Postgraduate Taught

MSc Digital Campaigning and Content Creation

Digital content has radically changed from a desirable extra to become the beating creative heart of modern communications practice. Equip yourself with in-demand skills in this field on one of the most forward-looking DMI-accredited postgraduate courses in the UK.

How can you stand out in a digital world where a million minutes of video are shared every second?* How do you create content that can’t be ignored and find your own visual voice? If you’re a current communications professional or recent graduate looking to set yourself apart in the job market, this course will give you practical understanding of content creation and campaigning, and deep knowledge of digital strategic planning.

This course is accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute.

DMI accreditation logo

Film created by MSc Digital Campaignin and Content Creation graduate Anton Winters. 

Why QMU?

  • The course is designed to meet not just current industry practice, but developments in the future. You’ll be well placed to produce strategic and creative content to compete in a world where video accounts for 80% of internet traffic.*
  • Our staff live and breathe their subject with a passion, and you will be taught by multi-award winning lecturers including Walid Salhab whose short films have accumulated more than 8 million hits on social media.
  • You will work in a personal and collegiate environment that nurtures creative talent, which will enable you to build your portfolio and that supports entrepreneurial students to establish their own businesses. Please watch the short film on our website to hear one of our students talk about her experience of the course.
  • Flexible block-study means you can combine study with your existing work and life commitments.
  • This course is accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI). The DMI accreditation shows employers that your degree and learnt skills/knowledge are up to date with the latest findings in marketing and that you have received a high quality multi-disciplined degree (see 'DMI accreditation' tab for more information.

*according to industry forecasts (CISCO 2016).

Course overview

First-rate digital content has one primary quality; it makes us pause and want to look, to hear the message, to discover what happens next. Can the creation of such compelling material be a happy blend of good fortune and good timing. No it’s not: there is a method, and it can be mastered using skills learned on this practically focused course. By understanding the language of film you will learn how to improve content. Along with campaign strategy, you will learn engaging visual storytelling techniques (such as mise-en-scene, continuity and montage) that are essential for effective short documentaries, adverts or dramas. You will also learn key news-media production skills (such as interviewing, managing, producing, directing, shooting and editing short newsworthy film and other digital content).

Drawing on QMU’s existing portfolio of courses in PR, film and media, this new course has been inspired by the professional experiences of our academic staff. Our media production lecturers have won a host of international awards for their short films and are highly successful on social media. Our PR and communications lecturers have professional and personal campaign experience and are involved with a range of campaigning organisations. This experience is at the centre of our teaching approach and we always engage students in producing real strategies and content for real clients. This results in campaigns where video and digital content have had a profound effect on audiences and have been crucial in achieving strategic aims and objectives.

Exit awards

MSc (180 credits)/PgDip (120 credits)/PgCert (60 credits)

Structure

You can opt to study for the full MSc, a PgDip or a PgCert. You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Our teaching enables you to produce a portfolio of material suitable for satisfying existing or impressing future employers. You will work in groups during workshops to develop and test your knowledge and work on an individual basis to produce assessments that will include campaign strategies, case studies, a variety of short films and other content. You will work for an extended period, supervised by a QMU lecturer, to create strategic communication material for a client or organisation of your choice. You can also chose to undertake an industry placement or build a digital portfolio to enhance your professional aspirations. We are particularly proud of our strong links with organisations that agree to be placement hosts or live clients for our students.

Teaching hours and attendance

We teach most of our modules in half-day blocks so that we can facilitate practical and group work as well as more formal lectures. We find that students enjoy this approach and lecturers can be more creative and involved in the learning experience. We also timetable most teaching to take place on Fridays and Saturdays to enable people in full-time work or with caring responsibilities to take part. Your specific timetable will depend on the electives you choose and whether you study full-time or part-time. Each 20-credit core module will typically involve four or five Fridays or Saturdays each semester. The two taught semesters run from September to December and mid-January to mid-April.

Class sizes

Class sizes will depend on modules chosen but will normally be between 15-30 students. Workshops will be restricted in size and you will work in small groups.

Links with industry/professional bodies

QMU is a partner institution of the Public Relations Consultants’ Association (PRCA).

This course is accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).

DMI accreditation

Who are DMI?

DMI is an internationally recognized network of over 60,000 members working in every major city across the globe.

QMU has chosen to partner with DMI in delivering this course as DMI accreditation is recognized by a Global Industry Advisory Council containing international organizations in Europe, North America and Asia. The DMI accreditation shows employers that your degree and learnt skills/knowledge are up to date with the latest findings in marketing and that you have received a high quality multi-disciplined degree.

What does accreditation mean for me as a student on this course?

1. Membership

With DMI accreditation, all students on this course will be given a membership account with the DMI. Students can login to the DMI website at their leisure and can access a wealth of information to assist with their studies, keep up-to-date, discover what is happening in digital marketing today – all of which is sure to help with your future employability.

As a member, you will be able to:

  • access to an extensive database of marketing research resources such as articles, videos, eBooks, toolkits, specialised courses and lessons;
  • view a back library of podcasts as well as view new biweekly podcasts from industry experts, which will help you sharpen your views and mindset;
  • view monthly webinars delivered by guest speakers including some of the leading experts in digital marketing;
  • access a glossary of industry terms which will ensure you understand what is meant by the terminology, acronyms and phrases used every day in the digital marketing industry and
  • access the DMI job’s board which will help you easily find current vacancies in the industry.

