John Grennan reflects on his first year of the Part Time MSc. in Digital Marketing.

Having recently completed the first of a two-year part-time MSc in Digital Marketing, and now that I finally have some free time over the summer, (a rarity over this past year) it’s a good time to reflect of the past year.

I’m not your typical digital marketing student having spent the past 24 years as a soldier with the Irish Defence Forces. That’s not to say that I was totally unfamiliar with digital marketing, having also carried out the role of digital marketing manager for IT.ie, on a part-time basis, prior to the commencement of the course. My digital marketing learning journey began online, but there’s only so much you can learn from Google and I was keen to develop on my interests in Content Marketing and SEO. I researched a number of master’s courses but was attracted to the DCU programme because of its international reputation and course structure. I applied for the programme in the summer of 2017 and was delighted to be offered a place in the programme on completion of a phone interview with Professor Theo Lynn.

The course modules combine both academic and applied elements. It was the applied elements in particular that attracted me, with the promise that students would be afforded the opportunity to conduct digital marketing projects for both business and charity clients.

If there was one piece of advice I would give to anyone considering this programme, then it would be to get a time management plan in place early. The balancing act of working (full-time and part-time job, in my case) can be challenging and believe me, there have been times when I struggled to keep my balance. The early implementation of a time management plan greatly aided me in this first year.

While it’s only half time (watching the world cup while writing this) I can say with honesty that this has been a hugely rewarding and highly challenging year for me. The content of the lectures and support of the lecturers has been invaluable. The insights gained from the various workshops delivered by industry leaders has greatly helped me to develop my skills and gain traction in the industry. The various team projects carried out for live clients has been a highlight for me and many of my fellow students. You face real world problems that require real world solutions using both your digital marketing and negotiation skills. There’s no hand holding, and students are expected to show results that satisfy both the clients and the lecturers.

The course is made up of a very diverse mix of students of different ages and from various nations. I was one of the older students but at no time was I made to feel as anything other than a fellow student and team mate. I have learned a lot from my fellow students in class and working on the various assignments and I hope that I have been as much an asset to them as they have to me. I will enjoy the rest of the summer and look forward to getting back in the saddle in September.


The MSc in Digital Marketing is designed to help participants understand how digital technologies can be exploited to optimise buyer awareness, sentiment and intention. Graduates from the MSc in Digital Marketing will have highly-developed competencies in data-driven decision-making and communicating for marketing using social media, online advertising, and other digital and mobile technologies.

For more information on our part time Masters Degree in Digital Marketing, see the courses section of our website.

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