Plymouth Business School

MSc Brand and Design Management

As consumers become more sophisticated and the choice of products even greater, the need to differentiate through strategic brand and design management has become increasingly important. With this programme you’ll explore the value of brand and design management in an era of increasingly saturated markets. As well as developing brand-related theoretical understanding and practical focus, you’ll have the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial, leadership, research and communications skills.

Key features

  • Receive one-to-one mentoring from an experienced brand professional currently working with a locally, nationally or internationally recognised organisation. Take advantage of their expertise to develop your practical skills and understanding of the industry, and access the insider information to help you prepare to enter the workplace.
  • Build the breadth of knowledge that allows you to succeed by developing a practical and theoretical understanding of all aspects of brand and design management, including: consumer psychology; managing creative people; trademark, copyright and branding law; entrepreneurship; leadership and product policy and portfolio management.
  • Explore the wider context of brands in today’s society and how they are affected by and influenced by political and cultural trends.  You will develop the “big picture” thinking help you stand out of the crowd.
  • Benefit from access to a dedicated seminar series delivered by executives from organisations within the industry and branding, advertising and design agencies.
  • Build the practical skills with a programme focused upon hands-on learning, delivered by staff that are active researchers within the subjects they teach.
  • Supplement your academic studies with field trips to visit organisations that have developed or have been instrumental in developing unique, innovative or powerful brands, giving you access to unique insights into the industry.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • ENT705SU Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth

      This module will develop a critical understanding of the methods of analysing growth strategies for the small business sector to determine the optimum way business ideas and projects can be taken to a higher level of growth, and in that way make a more substantial contribution to socio-economic growth in their regions

    • HRL710A Leadership and Management Essentials

      This module will provide learners with a rigorous framework of knowledge, skills and understanding concerning leadership and management that they will need whatever the degree of specialisation they later elect to follow.

    • LAW711 Trademark, Copyright and Design Law

      The law relating to trade marks, copyright and designs provides a range of mechanisms whereby brand owners can protect their assets. The module introduces students of brand and design management to this area of law, analyses the legal mechanisms available to protect brands, and critically evaluates the strategies used by brand owners to secure and enforce their legal rights.

    • MKT707 Product Policy and Portfolio Management

      As markets become more global, consumer preferences change, and new technologies disrupt industries, organizations need to develop new products and services to survive. However, new product development is risky and many new products and services fail. This module introduces students of brand and design management to key elements of the new product development and marketing process in the broader context of the organization and its long-term performance in a competitive environment. It focuses on the managerial decisions and actions that affect new product success and how organizations can manage risk and interdependence between projects.

    • MKT709 Strategic Brand Management

      The brands organisations own are amongst their most valuable assets. This module outlines strategies marketers can employ to build, manage and measure brand equity. The key themes of customer-based brand equity, brand positioning, managing brand elements, using integrated marketing communications to build brand equity; secondary brand associations; brand measurement, brand architecture and hierarchy, new product branding and brand extensions are introduced and critically appraised through reference to contemporary journal articles.

    • MKT710 Brands, Culture and Society

      Examine current themes and issues in branding in relation to wider social, cultural and political contexts. This includes a particular focus on brand values and organisational culture. Through a variety of case studies, drawn particularly from the literature on branding place and nature, we discuss the challenges and opportunities that are associated with transmedia marketing and celebrity culture. This touches on key debates concerning identity and consumption, and the power of online and offline media to influence behaviour.

    • MKT711 Brands and the Value of Design

      This module undertakes to provide students with the necessary knowledge required to empathise, as well as work with designers/creatives that have brand creation, innovation and 'newness' as central to their profession. In particular, it brings into focus key issues surrounding the complex and critical issues of brand creation and innovation through brand engagement, and debates how to integrate business objectives and market evaluation with a brand designer's intuitive practice.

    • MKT712 Consumer Psychology and Brand Behaviour

      This module provides theoretical and practical insights into the psychology of consumers with specific relevance to brand behaviour in business contexts. It identifies how understanding consumer psychology impacts on branding, marketing and management decisions.

