MSc Marketing & Strategy

Course Details

Six compulsory modules and three optional modules allow you to gain a balanced understanding of the two disciplines on this one-year course. Visits from guest speakers keep a real-life perspective on your studies.

The course is assessed by a variety of coursework, exams and group work. Your dissertation or Business in Practice module brings all your learning together.

Optional modules
Every year we offer a range of optional modules, giving you the opportunity to tailor the course to your preferences. Please note that availability and delivery modes may vary.

Choice of Dissertation or Business in Practice route:

Dissertation route
If you are considering further academic study (PhD) and you would like the opportunity to research a topic relating in more depth, the 8,000 word dissertation will enable you to test and apply the techniques and theories you have gained.

You may undertake a company-based project where you will apply the theory you have learned through the course to benefit a sponsoring organisation. You will produce both an academic dissertation and a management report for the company.

The second option is to undertake a piece of marketing or strategy-related research which will see you develop more specific detailed knowledge in a particular area of marketing or strategy. This could form the basis for further study at doctoral level.

In total you will study six compulsory modules, three marketing and/or strategy related optional modules, and complete your dissertation. 

Business in Practice route
If you would like to develop further applied skills and specialist knowledge to suit your career aspirations, you can complete your studies with our applied Business in Practice module. You will develop deep functional and industry expertise with practical insights from our faculty and our CareersPlus & Corporate Relations team.

In total you will study six compulsory modules, three marketing and/or strategy related optional modules, one open optional module, and also complete the compulsory Business in Practice capstone module.


Compulsory Modules

Critical Issues in Marketing

In-depth study of current theory and practice in marketing, ranging from marketing strategy to customer experience and innovation. Development of decision-making skills and critical evaluation of the impact of marketing decisions upon markets, organisations and customers. Development of critical marketing thinking based on a sound understanding of the underlying logic of marketing and its interaction with other management disciplines.

Strategic Management

Explore the key topics and debates in the strategy field and address issues of corporate and competitive strategies, strategic alignment, strategic change, innovation, strategic thinking and analysis, and competitive advantage. Develop an understanding of the integration of theoretical and practical perspectives on strategy.


Explore approaches to negotiation and critically analyse different levels of analysis in negotiations. Develop understanding of the distinction between distributive-competitive models and integrative-cooperative models of negotiation and develop the personal skills required for successful negotiation.

Strategic Leadership & Ethics

No business operates in isolation from society or from competition. Develop understanding issues of corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, ethics and the impact of economic and political change.

The fundamental issues of leadership are not unique to the leader; they represent the life of an organisation. This module links leadership with strategy and ethics, echoing the critical aspect of the personal and the professional sides of a leader. You will critically review research on leadership and management, examining topics such as leadership skills, leading changes in organisations, leader-follower relationships, and leadership tactics. Gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of decision-making, and decision analysis. Challenge thinking regarding ethical, leadership and management dilemmas.

Market Research

Develop an understanding of how to design and conduct academic and practitioner-oriented research. Explore the techniques and processes of understanding markets and gaining consumer insights. Develop knowledge of quantitative, qualitative and interpretative approaches to studying markets and consumers and their value for marketing strategy. Understand core statistical principles required for marketing analytics, strategic research and evaluation in marketing. 

Marketing & Strategy Analytics

Develop the ability to use information to generate meaningful insights into the behaviour of customers. Develop knowledge of how businesses can exploit opportunities for value creation and improve their financial performance based on insight. Challenge thinking about the appropriate (and inappropriate) use of customer data for strategic decision-making and understand the processes of decision-making. Develop skills to effectively present data/ insights to a variety of audiences from fellow marketers and strategists, to finance directors or the CEO.

Example Marketing & Strategy Optional Modules

Branding, Marketing Communications & Design

Examine traditional and new marketing communication tools in the context of marketing strategy and how these can be best utilised for different audiences in different contexts. Examine brand strategy through the concept of brand equity and examine models for measuring and managing this core area of marketing practice. Develop an understanding of design and its strategic use by organisations to differentiate from competition, to inform strategic choices, launch new brands and strengthen existing ones. Understand how design thinking can help to solve problems, innovate and create value. Critically evaluate the processes that lead to innovations in communication, branding and design.


Creating Value with Marketing Experiences

Challenge thinking about the underlying principles of marketing by exploring aspects such as customer experience (CX), servitisation, service innovation and user experience (UX). Develop knowledge of how consumer needs and expectations translate into activities to enhance the customer experience and add value 

Problem Solving in Organisations

Develop an integrative understanding of business problems and the challenges and opportunities faced by businesses. Develop creative problem-solving skills in identifying solutions to real business problems.

Driving Innovation & Entrepreneurship through Marketing & Strategy

Explore the importance of management of innovation in products, processes, technology and communications. Critically evaluate key indicators of innovation activity, examine internal and external factors that lead to new product failures and determine key innovation strategy issues for different situations and sectors. Develop understanding of conceptual, analytical and practical insights into the entrepreneurial process with reference to profit and non-profit enterprise contexts. Develop skills to help effective engagement in a world in which innovation and entrepreneurship are key drivers of change.


Digital Disruption & Transformation for Marketing

The digital landscape is evolving and it is essential to understand the opportunities and challenges presented with the use of digital platforms and technologies. Develop a comprehensive insight into the practices of digital marketing and strategy. Develop knowledge-based skills linked to marketing, strategy, research and tactics. Examine the strategic underpinnings of digital implementation and market disruptions. Critically examine prevailing digital trends such as social media, search engine optimisation, viral marketing, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.


