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Overview

Strategies for success in the digital age.

Summary

The purpose of this programme is to enable both practising and aspiring professionals in the business, marketing, communication and information technology sectors to better understand the changing nature of the digital era and how to leverage digital media technologies and platforms to achieve competitive advantage.

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Belfast campus

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About this course

In this section

About

In contrast to traditional methods of communication, digital technologies and platforms facilitate greater consumer interactivity and empowerment. In a highly competitive and connected global marketplace, the unique properties of digital technologies can therefore present both opportunities and challenges for firms. Increasingly, marketing and communication professionals are expected to embrace digital channels to encourage customer and partner engagement. Equally, professionals in technical roles are now required to apply their digital skills and expertise more strategically to drive business value.

Recognising the vital role of digital tools for effective organisational and business communication, and the growing importance of open, collaborative working practices, this course combines expertise from both technical and communication disciplines to provide an enriching and multidisciplinary learning environment.

Specifically, this course will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • critically assess the changing business and technology landscape to develop the knowledge, skills and strategic vision required to lead organisations in the digital age
  • compare and contrast a variety of digital technologies and marketing communication approaches
  • strategically apply the latest digital marketing communication tools and services to achieve business communication objectives in support of organisational goals.

Attendance

Part-time students normally complete between one and two modules per semester. Modules are normally delivered in intensive block sessions, from 1.00pm until 9.00pm. The maximum number of intensive block teaching days per module is 4 (although not on consecutive days), plus approximately 2 days x 3 hours seminar attendance. You will also be expected to engage in group and team work in some of your modules and so will need to have further meetings outside of class time. In addition, you are also expected to dedicate adequate time for independent study. Full-time students normally complete between two and three modules per semester.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Learning and teaching will take place through a series of lectures; seminars (both face to face and online); industry guest speakers; group work and case-integrated learning.

Assessment Methods:100% coursework which includes: class presentations; group work; critical analysis, strategy development, and campaign development reports.

Content

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor

- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement

- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semesteris not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Digital Campaign Planning and Management

Year: 1

This module covers all aspects of digital campaign planning and management. It will provide students with the opportunity to apply theory to practice by developing an effective digital marketing campaign and associated content in response to a live brief. It enables students to develop a working knowledge of digital marketing technologies and critically evaluate their appropriateness achieving organisational goals. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate how the platforms and message chosen support the fulfilment of pre-defined communication objectives with a specified target audience.

The Digital Consumer

Year: 1

This module establishes an effective multidisciplinary foundation for evaluating effective digital marketing communication approaches and technologies to support strategic business goals centred around understanding the digital consumer. Students will critique the online presence of organisations in a variety of contexts and will understand the interrelationship between communication, design and technology in maintaining an effective online customer experience.

Year two

Leadership in Brand and Organisational Transformation

Year: 2

This module offers a theoretical and practical insight into the dynamic area of online digital communication and explores some of the key questions and issues facing academics and practitioners. Students undertaking the module will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to support the implementation of digital communication objectives in support of business goals including customer acquisition, loyalty and community building. Students will be able to critically evaluate the characteristics of individual online digital media, and select appropriate tools from the range available to execute digital communication in support of organisational objectives.

Research Methods

Year: 2

This module aims to provide information that will enable students to make appropriate and considered research decisions. It is designed to develop students' understanding of the nature of research, key research traditions, the research process and the range of methods available to the researcher, including qualitative and quantitative approaches. It also aims to help students acquire a critical understanding of the issues and methods in the generation and analysis of data and in the communication and evaluation of research findings.

Data Analytics for Digital Marketing Communication

Year: 2

Organisations harnessing digital marketing communication can make use of data analytic techniques to identify and translate their digital data into useful, actionable insights for organisational benefit. This module provides postgraduate students with a clear understanding of data analytics techniques as well as the digital marketing communication context of use.

Year three

Dissertation

Year: 3

The Communication dissertation aims to enable students to design and carry out an independent piece of research. It is intended that this will strengthen their ability to interpret and apply research data to a work environment. The research will focus in depth on one area of communication.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

Entry Requirements

You will normally be an Honours or non-Honours graduate with an undergraduate degree in, for example, Communication, Business, Marketing or related studies, Information and Communication Technology or a related technical area. The course is also suitable for those already in employment, or who have work experience in a cognate area, and who wish to enhance their existing skills.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

This course enables both practicing and aspiring professionals in the business, marketing, communication and information technology sectors to better understand how to leverage digital technologies and services to achieve competitive advantage.

Key aspects of the course that will help to equip you for a career, or support your continued professional development in the marketing communication or information technology sectors include:

  • Ongoing input from leading practitioners, ensuring exposure to the experiences and insight of professionals working in the digital arena.
  • The use of case studies, enabling the identification of real-world business problems, and the design and defence of appropriate solutions.
  • Enhanced ICT skills, through first-hand experimentation with a range of online digital tools.
  • Activities and assessment which require the application of learning to an employer or an equivalent organisation.
  • The opportunity to learn in a multidisciplinary setting indicative of today’s more integrated and collaborative corporate culture.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to our postgraduate courses are made through the University’s online application system.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
£5,900.00

International:
£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Course Director: Fiona McMahon

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8525
E: fc.mcmahon@ulster.ac.uk

For Admissions queries please contact the Admissions Service:

T: +44 (0)28 9536 7890

E: admissionsbt@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School of Communication and Media

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

With such a shift in the communications industry much of my education had become quite stale. The post grad skilled me up in all areas of growth, provided practical experience, progressive theory and industry knowledge. The quality of teaching was first class, and industry speakers were extremely relevant and knowledgeable. Perhaps the most beneficial element to be taken from the DMC post grad was the overarching emphasis on strategy which is perhaps lost when only tools and tactics are taught. The course was very well structured, reactive to student needs and always two-way. I thoroughly enjoyed the Digital Media Communications programme, and have benefited both professionally and personally. I highly recommend it.” – Michael Bonner, Moving On Music