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Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Diploma in Public Affairs Practice Diploma

Course Content

Course content

The CIPR Public Affairs Diploma is designed for public relations or public affairs practitioners who want to develop relevant theoretical knowledge and to strengthen their practical skills in order to become more effective and better placed to take on more senior roles.

The CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice focuses on the process of policy formation and the wider corporate communications and reputational context in which public affairs operates. This qualification is firmly rooted in practice – with senior PA practitioners involved in its development – and is also grounded in the latest academic thinking.

The Public Affairs Diploma covers topics including:

  • impact of political environment on an organisation
  • importance of engaging with political audiences to enhance reputation
  • emerging issues and trends that affect contemporary public affairs practice; the strategy and tactics of lobbying and campaigning and the theories underpinning the process
  • knowing when and how to engage in the political process and policy formation
  • how to leverage media and public affairs activities to shape the agenda; the importance of reputation management and its components.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Twenty hours of on campus teaching comprises a variety of approaches including lectures, workshops, group work and input from senior practitioners and QMU academics. Work is set and contact maintained between teaching blocks through online discussions. Students also receive supervision support with their assignment. CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs students learn alongside and MSc Strategic Communications and Public Relations students ensuring that you benefit from sharing experiences and developing a network of colleagues. Assessment is through submission of a 6,000 word research project. Support is offered with research project preparation.

Further information is available on the CIPR website at http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/ qualifications/public-affairs-diploma.

Teaching hours and attendance

Teaching is normally delivered in one or two day blocks three/ four times a year. Links with industry/professional bodies Students on the course are eligible for student membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and, on graduation, can upgrade their  membership to full or associate status depending on professional experience.


The Political Landscape, Trends and Challenges/ The Art and Science of Lobbying and Campaigning/ Public Affairs in the Context of Reputation Management/ Research Project


CIPR qualifications are recognised as the benchmark for professional practice in public relations by employers in the private and public sectors.

Studying for the CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice counts towards the CIPR’s CPD programme and becoming a CIPR Accredited Practitioner – the hallmark of your commitment to professional development.

Quick Facts

  • QMU is the only institution outside London to teach the CIPR Diploma in Internal Communications Practice, the CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice and the CIPR Professional Public Relations Diploma.
  • QMU is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
  • Our PR academics are recognised nationally and internationally for their excellence in research. These courses reflect the strength and depth of the teaching team which includes academics with extensive research and publication portfolios and PR practitioners with many years of experience at senior level in a wide range of organisations.
  • CIPR Diploma in Public Affairs Practice receive credits towards a MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations at QMU and towards the CIPR Diploma.
  • Block teaching is a simple way of fitting your study around the demands of your job.

Visit the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Diploma in Public Affairs Practice Diploma page on the Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh website for more details!




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