Advertising BA (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2017 - 2018
Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)
University of Chester
University of Chester
KDU College (PJ) Sdn Bhd, Damansara Jaya Campus
Undergraduate Modular Programme
Classroom / Laboratory,
Annual - October
Arts and Humanities
Art & Design, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies
University of Chester
Arts & Media
Wednesday 20th March 2013
To develop a coherent understanding of, and ability to produce, effective and appropriate advertising, branding and corporate communications strategies and materials.
To develop the cognitive potential of undergraduates through degree-level study of advertising strategies, practices and materials.
To enable students to recognise the broad practical, theoretical, technical, historical, professional, ethical, social and cultural contexts of advertising.
To provide an environment that encourages students to take responsibility for their learning, stimulates personal enquiry, fosters a respect for intellectual rigour and develops a professional attitude in students in keeping with the practice of advertising and corporate communications design.
To develop students’ capabilities to contribute to the advertising and corporate communications sectors, and to the Creative Industries generally.
To provide students with the means to become competent communications professionals, in conscious possession of the transferable skills necessary for an intellectually challenging, professionally rewarding and economically viable self-directed career.
To provide students with the means to become informed and engaged members of the community, able to understand and to share their knowledge of how advertising shapes our personal and social narratives
To provide students with the means to become reflective, self-aware individuals, capable of, and committed to, lifelong learning.
A basic understanding and application of key theoretical ideas in advertising; academic knowledge and understanding in relation to the practice of advertising, branding and corporate communication. (ME4701)
Academic knowledge and understanding in relation to the practice of advertising, branding and corporate communication and the wider society, and their role within economic, political, cultural and social environments. (ME5701, ME5702)
Academic knowledge and understanding in relation to the practice of advertising, branding and corporate communication and the wider society, and their role within economic, political, cultural and social environments; critical evaluation of the principles, policies and practices of advertising including the confidence to challenge and reinterpret existing and established ideas; the ability to critically assess advertising, branding and corporate communications materials from a variety of perspectives, as both consumers and also as practitioners. (ME6722, ME6723, ME6701, ME6702, ME6703)
Apply a range of theoretical concepts and approaches to advertising, branding and corporate communication practices; analyse a range of advertising texts and genres. (ME4701)
Demonstrate significant insight into the range of research approaches employed within the advertising, branding and corporate communication professions. (ME5701, ME5702, ME5716)
Demonstrate considerable skills in relation to the conception, design and critical evaluation of current and emerging trends, the debates and issues surrounding the role of advertising within society through a range of forms, genres and applications. (ME6722, ME6723, ME6701, ME6702, ME6703)
Basic application of numbers, information literacy and technology, working with others, working independently, problem identification and solutions, improving own learning and performance. (ME4702, ME4703)
Industrial knowledge and experience; self-directed learning skills; media literacy skills; career planning skills; capacity for critical reflection and self-knowledge; research and analytical skills. (ME5701, ME5702, ME5703, ME5716, WB5004)
Ability to work in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, self-direction and reflexivity; gather, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate arguments cogently, and express them effectively in written, visual, oral and other forms; retrieve and generate information, and evaluate sources in carrying out independent research; organise and manage supervised, self-directed projects; deliver work to a given length, format, brief, and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of problem-solving approaches; career planning skills. (ME6701, ME6702, ME6703, ME6719, WB6001)
Essential presentation skills, written and oral communication. (ME4701, ME4702, ME4703)
Visual communication, design skills; language writing skills; working with others; professional and social skills. (ME5702, ME5703, ME5716, WB5004)
Communicate effectively in inter-personal settings, in writing and in a variety of media; work productively in a group or team, showing abilities at different times to listen, contribute and lead effectively; team-working skills. (ME6722, ME6723, ME6701, ME6702, ME6703, WB6001)
Level Four is expressly concerned with acquiring essential knowledge of the subject with the development of both subject-specific and transferable skills – including the ability to ‘learn how to learn’. Students are introduced to the fundamental knowledge base as well as to both the strategic and technical skills required to understand – and to successfully apply – the practice of Advertising. The module Introduction to Advertising Theory & Practice provides students with their first opportunity to develop, design and execute an advertising campaign in collaboration with a ‘live’ client. The module Communication for Advertising, will introduce students to the theories, principles and techniques of effective communications (both written and visual) within the context of advertising and corporate communications, and will also provide students with the opportunity to develop the writing, study and research skills necessary for the successful completion of the programme. The module Introduction to Digital Advertising Practice will provide students with the means and opportunity to learn to understand – and to successfully apply – the strategies and application of state-of-the-art software packages.
