Corporate communications is driven by common sense, but this is not enough. To be a viable profession, it also needs a strong conceptual base for explaining why best practice works, and an evidence base from research. You will learn about cutting edge research from those who are doing it, and to contribute to that research through your own projects.
The course offers a unique approach to strategic management combining up-to-the minute case studies and practical examples of best practice. As a student you will look at modules ranging from communications and business strategy, communication with employees, customers, government and media as well as specific types of communication. This course has already helped many professionals boost their career.
The course offers a professional development route for experienced communicators. On completion of the course, graduates will be equipped to play a strategic role in defining and managing a company's relationships with its key stakeholders, and in protecting and promoting corporate reputation. They will typically work in the corporate communications function within a large company or as a change agent within a consultancy firm.
Typical compulsory and optional course units include: Corporate Communications; Corporate Social Responsibility; Corporate Reputation; Design Management and Corporate Communications; Corporate Governance and Financial Reputation; Employee Communication; Crisis Management; Research Methods and Data Analysis; Consumer Behaviour; Services Marketing; Retail Marketing; and Marketing Communications.
Semester 1 (three core and a choice of one elective – all taught course units are 15 credits)
• Corporate Communications
This course unit aims to provide an introduction to corporate communications, covering its
management context, scope and principal issues, to present an overview of corporate
communication as an integral part of the business process and to introduce appropriate analytical
frameworks and prescriptive methods, supported by cases and exercises.
• Corporate Social Responsibility
This course unit covers corporate social responsibility and accountability, the link between social
responsibility and financial performance, social auditing, accounting and reporting, ethics and
international business. It introduces basic ethical principles relevant to the world of business and
illustrates the application of ethical principles using a range of case studies.
• Corporate Reputation
This course unit looks at corporate reputation from strategic perspectives, sources of reputation,
protection and promotion of the reputation of the organisation, assessing the reputation. It
presents a new way of managing the corporate strategy of an organisation, based on managing
reputation with multiple stakeholders and covers core concepts and measures of reputation
management (corporate culture, branding, identity, employee training, and corporate values) but,
most important, uses material developed at Manchester Business School in work with over 30
organisations since 1998. It provides the opportunity to debate some original thinking with those
who developed it and who are using it with a range of organisations.
Choose from either
• Design Management and Corporate Communications
This course unit focuses on design management in creative industries. It covers sourcing an
agency, setting a brief, costing, project management and evaluation, and visual tactility of a
campaign through practical examples. It also provides a useful overview of the media mix and the
role of different media for corporate identity management and communications.
• Corporate Governance and Financial Reputation
This course unit introduces an overview of key topics in corporate governances for example:
economic history and competing economic models, Anglo-American versus Continental;
ownership and institutional structures; CEO remuneration, internal and external corporate
mechanism. The other half of the module provides practices of financial reporting and
fundamentals, analysis of corporate governance reports and their relationships with
accounting and auditing.
Semester 2 (three core and a choice of one elective)
• Employee Communications
This course unit aims to provide an analysis of organisational change processes and the range of
theories of organisational change, to apply a complexity theory perspective to understanding
organisational change and to provide an understanding of the role of internal communication in
implementing an organisation’s change strategy.
• Crisis Management
This course unit aims to provide an analysis of proactive and reactive approaches to the
management of crises, to provide an understanding of the importance of strategic relationships
with stakeholders in effective issues management and to develop an understanding of the
complexities of managing the often competing interests of stakeholders in preventing and
recovering from crises.
• Research Methods and Data Analysis
The purpose of this course unit is to prepare you for working on your dissertation. It builds on the
work carried out in the first semester concerning the theory of research methods by familiarising
you with approaches and techniques, which you may use in carrying out your dissertation. The
course unit will show you how to categorise quantitative and qualitative data and choose
appropriate methods of analysis for the data. It will allow you hands-on experience of analysing
data and interpreting statistical output and shows how qualitative data from interviews can be
organised and analysed.
Choose from either
• Consumer Behaviour
The course unit aims to provide you with an understanding of consumer behaviour; to acquaint
you with the factors which influence consumer behaviour at different stages of the consumption
process; and to outline the links between consumer behaviour research and marketing theory and
• Services Marketing
This course unit considers the development of theories of services marketing. You will gain an
understanding of key aspects of marketing management and strategy in the services sector to
include consumer behaviour, elements of the marketing mix, service quality and
internationalisation. Particular focus will be given to research evidence in industries such as
financial services, tourism, education and healthcare.
• Retail Marketing
The primary focus of this course unit is upon the major issues and strategies of retail
management. Particular attention is given to the key elements of retail marketing strategies,
and related aspects of consumer behaviour. The course also seeks to develop a wider
understanding of the functions of retail systems within the UK and Europe, including an
appreciation of the crucial role of major retailers within the marketing channel.
• Marketing Communications
The course unit aims to provide an understanding of how marketing communications contribute to
organizational strategy. It covers topics such as how to assess the different elements of the
communications mix; how to evaluate models of marketing communications and how to examine
the process of developing a marketing communications strategy.
• Summer research period
During this period you will carry out an original piece of research. You will have a
supervisor, who will discuss your choice of research project with you and advise and guide you
through the process. Recent dissertations have covered:
• Media reputation of biotechnology firms
• Employer branding
• Corruptions in international business
• National identity
• E-reputation of hotels
• Managing employee commitment during organisational change