The CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice is designed for public relations or public affairs practitioners who want to develop relevant theoretical knowledge and to strengthen their practical skills in order to become more effective and better placed to take on more senior roles.

This is the course entry for the academic year 2018/19.

Information on applying to the current academic year is available from the 2017/2018 course entry

Course Overview

The CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice focuses on the process of policy formation and the wider corporate communications and reputational context in which public affairs operates. This qualification is firmly rooted in practice – with senior PA practitioners involved in its development – and is also grounded in the latest academic thinking.

The Public Affairs Diploma covers topics including:

  • impact of political environment on an organisation
  • importance of engaging with political audiences to enhance reputation
  • emerging issues and trends that affect contemporary public affairs practice; the strategy and tactics of lobbying and campaigning and the theories underpinning the process
  • knowing when and how to engage in the political process and policy formation
  • how to leverage media and public affairs activities to shape the agenda; the importance of reputation management and its components.

Exit Awards

  • CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice.
  • Graduates are also awarded 30 credits towards QMU’s MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Twenty hours of on campus teaching comprises a variety of approaches including lectures, workshops, group work and input from senior practitioners and QMU academics. Work is set and contact maintained between teaching blocks through online discussions. Students also receive supervision support with their assignment. CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs students learn alongside and MSc Strategic Communications and Public Relations students ensuring that you benefit from sharing experiences and developing a network of colleagues. Assessment is through submission of a 6,000 word research project. Support is offered with research project preparation.

Further information is available on the CIPR website at

Teaching Hours and Attendance

Teaching is normally delivered in one or two day blocks three/ four times a year.

Links with Industry / Professional Bodies

  • QMU is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
  • Students on the course are eligible for student membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and, on graduation, can upgrade their membership to full or associate status depending on professional experience.




  • The Political Landscape, Trends and Challenges
  • The Art and Science of Lobbying and Campaigning
  • Public Affairs in the Context of Reputation Management
  • Research Project

Please refer to the CIPR website at for the latest and most up to date information on this course.




CIPR qualifications are recognised as the benchmark for professional practice in public relations by employers in the private and public sectors. Studying for the CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice counts towards the CIPR’s CPD programme and becoming a CIPR Accredited Practitioner – the hallmark of your commitment to professional development.

Quick Facts

  • QMU is the only institution outside London to teach the CIPR Diploma in Internal Communications Practice, the CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice and the CIPR Professional Public Relations Diploma.
  • Our PR academics are recognised nationally and internationally for their excellence in research. These courses reflect the strength and depth of the teaching team which includes academics with extensive research and publication portfolios and PR practitioners with many years of experience at senior level in a wide range of organisations.
  • CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice receive credits towards a MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations at QMU and
  • towards the CIPR Diploma.
  • Block teaching is a simple way of fitting your study around the demands of your job.

Entry Requirements

Please visit the CIPR website at for the most up-to-date entry requirements.

International: Those whose first language is not English must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the language – spoken and written – to an International Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 6.5 or equivalent.

Application Deadline


More Information and Contacts

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).



Course Overview

Block attendance at QMU supported by online learning
Full-time: 8 months (Jan-Aug)
Start Date
January 2018
January 2019
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies