Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics. The media plays a vital role in setting the agenda in todays society and therefore is a key stakeholder for an organisation.
This course focuses on the expanding role of PR within the corporate, public and voluntary sectors, with particular emphasis on the way in which media and PR are interlinked as institutions and practices. This professionally relevant course is continually adapted to meet the changing needs of students, employers and society. This flexible, accessible and responsive approach ensures that you will benefit from the latest research, technology and industry practices.
In Year One key concepts within both disciplines are covered and essential practical skills developed. You will study a range of modules which look at the history of PR as well as engaging with contemporary practice, particularly how PR works with traditional and new media. This knowledge informs the development of professional skills. Modules in Year Two extend the knowledge of professional practices in public relations and build on media production skills. Within PR, we consider how organisations communicate with their employees and external stakeholders through the media. This relationship between media and public relations is examined further in the context of the role the media play in democratic society, and in the sporting landscape.
Year Three offers an opportunity to develop public relations knowledge using concepts of strategy and persuasion. Research skills are strengthened and preparation begins for conducting an extensive research project which is undertaken in the final year dissertation.
In Year Four, you are encouraged to work more independently, develop critical skills and follow your own area of interest. This will happen by working on the dissertation research project, choosing public relations and media options. Invaluable practical experience is gained through a PR work placement.
The modules listed here are correct (as at April 2016) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2017.
You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules, as outlined, each year and a dissertation in Year Four.
- QMU is the only Scottish Institution to offer CIPR recognised undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and teach the CIPR Diploma, CIPR Internal Communications Diploma. and CIPR Public Affairs Diploma.
- Senior practitioners in the PR industry support the courses through guest lectures, membership of our Industrial Advisory Panel and attendance at our Networking Lunch.
- QMU PR academics are recognised nationally and internationally for their excellence in research.
- QMU is one of 12 universities in the UK working in partnership with the PRCA.
- Each 20 credit module has a notional 200 hours of learning achieved through class contact time in lectures, seminars and workshops, directed learning and independent study. A student usually takes six modules each year. The placement in Year Four requires students to undertake a minimum of 20 days in the work place.
You will complete a four week placement in Year Four.
You can register as a student member of the Chartered Institute
of Public Relations (CIPR) and a student member of the Public Relations Consultants
Introduction to PR/ Media Relations/ Online PR: Platforms and Practices/ Media Production/ Introduction to Media Studies/ Media Industries
Media Campaigning/ Employee Communication and Dealing with Change/ Critical Thinking and Rhetoric/ Media Production/ Media and Democracy
Public Relations Theory and Strategy/ Persuasive Communication/ PR Research/ Media, Culture and Society/ Sports PR, Marketing and Media/ plus options
Professional Communication Placement/ Dissertation/ options including: PR and Activism or International PR
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Pre 2017: BBBB
2017 onwards: H2, H2, H3, H3
English, Media Studies, preferred at Higher/A level or equivalent. Maths and English at S/Int2/ N5/GCSE level are preferred.
Access to Humanities/ Arts/ Business or certain Digital Media courses. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and /or experience.
Advanced Entry: Year 2 - Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher. A Level: BBB in relevant subjects. Year 2 - HNC Communication with Media/ Advertising and Public Relations / Social Sciences with B in the graded units. Year 3 - HND Media Analysis/ Media & Communication with CB in the graded units.
IELTS of 6.0 with no element below 5.5.
Graduates have found employment in a wide range of corporate, public and voluntary organisations and are working as: PR executives; press or information officers; communication managers; publicity and promotions executives; events managers; management trainees; communication consultants; and marketing assistants.
BSc (Hons) Public Relations and Media
I came to QMU after doing an HND in Communications and Media at college. Going straight into 3rd year took time to adapt to. Although the coursework was at the right level for me, the environment and the structure was initially quite daunting.
I chose to do this course to further my learning in the subject. I had already been studying at college and also in hope to pursue a career in the media and PR industry. As I had worked in radio and events before I came onto the course, I had previous practical experience but the course gave me a much more comprehensive understanding of the industry as well as giving me the opportunity to get involved and network with those in the field and also learn from other students experiences.
The support and encouragement from the lecturers is great. You won't get spoon fed on the course, but the lecturers are a wealth of information and put in so much effort outside of class into numerous networking parties, work placements and informing the students of other opportunities. The lecturers themselves have experienced so much of the industry and the students really have the opportunity to benefit from their advice.
I really enjoyed doing my work experience at the Scottish Government at the end of my 3rd year. I was able to shadow different departments: from communications planning, media monitoring, events and marketing, as well as observing internal communications within such a vast organisation. Discussing my experiences at QMU and at the PR networking events with other industry professionals was very insightful.
After I graduate I am going on to complete a Masters Certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and look forward to gaining employment within a PR agency to further my experience, as well as continuing to work within radio and events. I now hope that my PR study combined with the NLP will give me a competitive advantage in whichever route I choose to take in the future.