Marketing - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years), Sandwich (4 years)
September 2016, September 2017

This course is now full for September 2016.

View other Business courses or our full list of Clearing courses.

Work on real-life projects with leading clients, learn an array of modern marketing principles and undertake a paid work placement with our BA (Hons) Marketing course.

We’ll teach you all the skills you need to be a qualified marketing professional, and getting involved with real business projects will ensure you’re highly sought after by employers. It helped previous graduates progress into roles with companies such as Unilever, Disney and British Gas.

New for 2017/18

Marketing - BA (Hons)*

If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.

*This course is subject to approval.

Summary of our new course

This marketing degree course covers relevant, real-life subjects such as digital marketing, branding and the importance of good customer experiences.

You will work within a team and individually to develop and communicate new concepts and designs, and further improve your knowledge by undertaking a paid work placement in your third year, where students have, in the past, worked with companies such as Warner Bros. and Unilever.

The course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), and when you complete your degree you can choose two extra modules to gain the CIM Professional Diploma. This course gives an overview and insight into all areas of marketing while also allowing you to select a variety of specialist options in line with your career aspirations and interests.

Sign up for course updatesBenefits of our new curriculum

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Expert help and advice

Our graduates are shaping the world, achieving things they never imagined.

Kim Bailey gives you her top tips on how to get ahead in Marketing and succeed in your chosen career.

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What's covered in the course?

This course covers relevant, real-life subjects, such as digital marketing, branding and the importance of good customer experiences.

We teach by using real business scenarios, so you’ll get the chance to draft marketing plans for actual companies, work on business case studies and get experience in our very own in-house marketing agency, The Link.

As part of your course you’ll work on activities that mirror marketing projects within industry. For example, you’ll work as part of team to develop and communicate a new product concept or design, and then carry out a marketing research study.

You’ll work in a paid work placement throughout your third year and apply this experience to your studies, which you’ll carry out in study blocks throughout this year. Our students have worked with a range of companies from Unilever to Warner Bros, and gained attributes that prove invaluable for their future career.

Teaching is provided by industry-leading staff, who are all marketing and PR experts and will share their experience and marketing knowhow with you.

Why Choose Us?

  • Your work placement means you graduate with a degree and real paid work experience, all within three years. You’ll also benefit from progressing directly from your paid work placement into employment.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to work on real marketing projects via our own internal marketing agency, The Link. It’s run by our undergraduates and recently enabled students to work on the successful Cure Leukaemia campaign.
  • When you complete your top-up degree, you can choose to study two extra modules to gain the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Professional Diploma.
  • Our impressive industry links enable us to attract fantastic guest speakers, such as Bob Leaf, the International Chairman of leading PR company Burson Marsteller.
  • The amount of real client briefs, activities, competitions and placements you’re exposed to is huge, which means you leave with real agency experience and your own industry links. Our students have worked on projects and campaigns with Prostate Cancer Charity, Aston Manor Brewery, National Express, Royal Ballet and Aston Villa Football Club.
  • 89 per cent of our students agree that staff were good at explaining things, according to the National Student Survey 2014.
Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 8 October 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 8 October 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.

This course is open to International students

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Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Bostik
  • Hemsley Fraser

And in jobs such as:

  • Assistant Product Manager
  • Marketing Communications Executive

This course is recognised by:

Chartered Institute of Marketing

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

At the point of enrolment you must have GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level 280 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 2 A Levels (BBC offer made in grades). This may also include General Studies and Critical Thinking. Remaining points can be made up with AS Levels in different subjects. AS Level in the same subject of an A Level will not be accepted.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 45 Credits Level 3, 15 credits Level 2 including Level 2 English Language and Maths for all programmes
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 280 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum of 280 UCAS points
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum of 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2016/17
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Non-standard entry

The programme welcomes applications from students who have significant relevant work or life experience but who may not necessarily meet all of the published academic requirements for their chosen course. The University must be satisfied that your work or life experience is equivalent to the qualifications that other applicants will be studying. We want all of our students to succeed and will only offer a place where we believe that an applicant is capable of completing their chosen course with a strong final degree classification.

The admissions team will be pleased to discuss individual circumstances with prospective students.

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

280 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
predicted DMM at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

More about unconditional offers

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £9,000 per year
SW 4 years £9,000 per year
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year
SW 4 years £9,250 per year

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £12,000 per year
SW 4 years £12,000 per year
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year
SW 4 years £12,000 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

This course is now full for September 2016.

You will be able to apply for 2017/18 via UCAS from 6 September 2016.

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

In your first year you’ll look at the fundamentals of marketing and business, coupled with understanding consumer behaviour, giving you a really good grounding in marketing. You also share this year with BA (Hons) Marketing students, which means that if you discover an area or subject that particularly appeals to you, you’ll have the option to change course paths.

