This part-time programme meets the requirements of the Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard. Eligible organisations can:

  • Use £14,000 of their Apprenticeship Levy to cover Part 1 of the tuition fee (The Senior Leader Apprenticeship).
  • Progression to the Marketing and Leadership MSc Part 2 can be funded by the employer or employee.
  • Learn more about our Master’s-level Apprenticeships.

Our Marketing and Leadership MSc programme has been developed in partnership with CIM Academy, the only Accredited Study Centre owned and run by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The programme has been designed to meet the needs of the modern senior marketer.

This practical master’s course enhances your strategic marketing knowledge and ability to lead change in order to meet constantly evolving customer needs and requirements. You will gain leading-edge insights into marketing and leadership that can then be applied directly within your organisation, and all students benefit from CIM membership for the duration of the course.

You will gain an understanding of both general management functions, including strategy, finance, leadership and organisational behaviour and change management. You will also learn specialist and advanced subjects related to strategic marketing, including strategic marketing planning, customer management, digital marketing, communications, and consumer behaviour.

Our Marketing and Leadership MSc is informed by Cranfield’s Strategic Marketing MSc – a top-ranked marketing MSc, 5th in the UK and 15th in the world by QS World University Rankings: Masters in Marketing 2022 – and Management MSc – ranked 5th in the UK and 36th in the world in The Economist Which MBA? Masters in Management (MiM) 2021 ranking.

This page is dedicated to students seeking the Marketing and Leadership MSc independent of Apprenticeship Levy funding. If you are looking for more information on our Apprenticeship Levy part-funded routes, please view here.


  • Start dateApril 2025
  • Duration26 months part-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules (65%) are assessed by a combination of written assessments that relate to a wide-range of marketing and leadership themes, projects, presentations and the occasional exam. The independent work-based project, or relevant research topic of interest (35%) is assessed as part of your coursework.
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus, CIM Moor Hall

Who is it for?

  • Experienced marketing professionals who are seeking, or required, to take on leadership roles involving the development of market strategy, managing customer relationships and contributing to business growth.
  • Early-career professionals who want a "real-world" business education which they can apply directly back to their workplace.
  • Second career professionals seeking a change into marketing and leadership positions.
  • Self-motivated marketing managers keen to develop themselves, enhance their skills, knowledge and abilities, and become more effective leaders.

Why this course?

  • Cranfield School of Management consistently performs well in international business rankings. We are ranked 8th in the UK and 37th in Europe in the Financial Times European Business School 2023 Rankings.
  • Our teaching is exclusively focused on postgraduate and executive levels and is designed to nurture your practical business skills and confidence.
  • Our Centre for Strategic Marketing and Sales possess a worldwide reputation for applied marketing research, particularly focusing on: marketing strategy and planning, strategic sales, key account management, customer relationships and digital transformation.
  • You will have a distinctive and collaborative learning experience which is centred on interactive classroom sessions delivered by faculty directly involved with global businesses.
  • You will study with a cohort of experienced professionals, build your network and gain insights into marketing and management best practice.
  • You will gain knowledge of the latest marketing trends and develop general management skills, to enable you to lead change in your organisation and help you rise to the top of your marketing department.
  • You will generate self-awareness and confidence to lead teams drawn from a diverse variety of cultures, business experiences and personalities.
  • You will automatically become a CIM member and start your route to becoming a Chartered Marketer.
  • Successful students will leave the course with the MSc in Marketing and Leadership and a Level 7, CIM Marketing Leadership Programme.

Informed by industry

An external advisory panel informs the design and development of this course, and comprises senior marketing practitioners, reinforcing its relevance to the modern business world. Many of our faculty have held senior positions in industry and continue to engage with industry through consultancy and teaching. They are also supported by a team of international industry speakers and professors who bring the latest thinking and best practice into the classroom.

It’s been really valuable exploring and fully debating views with the lecturers and my peers. The course group is from different backgrounds, roles and industries and we have all formed a solid bond.

