The Cranfield Strategic Marketing MSc is ranked 4th in the UK and 12th in the world by QS World University Rankings: Masters In Marketing 2019.

The Strategic Marketing MSc will give you the specialised skills and knowledge to become a successful marketing leader of the future. Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Market Research Society (MRS), you will gain an in-depth understanding of marketing, including marketing strategy, digital marketing, branding, communications, marketing consulting, CRM, key account management, market research, omnichannel marketing and big data marketing analytics.


  • Start date30 September 2019
  • Duration1 year
  • QualificationMSc
  • Study typeFull-time
  • CampusCranfield campus
Strategic Marketing MSc
An introduction to the Strategic Marketing MSc

Who is it for?

  • Recent graduates who want to boost their academic credentials and prepare for a first professional role in marketing.
  • Marketing professionals looking to enhance their knowledge and skills and progress their career.

Class profile 2018/19

Male 25% - Female 75%
Age Range:
20 - 40 years
Average Age:
25 years
Number of Nationalities: 14
Nationality: UK/EU: 17% - International: 83%
Class Size: 52

Term Dates

Orientation Week:
30 September 2019 – 4 October 2019
Term One:
7 October 2019 – 20 December 2019
Term Two:
13 January 2020 – 27 March 2020
Term Three:
14 April 2020 – 3 July 2020
Term Four:
6 July 2020 – 11 September 2020

Why this course?

More than just an academic institution, Cranfield School of Management’s world-class research, expertise and teaching result in practical management solutions that are transforming the world of business today. For 50 years, we have been working with leading companies across the globe, pursuing our mission to improve the practice of management.

Our Strategic Marketing MSc will provide you with a thorough grounding in the core disciplines of marketing and how to apply them. Programme highlights include:

  • Interactive teaching approach by leading international faculty, authors of best-selling marketing texts and of articles in Harvard Business Review or Sloan Management Review.
  • Designed with senior marketing practitioners to give you up-to-date knowledge and skills in strategic marketing. 
  • Practical skills are developed through your participation in a marketing consultancy project provided by an external business client, and through international marketing case studies.
  • Master classes with reputable industry partners provide insight into cutting-edge and innovative marketing techniques and practices.
  • 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 small class sizes and unrivalled access to lecturers and support staff.

As one of the top schools for postgraduate marketing education, we develop proactive marketing professionals who can put their practical skills straight to work in the marketplace.

Watch our student and faculty videos to find out more

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Dimitrios Sylligardakis

Working throughout the year in learning teams, developing my skills within a team, helping team mates, developing my management skills and spending time with my classmates on and off the course were all highlights of my time on the Strategic Marketing MSc. Additionally, another highlight for me were the masterclasses. We learnt from people working in industry, they gave us insights into their responsibilities and their working environments.

Dimitris Sylligardakis, Digital Marketing Executive, Whitezip, Strategic Marketing MSc alumnus, 2017

Informed by Industry

Our Strategic Marketing MSc faculty are experts in their field and have considerable industry experience. They work with the operating boards of many of the world's leading multinationals so bring the latest insights and best practice to their lectures.

Our faculty are supported by a team of international visiting industry speakers and professors who also bring the latest thinking and best practice into the classroom.

The leadership of the course is informed by a panel of high-profile marketing professionals, the Practice Advisory Board. Our Practice Advisory Board informs the design and development of the master's in marketing 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.

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.


The Strategic Marketing MSc is a Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Graduate Gateway accredited degree, enabling you to achieve CIM’s professional marketing qualifications and awards alongside your Cranfield degree.  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:

CIM logo

The Strategic Marketing MSc is also one of only a few master's degrees in the UK that is accredited by the Market Research Society (MRS). This means that while studying for your master's in marketing, you also have the opportunity to work towards achieving the MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice, and with appropriate work experience you will be eligible to join the Market Research Society after graduation. More information can be found at:

MRS logo

Course details

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. As well as studying a number of core modules, you will complete a marketing consultancy project carried out in teams and have the 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.

Consultancy 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 students have worked with include Google, Nike, Cobra Beer, InterContinental Hotels Group, Acer and Sainsbury’s.

Research 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).


Taught modules 60%, MSc thesis project 40%

School of Management Disclaimer

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the core modules and some optional modules affiliated with this programme which run in the academic year 2018–2019. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2019 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Marketing Strategy and Planning

Module Leader
  • Professor Hugh Wilson

    A crucial competence for marketers is marketing strategy: in simple terms, analysing how the target market divides into segments, which of these segments are key targets for the firm, what the firm’s value proposition to each segment is, and what financial results can be expected over a planning period of typically 1-3 years. This module teaches Cranfield’s world-leading step-by-step process for developing such a marketing strategy and documenting it in a marketing plan. This process has been developed with hundreds of blue-chip companies worldwide over the last 30 years, informed by several Cranfield PhDs on the topic which have studied what works in practice. It is documented in the world’s leading textbook on the topic, McDonald & Wilson’s Marketing Plans, which has sold over half a million copies. This book is used as the course text and you are strongly advised to buy your own copy, to help bridge from the course to planning for real in your subsequent management roles.

    Being able to define or refine a marketing strategy underpins all other aspects of marketing which help to make this strategy happen. For example, the firm’s brand or brands need to be aligned with the value proposition, as do marketing communications. To help you integrate learning across these different marketing disciplines, this module is assessed through an integrated assignment alongside branding and marketing communications modules



    The module covers:

    • Strategic marketing in context
    • 10 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
    • The Directional Policy Matrix
    • Marketing objectives and strategies
    • Product and pricing strategy.


Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Understand the evolution and role of marketing and be able to describe the characteristics of a customer-centric organization.
  2. Appreciate a series of marketing strategy tools and techniques and their application in practice.
  3. Recognise a successful marketing planning process and understand the construction and evaluation of a strategic marketing plan.
  4. Structure and prepare a comprehensive strategic marketing plan.
  5. Evaluate marketing plans prepared by others.


Big Data-Marketing Analytics

Module Leader
  • Professor Stan Maklan

    The module aims to demystify the topic and prepare you for a career in a marketing environment defined by ‘big’ data, artificial intelligence and advanced analytics. Rather than a strict focus on data science, the module balances developing an understanding of big data analytical techniques with how organizational leaders can make decisions using big data insight. Gartner has introduced the term “citizen data scientist” to describe that which we used to call a “power user” of computers, PowerPoint etc. i.e. competent practitioners that can engage in data discovery and know when they need professional help.



    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

On completion of this module you will be competent in the following:

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


Retailing and Omnichannel Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Radu Dimitriu

    Many goods and services are sold through retailers, and managing retail processes is essential for both retailers and manufacturers. The module highlights the important role which retail plays in contemporary economies and how it permeates our lives. It enables you to gain an understanding of how retailing is managed and strategically explores how retailers obtain competitive advantage. You will have strategic models and tools to analyse the retailing environment and demonstrates key retailing strategies which enable retailers to enhance their performance.


    Face-to-face retail is, however, only one of a number of marketing and distribution channels through which marketing, sales and service occurs. In today’s world, multiple channels may be combined in the same customer journey. So the module also covers how to develop an omnichannel strategy in both B2C and B2B contexts.


    Working for a retailer or within an organisation that sells a product or service through retailers is likely to be a first destination for many graduates of this programme. And irrespective of sector, channel management is critical to most senior marketing management posts. Therefore, this module provides vital skills for a marketing career.



    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 you should be able to:

  1. Understand and apply models for analysis of strategic and operational omnichannel retailing situations.
  2. 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.
  3. Appreciate and act on how customers combine channels in their omnichannel journey.
  4. Critically assess a retailer’s strategic choices of combining different retail channels, and select an appropriate strategy.
  5. Build a sound understanding of the competencies required for omnichannel CRM.
  6. Apply retail theories and models on omnichannel experience to evaluate a retailer’s current strategy and to make recommendations for future omnichannel strategy.


CRM and Customer Experience

Module Leader
  • Professor Stan Maklan

    The aim is for you to understand the role of CRM and CE in the overall business strategy as well as the marketing mix. In addition to content-based teaching, we provide experience of CRM applications, analytics, processes and their implementation and application of CRM and CE in realistic situations. As a result of this Module you will be confident in their ability to conceive and design a CRM and or CE programme.



    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 you should be able to:

  1. Understand CRM and CE – key concepts and relationship to the rest of the business activities of the firm.
  2. Develop a strategic approach to CRM and CE for their firms.
  3. Improve CRM and CE solutions within their firms.
  4. Work more effectively with IT in developing business architecture for CRM and CE, able to specify the desired customer outcomes of technology systems.
  5. Brief data analysts on the insight and decisions data analysis should support.


Marketing Consultancy Project

Module Leader
  • Professor Stan Maklan

    This is an integrative module allowing you to apply that which you have learnt to date in a practical manner. You will work in your learning teams and role-play a management consulting team competitively against the other learning teams. All teams will address the same brief: a genuine business opportunity for a particular company. You will have one week to understand the brief, gather the relevant data, use appropriate tools / frameworks and generate innovative, pragmatic and achievable recommendations. Your presentations will be judged by a panel that includes a company marketing executive dealing with the problem.

    • This is a simulation exercise based around participants providing consultancy to a company based on a real-live problem.
    • Therefore, module content is integrative, pulling together themes and techniques from other modules.


Intended learning outcomes

This module is intended to enable you to apply marketing theory in a real and complex situation. On successful completion of this module you should be able to: 

  1. Synthesise and summarise your learning over the whole programme to date in preparation for embarking upon your thesis.
  2. Determine what marketing theories, frameworks and perspectives are applicable to a real situation.
  3. Combine and deploy theories, frameworks and perspectives intelligently to a real situation.
  4. Understand the data requirements of each theory, framework and perspective used.
  5. Experience some of the difficulties in getting data that is consistent, coherent and up to date.
  6. Problem solving – creative thinking on a real marketing problem.
  7. Presentation of a complex situation in a very succinct and compelling manner.
  8. Working with colleagues in a competitive situation, under time pressure and with incomplete access to all the information, people and data you need.  Frankly – the real world of business!
  9. Management consulting skills – providing expert and credible advice, adding value to the decision making of an extremely knowledgeable and sophisticated client.


Digital Marketing


    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

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

The marketing and retail industry has been transformed in the last decade, with many examples of innovation driving the sector forward. The much awaited m-commerce and social media are now here, as are format innovations such as online community stores - what will they all mean to the suppliers, retailers and consumers?  The future is likely to be challenging - will consumers still use stores or prefer to shop using mobiles on virtual walls whilst they wait for trains, medical appointments and friends for social events? How will knowledge of how consumers behave and channels they use affect the type and amount of space, business requirement and the service levels expected?  These are just a few of many questions that will be raised and researched to ensure that you are fully conversant with the digital changes of today and tomorrow throughout this module.

Knowledge & Understanding:

  1. Broad view of digital commerce and it’s fragmented and modular nature.
  2. Knowledge of best practice in the key technologies and channels that make up digital commerce.
  3. Knowledge of effective strategy and planning factors for digital commerce.
  4. Knowledge of the importance and practicalities of putting measurement and analytics at the heart of digital commerce.


    Skills and Other Attributes:

  5. To critically discuss the practical use of digital insights tools for marketplace, customer and competitive analysis.
  6. To critically discuss  the best practice tactical delivery factors for digital marketing.

Accounting for Marketing Managers

Module Leader
  • Dr Simon Templar

    The aim of the module is to introduce a range of accounting tools and techniques that will enable ‘marketer’s to discover the ‘value’ of accounting information, and then enable them to exploit this new knowledge to enhance the ‘effectiveness’ of their decision-making. 

    The module introduces you to a range of accounting tools and techniques, which underpin the subject. Then builds on the knowledge and skills development by exploring five contemporary themes relating to marketing and accounting.