    • MKT717 Research Methods for Decision Making

      This module focuses on the application of common approaches to researching brands, markets and customers. It will introduce you to the research approaches utilised by professionals in the brand value management field to gather evidence to help inform decision making on market position of a brand and the relationship and understanding of the brand to the consumer. The module emphases the importance of collecting and analysing, appropriate, accurate and relevant information to support these decision-making processes. There is an emphasis on acquiring practical research skills throughout the module that can be transferred to a variety of research settings.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Brand and Design Management programme specification 5345

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

BA/BSc Degree

Normal minimum entry requirements are a Lower Second/2:2 class honours degree in a relevant subject e.g. business and management, graphic design, psychology or sociology.


Candidates who do not possess a first degree or who have been awarded a third class honours or pass degree may be considered for the programme on the basis of previous work experience or relevant training. Candidates will be interviewed by the programme manager, and if appropriate may be required to complete an assessment to demonstrate they have the necessary knowledge and skills to allow entry. 

Candidates will need to complete all modules on the programme, and therefore APEL will not be considered for any modules on the MSc Brand and Design Management degree itself.

Language requirements

Candidates will be required to be competent in English. Candidates whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent in a secure English language test. If the candidate’s English language does not meet the above standard, they will be given the opportunity to complete one of the University’s pre-sessional English language courses.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU To be confirmed To be confirmed
International To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September, with some January starts also available. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Marketing and branding with University of Plymouth

This masters suite will show you the increasing importance of innovation and how it holds the key to sustainable business growth. You will be at the forefront of modern practices, and it will equip you with an advanced knowledge of marketing strategy and planning as well as many transferable skills to kickstart your career in business.

Amber Gardiner – MSc Brand and Design Management graduate profile

The lecturing staff on this course are outstanding and possess real industry experience in which they draw upon within their teaching methods which really enriched my learning experience.

Pascale Ghali – MSc Brand and Design Management graduate profile

The university is set in the heart of the city that has many different shops, attractions and waterfront views…I met some amazing people and become friends with a range of very talented and passionate colleagues.

Meet the Programme Lead

“John is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. He is engaging and personal in his tutoring. He goes above and beyond our expectations of a university tutor.”

Ryan Jones – MSc Brand and Design Management graduate 

“John White is an outstanding postgraduate programme leader and an outstanding personal tutor. He has been keen to ensure that every student in the MSc Brand and Design Management programme has been taken care of and are well introduced to the course. He is invested in every student and has definitely been a contributing factor in his students love for this programme.”

Mille Merrild – MSc Brand and Design Management graduate

John White, Programme Lead, was nominated for a SSTAR (Student Staff Teaching And Representation) Award by his students reflecting his outstanding teaching and support; here are some quotes from his nominations.

Find out more about John White


Master Your Future – Faculty of Business Professoriate Scholarships

The Faculty of Business Professoriate Scholarships of £1,000 are awarded to selected students undertaking postgraduate study each year.

The opportunity to apply for a professoriate scholarship is available to applicants currently in receipt of an offer for postgraduate study.

Find out more and how to apply

Postgraduate loans

You may now be eligible for a government loan of over £10,000 to help towards the cost of your masters degree.

The loans will be available for both taught and research masters programmes across all disciplines and subject areas.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

Postgraduate students

Postgraduate study in the Faculty of Business can help you realise your ambitions and develop your potential as a manager and leader of the future. Whether you come to us as a newly qualified graduate or after a successful track record in industry we provide high quality, professionally accredited postgraduate programmes, and PhD and professional doctorate supervision.

International community

Play your part in out thriving international community of 3,000 students from over 100 countries studying full and part time programmes at the University.

We'll help you at every step of your journey from applying to settling in, during and after your postgraduate studies.

International study pathways with the University of Plymouth International College

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offer university foundation, first year degree and pre-masters pathways to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees within the Faculty of Business. With 96% of all students progressing on to their chosen University of Plymouth degree, the UPIC pathways are an excellent alternative entry point for international students.

Find out more about your study opportunities with UPIC