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Goldsmiths, University of London: Promotional Media: Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing

Institution Goldsmiths, University of London View institution profile
Department Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Study type Taught


From analysing the theories of intellectual heavyweights such as Bourdieu and Lacan, to unpicking a global campaign, this MA explores the hinterland between the big three promotional professions, the media, and society.

Public relations, advertising, and marketing roles are converging. This MA isn’t about studying ads or press coverage, but about becoming a professional who can understand the dynamics of power that exist between these professions, and critically intervene in today’s media landscape.

At its core, this masters looks at how you can better serve society by improving communications across the promotional disciplines, and how public relations (PR), advertising, and marketing professionals can best develop within a challenging media world. You’ll learn how to reflect on contemporary intellectual theories, and apply them to workplace realities so you plan the next decade of your career.

The questions we explore

  • We want you to understand existing power struggles between these three professions. Therefore, this programme will look at public relations, advertising, and marketing as inter-related disciplines, drawing on theoretical and professional debates around industry issues as they happen.

  • You will explore, for example, the implications of ‘fake news’, and its rapid circulation via social media, the repercussions of the media’s pivot to video, and the use of Artificial Intelligence in promotional work, among others topics.

  • You’ll also examine current industry expectations, and look at the crossovers between creativity, management, and strategy.

The processes we use - This is a theory-based programme, but you’ll have many practice-based options in subjects from different departments; from online news reporting and social media campaigning, to film making fundamentals or design methods, to consumer behaviour or marketing strategy.

  • You'll also get the latest insights from industry professionals across PR, advertising and, marketing through our visiting speaker series. Recent industry guests have discussed: earned vs paid media, transmedia storytelling, programmatic advertising, SEO analytics, and social media community management.

  • In 2019, we launched a public seminar series titled Critical Perspectives on Promotional Cultures, which hosts prestigious academic speakers from around the UK.

  • You will also be encouraged to attend the Department’s Media Forum, which covers everything from Why Local Journalism Matters, to Reporting Africa.

The approach we take Note that this isn’t a business studies-style MA. It’s a rigorous, academic programme, which investigates promotional workers, their workplace experiences, and their use of media in today’s campaigns and debates.

Our compulsory modules apply fields such as sociology, anthropology, media and cultural studies to public relations, advertising and marketing, exploring how they work together, where they overlap, and where the tensions lie.

You also have the freedom to choose optional modules from across theory and practice in different departments.


Goldsmiths, University of London

An incubator for ideas

Creativity has always been the hallmark of Goldsmiths. Academic excellence and imaginative course content combine to make a place where creative minds can thrive and ideas are allowed to grow.

Our courses and research activities span the arts, humanities, social sciences, cultural studies, computing, business and management across 18 academic departments.

A world leader in new knowledge
Our academics cooperate across disciplines to create exciting new courses and develop novel approaches to research issues. Our interdisciplinary ethos has helped us to become a national leader in many subject areas.

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