BA/BA (Hons) Public Relations and Marketing Communications

This 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 (PR) and marketing.

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 course you’ll enjoy front-line professional experience and tuition informed by cutting-edge scholarship.

NB This course is subject to validation 

See the foot of the page for some student case studies/ staff profiles


Why QMU?

  • 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 course. Your mentor will be an experienced industry practitioner who advises you with your studies and career direction.


About the course

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 course you’ll enjoy front-line professional experience and tuition informed by cutting-edge scholarship.

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. PR 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 learning around their interests through the selection of an option.

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.

A full breakdown of teaching, learning and assessment activity is not yet available for this new course. It will be posted here when available.


Year One

  • Media Industries 1
  • Core Concepts in Media and Communications
  • Digital Content Creation
  • Media Production: Skills and Techniques
  • Media Production: Video Project
  • Introduction to Marketing

Year Two

  • Popular Media Cultures
  • Media Campaigning
  • Media Production: Online Journalism
  • Employee Communications and Dealing with Change
  • Event Management and Evaluation

Year Three

  • Advertising and Marketing Communications
  • PR Theory and Practice
  • Experiential Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
  • Independent Research Project
  • Persuasive Communication
  • plus two options

Year Four

  • Placement
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Management
  • Dissertation
  • plus two options

Year Three and Four options may include:

International PR (Year Four students only)/ International PR – online version (Year Four students only)/ Screenwriting/ Photography & Visual Culture/ Film and the Family/ Creative Entrepreneurship (Year Four students only)/ Film Festivals/ Public Relations & Activism/ Popular Music/ Critical Perspectives in Radio/ Photography Practice/ Storytelling in Convergent Media/ Playwriting 1/ The Only Way is Ethics: Art, Participation and Ethics/ Experiential Learning/ Video Production (Year Three students only)/ Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror/ Comedy

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Feb 2019) but may differ slightly to those offered following validation in April 2019. Please check back here for any updates.


You will complete a four-week or 150 hours placement either in the summer vacation between Years 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 (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/

Please note that exchange opportunities are subject to availability. In addition, please note that where exchange opportunities are arranged in the EU, Erasmus+ funding is available subject to the UK remaining in the Erasmus+ scheme.


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 across the four years. 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, and tourist organisations to universities.


Entry requirements


Scottish Higher: Standard: BBBB

Minimum: BBCC

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 or Media Studies preferred at Higher/ A Level. English required and Maths preferred at Nat 5/GCSE.

Mature/Access: Related Access course – see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

We welcome applications from mature students with other 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

HND in a related subject with CB in the graded units

For details of related HNC and HND courses, see www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications




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 2020/21 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Special Information for EU Applicants: EU students starting their studies up to and including academic year 2020/21 will have the costs of their tuition fees met by the Scottish Government for the duration of their course. For more information, see https://www.qmu.ac.uk/brexiteu-student-funding-update/

Teaching staff may be subject to change.

Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2020
Study Abroad
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management
Fees & Funding