Marketing (Advertising and Public Relations) - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 Years), Sandwich (4 Years)
September 2017

Gain a solid grounding in marketing and tailor your interests to a specific area with our suite of Marketing programmes.

The suite has been designed based on research and feedback from students and practitioners, and meets the needs of employers by combining core, essential marketing knowledge with a specialist subject area.

Our suite of Marketing programmes will enable you to tailor your interests to a specific area, and our alignment with the CIM ensures our course content remains fresh, relevant and full of key industry insight. On top of our straight forward Marketing course, our specialist pathways cover the fields of Consumer PsychologyDigital and Retailing, as well as a Professional Practice pathway and a one year International Marketing top-up degree. 

This page specifically looks at the Advertising and PR pathway.

What's covered in the course?

On this innovative and dynamic course, you’ll be put on the front line of marketing, advertising and public relations. You’ll work on real-life case studies, acquiring the practical skills and real-world perspective seen as invaluable by employers.

We cover everything from design in marketing to communicating the right message, market research and PR planning. It’s a creative course that has a solid grounding in business knowledge, so that you can apply what you learn to current business issues.

We teach by using real business scenarios, so you’ll get the chance to draft marketing plans for actual companies, work on business case studies and get experience in our very own in-house marketing agency, The Link.

Why Choose Us?

  • The programme enables you to study a common first year, before choosing a specialised pathway for your next two years.
  • Our Marketing courses have a strong relationship with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, offering exemptions and ensuring our Marketing courses remains cutting-edge and relevant.
  • You will gain a range of transferrable skills, which will stand you in good stead when it comes to seeking employment.

Please note this course has changed name for 2017/18. The KIS data below relates to the previous course title.

This course is subject to approval

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 19 November 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

This course is open to International students

Birmingham City Business School

Discover Birmingham City Business School

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • APSU Ltd
  • Reca Design
  • Design Flooring

And in jobs such as:

  • Digital Marketing Executive
  • Marketing and Digital Content Developer
  • Marketing Assistant

This course is recognised by:

Chartered Institute of Marketing

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Typical Offers

A Level BBC or 112 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 subjects


BTEC D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points


GCSE GCSE English Language and Maths at grade 4 or above. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.
View Equivalent GCSE Qualifications that will be considered
England, Wales and Northern Ireland
City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates Pass Adult Numeracy / Adult Literacy. Considered in lieu of GCSE mathematics or English language at grade C. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.
Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2 Pass Maths / English. Considered in lieu of GCSE mathematics or English language at grade C. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.
Key Skills level 2 Pass Application of Numbers / Communication. Considered in lieu of GCSE mathematics or English language at grade C. Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) AAABBB or BBBBCC Must include Mathematics and English language. Required at the point of enrolment.
Scottish Intermediate 2 Only acceptable with Advanced Higher. Must include Mathematics and English language. Required at the point of enrolment.
Scottish National 5 Only in certain circumstances. Must include Mathematics and English language. Required at the point of enrolment.

Other acceptable UK Qualifications

Please select a qualification from the drop-down list to view our entry requirements:

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Course Enquiries Team

EU / International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2017/18
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

The UCAS tariff has changed

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system has changed.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – has introduced a new system on how points are calculated. This will be different to what you may have seen if you have applied or looked at undergraduate courses previously.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 Years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 Years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 Years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS
SW 4 Years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year One

Business Foundations
20 credits

Within this multi-disciplinary module, you’ll work with colleagues studying other programmes within the Business School, exploring how to run a business effectively through a business simulation. You’ll run a virtual business, and – with support and guidance – respond to business issues and challenges, rectifying them as you will when it comes to facing such situations in real life.

Marketing Foundations
20 credits

This module will equip you with the knowledge and competency to confidently and creatively apply marketing knowhow to a range of business situations. You’ll be introduced to be basic concepts and models used by marketing practitioners, and examining SMEs, entrepreneurial start-ups and more. With marketing entering a golden age, this module will ensure you have the attitude, drive and skills to negotiate it. 

Professional Learners’ Skills
20 credits

Your employability prowess will play a big role in your degree, not least on this module, where you’ll learn techniques and ideas that will help you grow as an undergraduate. With the focus firmly on your skills – and how you grow and maintain them – this module is designed to teach you the attributes you’ll need to aid your employability prospects. 

