Postgraduate Taught

Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Professional Diploma in Public Relations

This course, developed by the CIPR and recognised as the benchmark for professional practice in public relations by the private and public sectors, offers practitioners a real opportunity to develop their professionalism. both by reflecting critically on their current practice and by focusing on the very hands-on teaching of strategic PR planning and its role in the achievement of broader organisational objectives.

Course Overview

The course is ideal for people wanting to develop their professional public relations expertise at a number of different stages in their career. Typical students include:

■ experienced journalists who need to develop their knowledge of organisations and strategic planning in order to facilitate a move into public relations;

■ ambitious practitioners who need to take time to reflect critically on their practice in light of latest thinking and theory in order to develop their career and

■ graduates who need to quickly gain an in-depth knowledge of the debates, practices and critical thinking within the profession to help them gain enough understanding to practice professionally.

This course provides PR practitioners with the knowledge and understanding of theory and practice to develop as effective and efficient professionals. You will understand the practice of public relations as a strategic management function, and will develop planning expertise as well as being encouraged to analyse existing practice from a critical perspective. You will benefit from sharing experiences and developing a professional network of colleagues in similar situations.

The individual project which forms part of the course offers you the opportunity to work with a supervisor over a number of months to produce a well-researched piece of work focusing on an area of your choice. Students often choose to devote this opportunity to help develop or improve specific work projects, or to develop their expertise in a particular area of public relations practice.

Exit Awards

CIPR Professional Diploma. Graduates are also awarded 45 credits towards QMU’s MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

On campus teaching comprises a variety of approaches including lectures, workshops, case study, group work and input from senior practitioners and QMU academics. Work is set and contact maintained between teaching blocks through online discussions. Your performance will be assessed through a combination of examinations, reports and projects.

Teaching Hours and Attendance

Teaching is normally delivered in one or two day blocks three/ four times a year as per the dates below:

Thursday 13th September – Induction

Saturday 22nd September

Saturday 6th October

Saturday  3rd November

Saturday 17th November

Saturday 1st December


Saturday 2nd February

Saturday 23rd February

Saturday 9th March

Saturday 23rd March

Saturday 25th March


April teaching date TBC.

Links with Industry / Professional Bodies

■ QMU is the only institution outside London to teach the CIPR Diploma in Internal Communications Practice, the CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice the CIPR Professional Diploma in Public Relations.

■ 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.


PR Theory and Practice / PR Planning and Management/ Reflective Practice


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.

Studying Single Modules Only

It is possible to study single modules.


The CIPR Diploma is recognised as the benchmark for professional practice in PR by employers in the private and public sectors. It helps participants to develop or diversify their careers by fostering a strategic approach to managing PR, as well as extending knowledge of areas such as internal communications, corporate culture and research. QMU graduates have gone on to progress their careers in a number of ways – graduates occupy a wide range of senior positions.

Quick Facts

■ QMU has a long history of teaching the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Professional Diploma and remains the only Scottish Institution to deliver it.

■ QMU is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

■ At QMU you will be taught by some of the world’s best known PR academics as well as professionals with a depth of PR experience.

■ Through our intensive workshops you will build a network of your own peers which will aid your continuing professional development.

Entry Requirements

You must have ONE of the following requirements:

  • CIPR Advanced Certificate in Public Relations
  • CIPR Internal Communication Certificate plus one year’s full-time employment in PR
  • Postgraduate professional qualification in a related discipline (eg CIM diploma), plus one year’s full-time employment (or equivalent part-time employment) in PR
  • A degree in business/marketing/management/communication studies, plus one year’s full-time employment in PR
  • Any other UK degree plus two years full time employment in PR
  • NCTJ Diploma plus either five years’ journalism experience or three years’ full-time employment in PR
  • Two years’ full-time employment in PR*, and the CAM Advanced Diploma in Marketing Communication
  • LCCIEB 5 3rd Level subjects, including PR, Marketing, Advertising, Principles & Practice of Management, plus two years’ experience in PR
  • Four years’ full-time employment in PR and five GCSE passes, one of which must be in English Language.

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

Admissions (, Emma Wood (, +44 (0)131 474 0000

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2017/18 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).



Course Overview

Part-time: 1 year
Start Date
September 2017
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Subject Area
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies