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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically analyse issues around advertising, media and communications strategies
2. Demonstrate knowledge of process, practices and relationships in marketing communications
3. Demonstrate competence in selecting and evaluating appropriate media channels traditional and digital

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture46Lectures; discussions, seminars
Class Presentation10Preparation and presentation of mini-cases; discussion
Assignment Completion64Channel Assignment/ Literature review
Portfolio Preparation80No Description
Total Workload: 200

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction: Advertising and Communications in the Digital Age
In this introductory session we outline the structure of the module. We introduce the concept of marketing communications and the developments which have occurred in recent years. We discuss the function of marketing communications for both the producers and consumers of advertising, the rise of digital and social media and the wider issues of convergence, differentiation and specialisation.

Media Channels: Traditional, Social, and Digital
The use of digital and social media has grown in functional importance for consumers, commercial enterprises and advertising agencies alike. At the same time, so called traditional media channels and vehicles remain popular and indeed important. An understanding of media channels is crucial to media planning and strategy. Over several weeks we critically appraise the various channels with a particular emphasis on digital and social media.

Campaign Tracking and Effectiveness in Marketing Communications
In this topic we examine both rationale and options for the analysis of marketing communications campaigns prior to and after the launch of the campaign. We also look at efforts to address the effectiveness of both new and existing media platforms in light of client concerns, and in the context of an increasingly competitive media market, and the increasing concern with metrics.

Campaign Organisation and Planning
We examine the central functions of an advertising agency and the structure of intra and inter-agency relations. We examine the challenges faced by those fulfilling the functions of account director, account planning and creative in the context of evolving client-agency relations. We look at the the advertising development process and the pressures and constraints associated with the ‘pitch’ process.

The function of creativity
The function of creativity is often automatically linked with advertising. But why is creativity considered so important? In this session we look at broader social dynamic through which creativity has come to be considered so important, but in different ways, and for different reasons, for various advertising functionaries.

Advertising and Consumers
In this topic we examine how advertising agencies (and clients) have sought to understand (and predict) how consumers think and act. Over the decades advertisers have used various theories to legitimise their campaigns and advertising more broadly. We examine some of the more popular theoretical ideas utilised and critically evaluate the assumptions underpinning them.

Social issues: Ethics; Privacy; Emerging Issues
These sessions will be discussion based as we consider issues around privacy, what privacy means and how it is enforced and managed in an online context; the ethical issues and implications of marketing communications campaigns; and we consider digital information literacy in the era of fake news and echo chambers.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Chris Hackley,Rungpaka Amy Hackley: 2018, Advertising and Promotion, SAGE Publications Limited, 9781473997998
  • Heggde, Githa, G., Shainesh: 2018, Social Media Marketing Emerging Concepts and Applications, Palgrave, 9789811053
  • Julie Atherton: 2019, Social Media Strategy A Practical Guide to Social Media Marketing and Customer Engagement, 1, Kogan Page,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes