraduate Diploma. Please note that the fees for our distance learning courses are based on where you will be residing in the world during your studies.

    Starting in October 2015 or April 2016

Career Opportunities

This Masters degree will demonstrate to potential employers that you have a high level of knowledge in your particular area, which can set you apart from others in the job market. The course has a strong emphasis on research methods and training, which will have a practical application in the professional world.

Some of the key career destinations include new media organisations, as well as press and broadcast organisations with a new media component, international news agencies, government departments (e.g. publicity, education, health), advertising firms, public relations organisations, and many others.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Communication, Media and Advertising MA 2 years part-time April and October each year Apply Now
Communication, Media and Advertising
2 years part-time
Start Dates
April and October each year

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