    • This begins with a discussion in session one concerning the relationship between marketing and accounting, which is followed by an introduction to the fundamentals of accounting, highlighting the role of accounting, and identifying the needs of the different users of financial information.
    • You will then follow the process of transforming raw accounting data into financial information that can be used to make and evaluate business decisions within an organisation. 
    • Understanding the key relationships between the financial statements (Income Statement and the Balance Sheet) contained in the report and accounts of a business, will give you an additional insight into the potential financial impact of any business decision you make. 
    • Later sessions will explore the importance of cash flow at an organisational level and also at a product level. 
    • You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts and principles of management accounting, then moving on to the presentation of a number of traditional and contemporary management accounting tools and techniques that can be used to assess profitability of projects (capital investment), products and customers.


      The lecturers will make use of a variety of teaching methods to deliver the content of the module to meet the learning objectives.


      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


    Application of knowledge, skills and experience


    The module is based on five themes and the style of the teaching and learning method employed being dependent on the content of the material to be delivered in each learning event. Enabling you to apply their knowledge, skills and experience to practical issues relating to:

    • Marketing and Shareholder Value
    • Competitor Analysis
    • Pricing Decisions
    • Customer Profitability Analysis
    • New Product Development


Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to: 

Knowledge & Understanding:

  1. Recognise the value of accounting information.
  2. Prepare a set of report and accounts from accounting data
  3. Interpret the financial and non-financial information in a set of published financial statements.
  4. Recognise the main uses and limitations of financial information.
  5. Apply a range of management accounting tools and techniques to derive information that can be used to make and evaluate management decisions.
  6. Assess project, product and customers’ profitability.

    Skills and Other Attributes:

  7. Apply both financial and management accounting information from a marketing perspective.
  8. Use financial data from company report and accounts and financial data bases to carry out a competitor analysis case study.
  9. Apply a range of management accounting tools and techniques to derive information that can be used to make and evaluate management decisions relating to product pricing decisions.
  10. Undertake a customer’ profitability analysis and identify areas for improvement.
  11. Apply accounting techniques to appraisal the development a new product.


Sales Management


    The sales function has an increasing strategic role in companies, due to the high concentration of distribution channels, a growing competitive environment, and the opportunities to obtain market information, among other trends. In fact, sales is considered not only a function, but also a process, where the internal coordination and alignment become crucial to achieve sustained sales performance.

    The purpose of this module is to provide you with concepts and tools that are critical for relationship selling and sales management. The focus of the module is on business-to-business (B2B) relationships with customers, and it should benefit executives who work in sales, either selling directly to customers or leading salespeople. It should also be valuable for those involved in general management, marketing, and other functional areas in the organisation.       


    The module covers:

    • The strategic role of sales
    • The usage of social media in sales
    • Understanding organisational buying behaviour
    • Developing value propositions and solution selling
    • Sales organisation: channels, structure, size of sales force
    • Sales performance
    • Developing salespeople: selection, training, retention, motivating, compensation
    • Sales forecasting
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Propose metrics for sales performance in the B2B context.
  2. Develop strong value propositions to customers.
  3. Recommend alternative forms of sales organization, depending on the nature of the business and the complexity of the selling process.
  4. Assess the sales force’s selection, training, motivation, and compensation.
  5. Evaluate the benefits and challenges of different sales forecasting methods.
  6. Apply the concepts and tools covered in the module to the sales strategy of a specific company.
  7. Summarize academic literature on sales and integrate it into a company’s plan.

B2B Customer and Key Account Management


    It is evident to most organisations that customers represent a true “asset” in that they have the potential to generate revenues and other benefits to the supplier company. Customers represent one of the main stakeholders of a company, in addition to the owners, the employees, the suppliers, and the society as a whole. A good understanding of customers is therefore vital. Moreover, business-to-business (B2B) buyer-supplier relationships have been found to be an important source of differentiation and competitive advantage if supplier companies are able to engage in those relationships properly.

    The purpose of this module is to provide you with concepts and tools that are critical for B2B customer management. It should benefit executives who are involved in buyer-supplier interactions and relationships, and those involved in general management, marketing, and other functional areas in the organisation.


