Social Business and Sustainable Marketing

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Salford Business School

2014 THE Award Winner
Business School of the Year

Industrial Placement
Part-time study available
Alternative start dates available
Overseas study available
Based at MediaCityUK
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Social Business and Sustainable Marketing at Salford


Gain specialist knowledge around social enterprise and sustainability to become the social business leaders of tomorrow


Learn to develop creative and original solutions to address key social problems


Opportunity to take a live Business Innovation Project and prepare you for a career in social businesses

Course Summary

This programme will increase participants’ knowledge and understanding of national and international social business models and sustainable marketing functions. More specifically, it aims to achieve the following:

  • Develop the effectiveness of the individual as a social business manager capable of operating in national and international environments, thus enhancing their attractiveness to a potential employer.
  • Develop an integrated and critical understanding of the social business and sustainable marketing functions and their place in the development of effective organisational strategies in both commercial and non-commercial sectors.
  • Develop critical awareness of the role of marketing in relation to social business, sustainability and marketing ethics.
  • Develop participants’ ability to work on their own and with others, in systematically and creatively applying knowledge of theory and practice to resolving societal/sustainable marketing problems faced by organisations in commercial and non-commercial sectors.

Course Details

The course is block delivered and there are six entry points per year. Students will take the modules below in a sequence dependent on their start date.

Course Structure

Semester 1

This module will help you to demonstrate an advanced, systematic understanding of the concepts, theories and debates surrounding the roles and responsibilities of social business. You will also learn how to exhibit a critical knowledge of the complex, ethical dilemmas involved in creating, developing and sustaining socially responsible organisations. You will also be encouraged to demonstrate originality and creativity around the practical application of innovative management thinking to social problems.
You will gain a thorough understanding of both current and future issues in strategic marketing management, assess how marketing is managed internally and externally by organisations from different sectors and how such organisations are impacted by issues in sustainable business, business ethics and consumer/societal well-being. You will also be encouraged to critically and effectively assess the value of theories, concepts and models to the practices of the service sector and how they manage service quality.

Semester 2

This module will help you to analyse and critically evaluate the ways in which marketing communications are adapted in view of specific market cultures and consumer behaviours. You will be encouraged to demonstrate a sound understanding of the role and importance of national culture and verbal/non-verbal communication in shaping managerial attitudes and actions, and in the establishment and maintenance of cross-cultural stakeholder relationships. You will also learn to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of CSR and ‘corporate citizenship’ in international communications, operations and in the development and maintenance of stakeholder relationships.
You will be able to critically evaluate the principles and processes involved in developing integrated marketing communications and analyse the impact of technology and other environmental influences on marketing communications and the media. This module will also help you to critically discuss the evolution of online marketing strategies and develop digital marketing strategy focusing on content/ message leading to media/channel and tracking/measurement of implementation.

Semester 3

Flexible final study options        

Salford Business School has one of the most flexible suites of post-graduate taught programmes in the UK.

For the final third of your studies you can choose from 4 differing pathways, all of which are designed to accommodate your career aspirations and enhance your professional practice:

  • Dissertation – traditional 3 month research pathway.
  • Live Project – 3 month group project activity researching a commercial project.
  • Internship – 3 month opportunity to develop your skills working in partnership with an organisation.
  • Placement – 6 month paid work experience implementing a commercial project.
This traditional route involves a substantive piece of research, which can examine contemporary or historical challenges in business, economic or management contexts.        

The dissertation can be undertaken within a company, a sponsoring organisation, or investigate an area which is of interest to you.  Study is undertaken in the UK, or sometimes overseas – some international students may possibly return to their country to work on an industrial research project.

  • 3 month research project culminating in a 12-15,000 word dissertation
  • Topics can be undertaken in a number of areas:
  • personal interest in a topic area which supports your career aspirations.
  • an academic’s research area which explores challenging developments in the supervisor’s  area of expertise.
  • in partnership with a company or sponsoring company.
  • an entrepreneurial opportunity, particularly suitable if you wish to research your own  business opportunity.
This is a group project (teams of 2 to 5 students) examining an organisational problem or opportunity. Students work on sizeable commercial projects, which are broken down by the team.  Live projects reflect commercial realities of delivering complex commercial projects through the combined efforts of a committed team.        
  • 3 month commercial research project.
  • Group presentation and executive report, coupled with an individual 8-10,000 word report.
This involves working on a company project. The majority of internships are voluntary positions, which support work experience with a company in a particular sector. A number of projects exist for suitable students, in many cases students are supported in finding and securing internships with the support of the School’s Employability Hub.        
  • 1 to 3 month commercial project, undertaken full or part-time with the host company
  • Internships are often voluntary positions providing interesting project experience, some positions are paid – potentially up to 86 UNITE Projects are available in 2013-14.
  • 30-40 minute commercial presentation and 10,000 word professional dissertation.
Placements are paid positions working on implementing a commercial project. Placements provide valuable experience for student to demonstrate their commercial capabilities. Placements are limited and are competitive.        
  • 4 to 6 month work based project undertaken at the organisations premises.
  • Assessment consist portfolio of work, visitor assessment, presentation and interim report, culminating in a work related dissertation of 10,000 words.
  • Placements can be undertaken in the UK or overseas.
  • Students can undertake placements with their sponsor or employing organisation.
  • For international students placements are 6 months maximum due to visa restrictions.
  • For home/EU students, placements can possibly be extended to 12 months.
  • The salary range for placements range from £14,320 to £25,000 pro rata – the average is £19,555 pro rata.

Part-time study

If you are on the part-time course, you will be able to register for individual modules as part of CPD. The following example shows how the course could be taken on a part-time basis over two years:  

Year 1 - Semester 1

Social Business, 30 credits

Semester 2

Marketing and Services Management, 30 credits  

Semester 3

Marketing International Business: Branding, Communications and Relationships, 30 credits  

Year 2 - Semester 1

Search and Social Media Marketing, 30 credits  

Semesters 2 & 3

Business Innovation Project

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum 2:2 honours degree or equivalent or successful completion of the Graduate Certificate International Management.  

A wide range of professional qualifications are also accepted either in partial or complete fulfilment of entry requirements.  

Where a student has gained a recognised Honours degree but does not meet the normal entry qualification requirement, they may still be considered for entry if they can demonstrate relevant work experience of a minimum two years duration post study and acceptable level of responsibility.

Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

English Language Requirements

Normally IELTS 6.5 with no individual element below 5.5, or equivalent recognised Secure English Language Test, (SELT).  

If the English language qualification is slightly below this level candidates may be able to take one of the many English courses available in the University. Please search for English in Course Finder.

Suitable For

This programme is suitable for those who do not necessarily have a background in business or business-related studies, and who wish to develop their knowledge of social business, sustainability and marketing.

This course is also ideal if you are passionate about working in the third sector, and is also highly recommended if you are already working in this sector and want to further your career.

Applicant profile

Social businesses are renowned for their innovative ideas and their enthusiasm towards solving social problems. Therefore, you should be creative and enthusiastic about helping society to become a better place. This programme will also suit you if you are a self-starter, flexible and willing to work as part of a team.


The course is delivered in four blocks of three-day intensive study periods, followed by independent study and online support through the University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard. Each module is taken and assessed over a six week block.

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials using a wide range of learning activities.


Over the duration of your course a range of assessment techniques will be used. Types of assessment include; essays, assignments, case studies, exams, online tests, group reports and portfolio work.

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Dr Morven McEachern

Morven has over 20 years industry (agriculture/food) and academic experience. She is the Director of the Centre for Social Business and has a wide range of related research activities in the area of socially responsible management and ethical consumer behaviour. Her recent publications are featured on SEEK (  

Other academics noted on the Centre for Social Business webpage ( are also involved in the teaching/guest speakers on this course.


Generally there are two career routes open to graduates:

  • Self-employed entrepreneur
  • Employed within NGOs, public sector organisations or charities

This is a new course therefore, no examples of career routes for our graduates are offered. However, it is envisaged that students completing this programme will seek employment either via the creation of their own social enterprise or gain employment with NGOs, public sector, charities or government.

Career Prospects

Alumni Profile

Links with Industry

Through the Centre for Social Business, this course team maintains excellent relations with local, national and international social businesses and employers.Our teaching is industry-led, inspired by contemporary practice and developed in partnership with business leaders.

Our academics are experts in their field and work closely with industry to ensure that our courses reflect the needs of business and provide our students with that extra edge when it comes to securing a job.

In addition to the events organized by the Centre for Social Business, Salford Business School also operates a guest lecture series which allows you the chance to mix with professionals from industry, make connections, set up placements and conduct research.

Further Study

After completion of this MSc, interested students can continue their studies and gain a PhD in an area relating to Social Business.  

The corresponding Centre for Social Business particularly welcomes PhD proposals in any area of social business. To discuss a PhD, business or study proposal, please contact the Director, Dr Morven McEachern on +44 (0)161 295 4095 ( or Co-Director Professor Jo Crotty on +44 (0)161 295 4280 (

All postgraduate research applications should follow the University of Salford’s guidelines and be sent via the College Research Team - see how to apply for a Business PhD.

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,250 per 30 credits
Full-time International£13,300, part-time £2,217 per 30 credits
Full-time PgDip£5,000
Full-time PgCert£2,500

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships and Bursaries

£1000 Scholarship for MSc Social Business and Sustainable Marketing applicants

Thanks to the generosity of Ede & Ravenscroft, the University is able to offer a £1000 scholarship to a potential student interested in studying the MSc in Social Business and Sustainable Marketing.

Designed to support the University’s social business agenda, this award is open to UK, EU and International students interested in this new course.

Interested applicants should complete the course application form on-line and at the same time download and complete the summary form and email directly to Dr Morven McEachern, Director of the Centre for Social Business.

The deadline for applicants will be the 30 June 2015, and the recipient must have registered for the MSc course by this time. The winning application will be judged by a panel from the Centre for Social Business and the University Advancement Office.

We also offer awards to help you study through our:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • University of Salford student loyalty discount
  • Country bursary scheme for International students only

There are also other sources of funding available to you.

For more information please see our funding section


Salford Business School is located at the heart of the University’s Peel campus in the newly refurbished Lady Hale Building, and the Chapman Building, offering state-of-the-art facilities for the Business School’s student learning community and just minutes from Manchester city centre.

Chapman is a stylish modern space with six lecture theatres equipped with the very latest technology and large screen displays, a series of communal learning and breakout spaces, plus a Fairtrade café with views across the campus. Lady Hale is the home to all dedicated business school student support including the school office, an employability hub, a base for the Business School society, and several open study spaces. MediaCityUK is a core teaching facility for the Business School and a vibrant place in which to socialise and study. Home to major BBC and ITV departments, the University of Salford and over 80 businesses across the creative and digital sectors, MediaCityUK is recognised as one of the most innovative developments in Britain.