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The basics
Study abroad : Subject Guides

What is digital marketing?

If you’ve been looking for a subject that combines technology, creativity and an analytical eye, digital marketing is a field you should explore. Read on to find out why.

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Does working in a creative and dynamic field appeal to you? Are you looking for a way to combine your digital expertise with developing, promoting and selling products and services? If so, digital marketing is a good choice of degree or qualification. Not only is it a developing field, but there are also numerous specialisations you can pursue. We take you through what digital marketing is all about, including what you’ll study, the skills you need, and what your career could look like.


What is digital marketing?


Digital marketing focuses on the use of technology for the promotion and selling of products, brands, and services. This can be using mobile app technology on smartphones, the browser on your desktop, or your favourite movie streaming platform.


You’re likely to have seen or interacted with some elements of digital marketing in your everyday life that include:


  • Text messaging
  • Emails
  • Social media adverts
  • Instant messages
  • Video adverts
  • Search engine results
  • Billboards
  • App advertising
  • Website banners


When thinking about what defines digital marketing, a useful perspective is - if it’s happening online or on the internet, it falls under this umbrella.


Read more about what it's like to study marketing.


What will I study in a digital marketing degree?


You can study a digital marketing qualification at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The degree is generally offered as BSc (Hons) or MSc qualification, lasting three/four years for a BSc and one year full-time for an MSc.


Universities will structure their curriculum and modules slightly differently. However, there are key areas you’ll study that are common to most undergraduate digital marketing degrees. These include:


  • Marketing communications
  • Campaign planning and management
  • Marketing principles
  • Data analytics
  • B2C marketing
  • B2B marketing
  • International marketing
  • Content development
  • Brand management
  • Marketing finance and budgeting
  • Platform-specific marketing
  • SEO


MSc digital marketing qualifications are usually taught master’s degrees, with several compulsory and elective modules. At a master’s level, you’ll build on the foundation of a related subject, or a BSc in the subject, refining some of the key skills such as:


  • Management and leadership
  • Marketing metrics analysis
  • Strategic management
  • Customer journeys


Some master’s degrees include work placement and internship modules as part of the course as well as a dissertation or research report.


Are you trying to decide between studying for a degree in PR or marketing?


What skills do you need to study digital marketing?


If you are trying to decide whether studying digital marketing would be a good choice, it’s useful to think about some of the skills or interests you need to have. It’s important to match your study choice with your personality and to think about your study choice and the career you’re aiming for.


For digital marketing, you will need to have the skills in using digital technology and platforms. Understanding how websites, apps, and social media platforms work is critical. Some of the other skills and abilities that are important for the field are:


  • Creativity
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Research ability
  • Flexibility
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Writing and design skills


Digital marketing is also a continually evolving and developing field, so you’ll have the opportunity to grow your skills. Some digital marketing jobs did not even exist five years ago.


Discover what skills employers look for in graduates.


What are the entry requirements for a digital marketing degree?


To gain admission to a BSc Digital Marketing degree you will have to meet several entry requirements. For most undergraduate degrees in the subject, an A-Level result of AAB is required. This is equivalent to an SAT 1,320 reasoning (combined) and 700 in three subject tests. If you’re applying with an International Baccalaureate, you’ll need 34 points and 17 points at a higher level.


For a degree in digital marketing, you will also need to demonstrate your English language ability. Most universities require an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, with no band score below 6. Remember that it is possible to take a pre-sessional English course to prepare you for your academic course.


Find out more about how to prepare for the IELTS test.


What can you do with a digital marketing degree?


The good news about studying digital marketing is that the skills you learn are applicable in several sectors, industries, and roles. You could find yourself working in sectors, such as:


  • Education
  • Finance
  • Advertising
  • Public sector
  • Charity and NGO
  • Engineering
  • Technology


Some of the roles that you may be able to fulfil and take on with a qualification in digital marketing can include:


  • Communications manager
  • Content manager
  • Copywriter
  • Digital marketer
  • Social media manager
  • SEO manager


Starting out working in digital marketing, you can earn on average between GBP 22,000 to GBP 25,000 per year. As you progress and gain experience, this can increase to GBP 30,000 to GBP 33,000 per year, while many years of experience can earn you over GBP 50,000 a year. It’s also a dynamic and growing career path that is a good choice for the future.


With your new knowledge of digital marketing, it could be time to further your research journey. Get some top tips on searching for a job as a graduate and read about some of the other creative field jobs you can pursue.  You can also search for your ideal degree and university using our course matcher tool.

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