University of Chester

Programme Specification
Digital Marketing PGDip
2017 - 2018

Postgraduate Diploma

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

University of Chester

University of Chester


Postgraduate (Taught)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year full time, 2 years part time

5 Years

Biannual - February - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Warrington School of Management

QAA's Benchmark statements for Masters awards in Business and Management (2016) and QAA's Honours degree subject benchmark statements (2016) for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural studies have been used as point of reference.

The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM)  - Certificate in Digital Marketing

Faculty of Business and Management Module Assessment Board Assessment Board

Friday 4th November 2016

This Diploma is designed to reflect the expectation that candidates joining the award will have some suitable marketing and/or business education or expertise. A key educational aim will be to further develop this knowledge / expertise and augment it with broader, business-based strategic digital marketing knowledge and skills. This offering from Warrington School of Management and the Department of Media is designed to provide students with the necessary elements to pursue, or further enhance, a career in media and marketing, with specialist digital knowledge and skills. The programme places a strong emphasis on developing relevant professional capabilities to help accelerate career advancement in a specialist area that currently has skills gaps. All modules will enable students to demonstrate an insight into the complexities of business and marketing and the potential value of theoretical frameworks. More specifically, digital media education will encompass each of the following, providing graduates a higher level of insight to, and broader knowledge and skills base of:

  • Digital marketing planning and strategy
  • Digital marketing acquisition, conversion & retention
  • Social and digital media
  • Advertising in a converged age
  • Motion graphics for smart media
  • Management research methods

The modular structure of the Diploma reflects these educational aims. Therefore, the key educational elements of this programme will enable graduates and industry professionals to develop core and transferable business and marketing skills, while also enhancing specialist knowledge in their field. Based on this principle, specific learning outcomes will require students to:

  • Critically evaluate  core theories and concepts in digital media and marketing.
  • Develop an ability to analyse complex management, organisational and environmental issues and formulate alternative response strategies for management
  • Propose and justify relevant technical knowledge and its application in a digital business environment
  • Think critically, argue coherently and make a convincing business case for digital media and marketing strategy/ tools, through informed and innovated decision making

Knowledge & Understanding

  • To encourage students to reflect on their own experience and practice as consumers and stakeholders in a global context - BU7717
  • Apply knowledge of contemporary digital marketing /media strategies and techniques - BU7717, ME7244
  • Reflect on personal experience and practice as both a consumer and wider stakeholder - BU7717, BU7002
  • Assess and evaluate the theoretical basis of digital marketing strategic decision making - ME7244, BU7718
  • Assess and evaluate the theoretical basis of strategic marketing management (in a traditional and digital context) BU7717, BU7718, ME7245
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the various philosophical approaches to conducting research - BU7002
  • Discern how the role of the researcher differs when adhering to particular philosophical approaches and assess the implications for research design BU7002
  • Critically evaluate the methodological and theoretical approaches previously taken in generating insight into the chosen area of investigation - BU7002


  • Evaluate critically key digital marketing tools and approaches which enable organisations to develop a more accurate understanding the nature of the consumer/ stakeholder - BU7717, BU7718, ME7243
  • Critically reflect on the changing nature of marketing communications in a cultural and technological context - ME7244, ME7245
  • Analyse and evaluate the approaches to the management of digital marketing techniques in a range of organisations -BU7717, ME7245
  • Assess critically the strengths and limitations associated with various approaches to the organisation, planning and implementation of digital marketing strategies and plans - BU7717
  • Develop an appropriate research design showing critical understanding as to its conceptual underpinning, methods utilised for gathering data and the analytical tools employed for interpreting the data, highlighting the implications as to the validity of the findings generated - BU7002, ME7245

  • Recommend how digital marketing functions should be structured to deliver competitive advantage and organisational success - ME7244, ME7243, BU7717
  • Formulate appropriate marketing and interactive media responses to enable the organisation to better achieve its objectives - ME7245, ME7244
  • Develop a clear and well-defined research proposal that establishes: clear research aims; academic and practitioner relevance; methods for gathering and analysing data providing an evaluation of the proposed tools of enquiry; and a planned timetable for completion of the various stages of the study - BU7002

Transferable Professional Skills - All modules (BU7717, BU7718, BU7002, ME7243, ME7244, ME7245)

  • Demonstrating self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments
  • Being competent in the use of information technology
  • Working autonomously and collaboratively, and leading a team
  • Demonstrating higher literacy, critical appraisal and numeracy skills
  • Inter-professional collaboration and partnership working
  • Exercise of initiative and personal responsibility
  • Decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations
  • The independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

  • Assess and critically evaluate the theoretical and commercial impacts of strategic digital marketing communications - BU7717
  • Analyse and interpret data and, by the integration of theory and practice, investigate appropriate digital marketing techniques to solve a business issue or help make its operations more efficient / effective - BU7718
  • Apply at an advanced professional level such strategies through the design of an innovative and effective digital communication strategy - ME7243
  • Demonstrate advanced technical and communications skills in the innovative and effective applications of such strategies - ME7244
  • Critically evaluate the social, ethical and conceptual implications of the uses/applications of these interactive communicative technologies - ME7245

The programme has been designed to develop an appropriate balance of underpinning theoretical knowledge and understanding, and relevant practical competences and skills to enhance the employability of graduates in the areas of digital media and marketing communications.

The programme consists of six (20 credit) level 7 taught modules.  The modules are: 

Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning (BU7717), 20 Credit Points

Digital Marketing Acquisition, Conversion & Retention (BU7718), 20 Credit Points

Motion Graphics for Smart Media (ME7243), 20 Credit Points

Social and Digital Media (ME7244), 20 Credit Points

Advertising in a Converged Age (ME7245), 20 Credit Points

Management Research Methods (BU7002), 20 Credit Points

The programme has been designed to develop an appropriate balance of underpinning theoretical knowledge and understanding, and relevant practical competences and skills to enhance the employability of graduates in the areas of digital marketing and interactive media. The Diploma programme provides postgraduate study equivalent to and consistent with the standards of level 7. Graduates “will develop an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, some of it at the current boundaries of an academic discipline”. Through this, a graduate will develop “analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many types of employment”. The graduate will be able to “evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively”. A graduate should have the qualities needed for employment especially in situations requiring the exercise of “personal responsibility” and “decision-making in complex and unpredictable circumstances.” The programme outcomes have been distributed through all the modules so that upon successful completion of all the module-specific assessment tasks and activities, that each of the programme outcomes have been achieved by a student.

The taught modules will be delivered on a semester based linear delivery of teaching either over a two year period for part-time students or over a one year period for full-time students. The programme has two intakes each academic year providing some flexibility for International, UK full time and part time students as to when they start their programme. Students may also be allowed to switch between the FT and PT mode of delivery, where circumstances allow / demand this.

Programme Exit Awards:

Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Marketing & Media (60 Credits)

Compulsory Modules for Award (only one of the following needed):
BU7717 Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning 20 Credits
BU7718 Digital Marketing Acquisition, Conversion & Retention 20 Credits
Optional Modules for Award (two of the following needed):
ME7243 Motion Graphics for Smart Media 20 Credits
ME7244 Social and Digital Media 20 Credits
ME7245 Advertising in a Converged Age 20 Credits
OR (if not taken as a compulsory module):
BU7717 Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning 20 Credits
BU7718 Digital Marketing Acquisition, Conversion & Retention 20 Credits

Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Media (60 Credits)

Compulsory Modules for Award:
ME7243 Motion Graphics for Smart Media 20 Credits
ME7244 Social and Digital Media 20 Credits
ME7245 Advertising in a Converged Age 20 Credits

Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Marketing (60 Credits)

Compulsory Modules for Award
BU7717 Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning 20 credits
BU7718 Digital Marketing Acquisition, Conversion & Retention 20 credits
Optional Modules for Award (only one of the following needed)
ME7243 Motion Graphics for Smart Media 20 credits
ME7244 Social and Digital Media 20 credits
ME7245 Advertising in a Converged Age 20 credits

Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing (120 Credits)

