Strategic Marketing MSc MSc


Strategic Marketing MSc

This programme will give you the specialised skills and knowledge to become a successful marketing manager of the future.

You will gain an in-depth understanding of areas including marketing strategy, digital marketing, branding, communications, marketing consulting, CRM, key account management, market research or multi-channel marketing.

  • Designed with senior marketing practitioners to give you cutting-edge knowledge and skills in strategic marketing.
  • Practical skills are developed through topical case studies, in-class debates, master classes and guest lectures by high-profile industry partners, and by a real-life Marketing Consulting Project involving a reputable organization.
  • The diverse, multi-national cohort provides an international learning opportunity enabling you to share marketing insight and experience.
  • Our unique, self-contained campus, just one hour from London, offers a friendly postgraduate-focused learning environment with unrivalled access to lecturers and support staff.
  • 99% of Cranfield School of Management Masters’ students seeking employment are employed within 3 months of graduation.

Course overview

The course has been developed to produce practical, proactive strategic marketers, and our teaching methods are specifically geared towards encouraging participation, self-development and team working. Students complete a series of core modules and a thesis. One of the modules is a marketing consultancy project carried out in teams, while the thesis offers you the opportunity to carry out a company-based project.

If you would like to speak to a current student or one of our alumni ambassadors, please contact Liz Broderick

Group project

The marketing consultancy project simulates a real-life consultancy assignment. You will work in teams in a time-constrained environment, competing against your class colleagues to make the strongest marketing strategy presentation to senior executives from partner firms. You will attend a briefing meeting to define the project, research the situation and consider your options. You will then formulate your recommendations and present them to company leaders at the final client presentation. On completion you will receive feedback from your supervisor and an industry expert. Companies that students have worked with in the past have included Google, Cobra Beer, Nike and Nokia.

Individual Project

The culmination of the learning process is your opportunity to undertake a research project, which can be either company-sponsored, or an empirical project in an area of marketing you are passionate about (usually involving direct research with either marketing professionals/managers or with customers).

The project is agreed in consultation with the programme director, and you will then be allocated a supervisor whose expertise lies in the most relevant area of marketing. During your thesis, you will work closely with your supervisor who will support you and provide expert guidance, advice and insights into leading-edge thinking in your subject area. This valuable learning experience will provide you with a thorough grounding in research, reporting and presenting.


Students complete a series of core modules and a thesis. One of the modules is a marketing consultancy project carried out in teams, while the thesis offers you the opportunity to carry out a company-based project.


  • Managing Brands
    Module LeaderDr Radu Dimitriu - Lecturer in Strategic Marketing

    The module covers:

    • Brand equity and the value brands create for customers and companies
    • Understanding consumer behaviour and the role played by brands in consumers’ decision making processes
    • Brand loyalty and consumer profiles
    • Brand positioning, brand elements and brand extensions
    • Brand strategies
    • Online branding and branding on social media
    • Debates on topical issues in branding

    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

    • Apply skills and critical knowledge for successfully managing branded products and services
    • Critically make the case for brand investment and brand strategies to be implemented.
    • Achieve a sound understanding of several theories regarding consumer behavior, and appreciation of why a single theory cannot explain all, or even the majority of consumer behaviour.
    • Understand how the new digital worlds is changing consumer behaviour and brand relationships, and at the same the practice of brand management.
    • Develop competency in working as a team member both in case study presentations and in the team debates.
  • Marketing Communications
    Module LeaderProfessor Paul Baines - Professor of Political Marketing

    This module will cover the following topics:

    • Communications theory
    • The psychology of persuasion
    • How to deconstruct communications using content analysis and semiotics
    • The marketing communications planning process
    • The role of traditional paid communications, such as advertising via TV, press, radio, outdoor. sales promotions and sponsorship
    • The role of digital communications including banner ads, search engine marketing, viral marketing and the role of social networks
    • The role of earned media communications, including public relations and crisis management
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

