BA (Hons) Advertising
The BA ( Hons) Advertising course at USW Cardiff will help prepare you for a career in the dynamic, exciting industry that is Advertising. This degree programme, based in the heart of Cardiff, will give you the opportunity to engage with agencies from day one.
USW Advertising are a founding member of the Creative Advertising Collective for Higher Education (CACHE) – a supportive network of like-minded University professionals that work together to debate, share and enhance teaching practice of Creative Advertising.
Our highly experienced course team teaches you all aspects of advertising, from how to generate social media content and final campaign outputs (across all media platforms), to consumer behaviour, marketing and psychology. Industry engagement with client-led, ‘real world’ projects and regular guest speakers supplement the curriculum, allowing you to build a portfolio of creative, strategic-led projects over the three years.
When you graduate, you will be ready for industry, leaving university with a wide range of creative and strategic skills, all of which are transferable. Among these are:
- interpersonal communication,
- critical thinking,
- project management, and
- leadership skills.
This course is also available through Network75, a combined work and study route.
Year one is a smooth transition into studying at degree level, and will nurture your ability to generate new ideas, learn software and develop advertising concepts in a supportive environment.
In year two, you’ll work on real-world advertising briefs, provided by agencies from Cardiff, the UK and internationally, and you will start to understand professional expectations. This year also offers the opportunity for a European exchange through the Erasmus programme, as well as industry work placements.
Year three is regarded as your professional, industry-facing year, as we prepare you for a career within the many roles of advertising. You’ll tackle national and international competitions and have further opportunities to engage with industry professionals via internships and live real world briefs.
This module introduces you to the very basics of advertising, such as target audiences, advertising techniques and engaging with different consumer audiences.
Creative Process 1
An exploration on how to create innovative ideas, using the creative process, research techniques, development of ideas, and strategic thinking to produce campaign concepts.
Advertising for Print
This module introduces you to the Adobe Suite of software, in order for you to create traditional, print-based ad campaigns, with written and visuals elements.
Creative Content 1
As a basis for all creative work, this module introduces you to the fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding required to produce creative responses to advertising design problems using movement, sequence and sound. You will produce outcomes such as audio ads and short-form videos for online consumption.
Introducing you to using all types of creative writing in an advertising context, from social media to traditional print ads, to script writing and storytelling on behalf of brands. You will develop your professional writing skills for use across a wide spectrum of the advertising and marketing campaigns.
The Advertising Industry
This module will introduce you to the broad range of job roles within the ad industry, from the creative roles to the business side of the industry, as well as looking at the processes used by agencies in order to produce campaigns across all media platforms.
Customers and Consumers
Understanding consumer behaviour, lifestyles and habits is key to understanding audiences via research and customer insight. You will learn how to select the most appropriate media platform in which to engage with them on behalf of clients.
Exploring new technology-driven advertising, this module focuses on expertential and digital media landscapes and platforms in order to engage with the target audience via innovative campaigns.
Working on a brief provided by a variety of industry leading agencies and charities, you will create an integrated campaign within a budget and timeline, reflecting the studio dynamic of a real-world ad agency. This campaign has the potential to be used by the agency or charity for their next project: a true live brief.
Account and Media Planning
This module focuses on the strategies used within the business side of the advertising industry to underpin successful campaigns.This module explores the role of an account planner by examining the influence of consumer insights, market intelligence and trend prediction. This process ensures optimal return on investment and maximum success for the client.
Creative Process 2
This module focuses on how to further develop and nuture your ideas using the creative process that you were introduced to in Year 1. Research techniques, development of ideas and strategic thinking are utilized, along with exploration of creative idea techniques, which will help you produce an integrated campaign outcome.
Content Creation 2
You will further develop skills and vocabulary relating to storytelling, narrative and sequence, and be introduced to the technical skills required to produce motion based digital ads from social media content to cinema ads.
*25% of this module can be studied in Welsh.
Year Three: Advertising
This module offers you the chance to respond to industry competition briefs set by an agency. Alongside this, you will tackle a specialist project that responds to the cultural, social, and economic impact and issues in advertising.
