BA/BA (Hons) 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.

Delivered by academics who are recognised nationally and internationally, this course has a particular emphasis on the way in which media and PR are influenced, and provides you with practical experience and a study abroad opportunity*.

NB The course will only be available for Level 3 entry in 2020.

If you are looking for entry into Level 1 please see our new BA (Hons) Media and Communications or our new BA (Hons) PR and Marketing Communications courses.


Why QMU?

  • QMU is the only Scottish Institution to offer CIPR 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).
  • QMU is one of 12 universities in the UK working in partnership with the PRCA.


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.



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.



Year One modules

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

Year Two modules

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

Year Three modules

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

Year Four modules

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

The modules listed here are correct at time of print (Feb 2018). This course is likely to undergo revalidation in 2018 which will result in some changes to the content. Please check the website for any updates.



You will complete a four-week placement in Year Four. 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. For more information, see www.qmu.ac.uk/study-here/international-students/exchanges-and-study-abroad/

*Subject to availability


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; digital strategists; publicity and promotions executives; events managers; management trainees; communication consultants; and marketing assistants.


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, 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

  • 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 and a student member of the Public Relations Consultants 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: 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/


Course Overview

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

Related Professional Bodies

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A Student Story - more at foot of page

Jack Love-Cuthill - BA (Hons) Public Relations and Media "I really enjoyed studying persuasive communication, and the ethical issues attached to it as this was something I hadn’t thought of before. In the second semester I am doing a group project which involves creating a PR campaign for a live client, which is something I am really looking forward to." Read my story...