Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Communication and Media
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
CAM: A unique approach to studying advertising, marketing, public relations and digital media in a vibrant School of Communication and Media.
Established in 1990 and evolving in tandem with industry developments and new and emerging technologies, the BSc Hons Communication, Advertising and Marketing degree uniquely combines the study of advertising and marketing within a School of Communication and Media. This programme has been developed in collaboration with professionals and you will gain a solid grounding in communication theory and practice which is then practically applied in organisational contexts as the course progresses.
In this section
The broad aim of the CAM degree is to develop an understanding of communication and to help you make use of this in developing a detailed awareness and insight into particular professional communication contexts. More specifically, you will: develop a practical awareness of the business context within which the communications industry operates; develop a working knowledge of advertising, public relations and marketing practice; develop a critical awareness of a range of methods of communication research; acquire knowledge and understanding of interpersonal communication; acquire knowledge and understanding of the role of language, both spoken and written; explore the implications of ongoing developments in digital communication for both communication theory and practice.
You will also be given the opportunity to develop a range of applied skills including: communication skills; group work skills; organisational skills; design skills; and information technology skills.
The CAM degree is widely recognised and highly regarded by the Communication industry in Northern Ireland and beyond. It offers lots of opportunities to put your communication and other applied skills into practice. One such initiative is the Publicity Association of Northern Ireland (PANI) Advertising Student Workshop competition. The workshop allows CAM students to work with Graphic Design students to respond to an advertising brief and to create a winning ad campaign. Students work in teams of around six and are assigned a mentor agency. Around six advertising agencies come on board, representing the most prominent advertising professionals in Northern Ireland. The CAM course team hopes that PANI will continue to support this tremendously valuable initiative.
Another important feature of the course is the option to undertake a work placement in third year, although the course can be completed in three years.
At the School of Communication and Media we understand the importance of communication to personal and professional success. Communication is core to all of the subjects we offer, so no matter what course you choose, you will learn how to become a more effective communicator.
Employers consistently list ‘effective communication’ as the most desirable skill when recruiting. It’s therefore not surprising that many graduates from our Communication programmes enjoy senior roles in the public, private and not for profit sectors. While you may not know our graduates, you will certainly be familiar with the organisations they work for!
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Classroom time varies across the three taught years and across modules but you will study three modules per semester and each module will typically involve a lecture and seminar and/or lab based tutorial. As such, time spent in the classroom could be typically between 12 and 20 hours per week, spread across 3 or 4 days. However, much more time is expected to be spent on reading and assignment preparation.
The programme comprises a mix of theoretical and practical teaching methods and will be delivered by means of lectures, seminars, workshops and supervised work experience. You will also be involved in practical classes in the editing studio and social skills laboratories.
You will be assessed by a variety of methods, including essays, seminar papers, commercial reports, campaigns, projects, class tests and examinations. In keeping with the nature of the industries and roles into which our graduates progress, some assessments will be group based, for example, advertising campaign development, while others will be completed as an individual, such as theoretical essays.
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:
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 semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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 methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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.
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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
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) by Advanced HE - 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 2021-2022.
The Belfast campus is situated in the artistic and cultural centre of the city, the Cathedral Quarter.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
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
The module explores the complex relationship between language and communication, focusing on competing models of communication and the multi-layered multi-faceted nature of meaning in communication involving language. It explores how understanding features of language informs the study of communication and how reflecting on communication aids reflection on the complex nature of language and meaning.
This module introduces the students to the concept of interpersonal communication as skill and strategy. It introduces the idea of different approaches to communication performance and the importance of context in selecting an appropriate or effective approach. It presents and discusses a series of core communication skills used in interpersonal interaction. The emphasis throughout is on the application of theory to practice and on developing skills of behaviour discrimination, self-awareness, critical analysis and skill enhancement.
This module provides students with an appreciation of the nature, scope and breadth of the principles of marketing. It represents a key underpinning to subsequent marketing related modules within degree programmes.
This module presents an introduction to the theory and practice of advertising. It
explores the role of advertising in marketing, the main creative approaches to
advertising and the main media available to advertising as well as providing a
fundamental understanding of the structure and regulatory system of the
This module introduces students to the background and development of the discipline of consumer behaviour. It provides a foundation to the more applied subjects of marketing, advertising and digital communication. It provides theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of the consumer decision making process and the factors that influence choice and highlights implications for marketing and marketing communication strategy.
