“Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.” – Richard Branson.
This CIPR-accredited public relations (PR) course is designed to give practitioners the skills and ability to think creatively and adopt the latest tools in modern PR campaigns.
PR is rapidly evolving as consumers/stakeholders increasingly take control on instantly accessible worldwide communication channels, and organisations rely less and less on newspapers and traditional media to disseminate information. According to the 2013/14 Public Relations Association (PRCA) census, the sector has seen a turnover of £9.62bn in the UK. With new technologies and social communication media on the rise, PR practitioners are more in demand than ever.
This PR course is fully accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the professional body for public relations and public affairs practitioners. Students enrolled on the MSc Public Relations are eligible for CIPR Student Membership. This provides access to numerous industry and personal development opportunities as well as the member’s area of the CIPR website. The CIPR website includes a dedicated student area which offers help and advice on entering the PR industry and free online training.
A key feature of modern marketing is the decline of mass communication in favour of multiple person-to-person networks and mobile messenger apps such as WhatsApp. Sitting alongside traditional PR tools, social networks and blog sites are now part of the PR practitioner’s toolkit. This accredited course will expose you to the challenges at the forefront of modern PR and enhance your ability to manage brand and corporate identity effectively.
You will explore the radical shift in PR, as traditional channels such as advertising and sales promotion have changed. The course will further develop your understanding of word-of-mouth marketing, including social networks and the growing popularity of photo and video sharing sites.
From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram, you will challenge traditional methods and the contemporary thinking associated with marketing and stakeholder communications. The course will also cover the importance of brand reputation and the growing demand for essential skills in crisis management, and enhance your knowledge and understanding of the role PR plays in modern politics.
Modules of study:
- PR Concepts and Practice This module aims to provide an introductory critique of key concepts and tools of modern PR practice and implementation. It examines the theoretical underpinnings of the subject by exploring how PR is utilised to influence issues within society, industry and the environment.
- Brands & Reputation Management This module aims to provide a critique of the key theoretical underpinning surrounding the consumption, construction and reputation management of brands – a key responsibility for modern PR practitioners.
- Strategic Marketing This module critically examines the key elements of strategic marketing and its interface with business strategy.
- Content Marketing & Public Relations This module provides a solid foundation for writing and factual story-telling as well as verbal communication within a marketing and PR context.
- Managing Professional Development The aim of this module is to support personal and professional development for a business related professional career.
- Third Sector & Political Public Relations This module critically evaluates the PR practice within the public/political sector. It accordingly examines how PR is utilised by third sector organisations, such as pressure groups, charities, trade unions and social enterprises, as well as political parties.
- Campaign Planning for Marketing & PR The aim of this module is to enable you to understand the key constructs associated with campaign planning for marketing and PR, notably the use of digital technology.
- Research Methods The aim of this module is to develop your understanding and skills of research in a management and/or professional development context, focusing on a critical review of research methodologies and methods.
- Management Project This module introduces you to the intellectual and scholarly requirements of producing an extended piece of written postgraduate research.
Learning and teaching methods
Full-time students study each subject intensively over a period of several weeks. Part-time delivery is designed around the needs of practicing marketing managers and PR professionals. You will learn through lectures, seminars, group work, case studies, and analyses of communications materials and networks, as well as specialist guest lecturers from leading professionals. The course also includes potential for a site visit to a media communications organisation.
Through our series of guest lecturers delivered by leading industry experts, you can also gain up to the moment insights into the challenges and practices pertinent to image management and PR planning.
Work Experience and Employment Prospects
The skills you will gain on the MSc Public Relations course will allow you to help your employer or company gain a competitive edge by managing meaningful relationships through PR. You will also gain the latest intelligence about social networking, new communication techniques and how to manage new and emerging digital channels.
Students will typically be offered the opportunity to meet representatives from PR companies who offer internships by way of guest talks. In addition, the University of South Wales Careers and Employability Service helps students with all aspects of careers and employability. Services range from individual advice and guidance on CVs & applications, interviews, work experience, internships, volunteering, practical support with job hunting and working/studying overseas.
As a student of this course you will have access to help and advice from a dedicated student area on the CIPR website on starting your career within the public relations industry.
Assessment is assignment-based, so you can explore each subject to develop your critical and analytical skills. The final requirement is a dissertation or business research project, where you will examine an aspect of PR in depth.