MSc Brand Leadership

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What is a brand? Find out here in just three minutes.

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Article

Brand leadership student Anna Shokolenko on how she embraced curiosity, creativity and confidence.

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On this course, you’ll get inside big brand agencies in London, and network with top people in the industry.

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Meet one of the course leaders, Robert Jones, at the brand agency where he works, Wolff Olins.

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Find out how brand leadership students from Canada, Russia and India have built careers in branding.

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Train to create and lead the brands of the future, on the first UK course to focus on brand leadership.

Brands are everywhere. They shape our decisions as consumers. They reflect and influence culture and society. Brands are ideas that help us navigate an increasingly complex world. They are shortcuts to ‘meaning’, that are essential for businesses, charities and other organisations to define, produce and communicate value. They are big business too. The Apple brand alone is estimated to be worth $184 billion, according to Interbrand. Branding is an industry in its own right, with an estimated 60,000 people working in the field in the UK alone.

On this course you’ll learn how to excel in this fascinating sector. You’ll discover how to create your own brands, and how to take existing brands to new and exciting places. And thanks to our links with industry you won’t just graduate ready to launch brands, you’ll graduate ready to launch your career too.

Overview

Where brand managers control and protect what already exists, brand leaders create something new, either by developing new brands, or by taking existing brands to new places or greater heights. On this course you will gain the skills, experience and contacts you need to become an innovator in branding. You’ll graduate ready to begin a hugely rewarding career, leading the way for the brands of tomorrow.

Across lectures, seminars, masterclasses, field trips, group work and project work, you’ll discover critical concepts, tools and techniques. You’ll build your leadership skills and your creative capabilities. You’ll also gain valuable hands-on experience by working on live branding briefs and completing your own creative projects.

Our course is unique in that you’ll work closely with the branding industry. You’ll tap into our network of branding experts, including some of the most distinguished branding professionals in Britain. You’ll gain practical experience right from the start of the course, working on live projects set by our industry contacts. You’ll have your own mentor – someone who works in the branding industry to support and guide you.

You’ll be part of a small, carefully chosen and globally diverse cohort. That means you’ll not only benefit from close contact with lecturers, guest speakers, tutors and mentors. You’ll also learn a great deal from your fellow students who will each bring their own unique perspective and experience to the course.

Taking only around 25 students each year, the course is highly selective. We are looking for the best of the best; those people who truly will create the leading brands of the future. If you think you have the potential to change the face of branding, then we want to hear from you – we interview every applicant. You will need to have a degree that was at least 25 per cent business, management or economics. Or have a degree in a different subject and two or more years’ experience working in marketing or strategy. We will accept exceptional experience in place of a degree.

You don’t need to have a background in branding, but you do need to be able to demonstrate your passion for the practice, through internships, holiday or full time work either for a brand, or at a branding agency. Exceptional students may also come straight from a first degree.

You should be able to demonstrate your interest in brands and talk confidently about your favourite brands – what they do well, what they could do better and how they are communicated. Most of all you will be curious and ambitious, and the sort of person that never stops exploring new ideas, fields and frontiers.

You might be currently working as a researcher or assistant in a marketing department. Or you could be working in some other aspect of business such as operations. You might even be working in a completely different specialism such as engineering. You may have a brand in mind that you want to focus on during your studies, for example, a brand associated with your family business.

We welcome international students as an essential part of our community. However, due to the demanding nature of the course, we have a high IELTS requirement score of 7, with no element below 6.5. If you don't yet meet that requirement, you can take a pre-sessional course with INTO UEA. Over the past nine years we have had students from 45 different countries, including Brazil, US, UK, Germany, Nigeria, Russia, India and China.

Course Structure

You will build your theoretical knowledge, critical skills and hands-on practical experience over seven taught modules. By the end of this intense year of study you’ll be ready to create new brands and take existing ones to places they haven’t been before.

In your first semester you will learn everything you need to know to get your career in branding moving. You will discover how brands are created, managed, and how they can change organisations.

In your second semester you will work with real clients, explore new frontiers of branding and examine how brands are adapting to the new digital world.

In the third semester you will complete your dissertation, conducting a substantial piece of research on a branding topic of your choosing, with guidance from an academic advisor. Your dissertation is a chance to delve deeper into an area that you’re really interested in, and to begin to establish yourself as a specialist. Your finished piece of work will act as a calling card, showing potential employers what you’re capable of. For example, if you aspire to work in the charitable sector, you might wish to tackle a branding problem in that area. Past dissertation topics have been as broad as examining what it’s like to interact with brands if you are blind, how to brand places and the challenges facing luxury brands.

Over the year you will visit ten companies. For example you might get to go behind the scenes at iconic brands such as Burberry, innovative brands such as Girl Effect, and challenger brands such as Wonderbly, (the personalised children’s book makers who raised the largest ever stake on the business investment television show Dragon’s Den). You could visit branding agencies such as Wolff Olins and SuperUnion or experience design agencies like Foolproof, where you’ll have the chance to work on a live brief for a real client. Past students have been tasked with designing a brand experience for Halifax for Rufus Leonard before presenting their work to the brand. This resulted in internships for two of the participating students.

You will also have the chance to take part in around ten masterclasses, where you’ll learn from leading industry experts. Past masterclasses have included sessions with Karen Jones, Founder of Café Rouge and Chancellor of UEA, James Tipple, brand director for Virgin, and Michelle McEttrick, Group Brand Director of Tesco.

Teaching and Learning

You will learn through project work and class discussion, learning by doing and learning from your fellow students. You’ll discover how to critically assess the work and ideas of others, as well as how to present, defend and develop your own work. This includes how to give and respond to feedback productively, an essential skill in the branding industry.

You will learn from business experts based in UEA’s Norwich Business School, senior brand professionals, and esteemed guest lecturers.

Your dissertation is a chance to deepen your ability to do your own thinking, backed up by research.

Assessment

We’ll assess your knowledge and understanding through coursework, assessed presentations and two exams.

Throughout the course you’ll hand in formative and summative assessments – from which you’ll get extensive feedback to help you identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.

 

After the course

You will graduate ready to launch an exciting career in branding. You could go on to work for an existing brand or to create your own business. You might become a branding consultant, or work for a branding agency. Or perhaps you will return to your family business, ready to take it to new heights. Alternatively you might continue your studies with a PhD, delving deeper into the world of branding.

We are dedicated to opening doors for our graduates, and actively work to promote you to potential employers or clients. Every year we produce a Year Book to promote our graduates, which is sent to our branding contacts.

As part of this course you will also discover how to build your own personal brand, ready to get your career off to a flying start.

Career destinations

Google

Saatchi and Saatchi

Unilever

Omnicom

Virgin

WPP

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 180 credits:

Name Code Credits

BRAND AND LEADERSHIP

It is increasingly important to demonstrate good soft skills to employees. This module helps Brand Leadership students develop such skills over the course of the year. The module is based around the concept of 'Brand me' which aims to get students to develop their own personal brand, based on a solid self-awareness. You will undergo confidential psychometric testing which allows you to understand your strengths and abilities. From this foundation, you will undertake a number of theoretical and practical sessions which build your skills in leadership, creativity, communication, decision making, teamwork, and networking.

NBS-7023Y

10

BRAND NOW

Brand Now is an exciting survey of current thinking and practice in branding. You'll gain an up-to-the-minute understanding of what brands are, how they can drive businesses, and how they're changing, so that you're intellectually equipped to lead branding work in an organisation or a consultancy.

NBS-7016A

20

BRAND: DIGITAL AND TECHNOLOGY

Technology is having a profound impact on the world of branding. It makes possible: #A better understanding of customers and markets through data mining and the use of 'big data' #Conversations and a two way exchange of information with customers through social media #Improved brand user experience and the advent of virtual reality #New opportunities for brand and product development through rapid prototyping and 3D printing #New ways of advertising a brand and reaching new and existing customers #New opportunities for creative communication through the use of CGI #Improved customer relationship management. You will explore these new technological developments and gain an understanding of the opportunities available to brands.

NBS-7021B

20

BRANDS AND STRATEGY

The module gives you a good understanding of how organisations can use brands to achieve their strategic objectives. You will look at: - what brands mean for both companies and customers - how brand value is built - how to communicate using brands - how brands are managed globally - how brands are managed over time.

NBS-7017A

20

BRANDS IN ACTION

This module will equip you with a wide range of models, techniques and tools so that you're confident to run your own branding project. You'll unlock the secrets of what makes a good brand, gain in-depth experience, and have first-hand practice in the art of branding.

NBS-7015B

20

DISSERTATION

The aim of this is to give students experience of research, new thinking and writing, which will give them a substantial intellectual foundation for their work as practitioners, or enable them to continue their academic work beyond their MSc.

NBS-7019X

40

FRONTIERS OF BRANDING

Branding has traditionally been applied at a corporate level or product level, but increasingly it is used for other areas such as cities, regions, countries, people, charities, political parties, entertainment. This module explores how branding is pushing out to embrace these new frontiers.

NBS-7022B

10

INNOVATION AND ORGANISATIONAL TRANSFORMATION

You'll explore the relationship between innovation and change in organisations, on the one hand, and brand management and leadership, on the other. Most organisations need to be able to change and innovate in order to survive and thrive in in modern societies. You will learn about how organisational change and innovation take place and the role of organisational brands in helping, and sometimes hindering, change and innovation. You will practice and develop the analytical, critical and creative skills necessary to move from being a brand manager to a brand leader.

NBS-7018A

20

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH FOR BRAND LEADERSHIP

This module equips you with theoretically informed yet practically useful expertise in conducting high-quality, leading-edge research on brands. Apart from a foundational overview of qualitative and quantitative social scientific methodologies, you will be able to develop in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in the most useful and practical techniques for brand research.

NBS-7020Y

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Business, Management or Economics
  • Degree Classification 2:1 or higher or the international equivalent

Entry Requirement

The experience you bring

This course is designed for people with some experience of the subject, either in their first degree, or in working life. We will help you build on your existing knowledge and prepare you for a successful career in branding.

For that reason, we ask you to be either:

  • a new graduate who has studied business, management or economics, with at least 25% of your overall degree in one of these three subjects, or
  • a graduate in any subject, with three or more years' experience in marketing or strategy work.

Either way, you must have a good degree: an upper second class honours degree (2:1) or its international equivalent. 

If you are applying and you have not yet completed your degree, please send us an official copy of your most recent marks statement. When you send us your marks statement, please make sure that you include details of the marking system that your university uses.

Getting to know you

To help decide if the course is right for you, we ask you to submit a written statement with your application, setting out why you want to do this course, and why you are passionate about branding.

We will ask applicants who meet our requirements to take part in a telephone interview with our professional course director, Robert Jones. He will be looking for enthusiasm about, and some knowledge of, brands.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components
  • PTE (Pearson) Academic: 68 overall with a minimum of 62 in all components

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees for 2018/19

  • Home/EU and Overseas students: £17,200

International applicants from outside the EU may need to pay a deposit.

Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.  For visa purposes, you will need to show funds of £9,135 for living expenses.  

A variety of scholarships may be offered to UK/EU and International students. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study.

Funding for postgraduate study is also available both from the university and from a number of external schemes.

Please visit scholarships, funding and bursaries for more information.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University. You can apply online.

Important Information

MSc Brand Leadership personal statement

Please note that when submitting your application for MSc Brand Leadership you should pay particular attention to your personal statement.

You must make sure that you submit a statement of not less than 500 words stating:

why you want to be a brand leader? why branding matters to you? why you want to build a career in branding?  and the contribution you want to make to the future of branding? You may continue on a separate sheet if necessary and attach this with your application form.

If you have any queries please contact the admissions team on the details below.

Curriculum Vitae

We strongly encourage you to submit your curriculum vitae with your application form to help support your application.

Contact us

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515