    • Know how to integrate and coordinate the marketing communications planning activities of an organisation.
    • Be able to suggest approaches to evaluating marketing communications activity and their relative merits.
    • Critically assess topical issues in marketing communications and be able to present and defend a particular view.
    • Be able to apply knowledge of marketing communications by justifying and developing an integrated communications plan as part of an overall strategic marketing plan.
    • Prepare and debate an evidence-based argument on a current topic in marketing practice.
  • Accounting for Marketing and Retail Managers
    Module LeaderMr Simon Templar - Lecturer

    The module focuses on five main themes:

    • Risk, reward and return
    • Interpretation of financial accounting information
    • Management accounting for decision-making
    • Customer, product and channel profitability
    • Investment appraisal
    Intended learning outcomes
    • Recognise the value of accounting information.
    • Prepare a set of report and accounts from accounting data
    • Interpret the financial and non financial information in a set of published financial statements.
    • Recognise the main uses and limitations of financial information.
    • Apply a range of management accounting tools and techniques to derive information that can be used to make and evaluate management decisions.
    • Assess project, product and customers’ profitability.
  • Customer Relationship Management and Customer Experience
    Module LeaderDr Stan Maklan - Reader in Strategic Marketing

    The module covers:

    • Key concepts of CRM and CE
    • Customer profitability – theory, measurement and practice thereof
    • Customer experience – definition, management, the critical role of employees
    • CRM programme management – design, business processes, technology, capabilities, governance and implementation
    • Learning – data analysis, learning from customers
    • Measurement and evaluation of CRM
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

    • Understand CRM and CE – key concepts and relationship to the rest of the business activities of the firm
    • Develop a strategic approach to CRM and CE for their firms
    • Improve CRM and CE solutions within their firms
    • Work more effectively with IT in developing business architecture for CRM and CE, able to specify the desired customer outcomes of technology systems
    • Brief data analysts on the insight and decisions data analysis should support
  • Retailing and Omnichannel Management
    Module LeaderDr Tamira King - Senior Lecturer

    The module covers:

    • Analytical retail models.
    • Retail communications: space management, visual merchandising and atmospherics
    • Customer service
    • Legal and ethical issues in retailing
    • Omnichannel developments and how to manage them
    • Channel chains
    • Coverage maps

    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

    • Understand and apply models for analysis of strategic and operational omnichannel retailing situations.
    • Critically assess the strategic choices of elements of the (e-)retail mix, including: e/store layout; and (web)atmospherics and the importance of customer service and retail ethics.
    • Appreciate and act on how customers combine channels in their omnichannel journey
    • Critically assess a retailer’s strategic choices of combining different retail channels, and select an appropriate strategy.
    • Build a sound understanding of the competencies required for omnichannel CRM
    • Apply retail theories and models on omnichannel experience to evaluate a retailer’s current strategy and to make recommendations for future omnichannel strategy
  • Marketing Research and Insight
    Module LeaderProfessor Paul Baines - Professor of Political Marketing

    The module covers:

    • The Practice of Market Research
    • Planning and Designing Market Research
    • Ethics and the MRS Code
    • Writing and evaluating the Brief and Research Proposal
    • Conducting Secondary Research
    • Collecting Qualitative Data
    • Collecting Quantitative Data
    • Introduction to Sampling
    • Collecting Attitudinal Data
    • Principles of Questionnaire Design
    • Social media market research
    • Managing Research Projects
    Intended learning outcomes

    As a result of this module, you will be able to:

    • define and evaluate research objectives for given marketing problems and decisions
    • commission and/or apply appropriate research solutions to identified problems, based on a clear understanding of a range of research approaches and techniques
    • critically assess and select appropriate techniques for the collection of the data necessary to build appropriate insight and inform effective marketing decision-making
    • manage the relationship between research providers and users. 


