Digital Marketing and Public Relations - BA (Hons) *
Digital marketing and public relations (PR) are fascinating, fast-moving fields that offer many rewarding career opportunities. Our professionally-recognised BA (Hons) in Digital Marketing and Public Relations course provides the strategic insight, practical skills and industry experience to kickstart your career in the fast-paced and rapidly growing industries.
Thanks to converged media and the voracious consumer appetite for digital content, they are constantly evolving and on this course you will enjoy frontline professional experience and tuition informed by cutting-edge scholarship. You will have access to and use a host of digital tools and software meaning that when you start your career in digital marketing and PR you will have a working knowledge of the products used by practitioners.
You will also complete a 4-week placement, allowing you to put your skills and knowledge into practice and will further enhance your learning experience.
Incorporating elements of both digital marketing and public relations into this BA/BA (Hons) course offers a more holistic and comprehensive educational experience. We are also very distinct from other courses as we offer unrivalled expertise in media production and creative practice. Our students learn how to be great storytellers across a range of mediums from writing blogs and news releases, creating videos and podcasts and designing creative social media posts, infographics and websites.
*Subject to validation
- Sought after graduates: our graduates are in high demand as employers like the Scottish Government, Dentsu International and Weber Shandwick know they have the up-to-date marketing and PR knowledge and skills needed to succeed in these fields of practice.
- Project work will prepare you for the real world: You will work with real-world clients on live projects across a range of sectors, from corporate brands to NGOs, international charities and social enterprises, supporting their campaigning strategies by developing innovative and creative communication solutions.
- Course recognition by Industry bodies: Our course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and works in partnership with the Marketing Society Scotland and the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) to ensure our content reflects the latest industry best practice. Senior practitioners in digital marketing and public relations give guest talks, host webinars and provide one-to-one mentoring. These opportunities to network with professionals across your four years of study culminates in a work placement. The contacts you make may prove to be an invaluable asset as you embark on your career and many of our students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.
- Experienced teaching team: Our staff are award-winning practitioners and internationally-renowned researchers. Together our practice and research informs our teaching and we help you connect theory and practice to produce evidence-driven results in an inspiring and supportive learning environment.
- Valuable work experience: A placement allows you to put your knowledge and skills into action - be that in Scotland, the UK or abroad.
- International projects: Our partnership with Euroaula College in Barcelona, Spain, who deliver our Digital Marketing and Public Relations degree in English, provides unrivalled opportunities for you to work on international group projects.
- Professional body membership: You can register as a student member of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), join the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) as a student member and join the Marketing Society Scotland.
- High rankings: In the National Student Survey 2023 there was 90% overall satisfaction with our Marketing and Public Relations course and QMU is ranked in the top 6 of Scottish higher education institutions for Media in the Guardian University Guide 2024.
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Learn more about the BA/BA (Hons) Digital Marketing and Public Relations
Digital Marketing and Public Relations - BA (Hons): The course in brief
On this course you will:
- experience an unrivalled opportunity to study two closely aligned disciplines: marketing and public relations. Organisations often take an integrated digital approach to communication, bringing together these two disciplines to help drive success. While marketing focuses on relationships with the customer, PR manages relationships with a broader range of stakeholders including employees, the government and the media;
- develop strategic thinking, informed by theory, and apply this to live client work to produce communication solutions that aim to drive positive social change;
- consider how organisations build and maintain reputations, create social capital and manage issues and crises;
- develop storytelling skills to inform the media and persuade audiences;
- create authentic and shareable multimedia content such as video, photography, podcasts, infographics and blogs for a range of social media platforms;
- undertake research to gain insights from data that can inform your decision making, and measure the effectiveness of campaigns using a range of analytics and metrics;
- appreciate how businesses use search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, email marketing and influencer marketing, alongside more traditional forms of advertising, to drive more traffic to their websites, generate leads, and increase sales;
- gain a wealth of experience through work placement and volunteering opportunities;
- gain hands-on experience creating engaging content, including videos, podcasts, and photography;
- understand the secrets behind viral social media content and learn techniques to capture attention in a crowded digital world;
- develop skills in organizing and managing events for various companies and causes, enhancing your practical experience;
- master the art of writing compelling press releases, website content, blogs, and magazine features;
- delve into the world of SEO and discover how algorithms influence website rankings in organic searches on Google;
- learn about consumer buying behavior and strategies to convert leads into sales, a key skill in digital marketing; and
- prepare for a dynamic career by working with clients to develop and implement effective communication plans.
How will I be taught?
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 additional content is 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, online discussions/postings, exams, reflective diaries ande-portfolios.
You have access to and use a host of digital tools and software such as Premiere Pro and Photoshop from the Adobe Creative Cloud to edit videos and photos;, Google Analytics to analyse website performance, Canva Pro for designing and creating impactful content, Hootsuite for scheduling social media posts, Semrush for competitor analysis and on-page SEO optimization, and PRMax for creating targeted UK and international media distribution lists.
