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Future Media - MA / MSc

Future Media is a postgraduate MA/MSc programme that does what it says: Future is finding your future and exploiting future developments in the digital marketing and advertising industry. Media is acquiring your digital media skill-set amongst evolving trends and emerging technologies. The MA and MSc Future Media programme combines agency practice with industry insights and academic methods....

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.


Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Games, Film and Animation
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Overview

Future Media is a postgraduate MA/MSc programme that does what it says:

  • Future is finding your future and exploiting future developments in the digital marketing and advertising industry.
  • Media is acquiring your digital media skill-set amongst evolving trends and emerging technologies.

The MA and MSc Future Media programme combines agency practice with industry insights and academic methods. It's been a proven pathway to success for our graduates since 2012 and is now a winning formula for the 2020s.

“I’ve received three job offers, before finally accepting a role as a Digital Marketing Executive at KUBIX Media... All my interviewers regarded the Future Media course as exceptional and unique...” Matt Harrison, MSc Future Media graduate 2015.

“I developed my skills in branding, digital marketing, campaign strategies, media planning, SEO, content production, (videos, mobile apps, landing pages, social media visual content), measurement and budgeting.” Carolina Pereira, (Marketing Manager, Futurecareersuk), MA Future Media graduate 2019.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Our courses ensure you gain real-world experience and knowledge so you can hit the ground running when you graduate. In your year on the programme, you’ll be planning digital marketing and advertising campaigns with digital agencies, developing brand and product promotions with clients, making mobile, social and virtual content with leading industry professionals and building new user journeys with emerging technologies and state-of-the-art resources.

You’ll tackle challenging briefs in diverse teams with industry partners to build your proficiency: MA students tend to choose broad, strategic and creative roles while MSc students often prefer tactical, planning and analytics roles. Either way, we’ll give you the tools you need to realise your ambitions.

“Thanks to Future Media, my final project and your mentorship... I secured an internship, got my visa and now I'm a full time Account Manager working at Ping Pong Digital..." Amy Zhu, Account Manager, Ping Pong Digital, MA Future Media 2015

Why Choose Us?

  • Our lecturers are professional academics with decades of proven experience and award-winning track records in digital marketing communications and advertising.
  • Our teaching is structured in small class sizes (around 20) and tutorial groups to give you the best possible learning experience.
  • Our industry partners are top advertising and marketing agencies who work with us in class, provide mentorship on projects and in some cases opportunities in industry.
  • All your assignments are rooted in real-world briefs with close links to industry professionals at the top of their game, so you learn from professional practitioners as well as your teaching team.
  • Your final three-month project is all about you, your choices, and your professional development: many students who leverage their project as a mentored conduit to employment gain a job in their field of choice.

Entry Requirements

Future Media is open to applicants who are innovative and enterprising and can demonstrate an aptitude for project management, creative asset development or strategy and analysis.

Essential Requirements 
Essential

You must be a graduate. If you do not have a degree, you may be accepted if you can demonstrate equivalent experience and / or qualifications.

In addition to an undergraduate degree, (2.2 Honours minimum or higher), you must also have Level 2 (GCSE) Maths and English. If you are an international student, you will also require comparable degree qualifications and IELTS 6.5 (no band under 6.0) or equivalent.

Applications are only considered when accompanied by detailed personal statement. You must write between 700-1000 words to clearly say why you have chosen to study Future Media and your reasons for selecting either the MA or MSc pathway. You do not necessarily need to have a media or marketing background; what matters most is a passion for communication and an appreciation of communications channels and platforms.

You may have existing qualifications in Ideally you will demonstrate a talent/aptitude for areas such as
  • Marketing
  • Business Studies
  • English / Linguistics
  • Economics / Statistics
  • Multimedia / Digital Content Creation
  • Art and Design
  • Media and Communications
  • Journalism / PR
  • Psychology.
  • Project management
  • Ideas and strategy
  • Design and/or content creation
  • Research, statistics and analysis
  • Social media.
Extra information for EU/International students
Essential
English - IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any bands). We do also accept students who have TOEFL or Pearsons. For information on equivalence scores and pre-sessional language courses please visit English Language provision.
International Students

Entry requirements here

Which route to apply for - MSc or MA Future Media?

1

Are you strategic, methodical, analytical and have viable ideas? Do you have strong communication skills and can demonstrate commercial awareness?

Apply for MSc Future Media if this describes you and you are interested in these roles / areas:

  • Account handling / planners: involves strategic thinking, consumer research, planning, building, generating ideas, having digital knowledge and developing client relations
  • Search: involves compiling and analysing data, problem solving, reporting, having technology knowledge and business awareness
  • Media planner / brand planner / brand strategists: involves working effectively with a wide range of people, analysing research data to determine best placement for the client's needs, devising strategies
2

Are you creative with original ideas? Are you passionate about technology and have entrepreneurial flair?

