Promotional Media: Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing at Goldsmiths, University of London - UCAS

Course options

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Course summary

The MA Promotional Media explores the impact of digital platformisation and automation on promotional professions, skills and techniques

  • You will explore the convergence between public relations, advertising, and marketing roles, as well as hybridised fields such as digital marketing, social media management and UX/UI design. This MA isn’t about studying ads or press coverage, but about becoming a professional who can cross-examine and critique the power dynamics between promotional professions, their client-organisations and today’s platformised media landscape.
  • At its core, this masters looks at how you can better serve society by improving communications across the promotional disciplines, and how public relations (PR), advertising, and marketing professionals can best develop within a challenging digital world. You’ll learn how to reflect on contemporary intellectual theories – including digital media studies, sociology, feminist theory and algorithmic culture – and apply them to workplace realities so you plan the next decade of your career.
  • The Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies has been ranked 2nd in the UK for 'world-leading or internationally excellent' research (Research Excellence Framework, 2021) and 12th in the world (2nd in the UK) in the 2022 QS World Rankings for communication and media studies.
The questions we explore
  • We want you to understand the existing power struggles between traditional and emerging promotional professions, therefore, this programme will look at public relations, advertising, and marketing as inter-related disciplines, drawing on theoretical and professional debates around industry issues as they happen.
  • You will explore, for example, the implications of digital platformisation on the increasingly data-driven nature of promotional work, including the use of Artificial Intelligence and automation, among other topics.
  • You’ll also examine current industry expectations and trends, and look at the crossovers between digital skills, creativity, management, and strategy.
The processes we use
  • This is a theory-based programme, but you’ll have many practice-based options in subjects from different departments; from online news reporting and social media campaigning, to film making fundamentals or design methods, to consumer behaviour or marketing strategy.
  • You'll also get the latest insights from industry professionals across PR, advertising and, marketing through our visiting speaker series. Recent industry guests have discussed: earned vs paid media, transmedia storytelling, programmatic advertising, SEO analytics, and social media community management.
  • We periodically host public seminars such as Critical Perspectives on Promotional Cultures, with prestigious academic speakers from around the UK.
  • You will also be encouraged to attend the Department’s Media Forum, which covers everything from Why Local Journalism Matters, to Reporting Africa.
The approach we take
  • Note that this isn’t a business studies-style MA. It’s a rigorous, academic programme, which investigates promotional workers, their workplace experiences, and their use of media in today’s campaigns and debates.
  • Our compulsory modules apply fields such as sociology, anthropology, feminist studies, digital media and digital cultural studies to public relations, advertising and marketing, exploring how these and other promotional professions work together, where they overlap, and where the tensions lie.
  • You also have the freedom to choose optional modules from across theory and practice in different departments.


Throughout the compulsory components of the degree, you'll examine the many ways that public relations, advertising and marketing and emerging promotional specialisms are represented in society, together with the skills and techniques enacted by practitioners in their day-to-day roles. You will be encouraged to develop your critical and analytical skills, but also to think creatively and become more confident in your academic judgment. Goldsmiths prides itself on its innovative and critical approaches, and you will be encouraged to immerse yourself in its wider intellectual environment to deepen your understanding of the cultural infrastructure surrounding PR, Advertising and Marketing. Compulsory modules Promotional Media I: Changing Fields & Contexts 30 credits Promotional Media II: Campaign Skills & Techniques 30 credits You will also complete a 12,000-word dissertation (60 credits). Option modules In addition to the compulsory modules and the dissertation, you will also choose 60 credits worth of optional modules from across different departments. Choices made by current MA Promotional Media students include: Campaign Skills; Consumer Behaviour; Critical Social Media Practices; Design Methods and Processes; Digital Culture; Film Producing Fundamentals; Internet Governance and its Critics; Journalism in Context; Marketing Strategy; Media Law and Ethics; Media Ritual and Contemporary Public Cultures; Music as Communication and Creative Practice; Online News Reporting; Media Systems, Media Ecologies and Turbulence; Promotional Culture; Social Media in Everyday Life; Software Studies; Structure of Political Communication; and Understanding the UK Media Industries. *Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Assessment method

You will be assessed primarily through coursework essays and written projects. Both compulsory modules include group presentations, including the opportunity to develop a promotional campaign. Practical modules may require audiovisual elements to be submitted. This MA will also include a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. You might also be considered if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have extensive, relevant professional experience in PR, Advertising or Marketing and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level. If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

Unless otherwise stated the annual fee for part-time students is half the full time fee quoted.
Promotional Media: Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing at Goldsmiths, University of London - UCAS