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Postgraduate

MA Advertising

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Photo by Lewis Bush
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2023
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Advertising at London College of Communication develops the essential skills to succeed within this dynamic and challenging industry.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • MA Advertising is a business-focused degree in a creative communications College, combining strategy with creativity.
  • MA Advertising works in partnership with industry. You will work on live briefs and projects with brands, businesses and agencies, gaining key industry skills and insights.
  • MA Advertising is about the future. You'll explore the emerging technologies and media spaces the industry is focused on.
  • MA Advertising is practical. You'll make ads and experiences, build prototypes and speculative designs.
  • MA Advertising is critical. Your practice is your way of answering the research questions about media, culture and advertising that the industry faces.

Open Evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be announced soon.

Course overview

On MA Advertising, you’ll develop knowledge and critical analytical skills to explore the diverse landscape of both the traditional and emerging marketing communications and media industries. 

Working across the rapidly changing ecology of advertising and promotional communications, you’ll work with tutors and industry partners to consider current challenges, develop your creative practice and refine your strategic understanding of advertising effectiveness. You’ll apply a mix of both innovative and traditional thinking and research methods to generate insight, solve problems and develop creative solutions, developing a transferrable skillset for your career or future study. 

What to expect  

  • You’ll use innovative approaches to research audiences, map user journeys and develop strategic insights into effective advertising and creative campaigns. 
  • You’ll read, think, make and write, engaging with industry news and commentary alongside academic research and critical theory.  
  • You’ll explore technologies that can be used creatively to make films, cut-through images, augmented reality apps, or voice bots. 
  • You’ll discover and create new forms of content and content relationships fit for a complex future. You’ll push the boundaries of marketing communications briefs, challenge norms, and develop your ethical and reflective professional practice. 
  • Your Final Major Project will consolidate your learning through an in-depth exploration of a chosen challenge or issue. 
  • Throughout your course, your taught units will be supported by a range of other activities including visiting speakers, live briefs, book clubs, and Adobe Suite classes. 

Work experience and opportunities 

Our industry connections are well-developed and evolve as the landscape reconfigures and expands. 

We work closely with strategic industry partners to introduce you to the latest thinking around creative problem-solving. You'll have opportunities to create, collaborate and communicate, attend guest lectures and work on live industry briefs. 

In the past, our students have worked on projects to: 

  • Research audiences for voice assistants like Alexa with New York conversation design agency Xandra, and develop voice prototypes alongside media agency network, MediaCom 
  • Develop research reports for global consultancy Genius Steals around current industry issues and technologies including 5G, Smart Out-of-home, experiential marketing and creative data 
  • Produce creative campaign solutions to live briefs from One Young World, Procter and Gamble (P&G) and Water Aid.  

We’re closely aligned with LCC’s Branded Content Research Hub, an international network of academics, industry practitioners and civil society that investigates practices and regulation in branded content. The Hub is supported by the Branded Content Marketing Association. 

You’ll also have the option to take an industry qualification in digital marketing at a reduced rate through our accreditation by the Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM)

Mode of study 

MA Advertising is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.  

Course units

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves 7 units, totalling 180 credits. 

Autumn, Term 1 

In the Autumn Term, you’ll focus on context, audiences and your creative skillset, providing you with a strong foundation for developing a portfolio that’s aligned to your interests - as a creative, a planner or a hybrid of the two. Industry talks and briefs are also embedded from the start of the course. 

Advertising and Communication Industries (20 credits)  

As the foundation of your entire degree, this unit places advertising in its wider context. You’ll examine contemporary forms and changing relationships between brands and marketers, advertising and marketing agencies, and media and platforms, assessing them in relation to global, regional and national political economies, industrial arrangements, technologies, and social and cultural contexts. 

Investigating Audiences (20 credits)  

You’ll explore the dynamic relationship between planning, research, analysis and measurement by investigating a range of innovative and traditional methods for researching consumers and the marketplace. By exploring consumer psychology and behaviour through techniques including personas and virtual world ethnography, you’ll develop your understanding of the influence and effectiveness of advertising and marketing communications. 

Creative Advertising (20 credits) 

In the first unit of the Creative Practice strand, you’ll develop key multimedia skills in creative content production, ranging from copywriting to art direction for different platforms and requirements. You’ll develop your own portfolio of work as you explore how creativity and strategy combine to create effective advertising. 

Spring, Term 2 

In the Spring Term, you’ll focus on technology and innovation in advertising, collaborating with others, and understanding trends in data and digital advertising. Alongside further opportunities to work on industry briefs and develop your own interests, you’ll collaborate with partners that may include industry professionals or other students at UAL. You’ll also have the chance to study for an additional industry qualification in data and digital marketing. 

Creative Laboratory (20 credits)  

Advertising and media agencies are increasingly establishing ‘laboratories’ to explore and develop innovative solutions to contemporary issues and challenges.  

In the second unit of the Creative Practice strand, you’ll work with an industry partner in a ‘creative laboratory’, where you’ll apply the skills you’ve learned to develop effective creative content for an emerging media space or technology. You’ll design a practice-research project which will enable you to explore different environments and possibilities, and to consider where boundaries can be extended and/or disrupted. 

Digital Media Strategy (20 credits) 

This unit will enable you to explore the current and future digital media landscape, consider theories and concepts of digital marketing, and examine digital marketing practice with a focus on an understanding of data at the core of digital media execution and planning. You’ll develop a digital media communications plan, learn how data has revolutionised our understanding of ‘the consumer’, and explore increasingly creative ways to serve personalised advertising that respects data protection and privacy. You’ll also have the option to study for an additional industry-accredited qualification in data and digital marketing. 

Collaborative Unit (20 credits)  

This unit is designed to help you identify, form and develop collaborative working relationships with a range of potential partners. 

These could include other postgraduate students at LCC or UAL; postgraduate students at other Higher Education institutions; or external organisations such as cultural or community groups, NGOs, businesses or charities. The nature of this collaboration will involve working on a project with outcomes agreed by your tutors. 

Summer, Term 3 

The focus in Terms 3 and 4 is on working towards your Final Major Project, which is tailored to your personal interests and development.  

Final Major Project (60 credits) 

Your Final Major Project is your opportunity to design and engage in a major piece of self-generated and self-directed research which demonstrates your advanced critical and analytical skills, as well as your practical and theoretical knowledge. You’ll apply an appropriate method of enquiry from a range learned on the course to an industry, brand or societal question/challenge. 

The Final Major Project is your major statement. As innovative work that will form part of your portfolio, it’s intended to help launch your career in the advertising, marketing communications and media industries, or to prepare you for future study. 

In Term 3, your Project will be supported by teaching in research methods. 

Autumn, Term 4 

Final Major Project (continued) 

In the final supervisory term, you’ll complete and submit your Final Major Project.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures 
  • Seminars 
  • Workshops 
  • Tutorials 
  • Online activities 
  • Guest speakers (as applicable) 
  • Self-directed learning 
  • Formative and summative assessment 

Online Open Day

Course Leader, Paul Caplan, gives an overview of studying MA Advertising at London College of Communication.

Graduate showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

Student work

  • Dramamine-by-Weronika-Kuc.jpeg
    Dramamine by Weronika Kuc, MA Advertising, London College of Communication, UAL.
  • Francesco-Daprile.jpg
    Francesco Daprile, 2020. MA Advertising, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020
    MA Advertising, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Mike-Nagl,-MA-Advertising.jpg
    Constanza De Salvia, 2020. MA Advertising, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020
    MA Advertising, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Judith-Tulkens.jpg
    Constanza De Salvia, 2020. MA Advertising, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020
    MA Advertising, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Constanza-De-Salvia_Page_2.jpg
    Constanza De Salvia, 2020. MA Advertising, London College of Communication, UAL. 2020
    MA Advertising, London College of Communication, UAL
  • 45393252114_def65be23b_o.jpg
    Image by Lewis Bush
  • 46067258632_88b8bbac07_o.jpg
    Image by Lewis Bush

Student voices

Lesa Chola

Lesa talks to us about her experiences on the course, finding a creative partner and the importance of humour in her work.

