skip to page content
home | course search | site map
Queen Margaret University Edinburgh logo and also link to the homepage

» back to list all postgraduate courses

MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations

This link will take you to the online application form

  • Introduction
  • Key details
  • Entry requirements
  • Fees
  • Modules
  • Careers

- QMU is the only CIPR accredited UK Institution to offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses and teach the CIPR Diploma, CIPR Internal Communication Diploma and CIPR Public Affairs Diploma.
- The block face-to-face teaching approach enables students to combine studying with working.
- Our PR academics are recognised nationally and internationally for their excellence in research.

The MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations offers an unparalleled balance in UK postgraduate courses of teaching in internal and external communication, as well as strategic communication, for both private and public sectors. Students learn from an academic team which includes internationally published researchers and practitioners with years of professional experience.

QMU is an accredited teaching centre of the UK's professional body, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and a partner institution of the UK's Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).

Is this the right course for me?

It is if you:

- want to start a career in communication and public relations (PR). You'll do an industry placement and we'll support you in developing knowledge and skills, producing a portfolio and providing you with opportunities to meet, work alongside and network with current practitioners;

- already work in a communication or PR role and want professional development. You can tailor your studies to your own development needs and study part-time;

- want to progress to a research career in communication or PR. Members of QMU's teaching team author key texts and regularly present at conferences all over the world.


We have recently set up an articulation agreement with Mohawk College, Ontario where students who have successfully completed the Graduate Certificate in Public Relations
can progress onto our MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations.

For academic year 2016-17, students articulating from the Mohawk Graduate Certificate in Public Relations will be granted exemption from the following modules:

Communication and Digital Skills for Working in PR (15 credits)
Strategic Communication Planning (15 credits)
Masters Communication Placement (15 credits)

Students will therefore require to undertake:

Critical reflections on Public Relations (15 credits)
Understanding research (15 credits)
Media and Campaigning (15 credits)
Strategic internal communication in a digitised world (15 credits)
Communications impact on policy making (15 credits)
Theory for Reflective PR Practice (15 credits)
Project (60 credits)

Any changes to either the Mohawk Graduate Certificate in Public Relations or the QMU MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations may lead to adjustments to the above programme of studies.

Articulation students will complete all the other modules noted in this course entry and all other information regards this MSc on this page is relevant. Fees for students coming to QMU via this route will be £9000.00. For more information, please contact Sheila Adamson (

EXIT AWARDS: MSc (180 credits)/ PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Delivery: Mainly bock attendance at QMU supported by online learning

Single Modules: Register as an associate student to study some single modules in areas of interest

Duration: Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2-7 years.

Start date: September for full and part-time students. Part-time students can also start in January.

Application deadline: None

Teaching, learning and assessment: Teaching is delivered face-to-face at our modern campus in Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh. You are also supported by QMU's online virtual learning environment. As well as lectures, seminars and workshops you will also work with live clients, respond to communication briefs, undertake analysis and research, blog, reflect, create materials and content, engage in digital media, work in groups, make presentations and develop proposals.

Teaching hours and attendance: Our carefully designed delivery pattern provides continuous and frequent face-to-face teaching for full time students. On many modules you will learn alongside communication and PR practitioners students. This helps you start your professional network and develop a deep understanding of the relevance of theory to practice. Our shared community of learners approach also provides access to a busy
programme of activities and events offered across our PR programmes. On your 20 day placement you’ll gaining invaluable professional experience and develop your learning in a work setting. Part-time students benefit from a delivery pattern which requires attendance at short intensive blocks and which you can fit alongside other commitments.

A UK honours degree or equivalent from a relevant subject area (arts, humanities or social sciences). Students without traditional honours degrees may beadmitted (subject to interview) if they have other relevant qualifications and/or appropriate work experience.

Accreditation of prior learning: Students who have already been awarded a Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Diploma receive 45 credits towards the MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations, exempting them from specified parts of the course. Students who have already been awarded the CIPR Internal Communication Diploma/ CIPR Public Affairs Diploma receive 30 credits exempting them from specified parts of the course.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to take an IELTS test receiving an overall score of 6.5 with no individual component score below 6.0.

Home/EU - full-time: £4500 per year

Home/EU - part-time: £475 per 15 credit module

Home/EU - part-time, dissertation: £950

International - full-time: £11500

International - part-time: £1250 per 15 credit module

International - part-time dissertation: £2500

Scholarships: SAAS Funding
In 2014 this course had SAAS (Students Award Agency for Scotland) funding. This funding was available for some Scots-domiciled and non-UK EU postgraduate students as well as local students. It is likely that this will be available for entry in 2015 - please check the SAAS website

- More information about scholarships for international students

Funding Information for International Students:
Visit the International section of the website.

Course Fees:
Visit the Fees section of the website. -
Graduates of the University who hold a verified QMU undergraduate or postgraduate award and who are admitted to a postgraduate award of QMU will be eligible for a 10% discount on the published fees.

Sources of Funding:
Visit the Funding section of the website.

Modules include: Communication and Digital Skills for Working in PR */Media and Campaigning/Critical Reflections on Public Relations/Understanding Research /Strategic Communication Planning /Communications Impact on Policy Making /Strategic Internal Communication in a Digitized World/Masters Communication Placement */Project

Students who already work in communication and PR can select from a list of modules, including business focused ones, instead of those marked * above. If you select to do the Masters Communication Placement module, you can undertake this with your employer. You can also focus your Project on a topic which is relevant to your professional role. If you already have CIPR Diploma, CIPR Internal Communications Diploma or CIPR Public Affairs Diploma you are awarded credits and exempted from selected modules including the Masters Communication Placement.

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting, but are subject to change.

As a CIPR accredited course, the MSc Public Relations is benchmarked against CIPR career progression requirements. This means there is a clear articulation between the course and developing your career. For students who are already associate or full CIPR members, the MSc counts towards the Institute’s Continuing
Professional Development (CPD) programme.



further information:

0131 474 0000 or
Sally Chalmers
+44 (0)131 474 0000

This link will take you to the online application form

» how to apply

»Visit the Media, Communication and Performing Arts webpages

This link will let give you printer friendly pages

^ to top

last modified 11/11/2015
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU - Tel: +44 (0)131 474 0000
find us | contact us Copyright © Queen Margaret University. terms of use | accessibility | FOI & data protection