Business Across Borders: Global Issues in Marketing & Strategy

Develop a critical awareness of the major issues associated with international business strategy, gaining an understanding of major trends in globalisation and other factors influencing international investment. Evaluate ideas about the internationalisation process and apply concepts and skills relevant to management.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Develop understanding of mergers and acquisitions (including strategic alliances). Examine the functioning of various forms of funding and their roles in merger and acquisition activities. Critically evaluate merger waves, identify the key characteristics of part merger waves, and provide theoretical explanations for their occurrence. Critically reflect on the acquisition process as a complex situation where both the buyer and the seller have to assess many issues. Develop skills to extract key information and data from external sources.

Strategy in Practice

From the shop floor to the boardroom, the ways individuals and teams interact to make and execute strategy can make the difference between success and failure. Using latest strategy learning techniques used in leading firms and consultancies (business simulations, interactive workshops, live video case studies, apprentice-style challenges) this module takes you on a learning journey. At the end of the module, through analysis and immersion in real-life strategy situations, you will develop a personal strategy toolkit to help you grow as a competent strategist. These capabilities are essential if you plan for a career in consultancy or a strategy-related role. 

Financial Aspects of Marketing & Strategy

Analyse the links between what managers do, the strategies that they deploy and shareholder value. In times of increasing economic uncertainty, firms are more concerned than ever to fully understand the likely value impacts of their decisions. Understand how to evaluate the relative worth of alternative strategic choices and present a coherent argument to managers and peers. Develop skills to make business choices based on sound value-based criteria.

Example Open Optional Modules (Business in Practice route only)

Behavioural Economics

This module introduces students to the ways in which economists and psychologists have used behavioural theories and experimental methods to provide extensions to, or alternatives to, the conventional economic wisdom covered by most standard Microeconomic courses. It will examine recent cutting-edge research and consider the implications of that research for individual decision making, the operation of markets and public sector policy-making.

International Business

The module aims to develop a critical awareness of the issues, problems, concepts, and skills associated with the development of international business strategy and operations. Topics will include: the drivers and processes of internationalisation, cross-cultural management challenges, the assessment of overseas investment opportunities and the specific challenges of emerging markets.

Assessment - Group Presentation 20% / Individual Assignment 80%

* Open elective, subject to availability and open to students taking the Business in Practice route.


Leading the Knowledge Based Organisation

This module will allow you to:

  • Gain a broad understanding of the innovation process and the different ways in which this can be addressed from a managerial point of view
  • Introduce different theories on what organisational knowledge actually is, how it can be transferred and how it can be managed
  • Appreciate the social nature of knowledgeable activities and roles of leaders and managers in coordinating such activities
  • Learn about how firms leverage external and internal knowledge assets and ideas
  • Develop practical insights into ways of leading knowledge-based organisations, including what not to do
  • Develop an understanding of what knowledge workers, such as consultants, senior leaders and innovation experts, actually do and how they can be managed.

* Open elective, subject to availability and open to students taking the Business in Practice route.

Digital Working & Organisational Transformation

To be effective in modern organisations requires an understanding of the dynamics of digital work. This module equips students with a broad understanding of the tools and organisational arrangements driving this shift towards digital working, and provides them with techniques and frameworks to operate effectively in this more dynamic and fluid work environment. The module reviews major trends and changes in the workplace arising from the increased adoption of digital tools to support work practices in modern organisations. It reviews major drivers of adoption of these tools and the emergence of new dynamics of interactions and patterns of work.

* Open elective, subject to availability and open to students taking the Business in Practice route.

Economics in the Global Growth Environment

This module provides real world examples and case studies which illustrate how economic thinking helps businesses make the most of new opportunities while managing the risks associated with expansion into new markets and regions. The topics covered draw on ideas and research from macroeconomics, microeconomics, international finance, energy, resources, development and labour economics. The module teaches introductory economics, from a global perspective.

Assessment - Assignment 100% - focussed on a case study of a business expanding into a new region or country.  

* Open elective, subject to availability and open to students taking the Business in Practice route.

Forecasting for Decision Makers

The module aims to provide training on methods that aid decision making when managers face an uncertain future. The module covers methods for short-term and long-term forecasting of product demand and macroeconomic variables. The module discusses how forecasting aids decision making.

Assessment - Individual Assignment 80% / Group Report 20%

* Open elective, subject to availability and open to students taking the Business in Practice route.


Business IT & Services

Students will investigate the management issues surrounding the utilisation and delivery of business IT and services within organisations, with particular focus on the new major trend of outsourcing

Assessment - Group Assignment 30% / Individual Assignment 70%

* Open elective, subject to availability and open to students taking the Business in Practice route.

Entrepreneurship & Business Venturing

In this module you will study the contexts, components, and processes of entrepreneurial behaviour in different types of organisations and focus on key issues in developing business proposals and plans.

Assessment – Group Presentation Assignment 40% / Individual Assignment 60%

* Open elective, subject to availability and open to students taking the Business in Practice route.

Dissertation or Business in Practice


If you select the dissertation route you will work with an allocated academic supervisor and research a topic relating to Marketing & Strategy. The module is assessed by an 8,000 word formal dissertation. 

Business in Practice

The Business in Practice module is the core capstone module for students who choose this route instead of the dissertation route. It will illustrate business theory in practice by combing academic lecture input with expert practitioner insights, and will also provide intensive personal work-skills development via WBS CareersPlus team. The module is taught over two intensive weeks incorporating an innovative and exciting business simulation. The module is assessed through a Firm Analysis assignment and an Individual Reflective Journal assignment.

See indicative compulsory and optional modules for this course More Less

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