Master’s students at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) in Athlone are putting their digital marketing knowledge to the test, offering consultancy services to Irish businesses.
The initiative forms the basis of a collaborative ‘live’ postgraduate project between TUS and industry, which aims to give digital marketing students real-world industry experience with the possibility of a job offer at the end of it while businesses benefit from their expertise.
The programme, which is in its first year, requires students to develop a digital marketing strategy for their partner business before implementing it in the second half of the 12-month programme.
The students are tasked with delivering tangible results, which help fulfil their partner company’s business objectives, by building out their social media channels and optimising their website.
The project, which will run until August and conclude with a written report and presentation to the respective organisation, is the focus of TUS’s brand-new MSc in Digital Marketing.
Launched last year, the cutting-edge digital marketing master’s was conceptualised in response to significant regional demand and kicked off with a full cohort and a lengthy waiting list.
“We designed this MSc programme with the digital needs of industry firmly in mind. There is a significant skills gap and not enough technically adept graduates to drive the digital needs of businesses forward,” Dr Aisling Keenan-Gaylard, programme coordinator and digital marketing lecturer at TUS, explained.
“This collaborative project between TUS and industry gives our MSc students the opportunity to work in a ‘real-world’ context with a business, providing hands-on industry experience. Students are tasked with creating and implementing a successful digital marketing strategy with full support from experienced digital marketing lecturers.”
The master’s covers modules like Digital Marketing Strategy, Managing Search Marketing, Social Media and ICT Law, Social Media Marketing and Digital Advertising, Data Interpretation and Web Analytics, and Digital Technology and Design.
Embedded in these modules are professional, industry-recognised certifications in inbound marketing by HubSpot, pay-per-click advertising by Stukent, analytics for beginners and more advanced by Google and web development certification by Shopify.
An eclectic mix of businesses across a broad range of industries across Ireland are participating in TUS’s inaugural MSc in Digital Marketing consultancy project, including a cash-free tipping mobile app start-up, Ireland’s second biggest conservation living bog, a software solution for co-working spaces, and a sustainable fashion and home interior wool co-op.