BA/BA (Hons) Public Relations and Media

What is public relations and media?

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 today’s society and therefore is a key stakeholder for an organisation.

About the Course

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. Students also learn to take an integrated approach to communications bringing areas of PR, marketing and events management together in practice in a module where they plan, promote, deliver and evaluate an event for a client.

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.

Course Structure

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.

Entry Requirements

Scottish Higher: BBBB

A Level: BCC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

Required Subjects: English, Media Studies, preferred at Higher/A level or equivalent. Maths and English at S/Int2/ N5/GCSE level are preferred.

Mature/Access: 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.
  • 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

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element below 5.5.


Year One

Introduction to PR/ Media Relations/ Online PR: Platforms and Practices/ Media Production/ Introduction to Media Studies/ Media Industries

Year Two

Media Campaigning/ Employee Communication and Dealing with Change/ Critical Thinking and Rhetoric/ Media Production/ Media and Democracy/ Event Management and Evaluation

Year Three

Public Relations Theory and Strategy/ Persuasive Communication/ PR Research/ Media, Culture and Society/ plus options

Year Four

Professional Communication Placement/ Dissertation/ plus options including: PR and Activism or International PR

NB The modules listed here are correct at time of the printing of our Undergraduate Prospectus 2018 (Feb 2017) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2018. Please check the website for any updates.


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.

Quick Facts

  • QMU is the only Scottish Institution to offer CIPR recognised undergraduate and postgraduate courses and to teach the CIPR Professional Diploma in Public Relations, CIPR Diploma in Internal Communications Practice and CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice.

  • 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.

Learning and Teaching

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.

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'

Study Abroad

You have the opportunity to apply for a semester of international study in Year Three with universities in the USA, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.

Professional Registration

You can register as a student member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and a student member of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).


You will complete a four week placement in Year Four.

Associate Student Places

You can study this course as an associate student completing the first year at West Lothian College.

Please Note:

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

Special Information for EU Applicants:   The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2017/8 and 2018/9 academic years will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland for the duration of their course. Those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. You must apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. For guidance on eligibility and funding please visit the SAAS website.


Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies

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