The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date

Heriot Watt University’s MSc in International Marketing with Consumer Psychology delivers a strong understanding of psychological approaches and interventions in consumer-led marketing strategies.



This is a unique Masters degree in International Marketing with Consumer Psychology from the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University. It delivers a strong understanding of psychological approaches and interventions in consumer-led marketing strategies.

This is a Specialist MSc

This is a specialist MSc degree which will develop your existing awareness of marketing processes to provide detailed insight into how consumers think, feel and act. 

Led by academics at the Edinburgh Business School, this Specialist MSc gives those who have worked in the field or studied a similar subject previously, the chance to expand, refine and enhance their knowledge.

The Edinburgh Business School approach

This 1-year Masters programme focuses almost entirely on the area of International Marketing and Consumer Psychology. It blends cutting-edge academic thinking with best practice from industry to give graduates and professionals the opportunity to advance with a highly employable skillset.

The programme combines a core of five international marketing management courses with two specialist consumer psychology courses.

  • Contemporary Consumers - examines the motivations and perspectives of consumers in different international locations.
  • International Strategic Marketing - identifies choices in marketing strategies for local and international brands, focusing on operating a global business.
  • Marketing Logistics - explains how to gain competitive advantage in the international market place by ensuring that the right products reach the right people at the right time.
  • Branding and Communications - considers the power of brands and helps you to master the key principles of brand management by learning how integrated marketing communications creates a valuable brand with strong, effective messaging.
  • Research Philosophy and Practice – provides training in a range of research skills that prepares you for the dissertation project and also provides the foundation for roles in market insight and business consultancy.

Specialist Consumer Psychology courses

The specialist courses on our International Marketing with Consumer Psychology include:

  • Psychology for Marketing introduces foundational psychological theory an applies these approaches to different stages of the consumption process
  • Introduction to Human Factors identifies major issues in consumer ergonomics and applies this understanding to a retail marketing context

Flexibility through optional courses

In addition to the five core courses in International Marketing and the two specialist courses in Consumer Psychology, this programme gives you the opportunity to select an optional course, customising your studies to meet the needs of your future career ambitions. You can select one from:

  • Managing Diversity
  • Digital Marketing
  • Tourism Management
  • Sustainable Marketing

Dissertation project

Over the summer the master’s dissertation enables you to deepen your knowledge of international marketing through research into a topic of your choice. You will gather and analyse data from companies or consumers within a consumer psychology setting which directly relates to your ambitions and interests.

Previous students on International Marketing with Consumer Psychology have conducted dissertations on topics such as:

  • Automobiles with sustainable drive technologies: the influence of consumers’ purchase intentions on their willingness to pay
  • A Theory on why memes are internationally successful with millennials in the UK and Germany and how they affect the emotional status of millennials
  • Consumer Perception of CSR: A Cross-cultural Analysis in Italy and the UK

Management competencies and skills for the workplace

Your international marketing competencies will be developed through case-study learning, direct interaction with industry and industry-focused assessments. Innovative group-based and individual coursework will challenge you to translate theory into marketing solutions and demonstrate skills in time management, team leadership, information management and verbal, written and digital communications. This year’s students gained experience in:

  • Producing a Vlog to communicate key messages in an authentic way and then evaluate how to repurpose content into a podcast
  • Designing and filming a brand advertisement
  • Evaluating the impact of the retail environment consumer decision making

These sought-after, transferrable skills you gain through this programme will position you as an attractive candidate for employers. Our recent graduates have gone on to launch international marketing management careers working for prestigious brands, including:

  • Charley’s: Marketing Coordinator
  • IPG Mediabrands: SEO Executive
  • BNP Paribas: Intern Recruiting and Employer Branding
  • Russell & Bromley: Online editor
  • Reprise Media: Account Executive

Interact with business leaders

Heriot-Watt’s MSc in International Marketing with Consumer Psychology benefits from strong links with industry and each year we welcome leading marketing practitioners to share experiences and insights with our students through inspirational and informative guest lectures.

These guest lectures will give you the opportunity to interact with business experts and discuss practical solutions to real problems whilst receiving guidance about careers in international marketing.  Recent guest speakers have represented a range of multinational companies and leading advertising agencies, including:

  • Baxters Food Group - Cara Chambers, Director of Marketing
  • Skyscanner - Murat Ozkok-Ohr, Growth and Communications Manager
  • The Leith Agency - Caitlin MacKie, Strategic Planner
  • Yard Digital Agency - Geoff Kennedy, Account Director
  • Backpage Press – Martin Greig and Neil White - Directors

International internship opportunity

This programme offers you the exclusive opportunity to apply for an competitive four-week international internship at the Toronto HQ and New York offices of Array Marketing. Array Marketing has over 35 years’  experience in the retail sector, producing innovative visual merchandising and point-of-purchase displays for leading brands such as L’Oréal, Urban Decay, MAC, Sephora, ULTA, Estee Lauder and Prada.  The internship provides experience across key operational areas including project management, digital marketing, merchandising, store fittings, and understanding the luxury consumer.  2016’s successful candidate was offered a permanent role with Array Marketing after presenting innovative business development ideas based on her dissertation research.

