The best degrees to get into advertising and where to do them

As you likely already know, the advertising industry is a tough nut to crack. It’s competitive, the hours are long, and the constant requirement to spout innovative pitches is overwhelming, to say the least.

But in terms of the best degree to help you on your way, it all depends on which department you want to work within. Client management and account planning require a business-orientated degree; however, to get into creative you’ll need a degree in an art subject.

Advertising (obviously)

This is the most direct route into the industry, but it means you have to know for sure that advertising is the career path for you. No Russell Group universities offer degrees in advertising directly, so it’s best to look at more art-orientated institutions here. A degree in advertising focuses on creativity and trains students to think like a Creative Director.

Leeds Arts Uni offers a BA in Creative Advertising, and with close links to top advertising agencies such as Ogilvy and JWT, it’s no surprise that they have a 90% employment rate.

If you want to stick around London then UAL, Southbank Uni, Uni of Westminster and UEL all offer BA Advertising courses. Although not all of them offer a year in industry as some courses do, which can be a major benefit and secure you a job after graduation.

Marketing and advertising joint honours

Marketing and advertising degrees are closely linked, so if you’re looking for more flexibility in your post-uni career then studying combined honours is a good shout.

Lancaster Uni is fifth in the league tables and offers a BA in Advertising & Marketing. Although this combines both the creative and analytical aspects of the advertising industry and gives a broader range of education, Lancaster doesn’t offer a year in industry.


If you’re more interested in consumer behaviour, marketing channels and market research, then a degree in pure marketing is for you. This is far less creative and more analytical than an advertising degree, and the two disciplines work hand-in-hand within agencies to maximise user experience and profit for a campaign.

Liverpool Uni offers a Marketing BA with a year in industry, and they place 13th in the league tables. Their programme is incredibly flexible, meaning students can tailor the degree to suit their interests.


A less obvious choice, agencies regularly seek graduates with management degrees for analytical roles. Often combined with another subject, such as marketing or business to round-out your experience and prospects, management degrees focus on analysing market research and conducting your own research studies.

Bath Uni top the league tables here with high student satisfaction and research quality for their joint honours course – Management with Marketing BA. With a unique product innovation module in the final year and a year in industry, Bath really prepares its students for the business environment.

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