Advertising Practice

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How to Apply

This is an MA programme for creative people and account planners working on a combination of course- and client-set “live” briefs, leading and mentoring teams of undergraduate advertising students in ways that mirror the professional creative team-leadership role.

Why study Advertising Practice?

With its emphasis on building real business skills, on team leadership and creativity, this course is unlike any other MA Advertising programme in existence in the UK and abroad.

"Advertising is ridiculously fun and challenging at the same time. This MA programme will prepare students for both aspects of the industry.

Teaming creative people with planners and mentoring less experienced practitioners at the same time mirrors agency life, and encouraging students to leverage the opportunities of all media: this is brilliant."

Mark Figliulo

CEO and Founder

Figliulo and Partners, New York

Course structure

The course is organised to help writers, art directors and planners improve their specialist skills while at the same time learning to work better as teams. Some of the modules are discipline-specific and others require students to work in teams -- and lead junior associates -- as creative leaders do in agencies.


Trimester 1 (60 credits)

  • Research Methodologies (30 credits)

    This module is designed in two parts. The first part develops your generic research skills. It’s designed to help all students studying within the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries. These skills include using our VLE (Virtual Learning Environment); critical thinking and reflection; training in professional academic conventions concerning footnote and bibliographic referencing, essay presentation and the use of sources; getting the most out of the library and online databases and research tools (finding and evaluating information); note-taking and reading for research; ethics in research.

    The second part is specifically designed for students of Advertising Practice. How can you, as a creative professional, benefit from your improved research methodologies, whether you continue in higher education or secure a career in the advertising industry?

  • Creativity in Practice (30 credits)

    This portfolio-building class encourages experimentation with technology and new media, using global case studies as examples of best practice. Through a combination of set and ‘live’ briefs, students learn to play to their strengths and identify areas of improvement to work on during their specialist ‘Advanced Topic’ modules.

    In this module, you will also discuss the ethics of advertising. What is ‘truth in advertising’ and why is this truth essential in the successful promotion of goods and services? What is the role of the legal department in agencies? What are the ethical issues of targeting vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly?

Trimester 2 (60 credits)

  • Managing People (15 credits)

    Whatever your specialism, managers increasingly need to be managers of people, lead teams and undertake many aspects of human resource management. It is also increasingly being recognised that organisational performance can be enhanced and competitive advantage gained through the strategic management and development of people.

  • Marketing Communications (15 credits)

    Marketing communications are constantly developing and changing. New theories, new approaches and the diversity of cultural influences impacted by technological advances all combine to create a dynamic environment. This module explores the key issues and challenges in contemporary marketing communications.

  • Advanced Topics (30 credits)

    In this module you will hone your skills by direct engagement with successful writers, art directors, photographers, illustrators, filmmakers, and account planners – learning about and practicing with the latest hardware and software, and in workshops discussing your own work in relation to the work of other students.

Trimester three (60 credits)

  • Final Project (60 credits; dissertation-equivalent module)

    To include a presentation by art direction, copywriting and account planning students to advertising executives at a major global advertising agency, and mentoring undergraduate teams through the process. The presentation of your project will be done virtually (via Skype or Google etc.) or you can opt-in to travel to the agency headquarters for your final presentation.

    Total credits required for MA Advertising Practice = 180

Total credits = 180

Course assessment

  • Portfolio
  • Reflective essays
  • Presentations

Students will benefit from a variety of teaching methods – from guest lectures, team-teaching in the classroom, short courses covering specialist topics, and individual tuition with staff via Skype, email etc.

Teaching methods

Access to industry-standard computers, software and technical advice is freely available to all students on the course.

Staff / Tutors

Dr Paul Meyer, Subject Leader of Creative Writing and advertising creative director who has worked for the world’s top agencies, producing award-winning work for Reebok, McDonald’s, General Motors and Motorola among others.

Specialist staff in art direction, copywriting and account planning drawn from top regional, national and global agency networks.

Application method

A downloadable application form is available on the website. To discuss any detail of your application please contact our admissions team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1225 875624.


International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please write directly to Course Leader Dr Paul Meyer at

Entry requirements

Students will normally be required to hold a good bachelor’s degree or equivalent. A sample of work (5-10 advertising concepts) and a personal statement are required.

Career opportunities

Graduates will have first-hand experience of working in top agencies. The course is designed to help prepare graduates for work in the agency of their choice.

What students say...