MSc Strategic and Digital Marketing

The MSc Strategic and Digital Marketing course is a one year (full-time) or two-year (part-time) taught postgraduate course that is triple accredited with the following professional marketing, digital, and public relations regulatory bodies:

  • Institute of Data and Marketing and its sister organisations the Data & Marketing Association (IDM/DMA)
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
  • Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA)

It is recognised both in the UK and worldwide as a quality course.

The MSc Strategic and Digital Marketing course is aimed at undergraduate students fresh from their undergraduate studies, or those with a few years experience, as well as ‘seasoned’ practitioners wishing to consolidate and/or establish new learning and skills. The course content, which is taught in the heart of Cardiff and online, aims to nurture the next generation of marketing practitioners, strategists and leaders, who are commercially responsive to audience research insights, to develop meaningful value propositions and implement innovative and sustainable multi-channel offerings through agile and creative business models. Students are provided with a uniquely creative platform to conceptualise, the process of going to market through contemporary marketing strategies, planning, practice and research insights, and implement value propositions to complex real-world challenges.

The guiding philosophy of MSc Strategic Digital Marketing is to actively seek new ways of ‘doing business’ through agile business modelling and is underpinned by thematic areas of study aligned to global socio-economic challenges, including effectual altruism, consumption and sustainable economies; communities of practice and interest, tribal participation; and business model technology-enabled futures and omnichannel implementation.

At USW, we acknowledge that the only constant is change, and none more so than the current environment. This new and exciting course reflects the challenges new managers and existing leaders in marketing face, exploring the role of marketing in delivering value for individuals, businesses, and society.

The course is delivered by award-winning international teaching, learning, and research experts in the areas of marketing, digital, and public relations. Teaching within the course has a clear purpose, which is to build students’ professional autonomy as individuals who are responsive to emerging concerns, and disruptive in co-creative and future-oriented organisations.

Additionally, students on the MSc Strategic and Digital Marketing course are:

  • Automatically given membership to Institute of Data and Marketing (IMD) and can gain a GDPR award.
  • Given access to a host of resources, networking events and skill development experiences provided by both the IDM and DMA.
  • Given access to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), who have a prolific network of professional marketers’ hub in the UK and around the world.
  • Entitled to, dependent on your previous qualifications, be exempt from some of course content* of the MSc Strategic and Digital Marketing, in addition to having access to free online learning and networking events and opportunities provided by the PRCA.

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Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
Part-time 2 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
Part-time 2 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

The MSc Strategic Digital Marketing course is founded on developing a critical understanding of key theoretical constructs and is guided by a common vision shared by the teaching team, which is to ensure that students develop the professional capabilities needed to successfully work in the Strategic Digital Marketing sector.

The course content is informed by industry reports such as the CIM Competency Framework and the IDM/DMA Skills Census, and teaching activities will focus on the practical application of theory and the development of professional skills.  The use of case studies, expert guest and industry speaker’s masterclasses, and networking events and simulations exemplify this approach as does the inclusion of the Personal and Professional Skills Development module. This module runs throughout the course and allows students to gain certifications, knowledge and learning experiences that are relevant to the main course module deliveries. You will undertake a personal and professional learning/training needs analysis to understand your hard and soft skill gaps, and tailor your development based on these gaps. The module focuses on the development of professional and employability skills, and where possible, students who complete the professional skills workshops will receive an industry certificate or qualification. For example, students completing the Google Analytics workshop will be encouraged to sit the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) exam.



1 Year

Term 1 - September to November

Personal and Professional Skills Development

This unique module complements our core module delivery – you will not only be learning the theoretical underpinning of each of the subject areas, but you will also study and attain learning that is specific to you. The module aims to develop and enhance the employability of students by providing them with the opportunity to develop the personal and professional skills valued by the strategic and digital marketing industry employers. Students will identify learning opportunities for personal and professional development which will be signposted to relevant online or learning /networking opportunities by the course leader and module tutors coinciding with module delivery and USW provision - to ensure Personal and Professional Development can take place. In addition, you will be applying this learning to real world and live client projects (or your own projects) throughout the course, which means that by the time you complete your study you will have valuable evidence of your learning and its application.