Apply for MA Future Media if this describes you and you are interested in these roles / areas:

  • Creative: Generating ideas and concepts and also have skills in some of these areas: web design, InDesign, Illustrator, HTML, copy writing or video content
  • Digital Account Planning: involves strategic thinking, consumer research, planning, building, generating ideas, having digital knowledge and developing client relations.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £9,800 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £10,800 per year

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £9,800 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £10,800 per year

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £14,500 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £16,000 per year

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £14,500 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £14,520 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Free Adobe Creative Cloud licence

Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Personal equipment (optional)

Whilst not essential is it adviced you own a computer or laptop capable of video editing .

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

*Professional Placement option

The Professional Placement version of the course is optional and is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course.

This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market. Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course. All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

MA Pathway Modules

For MA students, the learning experience and outcomes concentrate on:

  • Client account handling and creative direction.
  • Creative brief writing, concept development, visualisation and copywriting.
  • Customer relationship management, task models, user journeys and wire frame development.
  • Creative skills development in design, brand development and guardianship.
  • Web analytics, search and social media monitoring.
  • Video content creation, production and delivery for deployment.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 140 credits):

The objective of this module is to build on your understanding of digital marketing: You will discover the fundamentals of industry methodologies and professional practice as you examine an innovative online brand.

You are the digital media planner. You will work with a global brand and build on your market research skills to improve a brand through the development of a digital communications strategy.

It’s all about you! This module is centred around you and your personal and professional development. You will be the ‘Creative’ and the ‘Content Producer’ in the ideation, development, production and delivery of your own digital marketing asse

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules:

In this penultimate module, you will grow your proficiency and expertise in Future Media by collaborating closely with your MSc colleagues to develop innovative, digital recommendations that mimic full service agency solutions.

This module will give students a thorough grounding in the skills necessary to successfully plan and carry out a film marketing strategy. The module will specifically examine the role of the distributor and the ways in which distributors market films from strategizing, through to planning budgets and implementation.

MSc Pathway Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 140 credits):

The objective of this module is to build on your understanding of digital marketing: You will discover the fundamentals of industry methodologies and professional practice as you examine an innovative online brand.

You are the digital media planner. You will work with a global brand and build on your market research skills to improve a brand through the development of a digital communications strategy.

It is all about you! This module is centred around you and your personal and professional development. You will be the ‘Creative’ and the ‘Content Producer’ in the ideation, development, production and delivery of your own digital marketing assets.

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you.

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules:

This module will give students a thorough grounding in the skills necessary to successfully plan and carry out a film marketing strategy. The module will specifically examine the role of the distributor and the ways in which distributors market films from strategizing, through to planning budgets and implementation.

In this module, you will grow your proficiency and expertise in Future Media by collaborating closely with your MA colleagues to develop innovative, digital recommendations that mimic full service agency solutions.

As the tsunami of future media continues to grow exponentially, we’ll teach you how to ride the wave, optimise emerging technologies and exploit opportunities in a sea of new and evolving digital communications markets.

You’ll get to work in classes and teams to strategize, create and deploy simulated real-world campaigns, you’ll experience the jeopardy of client-facing deliveries and you’ll be guided by industry mentors and tutors throughout the process. There are neither exams nor lengthy dissertations in Future Media; every assignment is rooted in client or agency briefs and all your work is assessed on the quality of your delivery, your ‘pitch’ presentations, your professional reports and your practice. This experiential learning equips you with the knowledge you need to achieve your Masters, a creditable track record of professional practice and an accumulation of evidence that you can showcase in your continuing personal and professional development. 

You’ll spend the first nine months of your year progressing through the theory and practice of developing and delivering digital marketing and advertising campaigns to client briefs. You’ll be learning on the job as the course introduces you to agencies and teaches you their methodologies, exposes you to professional practice and challenges your abilities in self-reliance, teamwork and performance under pressure. You’ll learn how to talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk because in a ‘pitch’ presentation everybody is depending on you, there is nowhere to hide and you only ever get one chance to make a first impression.

You also use this time to prepare for your final major project: usually collaboration activities with an agency, brand or mentor where students extend the research, development and delivery of innovations in digital marketing and advertising communications that they care about. This is all about you, your professional development, your pursuit of perfection and your proven application of knowledge to practice through an employment-led portfolio that showcases your expertise, talent and professionalism.


Learning from industry professionals

Find out more about the inaugural Forward 2020 conference which gave students the chance to hear from and network with leaders in the digital marketing industry.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

The Future Media course directly answers the industry call for “T-skilled” workers in the creative media industry, (Skillset. Strategic Skills Assessment for the Creative Media IndustryLondon. 2009: 20). Here professional employability is defined by proficiency across disciplines and specialist expertise within them. 

