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MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations

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  • 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.

>> Speak to us about this course at our Virtual Open Day on 26 April 2017. Click to find out more.

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, or
- 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.

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

Delivery: Mainly block 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-time 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 and 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 gain 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 be admitted (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.

Fees information: Special Information for EU Applicants

The home fee rate will continue to apply to postgraduate EU students entering in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years. EU students will continue to be eligible to apply for the SAAS tuition fee loan for the academic years 2017/18 and 2018/19. For more information, see the SAAS website.

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 Master’s 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 Master’s Communication Placement.

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting (July 16), but are subject to change. In the event that modules have to change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact to students.

As a CIPR accredited course, the MSc Strategic Communication and 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

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