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Future Media - MA

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

Future Media is a postgraduate MA 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 Future Media programme combines agency practice with industry insights and academic methods....

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • Award MA
  • Start date September 2024
  • School School of Visual Communication
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Open to International Students


Future Media is a postgraduate MA 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 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 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 and 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 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.


Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to learn about this course in detail, chat to students, explore our campus and tour accommodation. Booking isn't open yet for this event, register your interest and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Event: 24 November 2024

Register interest

Entry Requirements

Essential 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 

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). If you are an international student, you will also require comparable degree qualifications and IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands.

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. 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
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands or its equivalent. 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

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • TBC
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • TBC

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • TBC
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • TBC

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.


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.

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, it is advised 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

You’ll need to submit a personal statement as part of your application for this course. This will need to highlight your passion for postgraduate study – and your chosen course – as well as your personal skills and experience, academic success, and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Not sure what to include? We’re here to help – take a look at our top tips for writing personal statements and download our free postgraduate personal statement guide for further advice and examples from real students.

Course in Depth

MA Pathway Modules

The learning experience and outcomes of this course 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):

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

Download course specification

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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.


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 Industry London. 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 Final Major Project and continuing professional development plans can direct them towards specialist ends of the marketing spectrum. Graduates from this course 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.”

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.


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 & Staff

Parkside building exterior
Parkside - Studio B with green screen and BOLT JR+ high-speed camera robot

Our visual communication degrees are housed in the state of the art £62 million Parkside Building, part of our City Centre Campus.

We offer extensive studio and workshop space and cutting-edge equipment such as Vicon 3D (an external tracking motion capture facility) and Gypsy (an exoskeleton-based motion capture system). Both of these systems extend the possibility for production of 3D animation and films.

We offer cutting-edge provision such as digital print centres and Sonny Ross became the first student on the Visual Communication course to master the art of the RISO machine. He has since used this to produce many successful RISO publications including “Rojo & Baxter” which has been a success at various zine and book fairs across the country.

The Parkside Building also offers:

  • exhibition space
  • digital and analogue photographic facilities and studios
  • dark rooms

Our staff

Mike Villiers-Stuart

Senior Lecturer and Course Leader MA Future Media

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...

More about Mike