The experienced lecturers are very engaging and encourage involvement, interaction and debate which benefits my learning style.

I like all of the modules – I have particularly enjoyed the Leadership module; and I have really enjoyed the value propositions, growth and innovation, as well as the customer relationships modules.

There is something relevant and useful in each of them. The lecturers are fantastic, and it’s such a unique experience, at whatever stage in your career you find yourself.

* These are the views of the individual, not endorsed by the company they work for.

Cranfield was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The support, guidance, and empowerment I have received has been exemplary and how every educational institution should make a student feel.

Course details

The course covers core subjects in a series of 11 modules. These are delivered in seven one-week residential sessions over 15 months. Alongside the residential weeks, 20% of the course is delivered through a mix of online and face-to-face learning. The course is highly interactive and student-centred with large elements of teamwork, group projects and private study. The independent work-based project or thesis commences in the latter part of the second year. You will tackle live company challenges or select a relevant thesis topic, with the support of academic experts and company-based professionals.

To summarise, the structure comprises:

Months 1-15: 11 compulsory modules.
Months 16-26: Marketing and Leadership thesis research methods preparation and work-based-project or thesis.

Marketing and Leadership module schedule

Course delivery

Taught modules (65%) are assessed by a combination of written assessments that relate to a wide-range of marketing and leadership themes, projects, presentations and the occasional exam. The independent work-based project, or relevant research topic of interest (35%) is assessed as part of your coursework.

Independent work-based project

Your independent work based project commences in the second half of the second year. You will tackle live company challenges, or develop a relevant research question, and with the support of academic experts, and company-based professionals, develop a reflective report.

Awards on completion

On successful completion of the course you will be awarded:

  • Marketing and Leadership MSc
  • CIM Marketing Leadership Programme (Level 7)

Course modules

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

Understanding Markets and Competitors

Module Leader
  • Dr Annmarie Hanlon

    This module aims to develop students’ ability to evaluate ‘markets’ and ‘competition’ as two of the main foci for marketing managers. These concepts are essential when developing and implementing marketing strategy.


    The syllabus includes:

    • Appraisal of the marketing environment (including stakeholders such as suppliers, competitors and partners).
    • Assessment of major trends, innovations and risks in the environment that affect marketing strategy (including political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, digital, legal, ethical, environmental and sustainability).
    • Evaluation of competitive strategy and organisational mission.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Scan and appraise the market structure and the organisation’s competitive position.
  2. Evaluate how markets and competition affect an organisation’s ability to develop and deliver marketing strategy.
  3. Discuss the outcomes from a series of analytical frameworks, tools and techniques to inform decision-makers.
  4. Demonstrate appropriate data gathering and research approaches to help obtain appropriate market and competitor data.

Understanding Customers

Module Leader
  • Dr Dennis Esch

    Customer analysis and insight have become very important domains in the marketing domain. Understanding these areas allows senior managers to develop innovative marketing strategy based on real customer insights that emerge through strong analysis. Customer insight, however, can only ever be as good as the data on which it is based. A solid understanding of appropriate research methodologies to generate and collect these data is therefore essential.


    The syllabus includes:

    • Shaping perceptions, attitudes and intentions
    • Understanding the customer environment
    • Affecting behaviour
    • Decision-making and choice architecture
    • Utilising heuristics & biases
    • Analysing changing customer needs and demands
    • Segmenting markets
    • Generating customer insight

    These areas provide a well-rounded picture of consumer psychology which can be used for good and bad. One must therefore consider the ethical implications of such knowledge and its implementation.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Critically analyse the behaviour of potential customers in B2B and B2C settings,
  2. Assess how marketing stimuli can affect customer affect, cognition and behaviour across settings,
  3. Recommend and apply appropriate bases of segmentation to consumer and industrial markets in light of changing customer demands.

Growth and Innovation

Module Leader
  • Professor Vasilis Theoharakis

    Growth and innovation are essential to marketing strategy development and implementation. This module encourages students to critically evaluate growth and innovation options available to the organisation by taking an entrepreneurial perspective and recommending appropriate courses of action to senior managers.