Strategic and Digital Marketing Research Insights

In this module students will gain knowledge and skills in the development of both applied marketing and digital audience focussed research as well as the academic and theoretical underpinning research philosophies and methodologies. It aims to enable the learner to conduct and apply robust academic and business practitioner research develop market sensing and learning abilities. To do so, the module aims to develop the learner's critical understanding and skills of research theory and practice in a strategic and digital marketing context. Develop the learner’s understanding defining value for the audience and organisation through MIS, MR, Market Intelligence, and cross-disciplinary methods. Critically review a range of research methodologies and select as appropriate those that are relevant to the aims and objectives of the research. Provide the learner with a skill set to manage the practical aspects of planning, conducting, and producing a research project and meet professional body requirements for research skills, knowledge, and practitioner accreditation.

Contemporary Marketing and Digital Strategies

Explore the models and frameworks of contemporary strategic and digital marketing strategy, their relationships and antecedents and their potential for contextual application.


Term 1 - 2: December to January

Personal and Professional Skills Development

As above.

Integrated Marketing Communications

This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and tools required to design and plan the implementation of campaigns in an agile manner. Through this module, students will be able to define the key considerations, forces, frameworks, and steps of a campaign plan and design an adaptable campaign which aligns with brand and customer requirements demonstrated through practical digital practice.


Term 2: January to April

Personal and Professional Skills Development

As above.

Strategic Brand Management in the Age of Uncertainty

This module seeks to acknowledge that we are living in an era where rapid change has become the norm. This module critically explores how brands are proactively and pragmatically responding to the challenges created by a global environment that is constantly in flux. Therefore, this module aims to introduce students to key theories of branding and brand reputation management and to develop a critical awareness of the external challenges of managing brands in the global environment.

Strategic and Digital Marketing Consultancy Project

This module aims to critically explore and examine strategic and digital marketing project management, and consultancy skills in a strategic and digital marketing context. Enabling students to understand and explore relevant and key project management principles. Students will be able to use consultancy skills to reflect, monitor, and evidence the ‘management of self’ in a strategic and digital marketing context.


Term 3: May to September

Strategic and Digital Marketing Dissertation OR Strategic & Digital Marketing Major Project

Students choose either the dissertation or major project option after discussion and consultation with the course leader. Both aim to allow students to develop a deeper understanding of their area of specialisation or practice, provide students with an opportunity to undertake either an extended piece of independent focused research or a major project of a substantial nature, to further develop students’ abilities to produce an extended piece of formal written work and to professionalise career skills.


PART-TIME Course (2 Years) - recommended delivery

Year 1

Term 1: September to mid-November

Personal and Professional Skills Development.

Strategic and Digital Marketing Research Insights


Term 1-2: December to January

Personal and Professional Skills Development.

Integrated Marketing Communications


Term 2: January to April

Personal and Professional Skills Development

Strategic Brand Management in the Age of Uncertainty


Year 2

Term 1: September to mid-November

Personal and Professional Skills Development

Contemporary Marketing and Digital Strategies


Term 1-2: December to January

Personal and Professional Skills Development


Term 2: January to April

Personal and Professional Skills Development

Strategic and Digital Marketing Consultancy Project


Term 3: May to September

Strategic and Digital Marketing Dissertation OR Strategic and Digital Marketing Major Project


Currently, the course is delivered as a blended approach - learning takes place weekly on-campus (2 days), with contact hours of between 8-10 hours/week. Student activities will be based on lecture / tutorial / seminar and workshop activities engagement (including pre-recorded content).

In addition to attending on campus engagement, students are expected to carry out self-directed learning based on their personal and professional development plan (PDP) which may include independent online learning, and attendance at virtual and physical events e.g. webinars, networking or conferences.

Additional individual study hours will vary between modules, but an average would be 20-30 hours per module.

Guest lectures will be provided and based on availability and by module.

Often employer engagement and opportunities are mediated through careers, campus events or module assessment methods as these are often based on live client briefs.


There are no exams.

All assessments are coursework – with presentations, reports, essays and project work (group and individual) being used as well as opportunities for individual personalised learning and assessment via the Personal and Professional Development module.