Diverse learning experience: a wealth of business and cultural perspectives

Studying on this programme will enable you to work alongside highly-motivated students from across the world who have chosen to progress their marketing knowledge at Heriot-Watt School of Social Sciences. This will develop your first-hand experience of working in international teams and providing you with crucial insights into a diverse range of markets and consumer perspectives, all of which are vital in international marketing. By sharing courses with students from other management disciplines you will also experience working alongside those with different business perspectives, a true-to-life insight into the multi-functional nature of international marketing management. Our thriving calendar of social events kicks off in week one with a bespoke induction event.  Our campus-based location will help you to balance your academic experiences with a rewarding social life, providing many opportunities to develop an international network of friends and contacts from our friendly, global community.

Programme duration

  • MSc: 12 months (full-time), 24 months (part-time)
  • PG Diploma: 9 months (full-time), 21 months (part-time)


The Chartered Institute of Marketing: Graduate Gateway

Heriot-Watt University has joined forces with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) to give students the opportunity to gain professional qualifications through CIM Graduate Gateway. CIM qualifications are highly sought after by employers, and map alongside our own degrees which ensures we are equipping students with the best opportunities for a successful marketing career.

Course content

Semester 1 (Sept - Dec)

  • Contemporary Consumers
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Marketing Logistics
  • Introduction to Human Factors

Semester 2 (Jan - April)

  • Branding and Communications
  • Research Philosophy and Practice
  • Psychology for Marketing
  • Option

You will take four mandatory courses in Semester 1 and three mandatory courses in Semester 2. In Semester 2 you will also choose to take one optional course from a range of four options.  The MSc dissertation is then undertaken between May and August.

Contemporary Consumers

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Critically evaluate the relevance of different perspectives in understanding 21st Century international consumers. Explore key managerial challenges faced in responding to consumers within international contexts.

International Strategic Marketing

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding of theoretical and practical perspectives of international marketing management strategies, as well as examines how marketing strategies are resourced and how they create value for the business.

Marketing Logistics

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding on the supply chain management and logistics initiatives in global context and its relation with marketing management.

Introduction to Human Factors

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Introduction to Human Factors identifies major issues in consumer ergonomics. The course covers underlying knowledge and skills to enable students to better understand how people behave. An improved understanding of behaviour will provide students with broader competence to approach retail marketing.

Branding and Communications

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding of the key principles of brand management from socio-cultural, psychological and anthropological perspectives, rather than relying on just the cognitive approach to branding. Identifies the rationale and obstacles toward adopting integrated marketing communications.

Research Philosophy and Practice

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Provides an understanding of the social science research process, as well as theory and approaches to research. Develops practical skills (i.e. quantitative and qualitative techniques) in data analysis to transform the raw data into information that guides marketing management valuations.

Psychology for Marketing

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Introduces aspects of psychological theory which are relevant for the consumer-focussed aspects of marketing. Specifically understanding of the varying theoretical approaches that have been adopted, and the different stages of the consumption process at which they operate.

Optional courses semester 2

  • Managing Diversity in Business

Provides understanding of the major areas of equality and diversity in organisations and society and examines the importance and benefits of diversity. Also looks at how diversity affects organisational effectiveness and examines the different approaches to equality/diversity and various diversity initiatives.

  • Advances in Digital Marketing
  • Issues and Trends in Tourism 
  • Sustainable Marketing

Meet the Course Leaders

Elaine Collinson B.A. (Hons), MPhil   Elaine Collinson is Associate Professor of Marketing and the Course Leader for International Strategic Marketing. She has over 25 years’ experience teaching in the area of marketing and is the Director of Postgraduate Studies and Director of Corporate Executive Relationships in the School of Social Sciences.

Professor Michael Danson is Professor of Enterprise Policy and Director of Doctoral Programmes and the Course Leader for Research Philosophy and Practice.  He has extensive experience of conducting research and providing policy advice on economic development, urban and regional labour markets, European and national programmes.

Dr Babak Taheri is an Associate Professor of Marketing and the Course Leader for Branding and Communications and Issues and Trends in Tourism. HIs research has a dual focus: ‘tourism marketing’ and ‘consumer research’. Throughout his career he has had over 70 academic publications and secured over £2.5m funding (including Horizon 2020 and KTP).

Dr Christine Rutherford is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management in the Logistics Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University and Course Leader for Marketing Logistics. Her research is in the area of supply chain strategy and planning, she has worked with several blue chip companies helping them improve their supply chain planning processes through consultancy and bespoke training.

Meet the Programme Director

Dr Kathryn Waite Kathryn Waite is an Assistant Professor of marketing, the Course Leader for Advances in Digital Marketing and Director of the International Marketing Management MSc Programmes. As a mature student she gained an MBA followed by a PhD at Edinburgh University.  Her research focuses upon digital technology and she has published several journal articles examining issues of trust, engagement and empowerment.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class) or its non-UK equivalent in a relevant subject from a recognised British or overseas university.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum 5.5 in all skills)


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK £8856 £4428 £1107
Overseas £19176 £9588 £2397


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
  3. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.