  • Marketing Consultancy Project
    Module LeaderDr Tamira King - Senior Lecturer


    Intended learning outcomes

    As a result of this module, you will be able to:

    • Synthesise and summarise your learning over the whole programme to date in preparation for embarking upon your thesis.
    • Determine what marketing theories, frameworks and perspectives are applicable to a real situation.
    • Combine and deploy theories, frameworks and perspectives intelligently to a real situation.
    • Understand the data requirements of each theory, framework and perspective used.
    • Experience some of the difficulties in getting data that is consistent, coherent and up to date.
    • Employ creative thinking on a real marketing problem.
    • Present a complex situation in a very succinct and compelling manner.
    • Work with colleagues in a competitive situation, under time pressure and with incomplete access to all the information, people and data you need. 
    • Appreciate management consulting skills, providing expert and credible advice, adding value to the decision making of an extremely knowledgeable and sophisticated client.
  • Research Methods

    The module covers:

    • Explaining and developing the concepts and role of a thesis and also establishing the academic standards required to meet the course and university regulations. Planning the thesis. Focusing research through problem definition & objective setting.
    • Using the academic literature to focus and define the methodologies that are to be used in the investigation. Gathering, sorting, processing & presenting data.
    • Concluding & interpreting outcomes either from an organisation’s point of view and/or from an academic point of view. What are project based theses and how to approach a practical investigation.
    • Defining case study based theses and how to conduct them. Describing structured literature review based theses and how to approach them.
    • Using SPSS for statistical analysis of research data.
    • Using NVivo for qualitative analysis of research data.
    • Research planning and design.

    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

    • Achieve a sound understanding of the MSc dissertation requirements both academic and practical.
    • Build a sound appreciation of the core academic and practical skills required to produce an acceptable dissertation.
    • Produce a research plan that is focused on their chosen dissertation style and which demonstrates an understanding of the practical and academic issues associated with their investigation.
    • Produce a research design suitable for solving their chosen research problem.
    • Select appropriate techniques, from a range of qualitative and quantitative data gathering methods.
    • Competently analyse both qualitative and quantitative data.
    • Make effective use of the SPSS statistical analysis program and the NVivo qualitative data analysis program.
  • Marketing Strategy and Planning
    Module LeaderProfessor Hugh Wilson - Professor of Strategic Marketing

    The module covers:

    • Strategic marketing and its role in the organisation.
    • Ten steps of the strategic marketing planning process.
    • Mission statements and organisational objectives.
    • The marketing audit and analytical tools.
    • Market maps and market segmentation.
    • SWOT analysis.
    • Marketing objectives and strategies.
    • Product and pricing strategy.
    Intended learning outcomes

    As a result of this module, you will be able to:

    • Understand the evolution and role of marketing and be able to describe the characteristics of a customer-centric organisation.
    • Appreciate a series of marketing tools and techniques and their application in practice.
    • Recognise a successful marketing planning process and understand the construction and evaluation of a strategic marketing plan.
    • Structure and prepare a comprehensive marketing plan.
    • Make persuasive business arguments on paper and in presentations.
    • Evaluate marketing plans prepared by others.
  • Digital Marketing and Retail

    The module covers:

    • Digital commerce in perspective.
    • The user journey online.
    • Google’s zero moment of truth research.
    • Acquisition, conversion and retention in a digital environment.
    • Channel integration.
    • Beyond digital marketing – true online/offline integration.
    • The building blocks of digital commerce.
    • Websites and usability.
    • Search – search optimisation and PPC.
    • Social media.
    • Mobile marketing.
    • Email marketing.
    • Online advertising.
    • Analytics and testing.
    • Digital commerce planning and strategy.
    • Planning and strategy assignment brief.
    Intended learning outcomes

    As a result of this module, you will be able to:

    • Appreciate digital commerce and it’s fragmented and modular nature.
    • Understand the best practice in the key technologies and channels that make up digital retail commerce.
    • Understand the effective strategy and planning factors for digital retail commerce.
    • Appreciate the importance and practicalities of putting measurement and analytics at the heart of digital retail commerce.
    • Critically discuss the practical use of digital insights tools for marketplace, customer and competitive analysis.
    • Critically discuss  the best practice tactical delivery factors for digital marketing.
  • B2B Customer Marketing

    The module covers:

    • B2B marketing and B2B customer management
    • B2B customer metrics
    • Key account management
    • The procurement’s perspective
    • Negotiation

    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module a student should be able to: 