The course is accredited with the:

  • Institute of Data and Marketing and its sister organisations the Data & Marketing Association (IDM/DMA)
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
  • Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA)

The Institute of Data & Marketing (IDM)

MSc Strategic and Digital students will receive: 

  1. Free IDM membership (normally £168)
  2. The opportunity to achieve the IDM Certificate in Digital and Data/Driven Marketing (IDM online exam cost = £250). Enrolment onto the exam entitles you to:12 months of free DMA (Digital and Data & Marketing Association) Student Membership (usually £45) 
  3. Free access to the IDM Award in GDPR (usually £594)
  4. Free access to Euromonitor research reports (normally £375 each) 
  5. Networking opportunities

Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

MSc Strategic and Digital students will receive: 

  1. Exemptions on CIM qualifications, in addition to their degree (TBC).
  2. Students can apply exemptions on CIM qualifications up to 5 years after they graduate (TBC)

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA)

MSc Strategic and Digital Marketing students will receive: 

  1. Unlimited and free access to PRCA online training courses to augment academic learning
  2. Free access to the PRCA Online Certificate (normally £2200)
  3. Use the designatory letters MPRCA to demonstrate your commitment to professionalism and best practice. 

Field Trips

Field trips e.g. Employer/business visits are subject to availability and by module.

There may be additional costs associated with this course

Featured Lecturer:
Dr Jackie Harris

Dr Jackie Harris

Dr Jackie Harris spent 20 years in industry, in areas spanning advertising/marketing, engineering, manufacturing, international education software development and work-based learning before joining the University of South Wales. Jackie's research looks at digital transformation at speed - pivoting a small business during Covid-19;  and explores gender, diversity, inclusivity and mental/physical health benefits within recreational cycling communities in association with Welsh Cycling.

"I am really excited to be able to offer such a unique and market-leading course for students wanting to learn and develop in a dynamic subject area. The MSc Strategic Digital Marketing offers both students and employers growth potential through research-led strategically-focussed teaching and learning within a growing skills and knowledge sector," Jackie said.


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.

A minimum UK 2:2 Honours degree or recognised international equivalent qualification. Applicants with relevant industry experience will be considered on an individual basis.

All applicants with a suitable application will be required to undertake an interview with a member of the teaching faculty and must successfully pass this interview before they can be offered a place on the course.

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of Academic IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

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:  £10250

  • Full-time International:  £15850 

  • Part-time UK:  £1140 per 20 credits

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Student Perks

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.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

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.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Field Trips £20 - £100
Students will be required to contribute to the costs of field trips.
Professional Memberships: affiliate/member/associate £168 - £204
Placement expenses: Work placement/internship
Students are encouraged to undertake a period of work placement. Students undertaking placement may incur costs associated with travel and expected workplace attire will vary according to the placement. However, they are not guaranteed and are determined by supply, timing and suitability.
Other : Text books / online certifications £50
Texts and online resources are available from the library, but students may wish to purchase their own copies.


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.


USW Postgraduate 20% Alumni Discount 2023/24

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales* graduates starting a taught/online*** MA,MSc, LLM,MBA or DBA course from September 2023 (this includes students starting a course in January/February 2024). T's and Cs apply. Click here for more details and eligibility criteria: USW Postgraduate Alumni Discount 2023/24


Apply directly to the University for this course.

Interviews are arranged on an invitation basis and at mutually convenient times.

Apply now 

Admissions statement 

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smartphone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Graduates of this course are now employed in agency (marketing/advertising) employment, public and private sector organisations e.g. fashion, health, construction, and the likes of event management and the financial sector. Some have also started their own successful enterprises.

Job titles attained by graduates (depending on experience etc) include:

  • Marketing / Digital Executive
  • Communications Executive
  • Marketing Manager
  • Agile Senior Delivery Manager
  • Digital Lead
  • Digital Content Specialist
  • Marketing Coordinator
  • Social Media Manager/Executive
  • Community Development Manager/Executive
  • Design and Marketing Executive
  • Global Head of SEO & Content Marketing
  • Trainee Digital Strategist
  • Web editor
  • Social Advertising Specialist
  • Associate / Account Manager
  • e-Commerce & Digital Marketing Manager


Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.