You’ll also learn about design in marketing, creative concepts and service design. To complement this, we’ll teach you the basics of the Adobe Suite, Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Design in Marketing
15 credits

Design in Marketing is concerned with providing you with an introduction to design disciplines and their role within marketing. Your visual awareness and literacy is developed through a series of lectures and complementary workshops where you’re able to apply learning from the lecture directly to design problems.

Business Fundamentals
30 credits

This module aims to provide you with an overall appreciation and understanding of the business functions and systems involved in the running of a substantial organisation. This understanding is essential if you are to deliver marketing plans that are successful in practice.

Marketing Fundamentals
30 credits

Here you’ll be introduced to the concepts and models used in marketing, providing the basis for further study within the programmes. Marketing issues are considered for goods and services in domestic, international, consumer and business-to-business contexts.

Understanding consumer behaviour
15 credits

We’ll initiate you in the key areas of consumer behaviour, focusing on understanding why and how individuals and groups behave as consumers and exploring how they engage in consumption-related activities. Having this knowledge is essential for effective marketing.

Service Design
15 credits

This module will see you use a case study to examine services design.

Creative Concepts
15 credits

By exploring the relationship between design, advertising and marketing, this module will prepare you for a career in the creative industries. You’ll be introduced to the central role of marketing in modern business, and be taught about the design and construction of brand identities, the role of creativity in advertising and marketing, and the importance of understanding consumers.

Year two

Our second year is designed to give you the skills needed to be successful in your placement year. As well as expanding your theoretical knowledge, you will gain the practical skills businesses want. You’ll learn how to write briefs and press releases, understand digital campaigns, budgeting and marketing research. You’ll also have the chance to pitch your ideas to companies such as Aston Villa, Royal Ballet and Network Rail.

Marketing communications
15 credits

This module provides you with the skills needed to critically analyse and assess marketing communications campaigns. It explores the academic theories associated with communications planning and delivery, combined with practical application.

Managing the Brand
30 credits

This module will see you examine the concepts of products and services, their branding, pricing and marketing communications. You’ll be provided with a detailed underpinning necessary to understanding the tactics of marketing management.

Digital Communications
15 credits

We’ll focus on your digital literacy, particularly your understanding of communications through mobile, web and social media channels. Skills are developed in terms of developing an audience through the development of an online presence relating to your own profile.

Marketing Research
15 credits

This module enables you to identify and evaluate how marketing research information may be obtained and used to support marketing decision-making.

Financial Metrics for Marketing
15 credits

Delivered through workshops, this module provides the necessary financial understanding to underpin the role of a professional marketer.

Practice Project
15 credits

The aim of this module is to develop key practical marketing skills to aid your employability and career development. You’ll apply theoretical concepts to solve real-world tactical marketing challenges for a real-life client.

Year three

In your final year we’ll tailor your learning to support your paid placement. You’ll be taught at the University, through regular distance learning tasks, along with personal tutor support.

As you work you’ll learn about the marketing strategy of your placement organisation, evaluate its management structure and performance, and look at how it can achieve its strategic objectives.

In the final year you undertake a choice of modules totalling 60 credits from the list below. (The modules stated as 'core' are compulsory).

Marketing Strategy and Planning (core)
30 credits

Marketing is usually involved in providing information used in strategic decision-making and is often used in the forefront of executing such decisions. It’s considered very important that marketers have a solid understanding of strategy and planning as it enables them to tailor to the specific needs of the organisation. This module will train you to challenge the complexities of preparing and implementing customer-focused plans.

Sustainable Marketing
15 credits

You’ll be initiated in the realities of marketing within the constraints of one-planet living. Sustainability now forms part of a consumer’s everyday consciousness, and this module aims to make you proficient in the marketing strategies and tactics specifically designed to secure a socially equitable, environmentally friendly and economically fair and viable business.

Digital Marketing Strategy
15 credits

This module explores a diverse range of activities that comprise digital marketing, helping you to appreciate the differences between traditional and digital marketing activities. You’ll develop a solid understanding of how to use and apply contemporary marketing techniques.

Global Marketing
15 credits

You’ll gain insight into the major differences between the role of the marketing manager in domestic and international marketing decision-making, contributing to the core vision of the programmes.

Social Marketing
15 credits

Social marketing, best known for its use in public health campaigns (anti-smoking, drink-driving, drug abuse, sexual health etc.), is an increasingly important feature of contemporary marketing practice with societal behaviour change high on the agenda of politicians, non-governmental organisations and business.

Creative Industries Marketing
15 credits

This module focuses specifically on the application of marketing concepts to the creative industries sector. This combines a focus on the SMEs within the sector which encompasses theatre, drama and the arts. This provides you with increased specialist expertise and improves your employability within this important sector.

Relationship Marketing
15 credits

You’ll look at Customer Relationship Management CRM technologies, customer profiling, the development of relationship approaches, and customer contact process and communication techniques.

30 credits

The dissertation is a chance for you to expand your knowledge of an area of marketing that particularly interests you. With the aid of a supervisor, you’ll work hard to create strong arguments and theories for your subject, conducting extensive research in your own time as well as at University.

