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

Design Thinking

Discover the process of product creation, from ideation through to commercialization and the successful implementation of its introduction into the marketplace.


This module will:

  • Provide you with an opportunity to examine different concepts and methodologies for generating ideas and design thinking
  • Hone your critical thinking skills by looking at the value, use and effective application of design thinking ideas in organisations
  • Enable you to turn your ideas into viable business plans
  • Develop your skills in selecting the appropriate target for design thinking interventions
  • Develop your research skills to analyse effective product marketing
  • Develop your awareness of the commercialisation process of innovative ideas
  • Gain an opportunity to develop practical managerial skills, including decision making, commercial awareness and project managerial skills.
Marketing through Social Media

Technology has led to a proliferation of social media channels. These channels enable peer-to-peer communication as well as providing brands with many more ways to reach their customers, have relevant conversations with them, and listen to what matters to them. This module develops an understanding of how brand managers can access and use social media channels as part of their marketing strategy in order to build brand presence and maintain relevance in the life of their customers.

Through this module you will develop a greater understanding of the fast growing, changing world of social media channels and their relevance to customers, brands and the firm. The module aims to develop an appreciation of how the firm’s integrated marketing communications, brand management, and content management strategies are impacted by social media channels, and to examine the strategic opportunities and challenges these present.

Specific objectives of the module include:

  • Understanding the role of social media in achieving the objectives of the firm's integrated marketing communications strategy.
  • Understanding the significance of a content management strategy, including selecting and combining appropriate social media tools for stages of the customer journey.
  • Linking social media into the marketing mix, including understanding their relevance in developing product, place, and service decisions.
  • Understanding how to use social media as a tool for insight into changing customer needs
  • Recognising the advantages and pitfalls of earned media including brand communities, viral marketing, and PR crises.
Marketing of Luxury Products and Services

Consider the question of what the unique value propositions that luxury brands can deliver are, and how to deliver them.

The word “luxury” has been used to describe highly desirable but exclusive goods and services. Traditionally, the purchase and possession of these goods or services is an ultimate sign of personal success and fulfillment of individual dreams. However, it is also perceived as the inappropriate display of financial excesses and disparities.

With the democratization and globalization of luxury brands, increasingly, luxury brands are purchased and consumed to satisfy the emotional and hedonic needs. At the same time, all contemporary brands intend to provide emotional value and experiential benefit to individuals.

Furthermore, luxury brands used to rely on exclusive and personal services to distinguish themselves from non-luxury brands, However, with the rise of digital channel and social media, luxury brands have to adapt to the omnichannel shopping behaviour of the new generation consumers. As a result, the line between luxury brands and non-luxury brands are blurring.

Against the above background, this module addresses the important question of what are the unique value propositions that luxury brands can deliver and how to deliver them.

This module aims to:

  • Develop specific skills and knowledge sets appropriate for what is regarded as a distinct industry and product field
  • Challenge your existing conceptions of luxury marketing to address the changing needs of the luxury consumer and to communicate the value propositions to a diverse range of consumers in the global market
  • Encourage students to apply advanced techniques and concepts from the luxury marketing to solve real business problems in the luxury sector and critically assess the relevance and applicability of those techniques to other sectors.
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 

Global Challenges in Management and Sustainability

This module will provide you with the theoretical foundations, appropriately supported by real-life examples, to help understand how global business works today.

This module will provide you with the theoretical foundations, appropriately supported by real-life examples, to help understand how global business works today.

Anyone who picks up a newspaper or watch the news on television or radio or social media will immediately understand the importance of global business and how it has become central to decisions made by governments and their regulators - the trade conflict between the US and China, all the problems for global businesses (as well as the people of the UK and Europe) arising out of Brexit and the potential disruption to global supply chains for companies as diverse as car manufacturers and financial services. Furthermore, environmental crises and disruptions come in various forms: economic recessions, disease outbreaks, as well as terrorist attacks – many of which cannot be easily predicted and impose numerous non-trivial costs on firms, particularly MNEs due to their multimarket exposures. At the same time, MNEs are accused of behaving irresponsibly in their quest for global market growth, which is likely to impose further costs on these firms.

By the end of the module, you will be able to dig deep into these news headlines and gain real insight into the issues in order to discuss how MNEs can build sustainable business models in today’s global business environment.

Marketing with Digital Disruption and Transformation

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.


Digital Strategy & Agile Transformation

Using the latest strategy learning techniques used in leading firms and consultancies, this module will help you develop a toolkit for becoming a competent strategist and deal with agile transformations.

From the shop-floor to the board-room the ways individuals and teams employ digital technology to execute strategy can make the difference between success and failure. Using the latest strategy learning techniques used in leading firms and consultancies (business simulations, interactive workshops, live video case studies, apprentice-style challenges), this module will take you on a learning journey. At the end of the module, through analysis and immersion in real-life strategy situations, you will develop a toolkit to help you grow as a competent strategist and deal with agile transformations. These skills are essential for a career in consultancy or strategy roles.


This module will:

  • Allow you to critically discuss a selection of current issues in digital strategy and agile transformation
  • Enhance your critical thinking and creativity in individual and group settings
  • Develop your skills in analysing complex, real-life strategic problems.

Example Open Optional Modules (Business in Practice route only)

Business, International Finance and Economics

Exposure to the global economy brings new ideas, technologies, and management practices to a business. Whether looking to build a new plant, sell to a new market or find global business partners, exploiting opportunities in new markets or regions poses fresh challenges.

Many of those challenges arise from the different business environment that's present in countries around the world. What does an understanding of economics tell us about which countries and regions will see markets develop quickly in the medium term? Which governments act in ways that pose macroeconomic risks and which do not? How can resources and intellectual property be managed effectively? Which economic theories offer strategies to foster talent and help staff respond to new opportunities?

The patterns of world trade and the responses of governments have always been in constant flux. Businesses can't rely on traditional markets in the medium- to long-term. The pandemic has disturbed even the recently-established patterns of global economic growth. Strategic business decisions require an appreciation of the economic thinking that underpins these new patterns of growth and the changes in international finance that support them.

This module will provide real world examples and case studies to 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 module has been developed for business and management students across the WBS MSc portfolio and draws on ideas and research from macroeconomics, microeconomics, international finance, business strategy and development economics. No previous experience of economic analysis is required.

Digital Business Services

This module focuses on how digital technologies enable organisations to offer digital services that aim at improving customer experience as well as firm performance. The module assumes no prior knowledge of technology and prepares students to engage with technology-related conversations (e.g., designing a new digital service) at the modern workplace. 

The module has three themes. The first theme is gaining competitive advantage using a digital business strategy and covers concepts such as motivations for digital transformation. The second theme provides an overview of what today’s managers need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality, internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, social media, and data analytics. The last theme focuses on the lifecycle of digital service provision, covering key concepts such as technology selection and sourcing, agile implementation, and risk management.

* 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.


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

Join the conversation

WBS on social media