    The module covers:

    • B2B customer metrics (e.g., profitability, lifetime value, satisfaction, loyalty)
    • Buyer-supplier relationships
    • B2B segmentation
    • Key account management: types of relationships and key account selection
    • Key account management: resources and capabilities, managerial processes
    • Principles of persuasion
    • Preparing and running a negotiation
    • Cross-cultural negotiations 
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to: 

  1. Propose customer metrics in the B2B context.
  2. Identify key factors that affect the quality of buyer-supplier relationships.
  3. Recommend alternative customer segmentation schemes for resource allocation.
  4. Select and analyze a supplier’s key accounts, in line with the company’s strategy.
  5. Assess the suitability of a key account management program.
  6. Apply the concepts and tools on persuasion and negotiation to specific sales contexts.
  7. Apply the concepts and tools covered in the module to the sales strategy of a specific company.
  8. Summarize academic literature on sales and integrate it into a company’s plan.

Marketing Communications


    The aim of the module is to enable you to understand and critically apply the various aspects of marketing communications from initial analysis of the market through to the development of strategies incorporating an expanding range of communications techniques. As a result they will be able to write their own marketing communication plans and critically debate contemporary issues in marketing communications. The subjects covered are communications theory, communication campaign deconstruction and critical evaluation, marketing communications planning, implementation and evaluation, and coordination, integration and orchestration of the marketing communications mix with particular reference to advertising, publicity and digital media (i.e. paid, earned and owned media). The module incorporates an industrial visit and/or an industry guest speaker.



    This module covers 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 you should be able to: 

  1. Know how to integrate and coordinate the marketing communications planning activities of an organisation.
  2. Be able to suggest approaches to evaluating marketing communications activity and their relative merits.
  3. Critically assess topical issues in marketing communications and be able to present and defend a particular view.
  4. Be able to apply knowledge of marketing communications by justifying and developing an integrated communications plan as part of an overall strategic marketing plan.
  5. Prepare and debate an evidence-based argument on a current topic in marketing practice.


Managing Brands


    In many businesses, from consumer goods to industrial services, the primary assets are increasingly intangible. First amongst these is the brand, whether this consists of a portfolio of branded businesses or the corporate brand itself. In both instances, the brand asset needs to be managed to build customer loyalty and resourced so that the competitive advantage it generates can be sustained. Similarly, one way the equity that lies in the brand can be leveraged is by appropriately extending the brand. Managing the brand, therefore, requires insights into customer buying behaviours, brand preferences and repeat purchasing patterns. It also requires a clear understanding of the levers of successful brand strategies and the tenets of managing brands in the new digital world. The course covers each of these aspects, and brand management and consumer behaviour are discussed both in a national and international context.   


    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 you should 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.          


Research, Insight and Statistics

Module Leader
  • Ian Crawford

    This module aims to provide you with an understanding of how to design and conduct academic and practitioner-oriented marketing research.  The module is therefore divided into 2 components. In the first component, how market(ing) research is used as the principal source of company insight is explained, as is the link to marketing decision-making. Particular emphasis is given to how to design research projects. This module will equip participants to write their own market research briefs and proposals. It will also provide participants with an understanding of the core data gathering instruments used in market(ing) research, whether this is academic or practitioner oriented research.  

    In the second component, you are given grounding into how to plan and conduct an MSc thesis project to a high standard. You will learn about planning and organising their thesis writing process, as well as about conducting a systematic literature review, developing the research design, selecting the research methods that best fit the research aims and context, analysing competently both qualitative and quantitative data, and effectively using SPSS (statistical analysis software) and NVivo (qualitative analysis software); both of which are covered in 2x2 day practical software training courses. The module builds essential and practical skills for a future managerial role in marketing research and insight: a manager who understands research design, methods and analysis is better equipped to design research briefs, evaluate research proposals, commission the best research supplier and achieve a superior understanding of the results of the data analysis/ research results.



    The module is split into two components. One half of the course covers market(ing) research and insight generation in a practitioner setting and the other half of the module covers the undertaking of research in an academic setting.