BU7717 Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning 20 credits
BU7718 Digital Marketing Acquisition, Conversion & Retention 20 credits
ME7243 Motion Graphics for Smart Media 20 credits
ME7244 Social and Digital Media 20 credits
ME7245 Advertising in a Converged Age 20 credits
BU7002 Management Research Methods 20 credits


This programme of study has partly been designed with the needs of part-time students in mind who are practitioners in the field or in related areas of workplace engagement. Such students are likely to benefit from the CPD updating opportunities this course would offer them. It is also possible that students on negotiated pathways of study (including individually negotiated routes via the Work Based & Integrative Studies programme) may choose to integrate some of the specialist taught modules presented here into their own negotiated study. Such students will need to justify their modular choices and demonstrate academic coherence in the usual way by incorporating relevant modules into a WBIS Approved Studies Learning Agreement for Level 7.

Also, some students may have sufficient prior learning through their experience in the workplace to submit an AP(E)L claim for specific areas of their previous learning, enabling them to gain credit for one or more modules. Work for APEL claims on the Programme is marked on a pass/fail grade only. Where AP(E)L claims relate to taught subject modules, criteria written for those modules will apply.



Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
BU7002 7 Management Research Methods 20 Comp
BU7717 7 Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning 20 Comp
BU7718 7 Digital Marketing Acquisition, Conversion & Retention 20 Comp
ME7243 7 Motion Graphics for Smart Media 20 Comp
ME7244 7 Social and Digital Media 20 Comp
ME7245 7 Advertising in a Converged Age 20 Comp

All study occurs at level 7.

60 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Certificate

120 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Diploma


This programme has been accredited by The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM), which means that students have the option to sit at least one IDM examination in order to gain an additional IDM qualification. The examination is three hours in duration and will be hosted at the University of Chester. The Certificate grade will be determined by the exam result: a Pass is over 45%, a Credit is over 60% and a Distinction is over 70%.

IDM Qualifications are dependent on students studying the following modules and taking an IDM examination:

IDM Certificate in Digital Marketing
BU7717 Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning


Digital Marketing Acquisition, Conversion & Retention


Social and Digital Media


Advertising in a Converged Age

The normal entry requirement for students is the possession of a second-class Honours degree in any discipline, or equivalent as a minimum. 

All applicants will complete a standard application form and may be invited to attend an informal interview where feasible to do so.  

Candidates should also meet the University's requirements for English. 

Applicants with non-standard qualifications will be considered for entry onto the programme, each application will be considered on its own merit. 

The QAA Subject Benchmarks for Masters awards in Business and Management (2015) indicate that a graduate should possess knowledge and understanding in a range of areas relevant to Business and Management. Organisations, their external context and management; graduates will gain knowledge and develop understanding of most of the following areas.

Strategic Marketing planning, Marketing Communications and Marketing Research using digital tools are the key knowledge aspects of this award and address broadly the requirements of the benchmarks in these key areas. The award is also designed to have a strategic viewpoint and with that a market-facing perspective embedded across the modules delivered. The practical nature of the ALT uses extensively case-based approaches which consistently consider both the strategic and operational aspects of the operations of business within the international context, hence highlights the link between strategy and operations and the delivery of strategy through operations. In this respect then stakeholder perspectives are considered extensively and the realisation of strategies incorporates many aspects of key functional and operational concerns for businesses.

The award is delivered with a range of perspectives of business and the global context in extensively examined environment to take into account the complex aspects of trading internationally and the challenges economically, operationally and culturally which are encountered. Below knowledge areas are covered throughout the core module delivery within programme (BU7717, BU7718, BU7002):

Knowledge areas:

