BA/BA (Hons) Public Relations and Marketing Communications

Organisations often take an integrated approach to communication, bringing together the disciplines of public relations and marketing to help meet corporate goals. 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.

Delivered by academics who are recognised nationally and internationally and who continue to be actively engaged with industry, this course allows you to combine the study of two disciplines that are closely aligned. It provides practical experience of developing strategic PR and marketing communication solutions for live clients, creating authentic digital content for a range of social media platforms, undertaking research to inform decision making, and measuring 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).

(Please note that this course is subject to validation.)



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.
  • This course includes an industry placement and a study abroad opportunity (subject to availability).

About the course

At QMU, our professionally relevant courses are adapted continually 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. We focus on equipping our students with the expertise they’ll need to build successful and fulfilling careers. Our teaching is also informed by our onging research activity in the field of media and communication.

This course focuses on the core principles of marketing and PR theory and applies them to practice. You will learn about the role of marketing communications and PR as central activities within organisations and their role within a consumer-driven society.

In Year One, key concepts are covered and essential practical skills developed. Students look at media industries and debate the role media plays 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 understandiing 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. Students with a strong academic profile are able to fastrack onto our Master's in Strategic Communication and PR.

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/


Graduates are prepared for a wide range of career opportunities such as: PR officers, digital strategists, marketing executives, publicity and promotions executives, and events managers.

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

Start Your Application

Course Overview

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