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

Course Description

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 course focuses on the role communication expertise plays in public policy processes as they are approached in the context of strategic communications and reputation management that underpin the public affairs function. The qualification is firmly rooted in practice - with regular contributions from senior practitioners - as well as clear in its interdisciplinary theoretical basis. Public Affairs Diploma students receive 20 hours of face-to-face tuition between January and May, individual supervision for the research project (course assessment), as well as extensive online resources developed to support individual study.

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 Public Affairs Diploma 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/courses/public-affairs-diploma.

Teaching hours and attendance

Teaching is normally delivered in one or two day blocks three/ four times a year. Details will be available on the QMU website.

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.

Entry requirements:

You must have ONE of the following requirements:
- The CIPR Advanced Certificate in Public Relations;
- The CIPR Internal Communication Certificate plus one year'’s full-time employment in PR;
- A postgraduate professional qualification in a related discipline (eg CIM Diploma), plus one year’'s full-time employment (or equivalent part-time employment) in PR;
- A degree in business/marketing/management/communication studies, plus one year’'s full-time employment in PR;
- Any other UK degree plus two years full -time employment in PR;
- NCTJ Diploma plus either five years’ journalism experience or three years’ full -time employment in PR;
- Two years’ full-time employment in PR, and the CAM Advanced Diploma in Marketing Communication;
- LCCIEB 5 3rd Level subjects, including PR, Marketing, Advertising, Principles & Practice of Management, plus two
years’ experience in PR;
- Four years’ full-time employment in PR and five GCSE passes, one of which must be in English Language.

NB Restrictions on existing students apply. To check eligibility of PR role email the CIPR professional development team.

International: Those whose first language is not English must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the language - spoken and written - to an International Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 6.5 or equivalent.


Public Policy Landscape/ 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 Public Affairs Diploma 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 Internal Communication Diploma, the CIPR Public Affairs Diploma and the CIPR 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 Public Affairs Diploma graduates 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!

Entry Requirements

See course text

Last Updated

05 May 2017

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