Consumer Psychology
20 credits

Providing a sound foundation on which to base future study, Consumer Psychology teaches you an important factor in producing effective marketing. You’ll examine individual (personality, self-identity, attitudes) and group influences (peers, family, culture) linked to a variety of disciplines, enabling you to make effective marketing decisions. An array of factors influence people’s behaviour when it comes to purchase decisions, so this module will ensure you’re aware and knowledgeable of them. 

Introduction to Creative Concepts and Design
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop your academic knowledge and transferable skills needed to understand the creative process. This module will develop your skills and understanding of the creative process by facilitating working as individuals and groups. You will work as members of an agency team to develop a creative pitch and portfolio of artefacts. 

Optional Modules
20 credits

The following optional modules are all worth 20 credits each:

  • Introduction to Digital Media
  • Introduction to Retail Marketing
  • Introduction to Integrated Marketing Communications 

Year Two

Marketing Insights and Analytics
20 credits

You will design and implement a marketing research study, considering a variety of analytical tools and techniques to gain market insight.

Service Experience Design
20 credits

On this module, you will improve your reflective practice and design thinking by identifying, developing and recommending service experience improvements within the context of single and multi-unit service organisations.

Brand Management
20 credits

We are surrounded by brands – from everyday objects to more prestigious projects. Therefore, in order for you to be successful in the marketing industry, you need to have a solid knowledge of branding and how it relates to contemporary products. You’ll differentiate and utilise major principles of brand management, applying these to different brands and scenarios. 

Marketing Communications Planning
20 credits

Marketing communications is a key strategic area for any business, providing visibility and understanding of an organisation’s products and services. On this module, you’ll learn a variety of techniques, communications and media tools to deliver messages and design campaigns that reach target audiences. 

The following modules are specific to the Advertising and Public Relations pathway.

Event Management
20 credits

The module explores the principles of event management from the initial concept to onsite operations. You’ll gain a blueprint for planning and executing events, allowing you to expand your marketing knowledge, devising ideas for product launches, exhibitions, conferences and fundraising. 

Visual Communication for Marketers
20 credits

Today’s marketers need to be digitally savvy, visually literate and have strong communication skills. This module will provide you with an in-depth understanding and appreciation of the role of visual communication for marketers. 

Final Year

Strategic Marketing, Management and Planning
20 credits

You will develop a strategic marketing plan to support corporate and marketing objectives, and distinguish marketing management techniques to successfully implement and evaluate the strategic marketing plan.

Emerging Themes
20 credits

Marketing professionals operate in an increasingly complex and interrelated environment, so in order for you to negotiate this, our Emerging Themes module will enable you to examine, in detail, the relationship between marketing decisions and the wider society. 

One Planet Business
20 credits

The marketing industry requires forward-thinking innovators, so our One Planet Business module will help you achieve that by challenging you to develop a realistic, yet innovative, strategic vision for current and future business. You’ll design concepts that compensate for past mistakes, change what’s in the present and make a firm foundation for the future. 

Integrative Project
40 credits

In this module, you will conduct extensive research and outline the aims, scopes and objectives of your project, culminating in a 6,000-word project and presentation.

The following modules are specific to the Advertising and Public Relations pathway.

Contemporary Advertising
20 credits

On this module, you will explore best practice and emerging advertising techniques, to develop a full advertising proposal and pitch, mirroring the work that advertising agencies do. 

Public Relations Planning and Corporate Reputation
20 credits

Public Relations is increasingly being used strategically by organisations, profit and non-profit alike, to improve their reputations and achieve organisational goals. As a result, there is a growing demand for graduates who have the skills and understanding to assist organisations in maintaining their reputation through strategic Public Relations.

This module will focus on the public relations function in organisations, its role in maintaining the organisation’s reputation, the creativity and innovation needed by those working in this field, and the role of the planning process.

Course Structure

During your first year, you will gain knowledge and understanding of the major theories, principles and concepts of marketing, as well as gaining key transferrable skills that will be highly desired by employers.

Your second year will see you utilise the principles of marketing practice in an operational context, solving industry issues and critically analysing different scenarios.

During your final year, you will construct effective methods of communicating marketing concepts, generating well-reasoning marketing concepts.

Assessments will be linked to industry in order to ensure a coherent progression. Teaching will consist of practices and scenarios that mirror practice, enabling you to develop your analytical, critical reasoning and creativity skills. There will be the use of live clients for teaching and assessment, practice-based case studies and our Virtual Learning Environment, which will be used to support all modules.

Trips and Visits

You will have the chance to visit marketing companies and other businesses while on the course, learning first-hand how a company operates and markets itself successfully. In the past, students have visited leading businesses such as Sadler’s Ales.

