Marketing Communication & Design

This specialization belongs to the master's programme Communication Studies.

What is Marketing Communication & Design?

Companies are competing for the favour of consumers. In a highly competitive world, effective marketing communication can make a difference. Branding, positioning, and advertising are among the tools of the trade. 

Increasingly marketing communication professionals have become aware of the communicative power of design. One can think of product or packaging design, visual or multisensory elements in advertising, corporate or brand visual identity, and even the design of buildings and service environments. This master specialization combines attention to the fundamentals of marketing communication and consumer behaviour with attention to the possibilities of design. In this specialization, we collaborate with the MSc programme Industrial Design Engineering.

The Marketing Communication & Design specialization prepares students to understand and use design and technology in their work as communication professional. As you progress throughout this specialization, you will come to understand that design is a sometimes subtle but powerful determinant of experience (emotion and cognition) and behaviour, and that it may be a driving force behind societal change. By combining design with technological advances such as 3D printing and virtual reality, you will learn to work in multi-disciplinary teams and see for yourself how to use and assess the impact of design in a rapidly changing world. 

In this master specialization, we explore the academic field of Marketing Communication & Design from several angles. 

The first area involves the effects of design elements on consumers. Questions we address are: 

• How do design elements of marketing communication (such as shape, colour, and typeface) influence consumer impressions of products and brands?

• How does environmental design (such as interior design, lighting, scent, and music) influence consumer perceptions of service providers or behaviours (such as social behaviours, purchase decisions, and time spent in the environment)?

• How can design contribute to behavioural change in the context of societal challenges (e.g., promoting physical activity or inspiring pro-social behaviours in the public space)?

Situated at the crossroads of marketing communication, technology, and design research, a comprehensive, fine-grained understanding of consumer psychology is critical. Against this background, you will come to understand that there is no ‘one fits all’ solution to design and marketing challenges, but that everything you do ultimately comes down to whether you can address, or in marketing terms ‘target’, relevant consumer needs. The second area we focus on therefore focuses on relevant underlying processes. Questions we address are:

• How do differences between consumers (in terms of personality, values, (basic) needs, and social orientation) affect preferences and responses to design. 

• How can design elements involve different types of information processing ranging from deliberate and conscious processes to automatic and unconscious types of processing.

Programme structure


First semester

  • Advertising and Consumer Psychology
  • Design for Behavioural Change
  • Human-Centered Design

Second semester

  • Reputation Management
  • Advertising and Consumer Psychology
  • Consumer Experience of the Service Environment

Note: The range of specialization courses and the block in which the courses are offered may vary from one academic year to the next. No rights may be derived from the information.

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