Creative Advertising MA

Creative Advertising, student project
1 year full-time
Direct line
01326 213730

On this challenging, hands-on course designed by industry professionals, you'll create advertising from your very first week and become adept at communication through practical, studio-based learning. Simulating the advertising industry, you'll work in art director/copywriter partnerships to devise campaigns for real products in a wide range of media, resulting in a thorough and professional portfolio.

From idea conception to delivery, you’ll learn how to work to a client's brief and present your ideas effectively. As a member of Design & Art Direction (D&AD) – the industry's most influential body – the course gives you the opportunity to exhibit your work at the New Blood competition and meet key industry figures, whilst workshops and placements at top international agencies will equip you with the contacts and understanding to win the job you want after graduation.

  • Work on projects based on real agency briefs
  • Undertake strategic planning, conceptual thinking and execution necessary to create an engaging, relevant and coherent campaign
  • Build your capabilities to encompass the latest online and social media techniques
  • Consider the impact of your work within ethical, economic, psychological and socio-political frameworks
  • Gain the critical understanding that underpins the work of mature, reflective, professional practitioners


  • MA Creative Advertising is a founder member of the D&AD university network.
  • Students on the course win prestigious awards year after year, in industry competitions including D&AD and YCN.
  • The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) supports MA Creative Advertising.
  • Take part in London Study Week, at the heart of the creative advertising industry.
  • Visit a leading headhunter.


MA Creative Advertising mirrors professional life in an agency creative department as closely as possible. By teaching you to think strategically and to write and art direct advertising across all media, we will help you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence required for a successful career.

D&AD and IPA logos

We regularly update our blog to give you a better feel for the course: MA Creative Advertising blog

Building professional experience

A unique feature of the MA, our London Study Week puts you at the heart of the creative advertising industry, building knowledge and making contacts. What's more it will give you a vital and thorough grounding in agency structure and how it corresponds and responds to clients' business. We also visit a leading headhunter, who'll show you a variety of portfolios that demonstrate best practice in terms of creativity and winning jobs.

Our graduates are employed worldwide by agencies, media companies and in-house advertising units such as DDB, Wieden & Kennedy, BBH, the BBC, Saatchi & Saatchi, Havas Worldwide, Figtree, Ogilvy One, Dyson, VCCP, Mindshare, Leo Burnett, TBWA, Agency Republic, McCann-Erickson, Publicis and 180 Amsterdam.

To read about some of our recent student successes in the ad industry, see the section entitled Alumni Profiles.

How the course is taught

You'll be taught in small groups, through individual and team tutorials, seminars and workshops, supported by lectures from key figures in advertising and related media. The course replicates the experience of working in a typical full-service agency and your project work will be delivered within that context. As well as working individually, you'll work in copywriter/art director pairs and groups to strengthen your communication and negotiation skills. Our Virtual Learning Environment provides information to assist you with research and project work.

Course outline

This is a one-year, full-time course delivered over 45 weeks and divided into three 15-week study blocks:

Study Blocks 1 & 2

Study Block 1 focuses on strategic thinking as the first step in fulfilling clients' briefs. If your specialism is art direction, you'll learn vital layout and typography skills, as well as developing your appreciation of photography, film, illustration and fine art, and their application to advertising. For copywriters, a range of practical projects will further your writing skills, helping you write in a clear, lively and visual style to stimulate your audience.

During London Study Week, we visit a number of major advertising agencies (see Building professional experience).

Study Block 3

In Study Block 3, you'll produce a portfolio that will help your transition into this competitive industry. Working with a partner – copywriter or art director – your portfolio can include live projects negotiated with agencies and clients, supported and advised by the course team.

The course's practical elements are substantiated by theoretical studies in Visual Culture & Communication, where you'll research and analyse advertising within changing cultural contexts. The Applied Technology unit gives you hands-on IT training, including using software packages like InDesign, Photoshop, imaging, file conversion, typography and web development.

MA Creative Advertising course map


  • Full IT facilities
  • Course-specific computer suite
  • Large Mac suite where most of the IT lectures take place


  • Assessment at the end of each study block
  • Combination of visual, verbal and written assignments
  • Final, external assessment takes place in September


Potential careers include:
  • Copywriter, Art Director or Creative Director
  • Strategic planner
  • Marketing director, communications officer or event manager
  • Web content producer
  • Research and further education