    Market research and insight component:

    • Introduction to Market and Social Research and Customer Insight
    • Developing a Research Project / Proposal
    • The Role of Secondary Data
    • Questionnaire Design
    • Sampling for Quantitative and Qualitative Research Projects
    • Designing Focus Groups and Depth Interviews
    • Ethics and Legislation in Research
    • Real-time Market Research, Big Data Analytics and using Social Media in Marketing Research
    • Mining User-generated Content for Marketing Insights
    • The Market Research Game and Competition


    Academic research component:


    1. The requirements for the successful completion of a MSc dissertation.
    2. The philosophy of research and setting research questions/hypotheses.
    3. Planning and designing the academic thesis fieldwork/systematic review.
    4. Analysing qualitative data using NVivo.
    5. Analysing quantitative data using SPSS including an introduction to correlation and regression, significance testing: tests of association and difference, analysis of variance, logistic regression analysis, and cluster analysis.
    6. Writing up the academic thesis.


Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Define and evaluate research objectives for both for both gaining scholarly insights, and applied decision-making in a marketing context Apply appropriate research solutions to identified problems, based on a clear understanding of a range of research approaches and techniques.
  2. Critically assess and select appropriate techniques for the collection of the data necessary to build appropriate insight and inform effective marketing decision-making.
  3. Apply the systematic review process to evaluating academic literature.
  4. Be equipped to conduct qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis using two industry-standard software tools i.e. SPSS and NVivo.
  5. Apply all the learning from the above in order to complete an academic thesis.


Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2019 to 2020 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (24 July 2018).

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

MSc Full-time £13,000

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • For self funded students a non-refundable £1,000 deposit is payable on offer acceptances and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee. 
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • 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.

MSc Full-time £23,500

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • For self funded students a non-refundable £1,000 deposit is payable on offer acceptances and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee. 
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • 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.

Funding Opportunities

Cranfield UK/EU Scholarships

We have a number of Cranfield Scholarships available for UK/EU candidates. These consist of up to £4,000 towards the tuition fee, 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 scholarship, please indicate so in in the financial details section of your application. Also, please be ready to justify why you should be considered for a Cranfield scholarship when you have the admission interview.

Additional scholarships and bursaries

A range of scholarships and funding opportunities are available to applicants from a variety of regions and countries. To help students find and secure appropriate funding we have collated details of a range of scholarships and bursaries available which contribute towards fees and/or living costs for graduates applying for full-time Masters courses in business and management.

Find out more

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from talented candidates of all backgrounds and each application is considered on its individual merit. Usually candidates must hold either a:

  • first or a second class UK honours degree in a relevant discipline, or
  • international degree - equivalent of UK qualifications

Candidates who do not meet these criteria may be considered if they have a professional qualification (e.g. CIM) together with 5 years' post-qualification relevant work experience. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements.

If you are currently studying at a Chinese university, please view our specific entry requirements for further study at Cranfield School of Management.

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. Our minimum requirements 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

Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English III - pass

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.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

Your career

95% of School of Management students were employed within 3 months of graduation*.

The Cranfield Career Development Service offers a comprehensive service to help you develop a set of career management skills that will remain with you throughout your career.

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 management role, or wanting take your career to the next level.

Cranfield Strategic Marketing MSc graduates 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 and Microsoft. Their roles have included Customer Insight Consultant, Junior Manager, Buying and Merchandising Graduate Programme trainee, Marketing Manager and Associate Consultant.

*based on those students for whom we hold data, across all School of Management full-time master's courses (2015/16 cohort).

How to apply

Our students do not always fit traditional academic or career paths. We consider this to be a positive aspect of diversity, not a hurdle. We are looking for a body of professional learners who have a wide range of experiences to share. If you are unsure of your suitability for our Strategic Marketing MSc programme we are happy to review your details and give you feedback before you make a formal application.

To apply 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.

Application deadlines

There is a high demand for places on our courses and we recommend you submit your application as early as possible. The following application deadlines apply for entry to the course in September 2019.

  • Applicants domiciled in mainland China must submit their applications by 30 April 2019
  • Applicants from all other international students requiring a visa to study in the UK must submit their application by 30 June 2019
  • There is no application deadline for Home/EU applicants, but places are limited so we recommend you submit your application as early as possible

Once your online application has been submitted together with your supporting documentation, it will be processed by our admissions team. 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. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.