Studying Marketing at University

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2 Table of Contents 1 Introduction Joint and postgraduate opportunities 2 Choosing the right course 3 Entry requirements 4 Applications Interviews 5 Typical modules 6 Day in the life 7 Marketing at DMU

3 1 Introduction No product exists in a vacuum. The images and personas that are associated with your favourite brands and celebrities are the product of a marketing team s initiative, research and hard work. This is an extremely fast paced and dynamic industry, working with a whole range of products and companies and diversifying into new and developing fields all times. Students with good communication skills, creative minds and those who are open to new opportunities may be ready for a marketing career. Whether it s conducting market research, analysing consumer web behaviour, profiling the market or developing an online marketing plan, marketing professionals will work with all elements of the marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion) to sell products or services for their organisation. Some graduates may work in marketing departments developing products and brands or in agencies creating advertising, public relations and direct marketing campaigns; in fact a degree in marketing can open up a wide range of career opportunities. Marketing roles exist in all types of industries including health, care, retailing, entertainment services, high tech products, travel and tourism and nonprofit organisations. Marketing professionals work with the sales team and many other departments within a business organisation to develop successful brands which can be the backbone of a successful company. Marketing professionals often create and maintain global brands, determining who they should be aimed at and how they should be developed. Marketing roles also exist in advertising and communication agencies being part of the team that creates advertisements for television and online media, managing public relations stunts, developing packaging design and imagery and other publicity material. Job prospects in marketing will become more robust in the next few years. In the current economic climate in the UK people with marketing know-how are increasingly important to businesses, helping organisations work out how they can identify and engage with customers using strategic thinking, business acumen and carefully designed communications. An emerging area where skills are needed is in digital marketing as many companies now want graduates to have web marketing skills and expertise in social media management. Joint and postgraduate opportunities Students have a varied choice when it comes to studying marketing in the UK. There is considerable variation in marketing courses, with both single honours and joint degrees (e.g. Marketing and Psychology), general and specialist programmes, four year sandwich degrees (with a placement in year three) and straight three year programmes. Most marketing courses in the UK incorporate marketing practice into their course alongside academic subjects and require students to undertake applied projects and presentations (some with industry input) in addition to examinations. Masters courses exist in most UK business schools. Often, MSc Marketing Degrees focus on specialist areas such as Retailing, Strategic Marketing or Advertising enabling postgraduates to build their expertise in specific areas of marketing. There are also some important practitioner associations that offer well-respected industry qualifications, notably the Chartered Institute of Marketing, which has developed a range of Marketing Diplomas for practitioners and the Institute of Direct Marketing, which offer well-regarded qualifications in a growing area.

4 2 Choosing the right course Marketing is a very popular option, which means that finding a marketing course that suits you should not be difficult as undergraduate marketing degrees are offered in a wide range of UK universities. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a course module content; the reputation of the department or Faculty; the facilities available for study and the range of industry links or work placement opportunities available to candidates. Students should examine a university prospectus carefully in terms of the content of the marketing courses they are considering. It is useful to look at job advertisements and see what the roles show as required experience or knowledge. It is important to have both creative subjects such as advertising but also to have modules that can enable learning about the performance aspects too with focus on strategic aspects of marketing, marketing research and on emerging subjects such as search engine marketing and digital marketing management. Many UK degrees in marketing will offer elective choices where you can select between a number of options in year two and three of programmes. There are many marketing degrees, some are general, some are more specialist, it is important a student chooses what really interests them. The reputation of the department or business school and the academic staff is an important criteria but the actual student achievement is also worth noting i.e. the number of 1.1 and 2.1 Honours degrees. These statistics offer a picture of what it is possible for students to achieve. As part of the reputation of the department, students are increasingly looking at whether they can get links into professional bodies when they study so it is worth checking whether the marketing department has links to professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Links with professional bodies can be checked at open events when visiting prospective universities. Facilities are also another indicator of quality. Is the university investing in the latest technology and library facilities to support the subject? Are laboratories up to date? Most university databases are now electronic so look at how students access the learning resources for studying marketing that are available on campus. One final criteria for many students is an industrial placement. Some institutions have dedicated placement offices or units that facilitate student efforts to obtain a 6 or 12 month marketing placement. Prospective recruiters of graduates in 2012 have confirmed that one third (36%) of this year s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations, either through industrial placements, vacation work or sponsorships. Students should check if there is a placement aspect to the degree they are selecting and be aware of how this can boost their CV. Competition for graduate positions is now fierce (approximately 70 applicants for every graduate post, Guardian, 2011), so choosing a course that enhances employability is critical.