The module introduces students to students to the study public relations. Students will examine theoretical concepts and examples of public relations practice to approach the subject, allowing students to experience and reflect on examples of public relations. With the module grounded in the wider study of the media and communication, it is intended that the student will gain a core understanding of how public relations operates within the wider media industries. Assessment is by two pieces of coursework, an essay (40%) and a report (60%).
This module has been designed to enable students to develop their skills in designing, executing and writing up quantitative and qualitative research projects. It provides an important foundation for the final year Project.
Written communication is a vital part of being an effective communication professional. The module, by integrating theory and analysis with practical skills development, will enable students to develop the skills to write in a range of genres with technical accuracy, creativity and responsibility.
This module develops the fundamentals of marketing and applies the perspective of managerialism to these core principles. In this respect, the module's focus is on the 4 core marketing management activities marketing planning, marketing implementation, marketing leadership and marketing control. The module also explores how these core managerial activities will operate in various marketing contexts.
This module is optional
This module extends the study of interpersonal communication by examining advanced interpersonal skills relevant to specific professional contexts. It offers the opportunity to explore underlying theories and concepts, which in turn provides knowledge and understanding of situationally specific communication processes. Behaviour analysis, critical reflection and skill enhancement are the heart of the module. A special feature is the use of CCTV laboratories in the Communication Skills Centre of the University.
This module is optional
This module allows students in second year to study abroad for the first or second semester. Students take the equivalent number of relevant credits offered by the host institution, during their period of study there. Decisions related to what students study in the host institution are taken in conjunction with the host institution adviser and their studies adviser at Ulster.
This module is optional
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.
This module is optional
This module offers the opportunity for students to develop knowledge of how designers work. It aims to develop the ability to work with designers and to act as a intermediary between a client and a creative team. Students will learn how to brief creative colleagues efficiently and how to collaborate effectively and maximise joint resources. It offers demonstration and appreciation of computing skills and an understanding of how to improve visual output and presentation skills.
This module is optional
Work-based learning provides students with experience of working within the communication field. The placement option is a complement to and extension of the work engaged in at the University and provides the opportunity for each student to apply theory to practice, enhance their employability portfolio and improve their career planning skills and knowledge.
This module is optional
This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside in the US under the Study USA programme. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline and its applied contexts whilst generating educational and cultural networks.
This module offers a theoretical and practical insight into traditional, relational, cultural and network communication strategies used by organisations to address current challenges and achieve organisational goals. Such understanding forms the basis for an appreciation of a range of issues including challenges of leadership, organisational uncertainty and conflict, change and crisis management. Students undertaking the module will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to assess the effectiveness of strategies adopted by organisations and to offer proposals for improved communication, innovation and performance
The theory and practice of advertising is constantly evolving and this module affords students the opportunity to keep up to date with these changes. It provides a deeper exploration of the role of creativity in advertising and the changing media landscape within which advertising practitioners are engaged. It equips students with knowledge and skills to challenge academic research and to undertake practical advertising activities.
The project enables students to apply methods and techniques to exending and applying their knowledge and understanding of Communication and allows them to further develop their conceptual, rational and creative thinking within the field of Communication. It incorporates all aspects of completing a research project, from topic selection through to writing up and builds upon research skills acquired in Years 1 and 2.
In an increasingly global environment this module seeks to develop students' understanding of the socio-cultural, economic, legal and political variables which will impact on the international decision making and planning processes of an organisation and influence international marketing mix strategies.
This module is optional
The module considers the theoretical and conceptual trends that appear to be shaping future notions of the study of communication. The module extends the conceptual and theoretical appreciation of the student and enables them to engage with the disputes and debates out of which the future of the domain will emerge.
This module is optional
The module presents students with a range of assessment and evaluation instruments currently in use in the measurement of communication and organisational behaviour. Students will develop their skills in analysing data, summarising their findings and presenting useful recommendations in a form that can assist in the achievement or organisational improvement.
This module is optional
The module considers how we 'read' the messages communicated by commodities, how we use those commodities to communicate our own messages and construct our identities, and how the media discourses surrounding commodities reinforce or challenge those messages. The schedule falls into three parts which each build on the last. It begins by using semiotics to analyse brands and adverts in detail, moves on to bring wider theoretical considerations to bear on the marketplace in general in order to see the 'bigger picture', and culminates in student-facilitated seminars that use the material from the first two parts to examine any aspect of the marketplace that interests the facilitating group.
