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Postgraduate

MA Advertising

Image of yellow poster in white frame reading
Photo by Lewis Bush
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2024
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Advertising is about the future of the advertising industry. With new technologies constantly emerging, audiences becoming increasingly active, and Ad fraud and Ad blocking changing the landscape, the industry needs new thinking. On this course, you will develop the skills, ideas and solutions needed to shape and define the future of advertising.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

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

We are committed to ensuring that your skills are set within an ethical framework and are embedding UAL’s Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into this course.

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.

UAL Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL 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

Richard Afun

Richard shares his journey to LCC – why he chose to pursue Advertising and how it allowed him to combine his interests in music, fashion, photography and media production.

Lesa Chola

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

Course stories

410 Gone

410 Gone


openresty

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.

Staff

Lecturer

Claire Lambert

Fees and funding

Home fee

£13,330

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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.

International fee

£28,570

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Video task deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Video task deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

All applications received by 3 April will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Video task deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Video task deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

All applications received by 3 April will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply to UAL

Start your application
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Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Step 2: Video task

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a video task.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Video task advice

We’d like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you. The video must be in English.

What to include in your video task

  • Choose an advert and discuss your critical thoughts. It could be an ad that you’ve made yourself or one you’ve found.
  • Be as specific, impactful and interesting as possible to demonstrate your advertising skills.

Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

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.