5 3 Entry requirements Due to the ever evolving nature of the industry and the diversity of careers available, Marketing is a desirable career for many students. With this in mind potential applicants should be aware of how competitive courses will be and should be prepared to work to enhance their applications to best reflect their skills and knowledge. To ensure the best chance of success students should begin with securing the right academic portfolio. Entry onto an undergraduate degree will often depend on a candidate obtaining a minimum of five GCSE s at grade C or above, often stipulating that English and sometimes Maths are amongst these. Currently there are no set subjects that students must choose at FE level, however, there are some that may be viewed as more suitable/advantageous. For example, a strong foundation knowledge of business may be of benefit for students hoping to study strategic routes. For those looking into more creative avenues, art or media backgrounds may provide a strong basis to build skills upon. Due to the nature of these courses, subjects such as English are also seen as desirable. These will help students to develop the necessary communication and analytical skills needed to be successful on an undergraduate course in marketing and will also help to develop the written skills required to complete any theory work that may be attached to a course. Universities will consider students from a range of different academic backgrounds, including A Levels, BTECs, Access courses and the International Baccalaureate. Typically an offer can range from UCAS points, so students are advised to visit each individual institutions website or prospectus for the exact entry requirements.

6 4 Applications Competition for most university places is normally fierce and despite the range of marketing degrees it is no exception. It is essential that students use their personal statement to focus on why they want to do a marketing course and pursue a career in marketing. The personal statement should show a balance of things about the student (achievements over the school period, qualities, evidence of those qualities). It should also detail academic progress, subjects that are of interest and projects that have been completed well. Universities are looking for good, all round candidates who do not list everything they have done and do not oversell themselves. The application should be in a calm tone and give clear, concise examples of the activities that a student has been involved in over the last two/three years. In addition it is useful to demonstrate a strong understanding of business generally and how marketing plays a vital role in the success of any business operation. Students may wish to highlight some particular marketing or business operation they have been involved in or show awareness of how marketing is responding to the ever changing world that we live in. Reading newspapers and industry related magazines, or following key industry figures on social networking sites will all help equip students with a better understanding of the subject. Students are encouraged to embrace any opportunities for work experience they can participate in, as this will demonstrate commitment and will be useful for gaining a better understanding of their subject. Students should also be aware of any opportunities to participate in enterprise schemes at school where they can develop their business and marketing skills. Demonstrating a broad range of interests outside the academic world is also important as universities are looking for well rounded individuals who will be able to participate and contribute to all areas of university life. It is important to demonstrate that students can communicate effectively, so evidence that they have worked in liaison with others and taken some initiative themselves would be helpful. Interviews Not all students that are applying for a marketing based course will be offered an interview. For those that are, the interviews will discuss reasons for applying for the course, experience of the subject to date and plans for dealing with the experiences of going to university. Students will also get an opportunity to ask questions about the modules on their chosen programme, assessment methods and student support. At some institutions, such as DMU, interviews are part of an Open Day that covers what university life is like, with input from current students, students on placement and a campus tour. It is about giving students a platform to tell the university about themselves and for them to meet staff. Students can also find out a little about different styles of teaching, how the Business School selects candidates and what you can achieve as a graduate. Interviewers will also discuss what they expect of students once they join an undergraduate course. Admissions tutors look for a well-rounded person, someone who seems to be realistic about university life and seems to be willing to work hard to achieve their potential. Being clear on why they have chosen that course, talking about hopes for the future and explaining the kinds of social activities they hope to engage in will give them a better picture of the candidate and their potential in a marketing career.

7 5 Typical modules Year one Financial decision making Communication, academic skills and employability Introduction to entrepreneurship and enterprise, Principles of marketing Marketing information and decision making Digital and social media context of business Year two Market research Buyer behaviour Brand management Advertising and promotion Interactive and direct marketing, International marketing, Retail business OPTIONAL PLACEMENT YEAR Year three Marketing project Strategic marketing management, Marketing of services, Retail marketing, Interactive marketing campaign, E-Marketing, Global marketing strategies, Customer management