  • markets - the development and operation of markets for resources, goods and services
  • marketing and sales - different approaches for segmentation, targeting, positioning, generating sales, and the need for innovation in product and service design.
  • customers and stakeholders - customer expectations, service and orientation
  • finance - the sources, uses and management of finance; the use of accounting and other information systems for managerial applications
  • people - strategic and operational HRM, meeting future organisational requirements, people development, HR systems
  • operations - the management of resources and operations including the supply chain, procurement, logistics, quality systems, and project management
  • information systems and business intelligence - the development, management, application and implementation of information systems and their impact upon organisations; tools and techniques for transforming (big) data into useful information for business analysis and decision support
  • communications - the comprehension and use of relevant communications for application in business and management, including the use of digital tools
  • digital business - the development of strategic priorities to deliver business at speed in an environment where digital technology is reshaping traditional revenue and business models, associated risk management
  • business innovation - creativity, intrapreneurial - and entrepreneurial behaviour and enterprise development, and the management and exploitation of intellectual property
  • globalisation - growth of international business, inter-cultural perspectives
  • strategic management - the development and implementation of appropriate strategies within a changing environment, strategic risk management and issues of compliance
  • leadership and management of people within organisations - leadership, organisational behaviour and motivation.

In addition, from the QAA Subject Benchmark statements for Honours degrees in Communication, media, film and cultural studies (2016) – the following defining principles apply:

 1. Degree programmes within communication, media, film and cultural studies share the aim of producing graduates who have an informed, critical and creative approach both to understanding media, culture and communications in contemporary society, and to their own forms of media, communicative and expressive practice. In so furthering students' academic and personal development, programmes within communication, media, film and cultural studies are committed to forms of pedagogy that lay emphasis on developing critical and creative independence, flexibility, sensitivity to audience, and self-reflexiveness, across both individual and group work, and both critical and production work.

2. Most programmes promote a combination of understandings and skills. Many that emphasise critical engagement also require students to produce a substantial piece of self-managed research and/or a creative production or portfolio of work demonstrating their command of specific skills. Similarly, programmes that concentrate primarily on media practice or production also require students to develop analytical and research skills together with a critical grasp of their responsibilities as practitioners, and awareness of the dynamics - whether cultural, economic, ethical, legal, political, social or affective - which shape working environments.

Postgraduates from modules ME7243, ME7244 and ME7245 are expected to engage with and critically evaluate a range of texts and genres, as well as forms of critical analysis, argument and debate, expressed through a command of appropriate communication and production forms. An awareness of the diversity of approaches to communication via the media is encouraged throughout.

The programme team recognise the importance of developing students' capabilities to function effectively at a strategic and operational level within the marketing / digital media functions and this requires the development of both relevant and current knowledge and skills. Therefore, the programme delivery strategy will combine both more conventional lectures and seminars with workshops and real world project work, allowing students to engage with the industry problems and challenges.

The teaching programme will be supplemented by regular guest speakers / industry-led workshops to enhance the curriculum and make sure that knowledge and practice are in line with industry in this fast-paced sector. This will also help facilitate student networking with key firms and individuals within the fields of digital marketing and interactive media.

This programme has also been developed with an understanding of the importance of developing the students' ability to work and learn autonomously. To facilitate this, emphasis will be given to shared responsibility for learning, encouraging independent work to support tutor-led sessions and encouraging students to engage in self-directed learning. This includes utilising online tools, such as discussion forums, on Moodle. Student autonomy and autonomous learning will be particularly developed within the research project, and it is appropriate that this element occurs in the latter half of the programme, after students have had the opportunity to develop appropriate skills, knowledge and understanding in the earlier stages of the programme.

The overall programme is designed to support both part-time students who will study over a two year period and full-time students who will study over a one year period. Therefore, modules will be taught on a semester based linerar delivery mode, with blended learning and support in between via online tools available via VLE.

Further support to learning is afforded through weekly 'drop-in' sessions for each of the modules where students can follow-up issues they identify with their tutors in a more informal setting.

A pastoral support hour will be offered throughout the taught part of the programme; this will support the students learning on this programme. Examples of typical subject matter to be covered here are: referencing correctly and avoiding plagiarism, designing and giving presentations, structuring and writing level 7 assignments. As appropriate, learning and teaching methods more specifically orientated to the Media will be adopted e.g. workshops, exercises, presentations and pitches. In applying skills to a technically, intellectually demanding area, students will be guided through initial stages of idea generation and production skills, allowing them to gain confidence as they progress. The concurrent and subsequent reflection on their own and current industry practices should enhance the student’s portfolio. Students will be expected to keep up to date with current affairs and developments, especially in the area of digital communications and emerging media technologies. 

