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Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc (Brunel Business School)

Subject area: Business School Open Evening Apply full-time Apply full-time with professional practice
Mode of study

1-year full-time; 16-months for students undertaking a work placement

PG Code


Start date


Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc (Brunel Business School)


Please note the application deadline for this course is Friday 25th August 2017. Any applications after this date will be considered on an individual basis, subject to course vacancies.

Postgraduate Loans: From 1 August 2016, students who live in England will be able to apply for a Postgraduate Loan in academic year 2016/17 of up to £10,000. Find out more

Brunel Business School is AACSB accredited Business School of the Year 2013

About the course

A message from our students and Professor John Balmer about studying Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc at Brunel University London:


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

  • MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management – a one year standard master's


  • MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management (with Professional Practice) 16 months

Our 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. You can read more about this in the Special Features section.

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

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

You will examine the core contents of branding 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

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


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

  • You will gain a thorough understanding of the issues related to marketing at a corporate level.

  • You will gain a comprehensive appreciation of how to apply corporate branding and marketing theory and practice in the context of a contemporary organisation.


For enquiries prior to application:
Contact Course Enquiries Online
 Tel +44 (0)1895 265599

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

Course Director: Dr Sharifah Alwi

Course Content

Our MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.


Corporate Branding Theory and Issues

This module aims to provide a critical understanding of corporate branding theory through an examination of key theoretical frameworks. You will review Stakeholder Theory, as well as models of corporate brand management and building brand equity to enable your understanding. With this module, you will explore extant theory on the application of corporate brand management tools in a wide range of business contexts.

Applied Corporate Branding

The Applied Corporate Branding module focuses on applying corporate branding theory to practice. You will examine 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 equip you 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.

As part of this module, industry practitioners are invited to provide you with invaluable qualitative feedback on case analyses. Find out more about this in the Special Features section.

Strategic Corporate Brand Management and Consulting

This module 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). You will examine key normative models such as corporate brand alignment and the six conventions of corporate brand management among others and you will examine the strategic nature of corporate brand management in the context of mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and franchise arrangements. You will be able consider issues relating to the shared ownership and management of corporate brands and to corporate brand architecture and you will also examine the roles, activities and approaches adopted by corporate brand consultancies.

A special feature of this module is that we consult with industry practitioners to help us develop the topics for assessment. They are then invited to be on the panel during your presentation to provide you with feedback. You can find out more about this in the Special Features section.


Strategic Corporate Marketing

This module focuses on corporate marketing. You will examine the philosophy and management of corporate marketing at the strategic level and consider its historiography. You will examine the dimensions of the corporate marketing mix 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 you 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. You will be introduced to the key terms and concepts associated with marketing communications whilst establishing a thorough grounding in its critical and theoretic aspects.

Understanding Business and Management Research

This module is based on the dominant role of both quantitative and qualitative methods in management research. Through this module, you will gain a thorough 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 enabling you to apply existing management theory and research to practical management problems as an action researcher.

The specific aims are:

• To provide you with a balanced view of social science and business research methods enabling you to have a critical understanding of research information.


A research-based dissertation is an integral and important element of our programme. You will be required to base your dissertation on empirical research into a management problem or issue of your choice (subject to approval). Dissertations are supervised by full-time members of the academic Business School staff who have a wide range of research interests and expertise. Your dissertation must be submitted by the end of the academic year during which you will complete all of the taught modules of the course.
You may undertake a project in collaboration with branding firms as part of your consultancy-based dissertation option. Examples include projects that are concerned with measuring corporate image or ascertaining the brand success of a chosen corporation.


Global Diversity Management

The aim of this module is to give you insight into Global Diversity Management by examining how organisations plan, coordinate and implement a set of management strategies, policies and initiatives (such as training and development activities) that promote diversity of social and individual backgrounds, interests, beliefs, values and ways of working in organisations 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. You will address both areas from the perspective of the dual ‘business’ models of the shareholder and the stakeholder approaches. Further, you will examine the broader societal impacts of business activities in-depth. You will consider the full range of businesses  – from large corporations through to SMEs. You will use empirical studies to apply the theoretical resources of moral philosophy, CSR, sustainability and corporate governance.

Consumer Behaviour

This module aime to provide you with a critical understanding of 'consumer behaviour' as an investigative discipline informing individual and marketing decisions. You will focus on the external, situational and internal influences, including psychological, social, cultural and economic factors that impact consumer behaviour in personal buying situations and the complexity of the Decision-Making Unit and process.

International Management

The module has six main aims. These are to enable you 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.

  • Be equipped 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.


This module introduces you to entrepreneurship as a field of study and as a framework of analysis. You will focus on the nature of entrepreneurship and its importance in society. In particular you will examine:

  • The person - through the analysis and understanding of the psychological and behavioural characteristics of the entrepreneurs. This will be 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, this module shows how entrepreneurship unfolds in a wide range of contexts.

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Typical Dissertations

You will undertake a project in collaboration with branding firms as part of your consultancy-based dissertation option.

Special Features

Business School of the Year 2013

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

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

  • Guest speakers and feedback from the industry and brand consultancies.

  • Career talks and presentations.

As well as this, previous Applied Corporate Brand Management students are invited to share their experiences with you, giving you first-hand insight into how the course can impact your career:

Applied Corporate Brand Management alumnus sharing her experience in class

Marketing and Corporate Branding Management Research Group

Professor John M. T. Balmer is Director of the Marketing and Corporate Branding Management research group who is widely regarded as a world-renowned expert in corporate branding, corporate marketing, corporate identity and corporate heritage. Pioneering research within the MCBM group includes international research into corporate heritage identity and branding (John M.T. Balmer and Dr Weifeng Chen) – an underexplored concept that has potential to offer powerful symbolic and cultural value in a global, commercial context that is increasingly disengaged from the past. Recent publications on the above have appeared in European Journal of Marketing and Journal of Business Research.

Mid-career researchers include Dr Dorothy Yen, who is addressing the influence of guanxi for corporate identity and performance in China – work that has already led to two internationally recognised journal articles, and Dr Michael Heller whose scholarship, published in international journals, focusses on marketing history. Notably, Dr Michael Heller was recently awarded a Leverhulme research award.

Early career researchers include Dr Sharifah Alwi, whose work focusses on internal corporate branding and reputation (articles published in the European Journal of Marketing and Journal of Business Research).  Other members of the group, Dr Geraldine Cohen, Dr Bidit Dey, Dr Khanyapuss Punjaisri, and Dr Cagri Yalkin, are also developing solid research profiles in marketing – many in the corporate brand/marketing fields.

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, 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

Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc, Corporate Advisory Group, Amanda Clay  Amanda Clay-Jones - 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 

  Kim Cohen - Founder and Director at MountView Associates

Kim is the Founder and Director of MountView Associates, specialists in strategic consulting. Kim, who has worked as Business Development Director at Rolls Royce and Managing Director at Deutsche Bank, was invited to be a panellist for the Applied Corporate Brand Management student presentations in 2015.

  Amanda Bradbury - Research Director at Nutshell Ltd

Amanda is a creative and intuitive qualitative researcher with over 20 years’ experience working for both consultancies and clients. Unusually she also has expertise in quantitative research and understands the bridge between the two, especially in the online arena. She works mainly in new product development, strategy and brand development across a wide range of categories and uses her psychology background to inform and enrich her work. As a highly skilled moderator and analyst she works with consumers to unearth both conscious and unconscious motivations and behaviours. Amanda is also fluent in French, German and Italian and has extensive experience managing pan-European and global research projects.


CMI Accredited Course


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: 'ACMI', Members 'MCMI' and Fellows 'FCMI'.

Teaching and Assessment


A particular feature of our Applied Corporate Brand Management 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.

This interactive course, and the Strategic Corporate Brand Management and Consulting and Applied Corporate Branding modules in particular, allow you to engage with current industry experts who provide extra support and guidance in your coursework, classwork and presentations:

The Corporate Brand in the Public Sector is probably one of the most challenging and complex organisations a brand consultant will ever encounter. The students asked some really well thought through questions, thinking like brand consultants. I'm sure there will be some very insightful work based on everyone's contribution today.

Ms. Amanda Clay-Jones (pictured above, left), Head of Brand at Telefonica


Thank you so much for inviting me to take part in the assessment of the MSc student’s company audits. It was a privilege to hear and see what they had done and I was so impressed with the quality of their work which was really professional. Your course is clearly highly vocationally focused in terms of giving them expertise that will enhance their working practices and skills and improve their employability as they move forward in their careers. And I also think that the fact you have involved me as an industry representative is further evidence of the usefulness and relevance of this course.

Ms. Amanda Bradbury (pictured above), Founder of Affinity Research & Marketing



Thank you so much for including me in your corporate brand management presentations today. I was truly impressed by the high standard of your students and the ability to think on their feet. It was an enjoyable and stimulating experience.

For me, an additional element of real interest was to become acquainted with Professor Balmer’s ACID test and see its application in the students’ presentations. This approach would certainly have focused main board directors’ attention to corporate brand stewardship and protection had it been available to me in my corporate career.

Mr Kim Cohen (pictured above, fourth from left), Founder and Director at MountView Associates


 Our Corporate Brand Scholars - Leaders in the field of Corporate Branding

The academic experts contributing to our 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.