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Public Relations & Media Management (MSc)

Course Description

This innovative online part-time course is specifically designed for PR professionals who want to continue their professional development by adding an academic discipline to their practical experience. The course will allow you to gain a senior practitioner view of current management and leadership practice in public relations, as well as the ability to plan and execute campaigns using digital techniques.

The programme is taught by highly experienced tutors and industry professionals, who are able to draw upon their substantial experience in PR. Teaching is online, using interactive weekly webinars and can be undertaken from home or the workplace, and from anywhere in the UK or beyond with internet access. You are supported by tutors and classmates you meet regularly online in a virtual classroom. Integral Foundation Days introduce each unit, and additional support days are provided to assist learning and assessments. Online applied assessments can also benefit your career or organisation. Excellent networking opportunities are available with like-minded PR professionals and academics.

Units of Study

Public Relations Theory and Strategy
This unit aims to provide you with an understanding of the basic PR and communications concepts and theories underlying modern PR practice, as well as some of the broader key theories of strategy and planning which underpin PR as an academic subject and practical career path. It examines the way organisations use communication and PR in building relationships with their various stakeholders and examines the development and management of effective PR campaigns. It also examines the range of techniques available to practitioners, and the ways in which these techniques can be employed to address a variety of different issues /problems.

Strategy and Planning for Digital and Social Media Communications
The digital skills gap is widely recognised as a major barrier to organisations maximising the benefits of successful digital marketing and communications. This unit integrates digital and social media into organisational communication campaigns. It reviews emerging techniques and assesses their impact within integrated media communication. Learn from digital marketing specialists – each with active practitioner experience in their fields, such as email marketing, search, social media, mobile. This unit is taught by MMU on professional marketing courses. On completion, you should be able to spot challenges, opportunities and key factors in the successful planning of a successful digital marketing and social media communications strategy.

Corporate Reputation and Media Management
The importance of corporate reputation and media management is increasingly recognised, in part due to the increased social, political, and consumer pressures experienced by organisations to act and to be seen to act in a more socially responsible manner and pay far greater attention to the way their activities impact on society and influence public opinion. This unit provides you with an understanding of corporate reputation, and key concepts and theories underlying current corporate reputation management practice, as well as some of the broader theories regarding corporate image and identity, corporate branding and corporate communications which underpin corporate reputation as an academic subject.

Leadership and Consultancy Management
This element comprises two smaller units - Leadership and Management Practice in PR and Business Research and Consultancy Skills. Leadership and Management Practice analyses the practical application of higher-level public relations skills in leadership and management, focusing on the language of management, ethics and professionalism. Business Research and Consultancy Skills (Research Methods) will develop your critical thinking, reflective writing and other study skills, including analysis and referencing, in order to successfully study at Masters level. In particular, it will introduce you to both academic and business research methods needed to develop a successful research brief or dissertation proposal.

A Research Project or Dissertation
This is intended to test your ability to produce an original, independent piece of scholarly work. It will demonstrate your awareness and understanding of the relevant theories and schools of thought associated with the chosen topic, and demonstrate your ability to identify relevant sources of information and to analyse their value in relation to the topic being investigated.

The number of units you study will depend on if you choose the PgCert (60 credits), PgDip (120 credits) or MSc (120 credits of units + 60 credit dissertation).

Special Features

•You can study this course from anywhere in the UK or overseas.
•You can choose to undertake a Consultancy Dissertation and base your research around your employer, a client, an industry or even a prospective employer.
•Each unit lasts for one semester over 4-5 months. This comprises 10 teaching weeks with mid-semester breaks followed by 6 weeks for assessment preparation.
•On average, you can expect to engage in approximately two hours of online teaching and tutorials per week, which you will need to supplement with your own reading, preparation and assessment work.
•Each unit is preceded by two integral Foundation Days, which will introduce you to each topic area and the assignments, and provide an opportunity to engage with tutors and network with fellow practitioners in workshops and discussions. These sessions will be recorded so that students unable to attend can access the material online.
•Each unit will include regular contact with tutors and fellow students plus an Assignment Support Session to help you prepare for the assessments.
•If you are a mature student with relevant professional qualifications or you have previously studied for a postgraduate certificate or diploma, you may be eligible for an advanced standing route on this programme.
•Practitioners holding a CIPR Diploma in Public Relations are exempt up to 60 credits for this course. This means you are exempt from taking units 1 and 3, and so can join the course at unit 2 stage. Please see below for more details.
•We are a partner university of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).
•As a PR student at MMU, you can gain FREE student membership of the PRCA whilst on the programme, with a range of benefits including access to conferences and training.
•The course will help position you as a 'plus-two' candidate capable of rapid promotion through a strong portfolio of professional skills as well as academic theory.

Visit the Public Relations & Media Management (MSc) page on the Manchester Metropolitan University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a good UK honours degree (minimum 2:2), or international equivalent, in any subject. We will consider your application if you have significant, relevant experience or degree equivalent professional qualifications.

Course Fees

Please refer to our website for the latest fee information.

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