Assessment of knowledge and understanding is achieved using a range of assessments which include:-

  • Assignments
  • The analysis and critical use of evidence, which may be drawn from a variety of sources
  • Presentation / practical production portfolio
  • Practical and applied assessment
  • Case study report
  • Reflective report/essay
  • Business research proposal
  • Research project presentation and report

The assessment of cognitive skills is incorporated within and integral to the assessment strategy of the programme and modules. Students are encouraged to use a wide range of evidential sources and information references as the basis for the production of work submitted for assessment.

The use of individual skills of critique, analysis, evaluation and synthesis are a requirement of module assessment outcomes. Lecturers are expected to utilise a balance of diagnostic, formative and summative assessment during the programme appropriate to their module.

Assessment methods and tariffs

Assessments will normally be related to a careful balance between assessing theoretical knowledge, applied concepts and practically focused, employment related activity. Case study evaluation, and business project proposal work and simulated activity will all be used and will parallel the exploration of the theoretical basis for business practices. Assignments are designed so that they meet QAA subject benchmark statement requirements and the overall programme learning outcomes. A wide range of assessment methods will consequently be employed in the assessment of the participants.

International students are required and expected to meet the regulatory stipulations of the UKVI while they are registered students at the university. Students will also be expected to honour obligations to other students and staff when engaged in group work or work placements.

The assessment strategy will be communicated in writing to each student, at the commencement of the module. It will also be available electronically.

Assessment on this programme is designed to provide feedback to students on their performance in order to shape future learning and to verify achievement. 

In the early stages of the programme, the formative role of assessment to help students learn may be as important as the summative assessment for certification. The assessment strategy of this programme is based on the following assumptions and practices:

1. Assessment is acknowledged to be a major driver of student learning

2. A variety of assessment practices will be employed in order to provide students with a range of opportunities to display intellectual, practical and transferable skills, and to accommodate the different learning styles of individual students

3. Clear criteria for grading and the rules and regulations for assessment and awards will be available for all students throughout their programme

4. Assessment at early stages of the programme will focus on evidencing the acquisition and development of knowledge, skills and understanding: later stages of the programme will focus on the demonstration of students’ ability to independently synthesize advanced knowledge and skills. Assignments and projects initially will be largely tutor determined. As the academic year progresses students will have significant elements of self-determination in their coursework and extended written project

5. Tutors delivering the programme have explored and discussed maps of module aims, learning outcomes and assessments across the programme during the programme’s design process in order to understand how their module assessments complement others in the programme and to develop equivalences in assessment weightings and balances

This qualification will appeal to both marketing graduates who have recently completed their first degrees, who may undertake the programme on a full-time basis; and working individuals within or aspiring to the industry who could complete through part-time study (including media professionals).

Therefore, this course is designed to support students who wish to move into strategic digital marketing positions. They will either want to complement their previous professional /academic qualifications or to build upon workplace experience.

As well as marketing professionals / graduates, this programme will also appeal to entrepreneurs with online businesses, digital agencies within technical and account management roles, digital marketing managers and marketers operating in specialist areas such as: content marketing, search marketing, e-CRM, website design, digital PR, online advertising, social media, etc. Opportunities to secure a career within the specialist area of digital marketing will be enhanced through study.

This programme of study in fully embraces the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students. The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for. In addition, within this programme:

  • Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality.
  • Each module has been developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
  • There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans where appropriate.
  • The induction activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues. Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.
  • Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
  • Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking also enhances equal opportunity to all students.
  • In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and promptly notified to the University for removal or for reasonable adjustment to be made based on requirements.
  • All students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise.
  • The Programme Leader acts as PAT for all students. An appointment system also exists whereby any student can make an appointment to see any member of staff, including the Head of Department and Dean.

The programme seeks to provide the students with a cohesive and comfortable studying environment with stimulating, supportive and interactive team to facilitate their learning and personal and professional development.

Students on the programme will be eligible for a Certificate in Digital Marketing from The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM), subject to modules studied and sitting relevant examinations; full details are in section 24. The IDM is the UK's only Government approved institute for the digital, direct and data marketing professional; it also has a partnership with Google for supplying up-to-date online support materials.

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