Typically, Future Media graduates at work are delivering multichannel digital campaigns for their clients but their choice of MA or MSc award instruction, Final Major Project and continuing professional development plans direct them towards specialist ends of the marketing spectrum:

    • MSc graduates incline towards ‘planning’ roles, (the experience space around product positioning and consumer journeys), and are frequently employed as online customer experience managers in optimising accounts, performance marketing, search engine marketing and website auditing.
    • MA graduates tend to choose ‘strategic’ roles, (the values space around brand strategy and consumer insight), and are frequently employed in client liaison as account managers, brand strategists, creative producers, content curators and marketing campaign development.

Amy Zhu

Amy Zhu
Account Executive at PingPong Digital

“I currently work at a Chinese digital agency. My role involves internal and external communications and assisting the social media and technical teams. Future Media was a great way to further my undergraduate degree and put the theory I’d learned into practice.

Being immersed in the latest technology, techniques and innovations helped prepare me for the competitive job market and equipped me with the skills needed for my role.”

OpportUNIty

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.

Links to industry

In addition to delivering specialist lectures our industry partners get involved in updating the content as well as helping to frame your assignment briefs as the digital landscape evolves.

Historically these collaborations include some impressive industry players:

SapientNitro describes itself as “a new breed of agency for an always-on world… redefining how stories are told across brand, digital and commerce”.

ThinkJam represents some of Hollywood’s biggest studios and markets their movies globally.

BBC Creative is the BBC’s in-house creative agency. Their ambition is to make as many people as possible love and value the BBC.

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:

Our students

Future Media is defined by the diversity of its students and their continuing professional development in a constantly evolving global media landscape. A wide representation of cultures are represented in our graduates: Europe, Middle East, Africa, Russia, India, Asia Pacific and the Americas We know that our nations and cultures give us contexts and we leverage these by building shared experiences and values in all our interests and communications. Channels for communicating with audiences face constant disruption, as a global marketing student you will learn how to define the message and chose the channel to achieve maximum effect.

In their final major projects, many Future Media students use this disruption as a sandpit of real-world-risk to develop their own professional expertise and monetise their proficiency: Students from India and Russia have worked with viral ad giants Unruly to look at optimising campaigns in their own territories; similarly, students from Africa and China have worked with SEO experts MediaComm on developing mobile search campaigns and buying apps in their home nations while students from Europe, the Middle East and the Americas have worked with top agencies like AMVBBDO, Ogilvy One and OMD on innovative FMCG and communications campaigns using emerging technologies in culturally appropriate deployments. In every case, students build a portfolio of practice to showcase their skill-set at the cutting edge of a highly competitive job market.

Facilities and Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings
NTI-facilities-2
NTI-facilities-3

Our School of Games, Film and Animation is based in the Curzon Building, a £63 million development, located on our City Centre campus.

We help you learn a specific discipline such as digital marketing, programming or art and put that discipline into practice by offering flexible teaching space, dedicated development studios and open access work areas for group projects, as well as course-specific facilities.

Our staff

Mike Villiers-Stuart

Senior Lecturer in Future Media and Digital Communication

Mike has spent 30 years making creative marketing and advertising content for big brands like Centrica, global media giants like the BBC and international advertising agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi. Along the way, Mike’s work has won prestigious awards like BAFTA, D&AD Gold and RTS while launching digital channels for international broadcasters as well as consulting for NGOs and commercial clients in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Russia, Asia and the Americas. Mike’s professional skill is in making short-form branded content and Mike’s teaching philosophy is “practice-led, knowledge-applied” around brand development, campaign strategy and ‘right-first-time’ creative solutions across established and emerging territories, platforms and channels.  

More about Mike

Chaka Jones

Senior Lecturer

With over 12 years’ qualified experience in digital, Chaka’s career spans major high street and online department stores within the designer accessories market including Fiorelli, John Lewis, Debenhams and ASOS.

Prior to becoming an academic in 2017, Chaka was the Web and Digital Manager for Higher Education provider GSM London.

When she is not teaching, Chaka provides enterprise consultancy to small business and start-ups.

More about Chaka

Mark Brill

MA Creativity, Making and Innovation Practice Course Leader, MA/MSc Future Media, BA Digital Marketing Senior Lecturer

Mark Brill brings over 25 years experience in digital channels, creative innovation and emerging technologies. He is a leading innovation strategist working with global brands, start-ups and third sector organisations. Mark’s focus is on the creative application of technology, in which he is researching and developing concepts for the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. This has led to projects in creative innovation (STEAM Disrupt Lab), music and dementia (Memory Tracks) and sustainable, circular fashion (The Connected Wardrobe). Mark leads Maker Monday, a monthly creative inspiration event that is part of BCU’s STEAMhouse programme. He is also a STEAM Fellow working on an initiative to develop simple, contextual objects called The One Pixel Project. Hs is also thought leader, media commentator and regular keynote speaker at events worldwide.

More about Mark