Applied Corporate Brand Management MSc (Brunel Business School)
Please note that there is still time to apply for courses starting in September 2017, subject to course availability.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The module has six main aims. These are to enable you to:
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.
Be equipped with the analytical tools, techniques and models of negotiations, communication, and conflict resolution in international contexts.
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:
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
You will undertake a project in collaboration with branding firms as part of your consultancy-based dissertation option.
Employability Events, Visits and Training
The School’s Business Life Employability Programme is designed to help you to acquire a range of employability and networking skills, enabling you to gain a distinct edge in the labour market and to manage your 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:
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:
Jim Northover Limited
Placements 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 you 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 you 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 our 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
Entry Criteria 2017/18
A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification in management, business studies or cognate discipline PLUS at least one year's work experience (post qualification) OR one year's work experience taken as an internship/during the gap year/or part of a sandwich course during a bachelors degree.
Applicants from a non-business related degree, with a minimum of 1 year post degree work experience will be considered on an individual basis by the Admissions Tutor.
Applicants with non-degree qualifications will be considered if they can show a minimum five years full-time senior level business and management 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. Find out more information about English course and test options.
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.
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.
Professor John Balmer
John 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 (who holds the first Professorship in Corporate Brand/Identity Management) is author of the highly acclaimed book Revealing the Corporation: Perspectives on Identity, Image, Reputation, Corporate Branding and Corporate-Level Marketing. His works have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, California Management Review, European Journal of Marketing, and the Journal of Marketing Management; John is currently a Chairman of the Board of Senior Consultant Editors of the Journal of Brand Management. John formally introduced the corporate brand notion in 1995 and has written seminal papers on the topic. In 2006, John went on to co-introduce and develop the corporate heritage brand notion. He was project leader in the rebranding of the University of Strathclyde and Bradford School of Management and has led on research projects on the Swedish Monarchy, British Airways and China's most famous heritage brand.
Dr Khanyapuss Punjaisri (Pash)
Pash obtained her PhD in Marketing from Strathclyde University. She is currently a lecturer in Marketing and Branding at Brunel Business School, involving teaching in Marketing and Corporate Branding subjects. Her publications have appeared in a range of journals, for example, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Brand Management. Her research interest primarily focuses on branding, namely internal branding, services branding, corporate branding, and branding in the food marketing context. Pash's article on internal marketing is one of the most popular downloaded articles of it's type.
Dr Sharifah Alwi
Sharifah received her PhD on Corporate Branding from Manchester Business School, UK and is currently a Senior Lecturer of Corporate Brand Management at Brunel Business School, London, UK. Formerly, Sharifah served as a Lecturer of Marketing in University of Malaya, Malaysia. She has more than 16 years’ experience in teaching and research. Her research work has appeared in several reputable academic journals such as Journal of Business Research, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Brand Management, Journal of General Management, Journal of Product and Brand Management; Industrial Management and Data Systems, Marketing Intelligence and Planning and Corporate Reputation Review. Sharifah's main research interest is in branding with a focus on corporate, product and service brands. Sharifah has edited two books on corporate branding (including Corporate Branding: Areas, Arenas and Approaches) and has led on research projects on celebrity chefs.
Dr Bidit Dey
Bidit is a lecturer in Marketing. His research interest revolves around the adoption and use of technologies particularly in emerging economies. He has been actively involved in a number of training programmes and consultancy projects. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and also a member of the British Academy of Management, and Academy of Marketing.
Modes of Study
1-year, full-time starting 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 emphasis 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.
Besides formal teaching and the Professional Practice, you are exposed to the myriad of practical applications of the theories taught, such as:
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: