Concept of the master’s programme
The master’s programme and industry demands
The modern economy and business have high requirements for the qualifications of young specialists, including those who are employed in marketing communications. This is heightened because modern business is practically impossible without marketing communications. A knowledge of marketing communications is an important part of the education of managers working in various areas.
An obvious challenge for industry experts is the rapid and substantial change to the industry. The marketing communications environment has changed more over the last 10-12 years than it did in the previous three or four decades. The digital revolution, a booming growth of the number of communication channels, interactive marketing platforms and the practice of ‘integrated marketing communications’ – these, as well as many other developments form the new coordinates both for business and for the system of education.
These new requirements for professional competencies are also a result of more general factors related to globalization and the growth of developing markets, universal innovative processes and the creation of new models of entrepreneurship. A separate issue is the demand from the players on the Russian market. The relevance of this programme and the need for these skills have been confirmed by such employers as the Russian Association of Communication Agencies, Rusbrand organization of leading Russian advertisers and others. At the same time, representative market studies of educational services carried out by the HSE Faculties of Economics and Management provides evidence that a considerable number of graduates plan to build their career in the sphere of marketing communications.
The master’s programme on the educational market
The competitive advantages of the programme are determined by several factors. Firstly, the suggested formats of education are based both on the traditions of Russian fundamental education and on the best examples of international approaches. Secondly, the contents of the programme includes the study of marketing communications alongside the basic disciplines of management and marketing, and this results in an effective balance of general theoretical and specific applied knowledge and competencies. Thirdly, the programme attracts experts who have a lot of experience of teaching and research work, on one hand, and are deeply involved in business practices, on the other. Fourthly, the programme is unique since it uses both the technological and intellectual resources of international (WPP) and Russian (Video International) companies, both of whom are leaders of the marketing communications industry.
The programme is based on proven international experience of teaching. An analysis of curricula of the leading American universities in marketing communications and advertising (University of Texas at Austin, University of Florida, Northwestern University, Michigan State University, University of Boston) has been carried out, and two ways of teaching were revealed. This is either an independent master’s programme in marketing communications and/or advertising, or basic educational modules as part of programmes in marketing or management. This is also used in many universities in Great Britain and Europe.
Generally, over the last decade, the industry has broadened its view on the subject of marketing communications. For example, the leading professional publication in this area, ‘International Journal of Advertising’, now comes with a byline ‘The Quarterly Review of Marketing Communications’. This trend also relates to education. The master’s programme is in line with this modern trend.
Graduates’ competencies and career opportunities
The fundamental and practical training offered by the programme means the graduates will be in demand from key market players, such as:
- Companies – producers of goods and services
- Marketing communication companies (advertising and communication agencies)
- Mass media
- Analytical, consulting and research companies
The areas of activity for our graduates are rather broad and include, for example, the following positions: brand manager, account-manager, researcher in media/advertising market, expert in communication strategy development, media planner, media buyer, market analyst, PR manager, consultant in media advertising business.