Level Five will expand students’ understanding of the relevant theories, techniques and applications of Advertising, with special emphasis on the role of visual communication in developing an effective and appropriate Brand Image for products and services – including its role in shaping the ‘frame of reference’ through which we find the ‘meaning’ of information, as well as its implications for how we define the appropriate role of the corporation, the state and the individual in relation to citizenship and social policy. The module Advanced Advertising Theory and Practice will provide students with an opportunity to extend and advance their knowledge and skills in the conception and planning of advertising and branding campaigns. In the module Advanced Digital Advertising Practice, the growing significance of the ‘web’ and its ever-expanding role in corporate communications will be examined in greater detail, and students will be provided with the means to develop their skills with this increasingly important tool. At Level Five, students will also undertake either Enhancing your Employability through Work-Based Learning (WB5101) or an Experiential Learning experience.
WB5004 (Learning in the Wider World) is similar in ambition to WB5101 but facilitates undertaking the work based learning placement at a location outside the United Kingdom. WB5004, although available to all students as an alternative to WB5101, must be applied for and participation is restricted to students who meet the criteria of interview, attendance and behaviour during Level 5. All students will be required to receive clearance from their PAT prior to departing on their overseas placement. Students must complete and have a Risk Assessment approved before they are eligible for this module.
WB5008, The Study Abroad Experience, will be offered as a complementary year of study abroad to students who have successfully completed their second-year of study (Level 5). Application will occur in January of Level 5. As such, students may be required to present evidence of successful completion of Level 4, satisfactory on-going assessment, academic references and attendance in order for their application to be accepted. Students must also complete a Risk Assessment to indicate that they are fully aware of the requirements for the exchange, university/college and destination that they are applying for.
In the final year, Level Six students who elect to follow the module Strategic Branding will have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the role of advertising developed throughout the two previous years of the programme in the conception, design, development, execution and critical evaluation of self-directed year-long advertising or corporate communications project. Students who elect to follow the module Creative Branding will have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of creative advertising practice in the assembly of a graduate creative portfolio based on a series of live briefs. Students who elect to follow the module Innovative Methods in Branding Communication will have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the strategies and practices of the increasingly important non-traditional media. Major Honours students will also have the opportunity to prepare a formal academic Dissertation on an advertising-related subject of their choice.
It should be noted that ME6719 is only available for transnational delivery.
Level 4: 120 credits from: ME4701 20 credits* ME4702 20 credits* ME4703 20 credits* Plus 60 Credits from Combined Subject Area
Level 5: 120 credits from: [Level 5 credits can be substituted for a full year exchange via the module WB5007 120 credits] ME5701 20 credits* ME5702 20 credits*
And, 60 credits from: either ME5716 20 credits or combined subject area modules (minimum 40 credits) And, 20 credits from: ME5703 20 credits (Experiential Learning), Combined Subject Area Module 20-credits (Experiential Learning), or WB5101 20 credits (Enhancing your Employability through Work-Based Learning) or WB5004 20 credits (by application)
WB5008 The Study Abroad Experience 120 credits (non-award credits)
Please note that we accept a maximum of 8 points from GCE AS Levels and that the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A levels and BTECs/OCRs.