Placements project
30 credits

The placement project provides an opportunity for you to gain real-life experience in a relevant workplace. The project will see you work on existing projects and problems within a marketing company, helping you to strengthen your skills, improve your employability prospects and gain new, valuable contacts.

These modules run across both terms. Only one can be chosen.

Management Consultancy Project
30 credits

This module is designed to provide you with an opportunity for applying marketing theories to a real marketing project in an external organisation and make recommendations for improvement in performance.

Course Structure

You’ll be assessed through a combination of coursework, exams, presentations and portfolios, individually and in groups. You’ll be assessed mainly through coursework because we believe this reflects how you’ll be evaluated in the world of work.

You’ll be assessed on work that mirrors real-world projects such as business reports, case studies, group presentations and portfolios. You’ll have around 10 hours of contact time a week, including lectures, seminars and tutorials. However, students can arrange tutorials and have extra time with staff if they need more support.

Teaching breakdown

37 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
63 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

15 Written exams DarkOrange
70 Coursework FireBrick
15 Practical exams #fece5a

Further Study

If you decide you’d like to study and specialise further, there are many options to choose from.

You can also go on to study a range of fantastic postgraduate courses with us, including MBA, MA Public Relations, MSc Management and Marketing, MSc Leadership and Organisational Performance, and many more.

This course is accredited by the following organisation:

Chartered Institute of Marketing
Chartered Institute of Marketing

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the leading professional body for marketers worldwide and exists to develop the marketing profession, maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing practitioners.

Birmingham City University has joined forces with CIM to give students the opportunity to gain professional qualifications through CIM Graduate Gateway. CIM qualifications are highly sought after by employers, and map alongside our own degrees which ensures we are equipping students with the best opportunities for a successful marketing career.

Overseas opportunities

You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Erasmus is a scheme that enables you to study in another EU country for part of your degree. The experience offers a unique opportunity to strengthen your foreign language skills, enhance your CV, experience new cultures and make new contacts and friends.

Students have spent a term at a number of major institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.

Our Make a Difference Travel Scholarship Scheme gives you the opportunity to obtain funding of up to £1,200 in your first or second year to participate in charitable projects in countries across the world including Mexico, Ghana, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Zambia and Uganda.

Our students have helped build homes, taught in orphanages, undertaken conservation activities, helped establish social enterprises and worked with underprivileged children. Whatever the skills you have, there’s something you can do to make a difference to people’s lives.

Trips and visits

We take our students on visits to a variety of businesses, helping you gain first-hand knowledge of how contemporary companies operate.

In your first year, you’ll visit a local business. Recently, our students went to see how a brewery works. From this, they devised a marketing focus group to find out if the brewery was reaching the right audience and have created a number of marketing ideas for the company.

Other trips have seen students travel further afield, going to London to visit creative agencies such as Mother – which has created innovative adverts for companies such as MoneySuperMarket – and Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), which has worked with Audi and The Guardian, among others.

Enhancing your employability skills

What you learn on this degree is designed to meet the needs of organisations, and give you the skills you need to succeed in a number of career paths.

Our graduates have gone on to high-flying careers in a wide range of marketing roles including product and project management, sales, advertising, press and public relations, market research and communications.

Find out more about the Leadership Challenge


Choosing this course, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a one-year, paid work placement. We have links with many businesses across industries, locally and worldwide. This means you’ll get really valuable, direct experience on your paid placement.

Students explore a variety of roles, so it’s a great opportunity, not only to brush up your employability skills, but also to understand what role or industry you’d like to work in.

Ben Croft ended up working in the Marketing and Business Development Unit at Josiah Mason College. He helped to implement its marketing strategy and even launched a new campus rebrand.

Other students have taken up placements at big companies like Sky and Johnson & Johnson.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

The great thing about studying marketing is that it can lead you into just about any industry, so you can work for a company that lets you explore the things you love.

Marketing students also get a good knowledge of business and really benefit from being part of the Business School. Graduates have gone on to work for prestigious companies such as The Royal Bank of Scotland, Goodyear Dunlop, Disney and Jaguar Land Rover.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our marketing course is most popular with international students from:

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other Social Sciences, Law, Business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

The Business floors house an extensive number of IT facilities, breakout areas, and specialised rooms. The Marketing Link Agency is designed to replicate a modern marketing firm, allowing students to get real-life experience of working in the marketing sector. There is also the City Trading Room, which features state of the art stock market tracking equipment, keeping you up to date with all the financial comings and goings of the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street.

The Curzon building is also conveniently close to Birmingham’s business and financial centre, allowing for strong links between your studies and the real world.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Nicola Gittins Profile Picture July 2016

Nicola Gittins

Senior Lecturer in Marketing Communications

Nicola Gittins is a Senior Lecturer in our marketing programmes, with an interest in digital marketing and marketing communications, who combines over 15 years' professional industry experience with many years experience of teaching marketing.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295