Advertising Public Relations and Branding (BA Hons)
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    Advertising, Public Relations and Branding (BA Hons)

    This Programme provides students with an excellent grounding on key areas of the advertising and public relations industries. Being closely aligned areas of communication, and central to the operations of the creative industries, a degree in this subject can lead to many exciting career opportunities in media.

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    • Overview - Why Sign Up?

      If you are passionate about communications, this degree will give you the skills you need to fashion a successful career in the creative industries. It will also show how these industries work and why they are such important drivers of economic growth in the modern world.

      Focusing on case studies that range from the very large (Facebook, Google, etc.) to the very small, you will explore how businesses, government departments, political parties and charities use traditional and digital media to promote their products, services and ideas, and why such practices matter.

      You learn how to plan, organise and manage your own promotional campaigns, and will graduate with a range of skills and competencies that are increasingly sought-after, including:

      • Social media campaigning.
      • Project and events management.
      • Filmmaking and audio-visual production.
      • Web content design and management.
      • Graphic design – both traditional and digital.
      • Market research, planning and evaluation.
      • Journalism and effective written communication.
      • Public speaking and effective oral communication.
      • Radio and podcast production.
    • Course Highlights

      • Exceptionally high employability rate: more than 95% of graduates in work or further education.
      • Assessed entirely by coursework. We don’t set exams because you don’t need them for industry.
      • The only degree in Mauritius or the UK which combines advertising, public relations and branding.
      • Students work on ‘live’ advertising campaigns from their first semester in their first year.
      • Students are given the opportunity of completing a work placement in their second year.
      • Students can undertake work placements or produce creative work for their final-year project.

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    What will you study on the BA Advertising, Public Relations and Branding?

    At Middlesex, we recognise the importance of real-world skills and these are emphasised throughout this programme. The Advertising, Public Relations and Branding BA gives students the opportunity to submit pieces of creative work – short films, podcasts, posters, websites, etc. – in lieu of conventional academic assessments. It also introduces students to a broad range of topics that reflect the diversity of the creative industries, including journalism, social media campaigning and graphic design.

    There are no exams on this programme because none are used in industry, and all students begin working on ‘live’ advertising campaigns with real external partners from their first year. Many use the knowledge they acquire on the course to set their own businesses, and some even submit work they produced for their businesses as part of their academic assessments.

    By the end of the course you will have developed an impressive portfolio of academic and creative work, and the practical, hands-on experience needed to secure a job after graduation. More details on the Programme's modules can be found below.

    • Modules (Year 1)

      • Brands, Media and Society (30 credits) – Compulsory

        This module provides you with a historical and critical introduction to the development of brands and their complex relationship with media and power in the contemporary era. You will explore specific practices, processes and industries alongside key theories and debates about promotional practices within a broader social, cultural, ethical and political context. You will examine how brands both shape culture, and are shaped by it through field visits, case studies and selected guest speakers.

      • Creative Advertising (30 credits) – Compulsory

        Creativity is central to memorable advertising, but it plays an equally important role in developing brand strategy and public relations campaigns. The ability to conceptualise, develop and hone creative ideas is a key graduate skill and those who possess an aptitude for creative thinking and innovation are in high demand across the creative industries. This module will equip you with the strategies and skills required to both conceptualise and evaluate creative advertising across a range of platforms.

      • Public Relations Practice (30 credits) – Compulsory

        This module gives students a broad overview of the main concepts involved in public relations and will prepare you for future work in campaign planning and reputation management. Focusing on real industry case studies, students consider how PR can be used to assist in raising awareness, changing attitudes and behaviour, and managing relationships. The module is divided into three blocks: the development of PR, the principles of persuasion, and pitching and presentation skills.

      • Content Design (30 credits) – Compulsory

        This module introduces students to content design for print and online publication. You will learn how to design materials that communicate information clearly and persuasively. You will gain an understanding of the conventions and practices of content design and explore the history and context of its development in the promotional industries. You will learn how to create designs for print, online and mobile using industry-standard software and a selection of freeware.

    • Modules (Year 2)

      • Understanding Consumer Culture (30 credits) – Compulsory

        With social media and mobile use now ubiquitous, brands are capable of monitoring consumers’ everyday practices and participating in their shared culture to an unprecedented degree. This module provides you with the cognitive skills and methodological frameworks needed for researching consumer culture across offline and online spaces. You will learn to collect, organise, analyse, visualise and interpret digital data, and connect your findings to advertising, PR and branding strategies.

      • Brand Management (30 credits) – Compulsory

        In a context where a diverse range of organisations and individuals are required to imagine and communicate themselves as brands, brand management has emerged as a key discipline that integrates a range of competencies from across the spectrum of marketing communications. This module introduces students to the knowledge and skills required to create, manage and communicate brands and to assess their socio-cultural impact and economical value.