8 6 A day in the life Marketing students can expect a timetable of hours a week made up of lectures, tutorials and workshops. In addition to this scheduled teaching time, students are expected to supplement their learning with a minimum of 20 hours of independent study including reading, research and revision in preparation for assessments and exams. Marketing students should have a keen desire to keep up with business and marketing trends and be prepared to read widely around their subjects from a diverse range of material including text books, academic journals and industry publications. Students studying any of the Marketing related courses at DMU will take a common first year of 6 marketing and business related modules, providing a solid foundation to progress to more marketing specific modules in the second and third years. In the second and final year students will have a range of core marketing modules but then be given the opportunity to select additional marketing modules corresponding to any particular specialist area of interest. In all the marketing courses there is the option of doing an industrial placement year in-between the second and final years of study. Students will have the opportunity to apply for jobs with a wide range of well known global brands such as Bosch, Disney, IBM, Porsche & Intel. Our placement students undertake a 12 month paid role and gain invaluable marketing experience which improves their employability at the end of their degree. In addition to their job roles they develop a portfolio of their work experience which is useful in developing their employability profile and when applying for graduate jobs. Students are fully supported in their placement applications by a dedicated placement unit and by their tutors. Marketing students will enjoy a wide range of teaching formats. Topics are normally introduced in lectures and supported with case study analysis, interactive tasks and discussions in tutorials and workshops. Students will also have the opportunity to hear guest lecturers from a range of industry experts and ask them questions directly. Assessments for marketing students will encompass a series of different formats in order to develop a range of skills. Throughout the course of the academic year students will be expected to complete a collection of written reports and essays where they will be required to analyse problems or case studies and apply theoretical knowledge. In addition they may be required to undertake a group or individual presentation and multiple-choice exams to test their understanding. At the end of the academic year there will be a written exam in most modules to complete their range of assessments. In addition to the placement year offered on the Marketing degree programmes the University also offers an Erasamus scheme where students have the opportunity to spend some of their study time in an overseas University. The University also offers a Frontrunners internship scheme which gives students the chance to gain valuable work experience throughout various departments in the University including our marketing department.

9 7 Marketing at DMU Throughout the last few years DMU has launched a range of dynamic marketing programmes, such as the BA (Hons) in Marketing Management and BA (Hons) in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Both programmes remain two of our more sought-after marketing courses, with strong links to organisations such as Next or national marketing media agencies such as BIG Communications. The recent introduction of the BA (Hons) in Digital Marketing and Social Media, the first degree of its kind in the UK, exemplifies this commitment to innovation within the marketing school. Our dedication to making our courses amongst the best in the country is reflected in our reputation for student support, achieving 1st in student satisfaction across the UK in (National Student Survey). We actively encourage our students to work beyond their timetable and syllabus, to push themselves to the next level and obtain vital skills and experiences as they do so. Students are regularly entered in the Institute of Direct Marketing competition, based on their year three interactive marketing project. This has been successful in the past and we have had student groups who have got to the national final stages of this competition. We also recommend that students take part in Chartered Institute of Marketing talks when they are at DMU. These are regular monthly talks that occur in Leicester and are attended by local businesspeople. It is a good opportunity for students to get real insight into how businesses develop their marketing approaches and also gives a chance to talk directly to business owners and marketing managers, which can lead to further interaction and employment prospects in the future. When undertaking a Marketing programme at DMU, students have the chance to also get exemptions from some sought after professional qualifications (Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications), which they can continue after graduation. By taking these exemptions further it gives the chance to get the full Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma. Similarly, students can complete the Institute of Direct Marketing Diploma if they take one examination after their degree finishes in the summer. As part of their programme at DMU, marketing students undertake a product marketing campaign and have to present their ideas to an external industry panel. This has allowed some students to set up very successful companies on the back of this and then subsequently enjoy ongoing consultancy from industry and academic mentors, enabling them to take their projects forward. Other opportunities include strong industry links with guest lectures and events supported by companies such as Next and Go Mad who sponsor the BA (Hons) Marketing Management prize. Big Communications based in the East Midlands and top London social media marketing agency, The Rabbit Agency are regular contributors to our programmes. Recently, our new BA (Hons) in Digital Marketing and Social Media degree has received the backing of IBM. All DMU marketing courses can be taken as a four year degree, with an optional placement in year three. For more information about DMU s marketing courses, open day dates and to request a prospectus please visit dmu.ac.uk or call

10 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND ADVICE E: W: dmu.ac.uk/uniadvice FOR ALL GENERAL ENQUIRIES T: E: ALTERNATIVE FORMATS Where possible DMU publications or specific sections can be supplied in alternative media. For further information on how we can help, please contact the Enquiry Centre on or +44 (0) , or text phone +44 (0) , March 2012 All rights reserved. Design by Newenglish Design newenglish.co.uk

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