    • Build a critical appreciation of the distinctive elements of B2B relationship marketing.
    • Evaluate and be able to propose customer-related measures of performance and elements of the customer experience.
    • Understand and apply the principles and best practices in key account management (KAM).
    • Appreciate and act on the nature of the changing relationship between sales and procurement.
    • Prepare and undertake negotiations strategically with a customer.
  • Sales Management

    The module covers:

    • The strategic role of sales
    • Value proposition
    • Sales organization
    • Sales performance
    • Developing salespeople
    • Sales forecasting
    Intended learning outcomes

    As a result of this module, you will be able to:

    • Build an intimate knowledge of and being able to propose metrics to evaluate sales performance in the B2B context.
    • Evaluate customers’ needs and segment to develop relevant value propositions and negotiate effectively.
    • Critically assess alternative forms of sales organization and implement the principles for selecting, training, motivating, and compensating a sales force.
    • Evaluate the benefits and challenges of different sales forecasting methods and implement adequate methods given the context.
  • Big Data-Marketing Analytics
    Module LeaderDr Stan Maklan - Reader in Strategic Marketing

    The module covers:

    • The big data revolution
    • Advances in analytics
    • Data discovery, exploration and visualisation process (e.g. CRISP)
    • Using JMP software
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Segmentation insight from big data
    • Targeting customers with insight from big data
    • Positioning insight from big data
    • Customer experience / management with big data
    • Issues of implementation and realising the benefits of big data marketing analytics
    Intended learning outcomes

    As a result of this module, you will be able to:

    • Critiquing the potential for Big Data to enhance business models
    • Evaluating how big data analytics will enhance marketing practice (segmentation, targeting, positioning and customer management)
    • Basic data exploration and discovery
    • Organise a data exploration and discovery processes
    • Apply data visualisation and exploration software to data analysis problems (using SAS’ JMP).
    • Apply marketing analytics to marketing practices (segmentation, targeting, positioning and customer management)


Your progress will be assessed through assignments, exams or both. This encourages you to find your own solutions to problems and breeds a level of pro-activity that ensures you are not just an intellectual, but a highly skilled marketing professional.

Start date, duration and location

Start date: September

Duration: Full-time MSc - one year

Teaching location: Cranfield


There are many reasons you might choose to study for an MSc in Strategic Marketing at Cranfield. For example:

  • The balance of theoretical content and practical application on the programme.
  • Companies that students have worked with in the past have included Google, Cobra Beer, Nike and Nokia.
  • The School’s well-established industry links and strong track record of placing graduates in good jobs.
  • The School’s strong focus on your personal and professional development.

Accreditation and partnerships

The Market Research Society

The Cranfield Masters in Strategic Marketing is one of only a few masters degree in marketing courses in the UK that is accredited by the Market Research Society (MRS). This means that while studying for your masters in marketing, you also have the opportunity to work towards achieving the MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice.

This additional professional qualification makes you more marketable by distinguishing you from other candidates, and is also another important step in your career development. In addition, with appropriate work experience you will be eligible to join The Market Research Society on graduation.

(CIM) Graduate Gateway

As a student on a Graduate Gateway degree, you will have the unique opportunity to stand out from other marketing graduates by achieving CIM’s professional marketing qualifications and awards alongside your Cranfield degree.

By studying the Cranfield MSc in Strategic Marketing you will be exempt from studying the Strategic Marketing module of the CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing.  You will be required to pass two modules, Mastering Metrics (Mandatory) plus one elective module to obtain the full qualification.

CIM is the leading professional body for marketers worldwide and exists to develop the marketing profession, maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing professionals.

More information can be found at:

Informed by industry

Our Practice Advisory Board informs the design and development of the programme. Comprising leading figures from the world of marketing, it recommends additions and amendments to the course to reinforce its relevance to the modern marketing world.

Read more about our advisory board.

Your teaching team

Cranfield School of Management is world-renowned for its practical and innovative approach to strategic marketing, and has an established reputation for the excellence of its teaching. Our faculty continue to work with the operating boards of many of the world's leading multinationals to bring the latest insights and best practices to their lectures.

Read more about our faculty

Entry Requirements

You will need:

  • a UK first or second class Honours degree in a relevant subject area or
  • an equivalent international qualification (find out whether your qualification meets our requirements by visiting our International Student page) or
  • relevant work experience in combination with a degree below second class Honours.