This module offers you the chance to produce an integrated campaign of social media and cinematic content. Working with selected national charities, you’ll develop your film and editing skills via a series of professional production workshops.
In this module, you will critically engage with investigative research, you will then focus your research and produce a case study to support your professional project.
This module is all about developing your professional digital portfolio, skill set and launching yourself into the ad industry, with adjoining support of the USW Careers Team, so you’ll be ready to respond to working in this demanding industry in any job role.
In this final project, you will create a self-written, self-directed piece of content using integrated media platforms of your choice to include in your portfolio as your flagship project upon graduation. This module is the culmination of all of the skills you have acquired over the three years on the course.
*25% of this module can be studied in Welsh.
You will work in an exciting and constantly changing area of advertising and marketing in a relaxed, supportive environment of the creative studio, exploring creative direction, consumer behaviour and strategic development, as well as creating campaigns for all forms of traditional and digital media advertising.
Our partnerships with the advertising industry provide you with an inspiring programme of visiting guest lecturers, workshop and live, real-world briefs, developing your professional practice with live and competition projects alongside workshops with practising industry specialists. This interaction with the industry develops into work placements and internships during the course.
Outside the studio, you will have access to a range of resources across the modern Cardiff campus. Cross course collaboration is encouraged and facilitated. In addition, we conduct agency visits and study trips to such destinations as Bristol, London, Manchester, New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin.
Throughout the Advertising Design course, you will be assessed on both practice-based modules and written assignments. You will receive clear and detailed feedback, both during the module and after submission that will help you reflect on and further develop your strengths and skill set.
This course is 100% coursework assessed.
We have a range of specialist computers and software such as Adobe Creative Suite. Students will be offered inductions to 3D printers and laser cutters within the workshops, as well as hardware, such as photography and film equipment. Students can also loan out specialist equipment such as digital cameras and laptops.
We support students with personal academic tutors and pastoral tutorials as well as via formative assessments embedded within the module delivery. Our Advice Zone is there to help students navigate different situations, and the dedicated course team are always available to schedule one-to-one tutorials outside of class time to support your academic progress and wellbeing.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.
Other qualifications and experience
We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.
To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.
If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here
Applicants in the UK
Selection for this course is based on a suitable application. If you do not meet the entry criteria you may also be required to attend an interview to help us assess your suitability for the course.
Typical A-Level Offer
BCC (this is equivalent to 104 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC at A Level (this is equivalent to 104 UCAS tariff points).
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit (this is equivalent to 112 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 104 UCAS tariff points
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum of 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances
International Entry Requirements
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: £14950
August 2025 - July 2026 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
UK and EU students
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
At USW Advertising we prepare you for your future career from day one of the course. You’ll explore the full range of careers in the industry from the creative, strategic, business to working with diverse clients, you'll work with the advertising industry throughout your degree, and we'll support you to gain valuable experience through internships, work experience and placements.
We have amazing links with industry partners that offer opportunities for work experience. Many of these are right on our doorstep in Cardiff and Bristol, ensuring you make the most of your time in this creative capital city.
Advertising is a global industry, and our links with international brands connect USW students to opportunities anywhere in the world. Many of our students have undertaken placements in Year 1 and 2 prior to their Year 3 internships. You'll also compete in national and international design competitions, which will showcase your work on a global stage.
The course team encourages and supports students to look for internships and placements, including support with CV and portfolio building. Students will have a variety of job roles that they can apply for on leaving university, and there is a great deal of transferable skills students will learn on the course, from project management and dealing with clients, to working in a collaborative environment across different media, to presenting ideas confidently and eloquently.
The USW careers service provides students with context and support throughout their time spent on the course. This culminates at level 6, where the careers team support students through workshops and personal coaching to develop CVs, interview techniques, job applications and graduate employability skills. Professional presentation on social platforms such as LinkedIn and exploring international opportunities are also encouraged.
Possible career options
Graduates of the course have gone into a wide variety of job roles within the advertising and marketing industries.
Some roles include:
- advertising executive
- account planner
- digital marketer
- copy editor
- art director
- graphic designer
- account handler
- project manager
- media planner
- media buyer
- social media content provider
- studio traffic manager
- media production
- event management