Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Practice option.

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria
Business School of the Year 2003

Brunel Business School has won the Times Higher Education Awards Business School of the Year 2013

About the Course

MSc Applied Corporate Brand Management is offered in a choice of two routes:

  • MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management –  a one year standard masters OR
  • MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management (with Professional Practice) 16 months

The programme enjoys the input from a dedicated corporate advisory board made up of experts from the branding world, including senior brand executives of multi-national firms, brand consultants and design gurus. Read more under the Special Features tab.

The MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management (with Professional Practice) incorporates a 16 week work placement component at a company or a consultancy. The unique feature of the work placement distinguishes the programme from other Masters in the country. 

The programme covers issues of branding in blue chip companies, the service industry, banks, petroleum companies, lifestyle organisations, corporate brand heritage, nation and place branding.

The core contents of branding are examined at the corporate level rather than at the product level. In other words, teaching on the programme focuses on branding of the corporation rather than branding the product. 

The focus on corporate branding considers the following components:

  • corporate identity
  • corporate image and reputation
  • corporate design
  • corporate culture
  • corporate behaviour
  • corporate brand structure and brand strategy

Students undertake a project in collaboration with branding firms as part of their consultancy-based dissertation option. Examples include projects that are concerned with measuring the corporate image and ascertaining brand success of a chosen corporation.

The academic experts contributing to the programme are prominent world class researchers in the branding field, namely, Professor John Balmer from Brunel Business School, and Professor Stephen Greyser from Harvard Business School - who is also a Visiting Professor of Corporate Marketing on the programme.


In addition to offering an unrivalled opportunity to study and evaluate not only contemporary theory relating to corporate branding, the programme will also offer students the chance to examine current research relating to the management of an organisation’s corporate reputation, its corporate identity and its corporate communications.

Furthermore, graduates of this programme will gain a thorough understanding of the issues related to marketing at the corporate level, and of equal importance, a comprehensive appreciation of how to apply corporate branding and marketing theory and practice in the context of a contemporary organisation. 


Business School Enquiries Desk:  for enquiries prior to application
Tel +44 (0)1895 265910

For applications already submitted
Contact Admissions online
Tel +44 (0)1895 265265

Course Director: Dr Suraksha Gupta

Contact our students

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Course Content

Core Modules

Corporate Branding Theory and Issues: The module aims to provide a critical understanding of corporate branding theory through an examination of key theoretical frameworks. Stakeholder theory, as well as models of corporate brand management and building brand equity will be reviewed to enable this understanding. The module aims to explore extant theory on the application of corporate brand management tools in a wide range of business contexts.

Applied Corporate Branding: The module focuses on applying corporate branding theory to practice. It examines issues such as brand positioning and brand architecture, managing retailers’ own brands, managing luxury brands, crafting new branding strategy, building brand equity, brand recovery, corporate rebranding, co-branding and corporate branding and new media through a critical discussion of ten relevant case studies. The module aims to provide students with critical skills in the evaluation of current cases / strategies of contemporary corporate brands and with professional skills in the application of theory in practice. The course will benefit by the selective involvement of practitioners in providing qualitative feedback on case analysis.

Strategic Corporate Brand Management and Consulting: The course focuses on strategic corporate brand management and consulting and deals with the applied aspects of the territory (the management of change in corporate branding contexts). It examines key normative models such as corporate brand alignment and the six conventions of corporate brand management among others and will examine the strategic nature of corporate brand management in the context of mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and franchise arrangements. The course will consider issues relating to the shared ownership and management of corporate brands and to corporate brand architecture. The roles, activities and approaches adopted by corporate brand consultancies will also be examined. The course will benefit by the involvement of practitioners who will be consulted in the development of the topic of the assessment and will be present in student presentations.

Strategic Corporate Marketing: This module focuses on corporate marketing. It examines the philosophy and management of corporate marketing at the strategic level and considers its historiography. The dimensions of the corporate marketing mix are examined in the context of key, corporate-level constructs/theories relating to corporate branding, corporate identity; organisational identity, corporate communications; corporate image and reputation, stakeholder theory along with corporate social responsibility.

Marketing Communications: This module aims to help the students understand the process, theory, social impact and ethics of Marketing Communications. It demonstrates the importance of being aware of the role of each element of Marketing Communications and to be familiar with the key terms and concepts associated with marketing communications while having a thorough grounding in its critical and theoretic aspects.