The Subject Benchmark Statements for Advertising are available on the QAA website (www.qaa.ac.uk). This programme of study is strongly linked to these subject benchmark statements and all of the modules integrate appropriate benchmark statements in varying degrees. For example, level 4 modules (although not exclusively) integrate 'awareness of the historical formation of their particular objects of study, and their contexts and interfaces' and 'knowledge of the central role that communications, media and cultural agencies play at local, national, international and global levels of economic, political and social organisation, along with the ability to explore and articulate the implications of this.' Level 5 (although not exclusively) integrates 'knowledge of appropriate research practices, procedures and traditions, and some awareness of their strengths and limitations', particularly in the media specific research module and through to level 6 via the dissertation modules.
Throughout the three years of study students will develop 'awareness of the diversity of approaches to understanding advertising, branding and communication practice in both historical and contemporary contexts, and of the uses and implications of these approaches'; 'knowledge of a range of strategies, tools practices and materials, and the ability to produce and to analyse these, and to make comparisons and connections'; 'the ability to use their knowledge and understanding of advertising, branding and communication practices as a basis for the examination of their impact on both defined target audiences and the broader society within which they operate'.
To assist our students in meeting the goals we have established, the programme team is committed to supporting students in recognising and understanding how each ‘atom of information’ (a fact, a theory, a strategy, a technique) builds to a larger ‘molecule of understanding’. To facilitate this, the major themes explored in each lecture and seminar are clearly linked to those presented in previous, adjacent and subsequent sessions.
While the programme team is committed to providing its students with help and encouragement throughout their studies, students will be encouraged to bear in mind that learning is hard work and that an education doesn’t just ‘happen’ by sitting in a classroom and passively listening and taking notes; it takes time, effort and perseverance. Students will also be advised that an education also requires reading – and reflecting on what they read. In this programme, students will be expected to take a considerable degree of responsibility for their own education.
Teaching and learning methods used in this programme include lectures, seminars, tutorials, group reflection, peer assessments, practical workshops, technology training and independent learning. These are supported by a wide range of both formative and summative assessment methods, including in-class exercises, descriptive and/or critical writing assignments, individual creative projects/artefacts, reflective journals, individual and group practical projects. Teaching and learning will take place in a variety of environments. These may include: lecture theatres, seminar rooms, work rooms and computer suites.
Lectures are designed to present key issues on a theme or topic to a large group of students, usually building upon information and ideas already given in preceding lectures. Most lectures will present information, as well as points of view, and ‘positions’, which students will be expected to think about critically. Lectures often involve use of materials to illustrate the points being made in the lecture. On occasions, lecturers might ask for comments or questions from students during the course of the lecture. Lectures on core modules normally last no more than one hour.
Seminars usually follow lectures and are an opportunity for a smaller group of students to discuss and critique the issues raised by a lecture. Sometimes this may involve splitting into sub-groups to explore specific issues, and ‘reporting back’ findings to the seminar group as a whole. Students will also be expected to read as preparation for both lectures and seminars.
Tutorials are not timetabled, but often take place between a member of teaching staff and one or two students, either to give further help in understanding a topic or concept, to give guidance on essay-writing or exam technique, to advise on further reading, or to discuss general academic progress.
Workshops are used by staff teaching production modules to teach specific skills and competencies involved in practical media production, as well as ‘hands-on’ opportunities to practise the techniques being shown whilst under supervision.
Group projects are an essential component of the practical production modules. Students will be expected to work as part of a production team which works together to produce a finished ‘product’. This will often involve working together effectively ‘off-timetable’ and often off-campus. The ability to co-operate, to listen to other people’s suggestions and ideas, as well as taking initiative and responsibility are all important in group work. Project groups/teams will be expected to report progress regularly to the module leader(s) through progress reports following production meetings.
Individual projects are set throughout the course, usually in the form of individual coursework assignments.
Guest lecturers from industry are a central feature of the BA Advertising programme as an invaluable source of current industry standards, practices and perspectives.
Assessment in the Advertising programme is based on a combination of practical projects and written submissions. The Advertising programme does not use examinations as a means of assessment.
Practical projects provide a means to assess the extent to which the students have appropriately identified and applied the relevant strategies and skills in the production of deliverables in order to meet the criteria established in the project brief.
For the following five reasons, we believe it essential to lead students towards the development of the ability to identify and explain information in writing – and, by explaining, demonstrate that they understand the meaning, application and implications of information:
The ability to communicate clearly and effectively in language is consistently identified by employers in all sectors as an essential skill – but one that most graduates lack;
Both of the career paths available in advertising (‘suits’ and ‘creatives’) require the ability to recognise, understand and express the meaning of information, to make appropriate decisions based on this, and to critically evaluate their work to ensure its consistency with the requirements of the brief;
By bringing vague or erroneous understandings to our attention, the written explanation of ideas, processes and consequences provides both students and their lecturers with an opportunity to recognise the gaps or weaknesses in their comprehension of the topic and so enables us (students and lecturers) to take the appropriate remedial actions;
The ability to express our ideas in language helps to bring to conscious attention the often unexamined assumptions (‘mental pictures’) on which our actions are based – thereby rendering us less susceptible to the dangers of logical fallacies and the manipulation of our perceptions by interest groups, and;
The development of writing skills fosters the capacity for self-reflective thinking which is essential for an awareness of how we learn, thereby enabling us to become better lifelong learners.
An honours graduate of this programme will have developed an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, some of it at the current boundaries of an academic discipline. Through this, the graduate will have developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many different types of employment. The graduate will be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements and to communicate effectively. An honours graduate should have the necessary qualities for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making in complex and unpredictable circumstances. Through specific module demands and the work-based or experiential learning scheme the programme will draw upon and develop students' capabilities in analysis, critique, and synthesis. This will enable students to analyse, contextualise and apply skills, theories and practices in an informed and intelligent manner.
Graduates from this programme will be equipped with a mix of effective key and transferable skills, which, although they are not targeted at a specific profession, are extremely useful in many fields - for example in the media and cultural industries, researching, marketing, advertising, Public Relations, corporate communications. These skills can also contribute to the student becoming better, informed citizens by raising awareness and encouraging reflection on wider issues such as the relationship between the media and politics.
A major benefit of this programme is that it contains the kind of challenging and rigorous academic training that prepares students for postgraduate studies.
The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.
As indicated by the faculties within which Advertising programmes are delivered in UK universities, two thirds of UK universities define (and therefore teach) the subject as a sub-discipline of marketing, and the remaining third define (and therefore teach) the subject as a sub-discipline of graphic design, supplemented with modules in marketing. The former are intended to produce the ‘suits’ responsible for account and brand management (the ‘Mad Men’) and the latter prepare ‘creatives’ who produce the materials defined by the briefs developed by the former. The Advertising programme team consider that, for two reasons, obliging applicants to choose between these two ‘pathways’ limits both the career prospects of graduates and limits the value of their contribution to the future of the advertising/branding industry:
‘Suits’ need to understand the principles of effective (and affective) visual communication, and ‘creatives’ need to understand the broader brand and strategy objectives their work is expected to support and advance. Taught in isolation, ‘suits’ and ‘creatives’ will not develop sufficient familiarity with the concerns and objectives of the other to be able to collaborate effectively.
Applicants cannot be expected to know enough about either of these two ‘pathways’ – or about themselves – to be able to make an informed decision as to which is most appropriate for them.
Accordingly, in place of this ‘either-or’ approach, to provide its graduates with the skills they will need to successfully compete for careers with a demanding and ever-changing industry, this programme is designed around three symbiotic and closely integrated themes: Advertising as corporate communications, Advertising as visual & digital design, and Advertising as social narrative.
Ideal combinations with other programmes within the Media Department include: Media Studies, Television Production, Radio Production, Journalism, Sport Journalism, Digital Photography, Commercial Music Production, and Film Studies.
It has proven equally attractive as a combination for students studying programmes in the following: Sport, Business Studies, Marketing, Public Relations, and Events Management.
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