Access to facilities to support your future career: You will have access to our on-campus Business Gateway and Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) that together provide business incubation spaces for student-led or graduate-led start-up companies and offer: desk space, a QMU business address, meeting facilities, ad-hoc rehearsal space and editing facilities, Business Gateway support and advice, a profile for your company on the QMU website, support with marketing materials and access to entrepreneurial networks within QMU and other universities (including Enterprise Campus, Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Sporting Chance and Converge Challenge).
During the summer vacation between Years Three and Four, or in Year Four, you will embark on a one-month placement which is a minimum of 150 hours of work experience and reinforces and consolidates practical skills and professional competencies. The placement can be in the UK or abroad. Through our professional networks and extensive industry contacts built over many years, we are able to help you find placements in many sectors including sport, theatre, arts festivals, local and national charities, Scottish Government as well as top marketing and PR agencies. We keep in touch with our former students and many are keen to support our placement scheme having benefitted from this themselves while they were studying with us. In addition, we organise a unique speed interviewing event on campus to help match students with appropriate host organisations, an approach ensuring a meaningful and relevant placement experience, tailored to each student's career path.
The placement is unpaid although some hosts pay a wage and others cover travel and subsistence.
In Year Three you have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. Please visit the Exchanges and Study Abroad pages for more information.
Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables
You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.
For more information, please also visit ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.
What will I learn each year?
- learn about key concepts in PR and marketing theory;
- look at the history of the industries and current practice, and debate the role the industries play in economics, politics and society; and
- 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.
- Introduction to Public Relations
- Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
- Media and Creative Industries
- Creative Practice: Visual Storytelling Creative Practice: Writing for Online Audiences
- expand your knowledge and understanding of digital marketing and e-commerce and how to use big data to provide insights into the effectiveness of your communications;
- consider how organisations campaign on issues and communicate with external stakeholders through digital media;
- explore the rapid growth of podcasting and learn how to create great content for podcasts; and
- gain experience of event management by designing, planning and holding your own event.
- Digital Marketing and e-Commerce Management
- Digital Communications Campaigning
- Creative Practice: Podcasting
- Event Management
- Analytics, Insights and Impact
- expand your knowledge of the principles of planning, by developing strategic PR proposals for a live client;
- investigate the role and ethics of persuasive communication in marketing and PR;
- gain knowledge of research methods that are used by marketing and PR ;practitioners and learn how to design a research project;
- gain insights into traditional and digital advertising;
- start to tailor your learning around your interests through the selection of two option modules; and
- have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, visit Exchanges and Study Abroad.
- Campaigning and Practice
- Digital Advertising and Marketing Communications
- Persuasive Communication
- Designing a Research Project
- Plus two options
You will be encouraged to work more independently, developing your critical skills and follow your own area of interest. This happens through working on your dissertation, which can be a written dissertation or a practical photography or podcast dissertation, working in industry on a one-month placement and choosing from a wide selection of options.
- Professional Communication Placement
- Plus two options
Year Three and Four options may include:
- Reputation, Issues and Crisis Management
- Marketing Strategy and Digital Planning
- Photography and Visual Culture
- Film Festivals
- Communication Arts and Activism
- Organisational Behaviour
- Radio and Audio Media
- Photography Practice
- Pop Music
- Co-creating and managing your our own client project
The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (Dec 2023) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2024. Please check back here for any updates.
QMU has an enviable reputation for producing graduates who are ready to go into fast-paced careers in Digital Marketing, Public Relations and Events Management.. Our graduates are highly employable and much sought after. A number of students are offered permanent jobs by companies that hosted them on placement and are now winning industry awards for top public relations consultancies, marketing agencies, events management companies, international corporations, charities and national and local government.
We work in close partnership with employers and the professional industry bodies to ensure our programme evolves and responds to the latest industry developments and trends. There are PR and marketing specialists in almost every field you can imagine: from national and local government to charities, finance and law firms to pharma and energy tourism, food and drink to museums and theatres.
Graduates of Digital Marketing and PR have a wide array of job opportunities due to the versatile and in-demand skills they acquire during their studies. Starting salaries vary but are in the region of £25,000 per annum. Some of the potential career paths include:
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Public Relations Executive
- Social Media Manager
- Content Creator
- SEO Strategist
- Event Planner/Coordinator
- Marketing Analyst
- Corporate Communications Specialist
- Press Officer
- Influencer Marketing Coordinator
- E-commerce Manager
- Advertising Executive
Digital Marketing and Public Relations - BA (Hons): Entry requirements and application information
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. We can also accept National 5 Application of Maths or Lifeskills at the same grade.
Am I a Widening Access student?: We apply the minimum entry criteria to applicants who meet one or more contextual factor. To see if this would apply to you, please refer to the access and application page.
Mature/Access: We welcome applications from mature students with other relevant qualifications and/or experience. Visit our College Leavers and Mature Students Advice page for more information.
Not available for this course. It is available for the BA/BA (Hons) Public Relations and Marketing Communications.
If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.
Terms and Conditions
The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).
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