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MA Advertising

Qualification: MA

Study mode: Full-time

Location: High Wycombe

Credits: 180

Creativity naturally underpins everything we do and this course will teach you how to embrace this approach to create strategies, gain insights, solve real-world problems and become an industry-ready graduate.

Is this course for me?

This course is for those who are looking to enter the advertising industry in a range of roles and levels.

The course team is very much in agreement with industry opinion that people working in advertising need to come from an eclectic mix of backgrounds and experiences. It is for this reason students are drawn from both creative and academic backgrounds and increasingly from industry.

Past students have studied diverse subjects like medicine, architecture, psychology, economics,  journalism, languages, film and media, literature and many more have come from advertising, design and graphics backgrounds.  

Creativity naturally underpins everything we do and you will learn how to embrace this approach to create strategies, gain insights and solve real-world problems. 

If you would like to find out more about this course, come along to a postgraduate open evening.


What will this course cover?

This programme has been running for a number of years and was conceived as a hybrid course combining account planning and creative problem solving. It was designed as an alternative to the traditional graduate recruitment programmes run by individual agencies and aims to prepare students for a career in account planning.

Experience has shown the skills and attitudes learned on the course also prepare graduates for other roles within the Creative Industries or client side.

The approach to teaching and learning of combining university education with industry experience has proved to be highly effective at producing industry ready graduates. In addition to the acquisition of knowledge and applied skills, students develop as individuals able to respond and deliver under varied and pressured conditions – the course prepares students for change.

Course content includes lectures and speakers from industry, work-experience, live briefs, writing, art direction, filming and editing, a field trip to New York, comedy and improvisation workshops, innovation and extended London agency workshops. Students are encouraged and empowered to create their own networks and secure work experience opportunities.

Members of our teaching team work and research closely within the industry, so are fully engaged with changes and developments as they happen. Bucks Ad School works with many prestigious agencies, including AKQA, BBH, AMV BBDO, RAPP UK & NY, M&C Saatchi, Mother, AIS, Lean Mean Fighting Machine, RG/A NY, What If, JWT, Grey, Dare, Ogilvy, Cunning, Saatchi & Saatchi, Fallon, Anomaly, Crayon Karmarama, Razorfish, Droga 5 and many more.

Reading lists are available upon acceptance onto the course.

What are the modules?

Stage one (PGCert):

Contemporary Advertising Practice
This module exposes students to the world of contemporary advertising and comprises a range of experiences to help students from varied professional and undergraduate backgrounds to reach a common level of understanding. It also introduces students to the creative process from idea generation to presenting.

Creative Planning
This is a practical, theoretical and experiential module which covers all aspects of account planning, strategy and briefing. As with all areas of the course, it constantly contextualises all learning with industry experiences.

Stage two (PGDip):

Research Methods
This module introduces students to the process of research, analysis and writing. It is designed to prepare them for the Dissertation module later in the course. It comprises a series of short lectures/workshops delivered over a period of weeks.

Social Ideas
This is a creative module designed as a response to changes brought about by new media and the affect on behaviour and our engagement with brands.

Stage three (MA):

This comprises a six to eight thousand word research project on a subject related to advertising and marketing.

This module is the life-blood of the course and represents the special relationship we enjoy with industry. It comprises: live briefs, agency presentations, extended agency workshops, work experience and the New York trip where students get to engage with industry over there.

This module is the final stage of the course and is effectively a final project encompassing all aspects of the course. It is based on an agency briefing and culminates in a major presentation in London, to industry creatives, planners and course tutors.

On successful completion of each of the three stages you will receive the relevant award: PGCert, PGDip and MA, respectively.

How will I be taught?

Lateral thinking, performance, investigative journalism and stand-up comedy are just some of the approaches regularly employed to develop your thinking and achieve unique outcomes.

All work on the course starts with a brief and involves interaction between students, employees and industry.

Tutorials will sometimes be conducted via Skype and digital submissions of work will sometimes be a requirement.

What will I gain?

Students will be equipped to secure junior roles as planners, strategists or creatives in all international centres of advertising. They will display developed abilities for research, analysis, creative problem solving and engagement. Students will be able to present their concepts and strategies at a very high level. By the end of the course they will through learning, doing and engagement with industry, have a clear perspective on their future role in advertising.        

Start date and attendance

Start date: January

Duration: One year, full-time

Typical attendance: Usually two and a half days per week based at the High Wycombe Campus.

Time commitments: We expect students to take around 12 hours per week of self-directed study plus agency visits and workshops.

What are the entry requirements?

All applicants are required to hold a good honours degree in a relevant subject area and prove excellence in whatever subject they studied.  You must also show a developed proficiency in both written and spoken English. The course demands high levels of presentation skills from the outset. 

You should be passionate about working in advertising and evidence your ability to think creatively and above all be hugely driven to get the most out of the opportunities offered by the course.

Extensive industry experience may be considered in lieu of a degree at the discretion of the course leader.

All students are interviewed and portfolios or other submissions are considered. 

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

How much does it cost?

Fees for 2013 - 14 entry:

Home and EU:  C6
To find this fee please refer to our downloadable fee grid.

International: F
To find this fee please refer to our online fee grid.

If you would more information on fees and finance, please take a look at our fees and funding pages.

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years are subject to rises in inflation or course delivery costs. There will be additional costs associated with this course.

How to apply

You can apply for this course directly to Bucks. For more information on making an application, please take a look at our applications area.

Applicants will normally be interviewed before acceptance onto the programme.

Graduate profile

"Having just landed my first job as a planner in advertising since graduating, I can say that it simply would not have been possible without the rigours and expert tuition I received on the Course. We were put through our paces in pressurised, real-life situations from the start. This was invaluable as it allowed me to hit the ground running when I entered industry." Patrick Stileman, Junior Planner at Candi

"I studied Fine Art but wanted to change direction and break into advertising. I approached JWT London to join their Graduate Training Programme. They thought I showed great potential in both Creative and Planning and advised me to do the MA Advertising course at Bucks. The nature of the Course and the level of industry contact enabled me, on graduation, to secure a position as a Junior Planner at Leo Burnett." Richard Galt, Junior Planner at Leo Burnett 

"As an international student I was looking for a course with an edge. A degree that produced industry-ready professionals but also specialised in developing new-age thinkers. I found all this and an avatar as a creative planner at Bucks." Bhavna Sharma, working in advertising in India

Open days & prospectus

Postgraduate open evenings
If you would like to find out more about this course, come along to a postgraduate open evening Held regularly throughout the year, these events offer an ideal opportunity to meet with a member of the course team, see our facilities and ask any questions you may have. Register online.

 Request a prospectus
To request a prospectus, simply complete this request form or call 0800 0565 660.

How do I find out more?

Home and EU Enquiries
Tel: 0800 0565 660

Home and EU Admissions
Tel: 01494 605 060