If you do not meet our formal entry requirements, but still feel you can demonstrate the ability to complete the course successfully, you may still be accepted onto a course. Each application will be considered on its merits.

*Please note: having taken into consideration all your application details, the Course Director may also require you to take Graduate Management Admissions Test GMAT (minimum score 600) or GRE (75th percentile in both the verbal and quantitative reasoning sections). The GMAT course code for the Masters in Strategic Marketing is K2H-N3-79 and our GRE institution code is 3641.


English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

IELTS - 6.5 overall and 6.5 in the writing component

TOEFL - 92 and a writing score 21 

Pearson PTE Academic  - 65

Cambridge English Scale - 180

Cambridge English: Advanced - C

Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.



Home EU Student Fees

MSc Full-time - £12,500

Overseas Fees

MSc Full-time - £20,000

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.


To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. 

Visit the funding finder.

Bursaries may be available, however please be aware that funding will, in most cases, only be discussed once you have secured a firm offer of a place on the course. Please contact the Enquiries Office for further details.

The tuition fees for the MSc in Strategic Marketing course starting September 2016 are as follows:

UK/EU students

£12,500 GBP

International students

£20,000 GBP

You will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £1,000 on acceptance of your place. The reminder of the tuition fees are payable either before, or on the day of registration, which is the first day of orientation week.

Please also read these important notes about fees


Cranfield School of Management is awarding several half-fee scholarships for outstanding MSc in Strategic Marketing applicants.

To apply for a scholarship you will need to provide a one-page summary (no more than 500 words) detailing why you should be considered, together with your application.

Your one-page summary must be submitted to by the 1st of May 2016 (early scholarship applications are encouraged).

Bursaries and scholarships

We have a limited number of bursaries available for exceptional candidates, worth up to a maximum of £4,000. These are awarded at the course director's discretion and are based on merit as well as considerations of financial need. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please indicate so in in the financial details section of your application.

For more information on funding, you may find the following websites useful:

  1. British Council
  2. Prospects

Other funding options are listed here.

Application Process

To make your application you will need to register to use our online system. Once you have set up an account you will be able to create, save and amend your application form before submitting it to Cranfield.

We do not have a formal deadline for receiving applications, although to secure your place on the course and in on-campus accommodation, we advise that you apply as early as possible as places are limited.

Please include the following with your application:

  • Transcripts
  • Degree certificate
  • GMAT score if taken
  • Two references
  • English language test score if required

Once your online application has been submitted together with your supporting documentation, it will be processed by our admissions team within four to six weeks. You will then be advised by email if you are successful, unsuccessful, or whether the course director would like to interview you before a decision is made.

If you are successful, an offer letter will be emailed to you within two weeks. You will then have a further four weeks to confirm your place and pay your deposit of £1,000.

For more information email or call the Enquiries Office
+44 (0) 1234 758008

Career opportunities

During your course you will receive support and guidance to help you plan an effective strategy for your personal and professional development, whether you are looking to secure your first role in marketing, or wanting take your marketing career to the next level.

Services available to MSc in Strategic Marketing students include: interview skills workshops; career planning workshops; CV and cover letter workshops; searchable online CV service; job matching service; networking opportunities; on-campus company presentations; careers fair; sector events; individual career consultations.

The most recent graduates of the MSc in Strategic Marketing programme (2014-2015) have secured jobs with a diverse range of companies including Vodafone, TJX, Kerry, Christian Dior, Henkel, GE, Schlumberger, Ernst & Young, Estée Lauder, Coca Cola, Mars, Beiersdorf, KMPG Nunwood. 

Companies that have previously recruited our graduates into marketing roles include:

  • Barclaycard
  • Cable & Wireless
  • Diageo
  • Du Pont
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Google
  • Grand China Express Airlines
  • Heineken
  • Hilton Group
  • HSBC
  • Hyundai Motors
  • ICI
  • IKEA
  • Nestlé
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Sony Ericsson
  • Telefonica O2 Germany
  • T-Mobile
  • United Response
  • Zurich Financial Services

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