2. Qualification

As a student on the MSc Digital Campaigning and Content Creation you will study the core module ‘Digital Communications’, which the DMI has specifically accredited. On completion of your degree, which requires that you successfully pass this module, you will obtain a CDMA (Certified Digital Marketing Associate) accreditation from the DMI.

Modules

To obtain a PgCert, you will complete:

  • Strategic Communication and Digital Practice (20 credits)
  • Visual Storytelling for Media Campaigns (20 credits)
  • Digital Content Creation for Campaigns (20 credits)

To obtain a PgDip, you will also complete:

  • Digital Communications (20 credits)
  • plus two 20-credit electives such as the: Industry-based Learning; Fundraising, Development and Finance; Public Affairs; or International Marketing module

For an MSc you will also complete a Master’s Communication Project (60 credits).

Module information:

Strategic Communication and Digital Practice (20 credits): On this module students develop a critical understanding of the role of strategic communication within wider contexts including business, organisations, agencies, campaign groups and NGOs. They take a critical perspective to ethics, social responsibility and social justice and explore how strategic communication can impact on society.  Theory is applied to produce creative communication campaigns including a range of communication activities and digital tactics.

Visual Storytelling for Media Campaigns (20 credits): The art of storytelling is as old as the human race itself and our earliest forms of communication were deeply visual in nature. Even today, that hasn’t changed. In fact, if anything, having a mastery of visual storytelling techniques has become more important than ever. The success of our campaigning, marketing, advertising, and much of our digital entertainment relies on a solid understanding of such skills.  This module will facilitate critical understanding of narrative techniques and enable students to plan, manage and produce campaign films, appropriate for submission to an organisation, client or broadcaster. The assessment is an Individual production project (a short documentary or a number of adverts or a drama film related to a client’s campaign).  

Digital Content Creation for Campaigns (20 credits): Students will explore and practice techniques of digital content production for a client / organisation using digital capture devices & editing software to produce finished projects. This module will focus on factual media content. Students investigate and report on hard news, soft news documentary as well as developing production material. Techniques of news gathering including interview techniques and reporting are covered. This includes all aspects of video production, as well as journalism, feature photography and dissemination via print and online media. Students will be introduced to most available digital formats and shown how to upload visual digital content to online channels and social media. 

Digital Communications (20 credits): The evolution, diffusion, and adoption of digital technologies have fundamentally altered the way we live, work, relate to one another, and conduct business. These technological and societal changes are having a far-reaching impact on the communications, public relations and marketing disciplines, presenting huge challenges as well as opportunities to the industry. This module provides a sound theoretical and practical knowledge of digital communications based on a critical understanding of current and emerging technologies, digital strategies and social media platforms. The module examines a number of topics including: digital strategy; social media; search engine optimisation; online community building and management; stakeholders analysis; issues management; web analytics and big data; content marketing; web design; online customer journey; ethical and legal aspects of digital communications; and more. 

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2021) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Single modules for CPD

Available. Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact Emma Wood for more information.

Start dates

September 2022. Part-time students can also start in January 2023.

Placements

This is an ideal course for building on the theory you learn with some practical experience. You can choose to undertake 150 hours to integrate practice with theory, by working directly with clients and organisations. Students are responsible for securing their own placement host and related costs (eg travel and accommodation) but we will help you with CVs and provide networking opportunities with a range of organisations with whom we have strong relationships.

Careers

Can you think of an industry sector that hasn’t had its communications practices affected by the boom in digital content? So with this master’s under your belt your career options are rich and broad. You will be well-prepared to work as a freelance content creator in public relations, media production agencies or campaigning organisations including NGOs and charities. We also support entrepreneurial graduates to set up their own businesses. Since 2014 we have supported a range of graduate start up media production businesses through our Business Innovation Zone. The MSc is also benchmarked against CIPR career progression requirements.

Entry requirements

A UK honours degree or equivalent OR significant work experience.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 and no individual component score below 6.0.

Application deadline

For International applicants only:  Applications submitted after the 31st July 2022 will automatically be considered for the next available intake.

Applications are still open to Home (UK and Republic of Ireland) applicants after this date.

More information and contacts

Contact Emma Wood, contact Graham Drysdale or contact Admissions

Fees and transitionary scholarships for postgraduate EU students in 21/22 and 22/23

As part of our management of the Brexit transition, for many of our courses, including this one, we have introduced an EU transitional scholarship for EU full-time postgraduate students commencing their studies on campus in academic years 2021/22 and 2022/23. This provides a 40% discount on international tuition fees. The scholarship is available to EU students for whom the international fee rate applies and covers the courses marked with a # in the Postgraduate Fees – Full-Time Study section of our Fees page. This transitional scholarship is not applicable to students from the Republic of Ireland, who will continue to be eligible for the home fee rate.

Please Note: 

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2022/23 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Teaching staff is subject to change.

Maria Perez shares her experience of the MSc Digital Campaigning and Content Creation course: