Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc (Brunel Business School)
Brunel Business School 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 master's
- 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 in the Special Features section.
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 Master's 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.
- 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.
The 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
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.
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. It introduces students 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
The module is based on the dominant role of both quantitative and qualitative methods in management research. It focuses on 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.
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.
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.
To provide students with a critical understanding of 'consumer behaviour' as an investigative discipline informing individual and marketing decisions. Attention will be paid to 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.
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.
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.
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
Students undertake a project in collaboration with branding firms as part of their consultancy-based dissertation option.
Brunel Business School won the Times Higher Education Awards Business School of the Year 2013
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.
Led by John Balmer, a world-renowned expert in corporate branding and identity, the former CREAM has built on a well-established background in corporate branding, identity and marketing. MCBM is leading the way in developing international research into corporate heritage identity and branding (John Balmer and 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.
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
Nick Adderley - Marketing and Insight Director for Heathrow
Nick is responsible for a broad range of activities including passenger insight and 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.
Dave 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.
Amanda 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
Jim 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 realising the physical presence of the brand. Prior to his role at Radley Yelder, Jim was Director of Strategy at LloydNorthover.
Joe 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.
Jim 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.
Mark Shaoul - Head of Marketing Services at Network Rail
Mark is responsible for brand management, advertising, live events and 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.
Neal 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 numerous customer experience touchpoints using multiple design disciplines. He is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art and Fellow of the RSA.
Ian Symes – General Manager UK and Ireland at Right Management
Ian is responsible for leading the UK and 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.
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 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, 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 to 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 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.
Learn more about the Brunel Business Life Employability Programme.
Previous students of MSc Applied Corporate Brand Management have achieved graduate positions at, amongst others:
- British Airways
- London Borough of Harrow (Local Council)
- Amer Sports
- Street Market Ltd
- Radley Yeldar
- Brand Union
- McCann Ericson
- Grey Group
- The Daily Mail Group
Work placements are offered to suitable candidates where available with, for example, companies represented on the Applied Corporate Brand Management Advisory Board. Amongst others are:
- Heathrow Airport
- Telefónica Europe
- Radley Yeldar
- Jim Northover Limited
- Network Rail
- Right Management
- Tata Beverages
- Tetley Tea
Students placement take place over four months, from 1 September to 31 January the following year and previous placements involved roles such as project manager, marketing executive, brand researcher, internal communication officer and marketing officer amongst others.
Placement employers cover all student expenses and some provide a salary.
On completion of the placement students proceed to find full-time employment in branding and advertising roles in the UK or abroad.
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 Professional Development 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 2016/17 entry
Placement: Additional £800
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Criteria 2016/17
- 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 post qualification marketing or 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 full-time post qualification marketing or 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 full-time post qualification marketing or branding experience.
- Applicants with non-degree qualifications will be considered if they can show a minimum five years full-time senior level branding experience.
- Applicants may be required to attend an interview.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have 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 number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.
The Pre-Masters course has been designed to prepare international students who have not qualified for direct entry to Brunel University London'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 London and go on to achieve graduation in your chosen field. See details.