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MSc/Dip in Strategic Public Relations & Communication Management

Course content

Introduction

The MSc/Dip in Strategic Public Relations and Communication Management equips students with the necessary practical and analytical skills for a professional career and it examines how to design, implement and evaluate public relations (PR) and programmes.

Accreditation

The MSc/Dip in Strategic Public Relations & Communication Management is recognised by the UK Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Key information

- Degree type: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc
- Study methods: Part-time, Full-time
- Duration: Full-time: MSc, one year Diploma: nine months Part-time: MSc, two years Diploma: 21 months
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Derek Hodge

Course objectives

Public relations courses at the University of Stirling are designed for students from a variety of degree backgrounds to develop the appropriate intellectual skills at Master's level for a management-level career in Public Relations, Communication Management, Corporate Affairs or Public Affairs. The course helps students develop a critical appreciation of the role of public relations in society and to develop key analytical and professional skills.

Our approach is founded on the following principles:
- Public relations contributes to the effectiveness of organisations by improving organisational relationships and facilitating public conversations and debate.
- Public relations has a remit for corporate social responsibility through its issues management function and responsibility for reputation, which necessarily means that it has to help organisations change to meet new agendas of sustainability.
- Teaching strategic public relations can facilitate better public understanding of the occupation, and thus mitigate contemporary cultural stereotypes and prejudice (much fostered by journalists who have an interest in purveying negative images), as well as diffusing core concepts that can benefit Scotland’s private and public sector enterprises: small, medium and large. Improved understanding of this organisational function can aid government and NGOs in political and policy communications.
- In understanding public relations practitioners as being, in some aspects, ‘discourse workers’ it becomes easier to see that the functional role has the potential to contribute to a more enlightened and better-informed society.

Public relations takes place at points of change and moments of transformation in complex contemporary societies. Typically, public relations activity clusters around (i) public policy formation (ii) organisational change and development (iii) public issues such as the environment (iv) major global shifts such as conflict, unstable international environments, globalisation, natural disasters or human disasters such as war or global financial collapse.
Bearing all this in mind, public relations education is necessarily embedded in the contemporary issues of the day in a very wide range of environments (political, economic, technological, socio-cultural, regulatory/legal) and contexts (sports, health, religion, tourism, development, regeneration).
Our courses are regularly restructured to improve their effectiveness and efficiency in meeting both academic and professional requirements. Modules relate to the Public Relations Education and Training Matrix developed with, and endorsed by, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Public Relations Consultants Association.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
- IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Career opportunities

The degrees offer necessary conceptual skills for managerial careers in public relations, organisational communication, corporate communications and communication management and related posts in a variety of contexts and sectors.
Graduates of our Master's level courses in public relations have successfully established careers in the public relations field working for a wide range of organisations all round the world. Recent examples include Nike, the UK Government, Office Depot, Police Scotland and the National Museum of Wales.
Many of our graduates work in public relations consultancy, including some of the big names in the PR world, and some have even gone on to start their own businesses. Others stay in academia, going on to gain PhDs and then work as lecturers, teaching and researching public relations in universities all over the world.

- Skills you can develop through this course
By studying this course you will gain a solid understanding of the theory behind public relations and you will have many opportunities to put this theory into practice. You will gain practical skills in campaign planning and the production of public relations materials such as news releases, feature articles and blog postings. This material can make up the basis of a portfolio of work which can be shown to potential employers.

- Chances to expand your horizons
Guest lectures from public relations practitioners provide networking opportunities and expose students to current practice in the industry. The course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and students can attend CIPR Scotland events, allowing them to meet practitioners working in the field and to extend their network of contacts.

- Where are our graduates now?
Graduates of our Master's level courses in public relations have successfully established careers in the public relations field working for a wide range of organisations all round the world. Recent examples include Pfizer, Nike, the UK Government, Office Depot, Police Scotland and the National Museum of Wales.
Many of our graduates work in public relations consultancy, including some of the big names in the PR world, and some have even gone on to start their own business. Others stay in academia, going on to gain PhDs and then on to work as lecturers, teaching and researching public relations in universities all over the world.

Visit the MSc/Dip in Strategic Public Relations & Communication Management page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

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