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THE UK: Subject Guides

Marketing at the University of Derby (UK)

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Marketing has always been one of the most popular areas of Business to study. Circumstances are never the same for long, and professionals are constantly being called on to respond to these changes. Because marketing is at the heart of so many organisations, graduates can expect excellent career prospects with some of the largest companies, nationally and internationally.

Richard Hucker and Alison Lawson, two marketing lecturers from the University of Derby, spoke to us about how the likes of Facebook and Twitter have made the discipline new again, as well as why the University's location is prime for graduates hoping to join one of several world-renowned brands:


What one aspect of the course you teach do you personally look forward to each year, and why?

Alison: The really exciting thing for me is seeing the difference that our students can make for real businesses. We work with local businesses and organisations on live case-studies, such as suggesting strategic direction for small companies or devising new services that are focused on customers’ needs. These practical applications of the theory are rewarding for all of us – the students, the companies and me!


Tell us a bit about the faculty or staff in the department, and where they come from.

Richard: In the Derby Business School almost without exception the professors come from companies and industries that you would all recognise and they maintain links with a wide range of business and management contexts to ensure that our teaching is underpinned by both research and reality.

Alison: The marketing team has experience of a range of settings, from large commercial organisations to smaller charities and public sector bodies. We all have practical experience of strategic and tactical marketing and many are still actively engaged with companies as consultants or researchers.


What are the benefits of studying this course at this particular university?

Richard: The University of Derby provides all the facilities that you need in an environment that is friendly, supportive and above all else, lively. There is a good link between the historically important city of Derby, its heritage, its students and the world class companies that are on our doorstep such as Bombardier, Rolls Royce, Toyota, etc. As a medium sized city students feel very safe and yet have access to London only 90 minutes way or Birmingham, the second city, only 40 minutes away. Even nearer are Sheffield, Leicester and Nottingham. The city of Derby is at the heart of one of the most beautiful counties in Britain, Derbyshire, which is full of amazing discoveries.


Why is it an exciting time for prospective students to move into marketing?

Alison: Marketing has never been so important. Many markets are now hugely competitive and organisations have access to consumers all over the world. Understanding how consumers think and behave, which strategies will work for which products or services, how each market should be targeted and which promotional tools are most appropriate will be key to business success in the future. Marketing is not persuading people to buy products or services they do not want or need – it is finding out what people want or need, then supplying it to them in the right ways and making sure they know about it.

Many new tools are now available to marketers, too. The internet has brought us websites, email and social media – these technologies have changed the way consumers behave and the way companies operate. Marketing professionals need to know how to use these tools effectively to get the best out of them in the future.


Can you give a few examples of the roles and positions which graduates have gone onto?

Richard: There are so many examples. Some are amazing, like a few individuals who have become politicians and senior government officers. Others are running either their own businesses in tourism, consultancy, import/export, sports management, or building careers in both public and private sector companies.

Alison: Students have gone into a range of graduate-level positions, such as market research analyst, branding executive for a national chain of high-street shops, services manager for a national catering company and marketing officer for a university business school. Several of our students have gone on to teach marketing and many stay in touch to let us know how they are getting on. It is great to see some of them come back each year to talk to our current students about the work that they do.


Read more about the University of Derby, and the different courses they offer.

You can also read about one marketing student's experience.

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