Media and Advertising

MA, 1 year, full-time

This is for you if... you want to explore advertising in its complexity and in a global perspective, as a cultural phenomenon that plays a crucial role in contemporary society.

Course Description

The MA Media and Advertising will equip you with both the theoretical and the practical research skills to understand and critically evaluate one of the most creative promotional industries in the world: advertising. You will explore this dynamic phenomenon from different standpoints and use multidisciplinary approaches deriving from Media, Communication and Cultural Studies, as well as Marketing and Consumer Studies.

The course covers a range of topics, including:

  • the role of advertising in media and consumer societies (history, industry and issues);
  • the ubiquity of promotional culture (political advertising, public service advertising, branding, anti-consumer movements, etc.);
  • the importance of researching advertising messages and campaigns using a variety of methods;
  • the position of advertising in the marketing toolkit available to companies;
  • the necessity to understand consumers' behaviour.

You will also explore advertising from the standpoint of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour, and explore the relevant key concepts and practices. You will investigate how advertising promotes brand awareness and influences consumers’ decision making processes. You will gain an understanding of the creative strategies used in advertising and the use of research in relation to advertising effectiveness, as well as the ability to work and be assessed on live creative briefs and advertising research projects. During the course you will also have the opportunity to hear guest speakers from the industry, who will share their valuable experiences with you. In the past few years, the MA Media and Advertising featured the following guest speakers from the advertising industry:

  • Jamie Mollart, Director of the advertising agency Rock Kitchen Harris
  • David Bassett, Director of Analytics at the advertising research company Lumen Research
  • Natalie Edwards, Director of the cultural insight and innovation consultancy Canopy

The MA Media and Advertising is taught by Media and Communication and by Management and it is this partnership that ensures you will grasp advertising in its complexity, as a cultural phenomenon that plays a crucial role in contemporary societies, as well as a marketing tool that promotes brands, political ideas and non-profit messages. As a result you will be well equipped to pursue a career in advertising or marketing or continue your study in a research degree (PhD).

If you enrol as a student on this programme, you will have free access to the WARC (World Advertising Research Centre) database that contains over 10,000 advertising campaigns!

The programme consists of core and option modules and a dissertation based on a piece of individually supervised research. This provides you with the opportunity to examine in depth a topic of particular relevance to your study and interests, and to put into practice the skills you have acquired in data analysis, project management, and research presentation.

Key Facts
Start date
September each year
Media and Communication

Why Leicester?

One of the UK's longest established academic centres for communication and media studies, we are internationally recognised for our innovative research.

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 tutors and leading researchers in the field.

Our research work is being supported by major government and international organisations.

Course Structure

Core modules

Core modules

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.

Option modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:


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.



You will be required to complete a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 word on a topic of your choice in the area of advertising and media, allowing you to focus on a particular topic that interests you. You will be able to apply the skills you have developed throughout the degree in the management of an advertising-related research project, the analysis of advertising materials and data, and the application of the most relevant critical advertising theories and studies.

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.

Teaching and Assessment

You will be taught by a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.

Assessment is by means of essays, research methods assignments, if you complete the Masters degree, and a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words (if you complete the Masters degree).

Entry Requirements

2:1 degree in a relevant subject, or an equivalent professional qualification.

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

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 and Funding

Career Opportunities

Our Masters degree will demonstrate to potential employers that you have an in-depth knowledge of advertising, its working mechanisms and its global industry, which can help you to stand out in the job market. Our programme has a strong emphasis on international content and research methods, which will have a practical application in the professional world.

Some of the key career destinations include advertising agencies, advertising research institutes, companies, as well as international media outlets, news agencies, government departments (e.g. publicity, education, health) and PR agencies, amongst 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
Media and Advertising MA 1 year full-time September each year Apply Now
Media and Advertising
1 year full-time
Start Dates
September each year

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