BA/BA (Hons) Public Relations and Marketing Communications

Public Relations and Marketing Communications are fascinating, fast-moving fields that offer many rewarding career opportunities. Thanks to modern media and the voracious consumer appetite for digital content, they are constantly evolving and on this programme you’ll enjoy front-line professional experience and tuition informed by cutting-edge scholarship.

This very popular course will give you the theoretical understanding, professional experience and industry contacts you need to step into an exciting and rewarding career in Public Relations and Marketing.






Why QMU?

  • QMU is the only Scottish Institution to offer CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) recognised undergraduate and postgraduate courses and to teach the CIPR Professional Public Relations Diploma, CIPR Specialist Diploma (Internal Communications) and CIPR Specialist Diploma (Public Affairs).
  • As a partner institution with the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) QMU student members have access to free webinars, training and networking events and can undertake an online certificate for free (usually £1,500). Students are then able to add designatory letters OCert PRCA in recognition of their achievement. 
  • Senior practitioners in PR and Marketing support the course through guest lectures, membership of our Industrial Advisory Panel and attendance at our networking events.
  • We have a new initiative that allows students to get a mentor early in the programme. Your mentor will be an experienced industry practitioner who advise you with your studies and career direction.

About the course

This course gives you an unrivalled opportunity to study two closely aligned disciplines: public relations and marketing. Organisations often take an integrated approach to communication, bringing together these two disciplines to help drive success. Public relations manages relationships with a range of stakeholder groups including employees, the government, and the media, while marketing focuses on relationships with the customer.

You’ll gain practical experience of developing strategic PR and marketing communication solutions for live clients, creating authentic digital content for a range of social media platforms. You’ll find out how organisations use video, photography, blogs and podcasts to drive their marketing, and how you can help them do it better.

You’ll undertake original research to inform decision making, and measure the effectiveness of campaigns using a range of analytics. Students also gain a wealth of experience through a work placement as well as having the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner institutions (subject to availability).

You’ll be taught by internationally renowned academics who are still actively engaged with the industry. Industry practitioners will see you in action and many of our graduates have gone on to work with contacts that they made on the course.

In Year One, key concepts in PR and Marketing are covered and essential practical skills developed. Students look at the history of the industries and current practice, and debate the role the industries play in economics, politics, and society. You also consider contemporary communications practice and the importance of producing dynamic and creative content including video, photography, blogs, infographics and social media posts that are relevant to target publics.

Year Two expands your knowledge and understanding of professional practices in PR and marketing. Students consider how organisations campaign on issues and communicate with external stakeholders through the media and internally with employees.

In Year Three, the principles of planning are expanded upon from the perspective of those who manage marketing and PR activities. Concepts of strategy and persuasion are introduced and research skills are strengthened. Students gain an insight into advertising and experiential marketing where the audience is immersed in an event such as a music festival and how this emotional response is used by organisations to build brand awareness, trust, and loyalty. In Year Three students can start to tailor their programme around their interests through the selection of an option. At the end of third year, students are able to exit with an ordinary degree or continue into the honours year.

In Year Four, students are encouraged to work more independently, develop their critical skills and follow their own area of interest. This happens through working on your dissertation research project, working in industry on a one-month placement and choosing options from across the two disciplines.


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 each year as outlined.

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a mix of methods including lectures, seminars and practical workshops. As well as these face-to-face interactions, some modules are delivered online. Each module is supported by a virtual learning resource site. As well as lecture notes, seminar activities, key readings, assignment specifications, and discussion forums, additional materials such as videos, radio edits, and links to other resources can be uploaded to the site.

The assessment strategy uses a range of methods to support your academic and professional development. These include: essays, reports, presentations, on-line discussions/postings, exams, reflective diaries, e-portfolios, and content production for different media such as video, photography, website, blogs, posts, and tweets.


As this course will be new for 2019, specific information about content and modules is still in development. Please check back here for updates. 


You will complete a four-week or 150 hours placement either in the summer vacation between Year Three and Four or in Year Four alongside other modules. Students are responsible for sourcing a placement host organisation and this can be in the UK or abroad. To help with the process, we hold a speed interview event on campus to match hosts offering placements with students. The placement is unpaid although many hosts cover travel and subsistence.

Exchange opportunities

In Year Three you have the opportunity to study for one semester at a university overseas (subject to availability). For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/


There is high demand in the industry for graduates with the skills that we teach on this course. You will also build strong links with real-world clients throughout your 4 years here. So it’s no wonder that 100% of our graduates are employed or in further education after 6 months.

You’ll be ready to make your mark in a wide range of career roles, including PR officer, digital strategist, marketing executive, publicity and promotions executive, and events manager. There are PR and marketing specialists in almost every field you can imagine: from national government to charities, finance firms to whisky companies, tourist organisations to universities.

Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: BBBB

A Level: BCC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

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

Mature/Access: See related Access courses. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications and /or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • HNC/ HND: HNC/ HND in a related subject with B/CB in the graded unit
  • Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher
  • A Level: BBB in relevant subjects

Year Three


Associate student places

You can study this course as an associate student completing the first year at West Lothian College. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/access-to-higher-education/associate-student-scheme/

Professional registration/accreditation

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

Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’ section on the ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’ page.

Please Note: The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

Special Information for EU Applicants The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2019/20 academic year 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

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Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2019
Study Abroad
Fees & Funding