    The syllabus includes:

    • Understanding marketing strategy and business models
    • Unpacking marketing strategic growth options
    • Conducting a marketing capabilities gap analysis
    • Applying innovation and growth strategies to marketing problems.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Formulate and evaluate an organisation’s marketing growth strategy in terms of its contribution to the organisation’s vision, culture and values, including the development and evaluation of its business model, the exploration and exploitation of domestic and international markets, the development of new products while being aware of the implications of disruptive technologies;
  2. Conduct gap analyses to understand the differences between current marketing capabilities and required marketing capabilities;
  3. Judge the appropriateness of a range of growth and innovation techniques to develop innovative, financially attractive, new products and marketing initiatives for an entrepreneurial and agile organisation.

Value Propositions

Module Leader
  • Dr Dennis Esch

    Value propositions are the core offering the organisation makes to the market for sale. This module aims to develop students’ ability to develop brands and use the marketing mix to plan for marketing initiatives.


    The syllabus includes:

    • Defining value propositions
    • Understanding targeting and positioning
    • Developing value adding brands
    • Devising and implementing a branding strategy
    • Designing the marketing mix.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Make decisions on which segments are most attractive and suitable to target,
  2. Develop a positioning for a product, service or organisation,
  3. Formulate a value proposition and implement it through the marketing mix.

Customer Relationships and Delivery Channels

Module Leader
  • Professor Javier Marcos Cuevas

    This module introduces students to customer relationships as an area of essential importance.


    The syllabus includes:

    • Defining customer relationships and relationship marketing
    • Marketing channels
    • Customer fulfilment approaches
    • Customer portfolio management
    • Key Account Management
    • Value co-creation.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate customer relationship management (CRM), customer portfolio design (including the identification of key accounts) and value co-creation efforts in case organisations and make recommendations as to how and when to apply each concept as part of the organisation’s marketing strategy;
  2. Evaluate the appropriateness of marketing channels (physical and digital) and customer fulfilment approaches in terms of developing an engaging customer experience.

Marketing Communications

Module Leader
  • Dr Marwa Tourky

    Marketing Communications are an essential component of an organisation’s marketing efforts, and they are often the most visible components of marketing. An ability to apply appropriate marketing communications approaches is crucial to marketing managers’ vocations and an area in which they need to demonstrate leadership.


    The syllabus contains:

    • An introduction to communications theory and marketing communications decision making process,
    • Integrated marketing communication;
    • The promotional mix available for organisations to achieve different marketing; communications outcomes;
    • Crisis communications;
    • Ethics of marketing communications
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a systematic and comprehensive understanding, interpretation and application of the theory and practice of marketing communications in contemporary commercial, non-commercial and consumer markets;
  2. Critically evaluate the key communications challenges facing organisations, appraise marketing communications planning options, and propose customer focused solutions;
  3. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the validity of a variety of consumer-based models relating to the development of effective promotional activities and the use of persuasion tools in different scenarios;
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of various communications tools and appraise marketing communications mediums and creative executions;
  5. Examine the nature and context of crisis management and critically evaluate the role of public relations in crisis planning.

Accounting and Finance


    The aim of the Accounting and Finance module is to introduce a number of traditional and contemporary accounting approaches that will increase the visibility of financial information and support management decision making.

    • Interpretation of financial statements;
    • Exploring the relationship between accounting information, management decision making, financial strategies, and financial performance;
    • Applying traditional and contemporary accounting tools and techniques, which can be applied to support business management decisions;
    • Exploring the many cost trade-offs between business processes (Make v Buy).

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Judge the effect of decisions, transactions and events on financial performance;
  2. Create simple sets of accounts from basic information.
  3. Understand the main variables affecting working capital management;
  4. Interpret financial statements to support decision making, planning and control;
  5. Apply an appropriate costing approaches to solve a range of business issues;
  6. Apply a number of financial tools and techniques to appraise alternative capital investment opportunities;
  7. Use financial information to make informed management decisions

Evaluating Marketing Effectiveness

Module Leader
  • Professor Vasilis Theoharakis

    Assessing the viability of marketing initiatives from multiple perspectives is crucial to successful marketing leadership. This module equips students with a series of different approaches that account for the financial and ethical outcomes of marketing initiatives as well as considering their diversity, equity and inclusivity implications.


    The syllabus includes:

    • Defining marketing performance
    • Understanding and applying strategic marketing planning and metrics
    • Critically evaluating marketing options for delivering high performance strategies including sustainability outcomes
    • Understanding of marketing ethics and the implications of marketing initiatives on stakeholders and society.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Recommend an appropriate and relevant marketing plan which sets strategic direction and includes measurable key performance indicators and demonstrates a holistic understanding of the impact of marketing strategy on stakeholders and sustainability;
  2. Judge the appropriateness and relevance of strategic marketing options through the evaluation of marketing performance measures, allocation of resources and use of financial data.

People Management and Leadership


    This module is concerned with managing the organisation’s key resource – the people who work for it. It aims to help learners understand how effective people management can contribute to develop and sustain organisations. The module aims to develop an insight into the complexities of managing people in a changing environment. The focus of the module is to help learners understand the relationship between people management and organisational performance, including managerial roles and responsibilities, especially the crucial role of line managers.

    The module will provide an introduction to the main activities associated with resourcing, developing and day–to-day management of people in organisations. It is not the intention of the module to develop human resource management specialist, but rather to provide a general introduction to the people management issues that concern all managers.

    The module will draw on key academic contributions in the broad field of people management, including current research being carried out by faculty in the School of Management. Throughout the module, sessions will be highly interactive in order to develop critical insight and core skills in the people management field.

    • Strategic People Management
    • The Changing World of Work
    • Talent Sourcing
    • Talent Development and Succession Planning
    • Managing Performance
    • Rewards and Remuneration
    • Employment Relations
    • Employment Law
    • Building a People Strategy
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate the contribution people resources make to developing and sustaining organisations.
  2. Have a critical appreciation of the role, responsibility and scope of people management activities.
  3. Apply and evaluate a complex range of established models and factors which influence choices made in people management.
  4. Undertake critical analyses of a range of people management issues and be able to make considered, informed proposals to address them.
  5. Design people management strategies and critically explore their relationship with business strategies.

Organisational Behaviour for Leaders

Module Leader
  • Dr Chia-Yu Kou-Barrett

    Introduction: success in management, particularly at senior levels in organisations, depends on understanding organisations, the people in them and the relationship between the internal and external environments within which they exist; and in ensuring that they work effectively. 

    Organisations are run by and for people, and the success or failure of an organisation depends on the people in that organisation.  It is rarely an absence of planning that causes organisational difficulties; it is often the failure of management in understanding and managing complex personal, interpersonal and organisational systems that can lead to significant problems.

    Similarly, an acute and critical understanding of these dynamics can lead to profound and enduring success and benefit for the individual, the team, the organisation and, indeed, wider society.

    In this module students will be introduced to various aspects of people and organisations.  This module combines models, theories and ideas from organisational behaviour, psychology, sociology and international human resource management, in order to provide students with an understanding in recognising, understanding and utilising what has been termed the "human factor" in organisations; including ways of conceptualising organisations and how people behave within them.  We shall consider the impact of the external environment; and begin to address notions of organisational change.

    Uniquely this module will also focus on application and will allow students to reflect on and apply theories and techniques in their own real-world context, utilising a structured journal approach in order to enhance their own Leadership behaviours.

    It may also be that students will wish to undertake an in-company project in this area; several of the faculty involved will be pleased to discuss this with you.

    • Individuals in the organisation (covering topics such as learning, personality, perception, motivation, psychological capital and emotional intelligence).
    • Groups and teams in the organisation.
    • Management processes (including organisational change, leadership, organisational politics, and cross-cultural management).
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Differentiate ways of conceptualising people in organisations, for example using culture, ethics, well-being, diversity, organisational politics, and management frameworks.
  2. Assess and evaluate the importance of relationships at work, group dynamics, effective teams and leadership in achieving effectiveness.
  3. Critically engage with relevant models, theories and ideas in order to enhance personal capability linked to their personal and professional development agenda.
  4. Appraise how they have increased their personal influence and their capability to lead with impact.

Leading Change


    A key aspect of a senior marketer’s role is leading and managing change within an organisation. This module will enable you to meet the challenges of change by providing a platform for supporting future responses through harnessing organisational potential and sustainable innovation. In addition, you will develop an understanding of how the organisation’s assets can be managed to build and sustain a clear market position to guide, support and implement market-led change within an organisation.


    The syllabus contains:

    • Identification of the organisation’s internal and external stakeholders and evaluation of stakeholder value.
    • The role of data (e.g. big data, analytics, user generated content) in facilitating change.
    • Creating a change culture and strategies for overcoming resistance while demonstrating a risk-based approach for potential reputation damage.
    • Implementing change by shaping a market-oriented culture and appraise the internal and external catalysts for organisational change.
    • Strategic plan implementation in support of organisational change.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Build the case for change by developing a critical understanding of how to harness organisational potential to generate and sustain value for all stakeholders and by using insight to develop sustainable innovation.
  2. Create a change culture by appraising the role of brand equity and corporate reputation in directing and sustaining change and by demonstrating how a customer-facing organisational structure and culture can support strategies.
  3. Implement change by recommending the use of contemporary practice in effectively leading, managing and influencing others to deliver organisational change and by appraising the process and environment required to implement, review and reflect on the effectiveness of organisational change.

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. As a result, they 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 detailed the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Teaching team

Our faculty are passionately committed to improving the practice of marketing and leadership. As leaders in their field with hands-on business experience, they understand the challenges of putting theory into practice. Their experience is reinforced by close links with organisations through consultancy projects, teaching on master’s programmes, executive development programmes as well as sponsored research. Faculty are frequently sought for commentary in the media on marketing matters and as speakers at international, academic and industry conferences. This ensures that what you learn at Cranfield is always current and cutting edge. In addition to the above, faculty command various research interests including branding and marketing communications, complex buyer-seller relationships and retail marketing. They are also developing international thought leadership profiles in their particular fields. The Course Director for this course is Dr Annmarie Hanlon.


Cranfield School of Management is one of an elite group of business schools worldwide to hold triple accreditations from Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Association of Master of Business Administration (AMBA) and European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

AACSB Accredited AMBA EQUIS Accredited

Your career

Our Marketing and Leadership MSc will enable you to develop your knowledge, skills and abilities while applying what you learn directly in your workplace. The programme will support your career progression, preparing you to successfully carry out senior leadership roles in the future.

You will work with accredited coaches, members of faculty and careers advisors throughout the course enabling you to:

  • Discover and develop your leadership and team-working style
  • Identify how to enhance your personal effectiveness
  • Work out where you want to go professionally
  • Learn the techniques of effective team leadership
  • Become more sensitive to situations, cultures and contexts
  • Prepare to lead change and face future challenges.
  • Start your route to becoming a Chartered Marketer.

Our Career services team offer: individual career consultations, speaker events, alumni networking, networking workshop, personal and executive career coaching, leadership assessment centre, and more practical skills-based workshops on writing CVs and cover letters, and interview skills.

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 Marketing and Leadership MSc, we are happy to review your details and give you feedback before you make a formal application. You can also contact Dr Annmarie Hanlon, Course Director, for more information about the course and your 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.

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.

Read our Application Guide for a step-by-step explanation of the application process from pre-application through to joining us at Cranfield.

Apprenticeship route

Applications for the apprenticeship route – Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Marketing and Leadership – have to come via the Expression of Interest form.  Apprenticeship applications received via the application button on this page will not be processed.

Self-funded route

Application deadline: TBC