Ellie Malpas

MA Advertising student Ellie talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Postgraduate Shows 2018.

Leoni Lessmann

MA Advertising student Leoni talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Postgraduate Shows 2018.

Juliette Chabod

MA Advertising student Juliette talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Postgraduate Shows 2018.

Course stories

Facilities

  • Red light indicating recording is taking place.
    Image © Vladimir Molico
    Lens-Based and Audio-Visual

    Find out about the workspaces, and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

  • A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.
    Image © Lewis Bush
    Printing and finishing

    Discover our printing techniques, from Lithographic Printing to Print Finishing and Bookbinding.

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
    The Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

Lecturer

Claire Lambert

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

An applicant will normally be considered for admission if they have achieved an educational level equivalent to an honours degree, preferably at 2:1 level, in advertising, marketing, communications, social sciences, art and design, or humanities subjects. 

This educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

Selection criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Evidence of prior knowledge and/or experience of advertising that would indicate potential to successfully complete the programme of study
  • An academic or professional background in a relevant/ related subject
  • An evident commitment to developing creative practice whilst academically engaging with the subject
  • Effective communication of intentions, purposes and issues

Apply now

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Video task

Start your application now

The online application can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you press submit.

Apply now

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Advertising, with a maximum of 350 words.

Think of this as an advert for yourself. You need to ‘sell’ yourself as a candidate who can add value to the student group and then the advertising industry.

You should demonstrate – not simply claim – experience of and an engagement with contemporary industry debates and practices as well as an awareness of the challenges advertising now faces and why the industry needs you.

Your ‘advert’ should be impactful and specific. You should show your enthusiasm, engagement and experience as well as what is unique about you.

You should make sure that your personal statement is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, we will contact you to invite you to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. For Round 1 applications, you will need to submit your portfolio by 9 January 2023 at the latest and by 20 April 2023 for Round 2.

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in 2 rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about the outcome of your application until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2023.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

All applications will be reviewed by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference

Required information for postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Video task

Start your application now

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Advertising, with a maximum of 350 words.

Think of this as an advert for yourself. You need to ‘sell’ yourself as a candidate who can add value to the student group and then the advertising industry.

You should demonstrate – not simply claim – experience of and an engagement with contemporary industry debates and practices as well as an awareness of the challenges advertising now faces and why the industry needs you.

Your ‘advert’ should be impactful and specific. You should show your enthusiasm, engagement and experience as well as what is unique about you.

You should make sure that your personal statement is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Video task

We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you.

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera.
  • Your video task is submitted via PebblePad.
  • Read our guidance for more information about how to submit your video task and the file types we accept.

As part of your video task, please respond to the following direction:

  • Give us your critical thoughts on an advert of your choice. The ad can be one you’ve made or one you’ve found. Be as specific as you can... and impactful and interesting - you’re an advertising person.

Interview

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will be held online, and details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback  please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Careers

MA Advertising will give you the practical and critical skills to compete for jobs in advertising, digital and media agencies, and to work client-side with brands and businesses as well as with start-ups. Your hybrid creative-strategic skills will make you uniquely qualified to deal with emerging roles in the industry.

Your focus on the future, your portfolio and Final Major Project will give you a unique story to tell to potential employers. Recent graduates have gained creative and planning roles with agencies including Grey, Adam & Eve, BBDO and Karmarama. Others have jobs as data analysts, creative-strategists and content leads with emerging and established businesses including Bandstand, The Information Lab, Hotels.com and Unruly.