      • Campaign Planning (30 credits) – Compulsory

        This module explores the practical process of campaign planning and communicating awareness of a product, service, idea or societal issue in an effective and engaging way. You will work on briefs set by external clients or organisations and this practical work will allow you to develop skills in key areas of campaign communications. These include undertaking research and deciding the most appropriate communication strategy; developing creative insights and campaign objectives; devising a media/media relations strategy; working in creative teams to plan and produce promotional materials; working in teams to pitch the campaign; reflecting on and evaluating campaigns.

      • Creative Industries Work Placement (30 credits) – Optional

        For this module, you will be required to complete a work-placement of 100 hours. Students will evaluate their performance and learning experiences, and reflect on the cultural role of the organisation and industry within which the work placement occurred. The work done in this module can feed into a number of third-year modules. Some students draw upon their work experience as the basis of their final year dissertation while the self-presentation and personal branding skills acquired in this module are developed further in the Social Media and Public Relations module (APM3002).

      • Promotional Cultures (30 credits) – Optional

        In recent decades, the advertising, PR and branding industries have become central to public life – in business, politics and culture. This module gives students an opportunity for you to critically engage with the major ethical issues, regulatory frameworks and political debates arising from the economic and digital transformations of contemporary society. You will learn about the changes brought about through the rise of promotional cultures and develop advanced skills of critical analysis through a range of case studies and practical workshops with regulatory and industry professionals.

      • Promotional Video Production (30 credits) – Optional

        This module will allow you to gain valuable work experience in professional ‘client-led’ promotional video production scenarios. You will gain an insight into working with clients in a professional context with the aim of enhancing your transition into a range of roles across the creative industries. You will explore ethical and compliance issues with production opportunities for external clients.

    • Modules (Year 3)

      • Independent Project (30 credits) – Compulsory

        This module will allow you to demonstrate, in the execution of a major project, high-level academic and/or practical skills in a subject of your choosing. The project will take the form of either an independent project or a work placement project. For the work placement, you will undertake a Middlesex-approved work placement and base your final project around your experience of being a participant observer.

      • Digital Advertising (30 credits) – Compulsory

        This module will give you the knowledge needed to understand the complex relationship between digital technologies and consumer behaviour in an evolving context. You will explore the latest developments in advertising practice, from data analytics and programmatic advertising to augmented reality executions of branded content and experiences. You will gain the knowledge and skills to design and manage advertising content across a range of digital channels and platforms.

      • Social Media and Public Relations (30 credits) – Compulsory

        This module introduces students to the ways in which organisations use social media to develop and deliver public relations campaigns and how those technologies can also be used to develop a person's professional profile online. You will develop the skills for strategic planning, design and evaluation of online campaigns. You will also have the opportunity to refine your own personal brand and in so doing, enhance your post-graduation employability.

      • Campaigns and Social Impact (30 credits) – Optional

        From angry street protests to sophisticated charity lobbying, populist insurgencies and online activism, campaigns designed to change society are an integral part of the 21st century media environment. This module will help you understand how these campaigns develop, what they mean and how they reflect the way in which power works in societies. You will have the opportunity to effectively design, manage and deliver a campaign designed to address an issue of importance to your community.

      • Entrepreneurship (30 credits) – Optional

        This module will give you the opportunity to engage with realistic scenarios that you are likely to encounter during your career in the media industry. Through seminars, directed study and experiential learning, you will explore the employment and self-employment opportunities in these industries. Entrepreneurial activities, both supervised and self-directed, are at the core of the module with a constant focus on your budding enterprise ideas and ambitions.

      • Place Branding and International Diplomacy (30 credits) – Optional

        Places, just like products, require a brand strategy to compete in today’s international globalised environment. Cities, regions and nations worldwide have begun to use promotional strategies to position themselves favourably in the minds of target groups such as tourists, businesses, potential residents and foreign investors. This module will introduce students to these processes, exploring tourism, investment, migration, planning and governance through a promotional lens. You will gain a understanding of international communication flows and place promotion strategies through an interactive mix of lectures, field visits and case studies. You will also benefit from developing your skills in audience segmentation, stakeholder relationship management and policy implementation.

    What will you gain?

    • Practical skills needed to work in the creative industries.
    • Experience of real advertising and public relations campaigns.
    • Knowledge of the research practices that underpin modern promotion.
    • Understanding of the growing importance of digital media and communications.
    • Experience of project management, design and evaluation.
    • Strong grasp of both spoken and written communications skills.

    Note on Optional Modules

    Optional modules are available at levels 5 and 6. You will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year, but if insufficient numbers of students profess an interest in an optional module, or if there are staffing changes which affect the teaching allocation, your first choice might not be offered. If this is the case, we will advise you after the module selection period over the winter break or at the earliest time that the programme team is able to help you choose an alternative.

    About the MDX Mauritius Campus

    Our new campus demonstrates what can be achieved when all stakeholders share a clear vision. The concept was developed by a London architect, Graham Wilson, who also is credited for developing many of Middlesex buildings in Hendon.

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    Fees and Funding

    Course fees are subject to annual inflation. An international Admin Fee is also applicable for international students. For more details, see link to respective fees and payment plans below.

    Payment Plans

    • Teaching and Learning

      You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops, tutorials, fieldwork and external visits. We value student-led education and our students take an active role in their seminars and workshops, which typically comprise small groups of around 20 students. We often combine several types of activity in the same session. For example, a workshop might include some lecture-like delivery of key concepts which feeds into small-group creative and practical tasks, or whole-group discussions.

      There are normally around two hours of seminar or workshop contact time per week per module, so students are should expect at least eight hours of taught classes per week. Contact time increases as students progress through their degree, with students normally having twelve hours per week in third year. You will also be expected to engage in extensive independent work, supported by other forms of teaching including online activities and self-directed learning using the learning resources available in the University and beyond. In addition, you can arrange one-to-one sessions with your module coordinators. Each possesses two weekly office hours that all students can access.

      Overall Workload

      Your overall workload will include the activities listed above, and with each credit being completed equating to 10 hours of study time per week (You will complete 120 credits per level of study per year.) While the actual amount of time you devote to your studies may vary depending on the optional modules that you choose, the following information will give you a rough indication of how much time is allocated to teaching and independent study on your course.

      Level 4 - 33% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity:

      • Teaching, learning and assessment: 390 hours
      • Independent Learning: 810 hours

      Level 5 - 29% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity:

      • Teaching, learning and assessment: 346 hours
      • Independent Learning: 744 hours
      • Work placement: 110 hours (if you choose not to take the work placement module, your teaching, learning and assessment hours will increase to 438)

      Level 6 - 31% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

      • Teaching, learning and assessment: 372 hours
      • Independent Learning: 828 hours
      • 6 hours of supervised practicals and seminars
      • Four meetings with your independent project supervisor

      Teaching Staff

      You will be taught by an experienced teaching team who possess the expertise, knowledge and experience required to deliver the modules we offer. The team includes academics and professional practitioners.

    • Assessment

      The course will provide you with opportunities to test your knowledge and understanding through formative assessments that do not count towards your final grades. These are usually completed before summative assessments which do count towards your final marks.

      Each module typically contains at least one piece of formative assessment and a selection of summative assessments. Assessment methods reflect the range and variety of creative work, and include case reports, campaign analyses, portfolios of creative work, dissertations, presentations and critical reflections. They are reviewed annually and may be changed in response to student feedback or on the basis of feedback from external examiners.

      All modules and all pieces of coursework on the Advertising, Public Relations and Branding BA are assessed externally by practicing UK-based subject specialists. This occurs annually and ensures that students studying APRB on all three Middlesex campuses are marked fairly and equally.

      Percentage of course assessed by coursework

      The balance of assessment will depend on the modules that you complete throughout your course. The approximate percentage of the course which is assessed by coursework is outlined below:

      Level 4

      100% Coursework

      Level 5

      100% Coursework

      Level 6

      100% Coursework

      Feedback

      You will receive written feedback on all summative assessments and either written or verbal feedback on all pieces of formative assessment. Feedback is intended to help you learn and progress, and you are encouraged to review and discuss your feedback with your module or personal tutor each semester. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of submission. Details of progression and pass marks for assessment can be found in the university regulations.

      Academic Support

      You will have access to academic support services that can assist you in the following areas:

      • Study Skills, including academic writing, reading and numeracy skills.
      • Employability, with workshops and tutorials on CV writing, interview and presentation skills.
      • Library Support, including sessions on finding, and choosing the right resources and software and tutorials on referencing and plagiarism.
      • Progression and Support Advisors to assist you if you experience difficulties with your studies.
      • Exclusive use of the university’s state-of-the-art media lab for two hours per week.

      More information on how to access these services will be provided at your induction.

    How can the BA Advertising, Public Relations and Branding support your career?

    This degree boasts an exceptionally high employability rate. In a survey of all APRM* graduates in 2018, more than 95% of respondents reported that they were either working in the media industries or related fields, or pursuing further education in the form of a Masters or PhD. In Mauritius alone, students have secured positions in several major companies and advertising and public relations firms:

    • Maurice Publicity Ogilvy.
    • IBL Brandactiv.
    • Medine Limited.
    • AVS Cinematography.
    • TBWA Indian Ocean.
    • One Media Expert.

    The types of jobs our graduates do is equally varied. One graduate has taken up a position as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of the Anambra State in Nigeria, while another has joined a Lagos branch of Hill & Knowlton, one of the world’s largest public relations firms, as an account executive.

    Other positions that graduates have taken on include social media coordinator, brand coordinator, digital communications content assistant, public relations assistant and advertising traffic coordinator.

    *** The popular Advertising, Public Relations and Media BA ran successfully in Mauritius, London and Dubai for six years before being replaced with Advertising, Public Relations and Branding in 2019. The new degree places a greater emphasis on creative, practical work and will be taught by the same teaching team, using the same methods, from 2019 onwards.

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    Choosing to study BA (Hons) Advertising, Public Relations and Branding has undeniably resulted in a fruitful journey for me. The modules were interesting and made me want to learn more about the communications industries and allowed me to secure a full-time graduate position as a Traffic Coordinator for three separate agencies in Mauritius.

    Keshika Purmanund, Alumnus, APRB - Class of 2018

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