The Digital Consumer

2023/24 Part-time Postgraduate Short course and CPD

Faculty:

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

School:

School of Computing

Campus:

Belfast campus

Credit points:

30

Start date:

27 September 2023

For full instructions on how to apply for short courses, please contact the Centre for Flexible and Continuing Education - FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

We are passionate about sharing with our students the vital role they each have now and as future professionals in promoting a sustainable future for all. We believe that sustainability is not the domain of one discipline or profession. It is the responsibility of all disciplines, professions, organisations and individuals.

That is why on each of our courses within the School of Computing you will learn about the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the contribution you can make now, and as a graduate in Computing.

Read the course details below to find out more.

Overview

This course identifies how an online digital communication strategy can enable an organisation to critically evaluate online performance.

Summary

In an increasingly competitive, connected and cluttered marketplace, organisations must pursue new business models and seek to communicate with consumers in a way that engenders trust, loyalty and cooperation. The unique properties of digital marketing communication technologies and services are considered more conducive to fostering consumer dialogue and relationships than traditional mass media tactics. Drawing upon academic theory and international best practice models and case-studies, this course establishes an effective multidisciplinary foundation for evaluating effective digital marketing communication approaches and technologies to support strategic business goals. Partcipants 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.

This course can be taken individually or combined over a period of time towards a Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development.

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About this course

About

This course will enable participants to understand the characteristics of the digital consumer and changing market environment, and explore in-depth the attendant challenges and opportunities presented by digital marketing approaches and technologies. Drawing upon academic theory and international best practice models and case examples, participants will have the opportunity to objectively analyse and appraise organisational engagement in digital marketing communication.

Analytical, creative and information communication technology (ICT) skills will be developed through the critical assessment of online performance. Crucially, participants will understand and appreciate the interrelationship between communication, design and technology in maintaining a customer centric, user-centred online presence.

This course comprises the following themes and components:

The digital consumer

Researching and understanding the expectations, motivations and behaviour of the digital consumer.
The changing market environment and the prosumer.
Consumer motivation for digital engagement, including user generated content (UGC).
Customer centricity and the value concept.
User personas.
Customer mapping and digital journeys.
Online consumer behaviour models and theories.
Online branding and brand equity.
Optimising the online experience; online value propositions and customer centric content Understanding how the internet can be leveraged to augment the value proposition and manage consumer interactions through multi-channel integration (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, mobile apps, location technology).

The digital consumer experience

An introduction to the Internet and the World Wide Web.
An introduction to search engine technology and Search Engine Optimisation Developing digital consumer-orientated content.
An introduction to Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.
Evaluating the effectiveness of digital presence Introduction to web analytics.

Linked programmes

PgDip/MSc Digital Media Communication, PgCertPD Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development

Assessment

100% Coursework - Best Practice Report

The coursework is an individual assignment (3000 words) whereby the participant has the opportunity to apply theories and concepts of online digital communication by comparing and contrasting organisations’ websites within an industry sector of their choice, and evaluating the extent to which the case organisations' online presence support models of best practice. The coursework submission will be in two parts. In Part A of the coursework (1500 words), the participant will assess online communication including effectiveness of customer targeting, value proposition, and brand experience within the chosen websites. In Part B of the coursework (1500 words), the participant will assess the design, usability and optimisation of the websites.

Attendance

This course requires on-campus attendance, at our Belfast campus, on Wednesdays from 1:15pm - 5:15pm, during Semester 1, starting Wednesday 27 September 2023.

Attendance dates are as follows -

  • Wednesday 27 September 2023
  • Wednesday 11 October 2023
  • Wednesday 25 October 2023
  • Wednesday 15 November 2023
  • Wednesday 23 November 2023

* Please note, dates and timetabling may be subject to change.

Entry requirements

Normally, a degree in, for example, Communication, Business, Information and Communication Technology or a related technical area. Other degree areas may be accepted (please contact us to check).

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the minimum English entrance requirements of the University and will need to provide recent evidence of this (certified within the last two years).

Most of our courses require a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with no band score under 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement.

Additional information on English language requirements for admission at Ulster University, is available at - www.ulster.ac.uk/global/apply/english-language-requirements


Visas and Immigration

International applicants will also require a short-term study visa.

Further information is available at - www.ulster.ac.uk/international/visa-immigration

Start dates

  • 27 September 2023

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Attendance and Independent Study

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:

  • 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 semester is 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, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses 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. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. 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 assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    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, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. 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. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures correct for academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) 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 and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance 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 2022-2023.

Belfast campus

Accommodation

High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation (Opens in a new window)  


Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing (Opens in a new window)  

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Start dates

  • 27 September 2023

Fees and funding

Prices

Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and EU Settlements Status Fees: £1,119.90

England, Scotland, Wales and the Islands Fees: £1,119.90

International Fees: £2,640.00

Fees information

Payment of Fees and Deposits

Information about how to pay for a course including different payment options is available at - www.ulster.ac.uk/finance/student/tuition-fees-payments

Fees and Funding

Information and advice about course fees and a guide to budgeting for your living costs, as well as sources for financial assistance including hardship funding, scholarships, prizes and awards, is available at - ​www.ulster.ac.uk/student/fees

Additional mandatory costs

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.

Disclaimer

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.