Student stories

Katie Jones

Katie found that her course equipped her with the contemporary knowledge to not only secure, but also develop further, her marketing career in the financial sector.

Rumandeep Gill

I had already studied Business at both GCSE and A Level – it was a subject I enjoyed and that I understood well, but I wanted to challenge myself and do something slightly different at degree level, so I looked for a course which leaned more towards the creative side of things. I visited a few universities, but I spoke to students elsewhere who said they didn’t get much opportunity to speak with their lecturers, whereas at Birmingham City University the lecturers seemed very helpful and accessible.

This course is recognised by the following organisation:

Chartered Institute of Marketing
Chartered Institute of Marketing

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the leading professional body for marketers worldwide and exists to develop the marketing profession, maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing practitioners.

Birmingham City University has joined forces with CIM to give students the opportunity to gain professional qualifications through CIM Graduate Gateway. CIM qualifications are highly sought after by employers, and map alongside our own degrees which ensures we are equipping students with the best opportunities for a successful marketing career.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Studies

Upon graduating, you could continue your progression with a Master’s degree.

Student stories Lily Pebbles

When Lily Pebbles began her fashion, lifestyle and beauty blog as part of a digital marketing module, she had no idea how many doors would open up for her. Now she attends regular press launches for new products, collaborates with brands such as Forever 21 and was nominated for a Marie Claire blog award for her website 'What I Heart Today'.

Lily launched her blog as part of the Digital Marketing module in her third year of her degree in Marketing, Advertising and PR BA (Hons), during which students are encouraged to develop their own blogs to gain experience. Now, she has returned to the University as a guest speaker to encourage and inspire other marketing students.

Enhancing employability skills

Your programmes will provide you with specific business knowledge and skills, appropriate to graduate careers in marketing. Our specialist pathways will enable you to reflect on the dynamism and vibrancy of the business environment, enhancing your career prospects in the process.

Alongside gaining marketing skills will be a range of transferrable attributes, which will see you become a highly desirable graduate, able to work in a number of different industries.

In addition, you could gain first-hand experience with the Link Marketing Agency, our voluntary, student-led agency which provides you with the chance to work with a wide variety of clients.

You will also have the chance to undertake a work placement, gaining valuable real-life skills in a professional working environment. 


By choosing this course, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a one-year, paid work placement. We have links with many businesses across industries, locally and worldwide. This means you’ll get really valuable, direct experience on your paid placement.

Previous students have undertaken placements with companies such as Sky and Disney.

My Marketing Placement - Shauna's Story

During her Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations degree, Shauna managed to land a placement working at Edgbaston Cricket Ground as a Commercial Executive. She helped on a variety of projects, including the 2016 kit launch for the Birmingham Bears T20 team. Hear her story.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Our graduates have gone on to work various creative roles within a range of companies. Anton Perreau went on to become one of the 30 most influential people in public relations under the age of 30 in PR Week's ‘Top 30 under 30’. He works as a senior public relations consultant and account manager of Battenhall, a brand communications agency for the social media economy.

Lily Pebbles is a recent graduate who has gone on to become a renowned beauty and lifestyle blogger – a blog which she actually started as part of her digital marketing module. She now runs her own YouTube channel, attends regular press events, collaborates with brands such as ASOS and won a Johnson & Johnson Journalism Award for Best Independent Beauty Blogger.

Other students have gone on to work in the financial sectors and for commercial groups. Ricardo Douglas is now Commercial Manager for CS Group while Rebecca Sykes is Digital Account Manager and MOFILM.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our marketing advertising and public relations course is most popular with international students from:  

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Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other Social Sciences, Law, Business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

The Business floors house an extensive number of IT facilities, breakout areas, and specialised rooms. The Marketing Link Agency is designed to replicate a modern marketing firm, allowing students to get real-life experience of working in the marketing sector. There is also the City Trading Room, which features state of the art stock market tracking equipment, keeping you up to date with all the financial comings and goings of the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street.

The Curzon building is also conveniently close to Birmingham’s business and financial centre, allowing for strong links between your studies and the real world.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Nicola Gittins Profile Picture July 2016

Nicola Gittins

Senior Lecturer in Marketing Communications

Nicola Gittins is a Senior Lecturer in our marketing programmes, with an interest in digital marketing and marketing communications, who combines over 15 years' professional industry experience with many years experience of teaching marketing.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295