Understanding Business and Management Research: The module is predicated on the dominant role of both quantitative and qualitative methods in management research and the need to enable the understanding of research reports and use this information to improve the quality of work, decision-making, and the understanding of complex management problems.  The latter will be instrumental in applying existing management theory and research to practical management problems as action researchers.

The specific aims are:
• To provide a balanced view of social science and business research methods enabling a critical understanding of research information.

Dissertation: A research-based dissertation is an integral element of the programme to which considerable importance is attached. Students are required to base their dissertation on empirical research into a management problem or issue of their choice (subject to approval). Dissertations are supervised by full-time members of the academic staff of the School who have a wide range of research interests and expertise. The dissertation must be submitted by the end of the academic year during which a student completes all of the taught modules of the course.

Students may undertake a project in collaboration with branding firms as part of their consultancy-based dissertation option. Examples include projects that are concerned with measuring corporate image or ascertaining the brand success of a chosen corporation.

Elective Modules (one from)

Global Diversity Management: To get insight into Global Diversity Management by examining how organizations plan, coordinate and implement a set of management strategies, policies, initiatives such as training and development activities that seek to accommodate diverse sets of social and individual backgrounds, interests, beliefs, values and ways of work in organizations with international, multinational, global and transnational workforces and operations.

International Business Ethics and Corporate Governance: This module focuses on business ethics, sustainability and corporate governance in the international context.  Both areas will be addressed from the perspective of the dual ‘business’ models of the shareholder and the stakeholder approaches. Further the broader societal impacts of business activities will be considered in-depth. The full range of businesses will be considered – from large corporations through to SMEs. Empirical studies will be used to apply the theoretical resources of moral philosophy, CSR, sustainability and corporate governance. 

Strategic Management: The module has three main aims which are to:

  • Enable students to appreciate the issues and challenges that confront managers responsible for strategic management in potentially complex, hostile and uncertain conditions;
  • Introduce students to concepts, topics and methodological approaches and tools relevant to the analysis of the strategic position of the organisation and the development and implementation of strategies and policies, and their major operational implications;
  • Develop students' skills of critical thinking, logical analysis, argument and judgement via the use of case study and other materials exemplar readings and other information sources.

International Management: The module has six main aims. These are to:

  • examine the important trends impacting international business and the major developing players in the international economy;
  • explore the issues and challenges of managing in an international environment and with reference to particular countries and regions;
  • understand the nature and forms of interaction between an international organisation, managerial decisions and the external environment, especially the effects of globalisation upon MNCs in both developed and developing countries;
  • facilitate understanding of the theories and concepts of international management and to use them to diagnose and solve managerial problems;
  • equip students with the analytical tools, techniques and models of negotiations, communication, and conflict resolution in international contexts;
explore the theories and concepts relating to the management of human resources in international context.

Entrepreneurship: This module introduces Entrepreneurship as a field of study and as a framework of analysis. It focuses on the nature of entrepreneurship and its importance in society. In particular the module examines:
  • the person, through the analysis and understanding of the psychological and behavioural characteristics of the entrepreneurs. This is achieved by examining and reflecting upon the major theories in the field (psychological theory and cognitive theory);
  • the process – through the review and analysis of the main approaches to entrepreneurship. In addition, the module shows how entrepreneurship unfolds in a wide range of contexts.

Typical Dissertations

Students undertake a project in collaboration with branding firms as part of their consultancy-based dissertation option.

Business School of the Year 2003

Brunel Business School has won the Times Higher Education Awards Business School of the Year 2013

Special Features

The MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management (with Professional Practice) incorporates a compulsory work placement component at a company or a consultancy of 16 weeks. The unique feature of the work placement distinguishes the programme from other Masters in the country. 

Besides formal teaching and the Professional Practise, students are exposed to the myriad of practical applications of the theories taught, such as:

  • guest speakers from the industry and brand consultancies;
  • visits to brand companies and consultancies;
  • career talks and presentations;
  • visits to the Design Museum and Branding Museum in London. 

Centre for Research in Marketing (CREAM)

CREAM BannerBrunel Business School is home to the Centre for Research in Marketing (CREAM) which was created in 2005 with a mission to develop, promote and facilitate research on various aspects of marketing. The Centre's expertise ranges from branding, corporate identity, CRM, consumer behaviour, international marketing and marketing communications to political marketing, managing organisational creativity, marketing professional service firms, multi-channel marketing, elearning and online banking.

Corporate Advisory Board

The programme enjoys the input from a dedicated corporate advisory board made up of experts from the branding world, including senior brand executives of multi-national firms, brand consultants and design gurus. From advising blue-chip companies on brand strategy, to implementing brand communications for employees and customers all over the world, their experience is invaluable to our MSc Applied Corporate Brand Management programme. They also share their expertise with students as visiting lecturers, and act as a sounding board for our academic plans, and offer placements, projects, field trips and other practitioner-based components.

Members of the Corporate Advisory Group

Nick Adderley - Marketing & Insight Director for HeathrowNick Adderley - Marketing & Insight Director for Heathrow
Nick is responsible for a broad range of activities including passenger insight & strategy, the development of Heathrow as a brand, growing commercial revenues through marketing activity, digital channels including websites and mobile applications, and loyalty programmes. Nick joined Heathrow in 2008, initially as commercial marketing director for its then seven UK airports. He’s had an extensive career in retailing, ecommerce and brand marketing for businesses such as Sainsbury’s, Kingfisher & Diageo. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a member of the Advisory Board for the MSc in Corporate & Applied Brand Management at Brunel Business School.

Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc, Corporate Advisory Group, Dave AllenDave Allen - Founder at BrandPie
Dave is an experienced creative brand strategist who specialises in mergers and acquisitions, corporate positioning, rebranding and employee engagement programmes. Dave has previously worked with clients such as BP, Capital Research, Castrol, Citizen, KPMG, L'Occitane, Mazda and Vodafone.

Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc, Corporate Advisory Group, Amanda ClayAmanda Clay - Head of Brand at Telefónica Europe (formerly O2 plc)
Amanda leads on all things brand for O2 and Telefónica across Europe, from protecting them, to overhauling them for the future. An expert on external and internal rebrand and cultural change projects, she’s won three prestigious awards last year including; 'The Best Change Communication Campaign' at the 2011 European Excellence Awards. Before that, she made history in the Czech Republic. Leading an international team on the biggest brand launch the country has ever seen when Czesky Telecom, Eurotel, Telefónica and O2 merged into one. Amanda has also worked extensively across Europe, North America and Asia

Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc, Corporate Advisory Group, Jim BodohJim Bodoh - Brand consultant at Radley Yeldar 
Radley Yeldar is a firm of consultants that delivers solutions in brand strategy, identity and architecture. Jim is a brand consultant who specialises in conceptualising an initial brand idea through to realizing the physical presence of the brand. Prior to his role at Radley Yelder, Jim was Director of Strategy at LloydNorthover.

Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc, Corporate Advisory Group, Joe FerryJoe Ferry - Global Head of Design at Mars
Joe Ferry is a senior creative director who brings brands to life by challenging conventions, strategically directing and inspiring change from initial briefs through to implementation. He has extensive experience working within the airline, hospitality and luxury industries. Awarded with a multitude of international design awards and patents, he is best known for his decade of work as Head of Design for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc, Corporate Advisory Group, Jim NorthoverJim Northover - Director at Jim Northover Limited
Jim is an independent brand strategy and design consultant advising business leaders and organisations. A designer by training, he has pioneered corporate identity and the strategic use of design as a business discipline. He co-founded consultancy Lloyd Northover and was the company’s Chairman until 2011. He is now Chairman of Industry Partners, a branding agency based in London. Jim works internationally and is currently advising on programmes in the Gulf Region and South East Asia.

Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc, Corporate Advisory Group, Mark ShaoulMark Shaoul - Head of Marketing Services at Network Rail
Mark is responsible for brand management, advertising, live events & exhibitions, digital communications, corporate publications, promotional videos and market research for Network Rail. Before he joined Network Rail, he was Brand Director of Oyster Card responsible for launching and branding the Oyster card. In his own words, Mark left Oyster Card where the cards were in the wallets of over 2 million Londoners.

Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc, Corporate Advisory Group, Neal StoneNeal Stone - leapSTONE
Neal founded and runs leapSTONE - a strategic design management consultancy, which helps clients use creativity to resolve challenges and generate opportunities. leapSTONE works with clients from many sectors including: WWF-UK; Car Design Research; Department for Transport; Intercontinental Hotels Group; and Design Council amongst others. Neal was previously the Head of Design for British Airways and railway company, GNER where he was responsible for bringing those brands to life across myriad customer experience touchpoints using multiple design disciplines. He is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art and Fellow of the RSA.

Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc, Corporate Advisory Group, Ian SymesIan Symes – General Manager UK & Ireland at Right Management
Ian is responsible for leading the UK & Ireland business of Right Management, a Manpower group company specialising in career and talent management workplace solutions. Previously Ian has held international executive sales and marketing positions at Electrolux, Interpet and Cisco as well as founding a successful strategic marketing consultancy that supported clients across multiple business sectors. In 2012 Ian led Cisco’s marketing for their sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Ian is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.


CMI Accredited Course

This Masters programme has obtained full accreditation from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to provide entry onto the CIM’s Chartered Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.


Chartered Management Institute (CMI): A number of Associate memberships to the CMI are open to graduates of Brunel Business School postgraduate programmes, offering discounted full membership rates upon application. Members of the CMI may use the following letters as appropriate: Associates can use 'ACMI', Members 'MCMI' and Fellows 'FCMI'.

Mai An Tran from Canada, studied the MSc Applied Corporate Brand Management

"I did my undergraduate degree in fashion marketing back in Montreal. After that I started working in customer service and I was doing a certificate in advertising at the same time. From there I moved my way up from customer services to sales rep assistant and then became the sales rep for British Columbia for that company.

I Enjoy being close to and becoming more knowledgeable about European Brands, and that's been very interesting. The first semester is all about the theory and second semester is more about the ‘applied’ with a lot of good examples given by teachers.

I'm looking forward to the internship that’s coming up. I chose this programme because having already worked I think it’s a great transition to be able to get the professional practice. You get to study for a certain amount of time and then put what you already know and have learnt into practice – especially useful for me coming from North America, I get to learn something new from the London and the European market."

Teaching and Learning

A particular feature of this course is the use of case studies to contextualise contemporary theory and practice and the importance attached to class presentations to demonstrate the ability to apply theory in practice.

The academic experts contributing to the programme are prominent world class researchers in the branding field, namely, Professor John Balmer from Brunel Business School, and Professor Stephen Greyser from Harvard Business School – who is also a Visiting Professor of Corporate Marketing on the programme.

  • Professor John Balmer: is equally distinguished in the international branding research field and is a prolific author and researcher, as well as the Founder, Chairman and Conference Organiser of the International Corporate Identity Group. Professor John Balmer is author of the highly acclaimed book Revealing the Corporation: Perspectives on Identity, Image, Reputation, and Corporate Branding and Corporate-Level Marketing. His works has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, California Management Review, European Journal of Marketing, and the Journal of Marketing Management.

Modes of Study

1-year full-time in September: The taught element of the course (September to April) includes seven modules; delivery will be by a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials/group work. A further four months (May to September) is spent undertaking the dissertation.


  • Modules are typically assessed by individual assessment and an examination in May.
  • Teaching methods include lectures and informal small study groups.
  • Coursework and examinations place considerable stress on the ability think and reason critically, but constructively.
  • The dissertation (12,000 words) is the capstone demonstration of these skills, requiring students to conceive, justify, design and execute a major project.
  • Individual and/or group presentations using laptops, PCs and digital projectors.


Employability Outcomes
Previous students of MSc Applied Corporate Brand Management have achieved graduate positions at:
  • British Airways
  • London Borough of Harrow (Local Council)
  • Amer Sports
  • Street Market Ltd
  • Radley Yeldar

Employability Events, Visits and Training

The School’s Business Life Employability Programme is designed to help students to acquire a range of employability and networking skills, enabling them to gain a distinct edge in the labour market and to manage their career search and development more effectively. Typical events have included:

  • BAT (Bloomberg Aptitude Test) with Bloomberg
    The BAT is offered as a three-hour online test taken on campus within an invigilated environment with a Bloomberg representative. BAT was designed in conjunction with leading financial institutions and academics to uncover an individual’s knowledge and skills relevant for a financial career. Students can choose to submit their names along with test scores or anonymously during job recruitment drives.

  • Meet the Professionals Showcase
    A professional association is an organisation formed to unite and inform people who work in the same occupation. There are many advantages to joining professional bodies: typically they offer training and access to research, as well as networking opportunities like conferences and forums. Brunel Business School regularly invites key professional bodies to showcase these benefits to Business School students on campus. Professional bodies who regularly take part in the Showcase include: ACCA, ICAEW, CIPFA, CIMA, BCS, OR, CMI, CILT, CIPD, CII, CBI, CFA, CIM and CIPR.

UK Industrial and Commercial Visits

Where possible, events and external visits are arranged with UK organisations to help demonstrate theory in practice. Typical events have included: 

  • Radley Yeldar Branding Consultancy
    As part of the programme, Course Director, Professor  TC Melewar, regularly organises external visits for students to help them engage with branding pioneers that can demonstrate theory into practice. In February 2012, students visited leading brand consultancy, Radley Yeldar – a communications and branding agency situated within London’s financial 'City'. The visit included an exclusive two hour seminar on Radley’s branding concepts and creative philosophy for national and international brands such as 3i and EasyJet.

  • Telefonica
    Telefonica is a world leader in the integrated telecommunication sector, providing information and entertainment solutions throughout Europe, Africa and Latin America. In 2009 the company launched a new brand model, O2, as a part of the company's focus on meeting customer needs. A visit to Telefonica’s Head office in May 2012 helped MSc Applied Corporate Brand Management students to understand how a large corporate brand rolls out a new product within their identifiable brand ‘voice’ to target consumers in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

  • The Design Museum, London
    The Design Museum in London was a key destination for Applied Corporate Brand Management students in March 2012 who were hungry to discover the aesthetic aspects of branding. Curator, Ria Hawthorn, provided a tour of the museum’s collections whilst demonstrating how political, social and cultural influences like the recession and environmental concerns can inspire designers to create unconventional designs for everyday life.

Learn more about the Brunel Business Life Employability Programme.

Graduate School Workshops
In addition to the events and training sessions organised within the Business School, Masters students have exclusive access to the workshops and skills training provided by the Brunel University’s Graduate School. Typical sessions have included:

  • CV Writing for Masters Students
    A good quality CV is crucial and takes time to perfect. Students on taught masters are invited to attend this special training session on how to prepare their Curriculum Vitae towards a targeted job or sector.

  • CV Writing Drop-in Clinic for Masters Students
    Masters students are invited to bring along their CVs for a one-to-one review session with a careers advisor or as a follow-up to the Graduates School’s CVs writing for Masters Students.

  • How to Succeed in Assessment Centres (Masters Students)
    This session will help students to prepare for assessment centres which are used as part of an organisation’s recruitment processes for jobs in the industry or academia, in particular for highly competitive positions.

  • Interview Techniques for Masters Students
    A training session especially for masters students that explores the whole competitive process of the interview from preparation to presenting and demonstrating your interest on the day.

  • Transferrable Skills for Masters Students
    Students are encouraged to widen their skills base during postgraduate study in response to employer demand for transferrable skills as well as intellectual knowledge.

For further Masters Skills Training Courses, visit the University’s Graduate School website.




The MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management (with Professional Practice) incorporates a compulsory work placement component at a company or a consultancy of 16 weeks. The unique feature of the work placement distinguishes the programme from other Masters in the country.  

The purpose of the placement is to provide students with hands-on experience working with a brand consultant or a brand-related department of an organisation in the UK. It is an integral part of the course and students will receive support from the academic staff and the Placement & Careers Centre while on placement.

Corporate Brand Management is growing in importance as a management discipline and we are confident that graduates of this programme will secure managerial positions either 'on the client side' – in organisations (from the public, private and not for profit sectors) or 'on the agency side' within leading branding consultancies

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2014/15 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time

International students: £14,250 full-time

Placement: Additional £800

Postgraduate Scholarships Available Now

Brunel University is offering Academic Excellence Scholarships to postgraduate students (15%) and scholarships for Brunel Alumni (15%).

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

A 2.1 (or above) UK Honours degree or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification in management, business studies or cognate discipline and a minimum of two years' full time marketing and branding experience;

Applicants from non-business/management disciplines (and without any business/management element) will be eligible if they have a 1st Class Honours degree or the overseas equivalent and a minimum of two years' marketing and branding experience;

Applicants with a 2.2 UK Honours degree or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification will be considered if they can demonstrate a minimum three years' marketing and branding experience.

Applicants with non-degree qualifications will be considered if they can show a minimum 5 years' senior level branding experience.

Applicants may be required to attend an interview.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • TOEFL Paper test: 580 (TWE 4.5) PBT
  • TOEFL Internet test: 92 IBT (R20, L20, S20, W20)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Pre-Masters Course

The Pre-Masters course has been designed to prepare international students who have not qualified for direct entry to Brunel University’s Master’s degrees. Undertaking a Pre-Master’s course will give you time to adjust to the rigorous research and independent study requirements of a postgraduate degree. This will ensure you get the most out of your master’s studies at Brunel University and go on to achieve graduation in your chosen field. See details.

Page last updated: Tuesday 08 April 2014