Marketing Courses

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They say a fool and his money are soon parted. That may have had a ring of truth in the profligate days of the Celtic Tiger, but nowadays even as the economy continues to improve, the union of village idiots is advocating spending cautiously. An increasingly competitive market is seeking higher returns from a fast evaporating pool of business and consumer spend. The key to success is the development of ever more ingenious marketing techniques that strengthen customer relationships. And the surest way to acquire these skills is to enrol in a postgraduate course.

Marketing Courses

A popular and proven method for graduates (marketing and non-marketing) to secure good positions is to enrol in a Marketing Practice postgraduate programme – available from Letterkenny IT, UCD and NUI Galway. With a strong focus on practical marketing skills, students are required to effectively apply what they learn in the classroom in a work placement (Letterkenny, NUI Galway), or as a ‘marketing advisor’ to an external business client (UCD).

The Importance of Experience

According to Billy Bennett, VP for Academic Affairs in LyIT and Registrar and former Head of the School of Business, the work placement is ‘a significant learning curve for graduates, but hugely important’, as it bridges the gap between marketing theory and academic studies and the real-life practicalities of the workplace.’ Students also experience the pressures and responsibilities of paid employment, because, as Bennett points out, it is a paid placement and the companies would not pay if they were not getting value for money.

Of course, the academic aspect is of equal importance, with students undergoing various marketing modules (research methods, managing sales, etc) and carrying out assignments on the strategic marketing plan they are applying in the workplace. Happily, most students thrive in this atmosphere and many go on to secure permanent marketing positions with their work placement employer.

DCU Marketing Postgrad

DCU has one of the strongest traditions of marketing education in the higher education sector, and the university’s MSc in Marketing has been running for almost two decades. Dr Michael Gannon, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at DCU, describes the course as ‘a specialist program designed to produce graduates with an in-depth marketing know-how and with the technical and personal skills to operate in a dynamic and increasingly competitive market’. Among the course’s unique features is an exchange agreement with the University of Illinois in the US, which has an Advertising Dept described by Forbes magazine as the best in the world.

The agreement allows for three DCU MSc Marketing students to spend a spring semester in the US. Another mainstay of the course is their Seminar Series whereby ‘visiting academics and business practitioners impart their experience and knowledge of marketing’, explains Dr. Gannon. Speakers from universities such as Harvard and companies such as Google and Microsoft attend the university and ‘fairly well established, people in industry readily accept invitations to come and speak’. Graduates of the course are ‘getting picked up fairly readily’ according to Dr. Gannon, with large players in the marketing sector always looking for people.

Graduates are employed with agencies such as Lansdowne Market Research, and in-house with companies such as Bank of Ireland and Google. A number also pursue a PhD in DCU or other institutions, e. g. the prestigious York University of Toronto. Besides DCU, a taught MBS in Marketing is available in the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business, UCC, and Dundalk IT (where there is a dual focus on marketing and entrepreneurship).

Alternative Options

Whereas the MSc is well suited to graduates seeking an opportunity for further study, numerous qualifications that are awarded by professional bodies are also on offer that would greatly benefit experienced marketing professionals. Such programmes include the MSc Masters in Marketing (Executive) in TU Dublin (formerly DIT). A two-year, part-time programme; the first year involves ‘the up-skilling and deepening of functional marketing knowledge and expertise’, and students develop ‘greater strategic perspective and organisational insights’ in year two.

But what about those poor souls who the think the ‘four Ps’ are a popular hip-hop outfit? Knowledge of marketing is vital in a huge variety of careers, so thankfully there are postgraduate crash courses for the uninitiated who lack marketing qualifications. These include TU Dublin’s Management & Marketing for Non-Business Graduates and their Higher Diploma in Business in Marketing. That’s ‘product’, ‘price’, ‘place’ and ‘promotion’ by the way, or what’s commonly referred to as the ‘Marketing Mix’.

Is a Career in Marketing for You?

Graduates of every postgraduate marketing course have to work in a challenging environment, where marketing experts now compete on a global scale in a constantly evolving digital environment. They need to be more creative and able to practice guerrilla marketing [lower cost, unconventional campaigns] – making using of the internet and social media for example. Yet, one of the strongest tools a marketer can yield is the ability in creating and maintaining strong customer relationships.


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