Course Insight: Marketing Year One

As per my profile on the website, I study Marketing here at Edge Hill. Marketing has always been part of my life, from high school to college, and now University, so naturally I was always going to write a blog about the course. Right off the bat, a disclaimer that your experiences will differ from mine, timetables, module choices, and assignments change very often.

My degree is spaced over three years, though I plan to take a year out to do a sandwich placement, making it technically four. A sandwich placement is fancy phrasing for a year working in industry. This year I have studied six modules, as per the standard in the Business School in order to achieve your required credits.

These are modules I have studied:

A lot of people will be wondering how the lectures work, I know I wondered the same thing. The modules I’ve had last only one semester occurred in classroom settings with a seminar consolidating the contents of the lecture right after, this often sounds like it’d last a long time, but you often get a coffee or toilet break that sections it up nicely. My Digital Marketing and Business Start-Up lectures lasted an hour in a lecture hall, then seminars took place in a separate room, classroom style. Overall I really enjoyed this method of learning as it broke up information intake really nicely, it suits me a lot more than High School or College style. My timetable was spanned over three days, giving me Tuesdays and Fridays free!

An academic tip would be to sleep in on your days off, and then use them to do reading or pre-lecture prep’, it’s a good method of keeping on top of your studies without things feeling over baring.

My modules have all been a mix of different assignments, two having exams. Exams aren’t as stressful as any prior ones you’ll have sat, the seating arrangement is a lot more relaxed, you can leave when you’re done granted you’re in a specific timing and overall it felt like a much more comfortable process.

Overall, I really enjoy how my course’s first year has been structured. Of course, this layout will not apply for all and every degree offered by Edge Hill, but I consider this a useful resource for applicants worried about how things will be after their Fresher’s Week.


Vocational or Academic – Which type of degree is right for you?

I’ve been reading books on Teaching and I realised there are two types of qualifications – Vocational is like “training for a specific role”, and Academic is “life enhancement”. 

I know people who have regretted / not regretted choosing their degree because it fell into one or the other (or both) of these categories, hence this post talks about differences between the two to help my readers choose the best undergraduate or postgraduate options if that is what they are considering going into… I have previously studied a vocationally related qualification for further education, and my current higher education degree is considered Academic with elements of Vocational.

As a HUGE generalisation, qualifications with “studies” or sometimes “-logy” on the end (with one exception being some Technology BSc’s and BEng’s), as well as “traditional degrees”, are usually Academic based. Degrees from Music(ology) and Social Studies ect., to History and English Literature ect. are common in Universities. Academic degrees can broaden horizons and provide a more cultured mind. Hence for these disciplines, students are usually required to research, write and present innovative ideas whether in essays, presentations and / or exams. Whilst there are advantages in developing a well informed intelligence, please be aware of the state of Academia itself – (Wildly assuming those who study an Academic qualification want to work in Academia as a future career) It is common knowledge that professional researching can be an extremely rewarding work world, but the flip side is that those jobs are seriously few and far between!

Again as another HUGE generalisation, Vocational qualifications have a strong practical element as the aims of them are taylor made for an obvious career. Some examples include Medicine, Law, Engineering and Teacher Training (but not necessarily Education Studies). Whilst I’m sure it’s fantastic to study a degree where the post graduation future is not so foggy, I must stress how “narrow” these disciplines can be. What if when you are committing 3 or even 10 years studying a vocational discipline and decide it’s not for you half way through, even through there’s an visible career at the end?

I think the best way to find out if a qualification is right for you is to visit Open Days and speak to course tutors and students on that course. To me, everything is different in real life compared to what is one paper (which is why I am not going into differences between BA, BSc, BMus, BEng, LLB ect. degrees here, but I will do for the next blog), and frankly it’s not worth wasting huge amounts of time and money on courses you are not suited for.

I recommend choosing a course which is essential for you get to your future dream career.

Academic Interests

As my readers probably already know, one of my passions is Employment and Employability ect. as I feel it is the most important part of life, and it hits me when I see others (on TV documentaries and / or in real life) suffer because of Unemployment. Henceforth, this year I will integrate this passion with some of my academic work this year – there’s nothing set in stone yet, but for the Music And The Moving Image module this semester I am considering writing about how music is used within Poverty Porn (“Benefits Street”, “We Pay All Your Benefits” ect.) to represent Unemployed persons… For this post, I am going to talk about some of the Academic Interests I have developed while at University so far – In order for my course work to shine (in my mind) I blend the set outlines with other subject matter that I am passionate about.

– J-pop

The most recent interest is the Japanese Music Industry – I am interested in how musicians compete (in my opinion, there’s not a great deal of money in the Arts), and since Japan currently has the 2nd largest music market country wise, and Asia has the 1st largest music market continent wise, theoretically the music industry in Japan has the hardest time trying to stay afloat due to extreme competition from domestic and neighbouring overseas markets. It is the unique and innovative ways that industry uses that intrigues me – I recently wrote an essay about some of their notable sustainability techniques.

Video: Japanese super group Morning Musume – The J-pop version of Doctor Who. In order to stay fresh, the group “regenerates” as certain current members are dropped and new members join.

– Business Innovation and Sustainability

I am also interested in how business practice can think outside of the box to benefit itself culturally and economically. Business of course surrounds us in nearly every possibly way – from the software being used to write this post to the hardware you are using to view it and beyond, and as someone who runs a business project (a record label), I am wanting to find out more about how entrepreneurs come up with new ways of creating capital as there are many ways to move forward.

– Popular Culture

Of course business only works if their products and / or service sells well. While I am interested in how something can be “popular”, this is the most broad of my interests and the most challenging. There are about six sections in the library dedicated to cultural studies (excluding exclusive Sociology), which goes to show that there are a million and one ways to analyse what makes something (generalisation alert) interesting to the masses and what does not.

My degree is mainly an academic one and I realise not all degrees are like that, however I am still happy that I can explore and maybe blend certain disciplines to inform my research. I’m frankly a little skeptical as to how academia (essays and presentations) can help you get a job outside academia, but then again it’s common knowledge that graduate level jobs require you to write loads and regularly do presentations so I suppose a degree is good preparation for that stuff.