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.
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QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma(2012 Suite)
Award profile of D*DD
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma(2016 Suite)
Award profile of DDD
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of D*D plus A Level Grade A
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DD plus A Level Grade B
QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades AA
RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/ OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate(2016 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades AA
136 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at higher level) to include English at H6 if studied at Higher level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level.
Overall profile is minimum 28 points (including 14 at higher level)
Overall profile of 73% (120 credit Access Course) (NI Access Course)
For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language.
Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.
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.
Pass HND with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 5 credits.
Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include distinctions in all level 4 credits.
Successful completion of any Ulster University Foundation Degree with an average of 65% in Level 5 modules. (Entry into Year One only)
You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University.
In this section
Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
The CAM degree with its broad and varied range of modules offers a host of career options and affords students the chance to engage with various aspects of communication before they enter the workplace. The degree is recognised by employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Many of our graduates, not surprisingly, take up positions in Advertising and Marketing, but, in addition, CAM graduates hold senior positions in the Public Relations, digital communication, media, government, retail, education and hospitality sectors. Graduate employment options are truly wide-ranging.
One of the most valuable aspects of the CAM programme is the option to undertake a placement in third year. Most of our students spend their third year on work placement and students gain placements in the voluntary, public and private sectors in a variety of roles related to the degree. Recent placements include: Marketing and Communications Officer (PowerNI); Marketing and Communications Internship (Warner Bros); Communication and Media Intern (Dell); Communications Intern (Danone); Marketing Communications Assistant (Allstate); Events Assistant (Belfast City Council); Major Donor and Corporate Assistant (Concern Worldwide) and Digital Marketing and Publicity Intern (Disney). Most students undertake their placements in Northern Ireland, but students can undertake their placement anywhere in the world. In the last few years, CAM students have undertaken placements in, amongst others, Australia, USA, Spain, Qatar, China and Republic of Ireland. Successful completion of placement allows students to gain the additional award of Diploma in Professional Practice.
Another popular option for CAM students, that is open to all students at Ulster University, is the Study USA (SUSA) programme. Students can apply to spend a year studying in the USA in the year prior to their final year, which for CAM students is third year. This is a funded programme. Successful completion of SUSA allows students to gain the additional award of Diploma in International Academic Studies.
Recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
Fees for entry in 2023/24 have not yet been set. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.
CAM students compete for a range of awards that continue to be generously sponsored by our industry partners, highlighting the esteem in which they hold the degree. These awards recognise exceptional individual achievement. At present awards that are open to CAM students are:
The Genesis Advertising prize for best first year advertising student;
The Lighthouse Communications prize for the first year CAM student with highest overall mark;
The Jago Communications prize for excellence in digital communication;
The Navigator Blue prize for excellence in written communication;
The SMARTS Communicate prize for excellence in Public Relations;
The ASG prize for best final year advertising student;
The Morrow Communications prize for the best final year CAM dissertation;
The Publicity Association of Northern Ireland prize for the final year CAM student with highest overall mark.
In addition, all first year and second year CAM students who achieve a year average of 70% or above will be placed on the 'Dean's List'.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
Course Director: Dr Aodheen McCartan
Admissions: Amber Crozier
T: +44 (0)287012 3333
What our students say:
The aspect of the course that our students comment on the most is its variety. Students welcome the mixture of theoretical understanding with real-life application, such as advertising design, press release writing and market strategising. With the opportunity to gain a year’s work placement in industry, CAM students emerge as very employable graduates. As one recent graduate commented: ‘When you first apply for graduate jobs, you find that the position requires you to have a degree in Communication or Advertising or Marketing. With CAM, it was great to be able to say that you have a degree in all three!'
What our employers say:
The CAM degree enjoys strong relationships with many employers within the broad communications industry. With the option of a work placement, we have formed many links with employers in Northern Ireland and some based further afield who regularly recruit our placement students. Many placement employers then become employers of our graduates. Employers recognise the high entrance grades required to gain a place on the course and are supportive of the mix of theoretical and practical elements involved. Recognising the calibre of a typical CAM graduate, the Course Director is often approached by employers who are seeking a high quality, reliable graduate with wide ranging experiences.