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Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Public Relations Diploma

Course Description

This course, developed by the CIPR and recognised as the benchmark for professional practice in public relations by the private and
public sectors, offers practitioners a real opportunity to develop their professionalism – both by reflecting critically on their current
practice and by focusing on the very hands-on teaching of strategic PR planning and its role in the achievement of broader organisational objectives.
It is ideal for people wanting to develop their professional public relations expertise at a number of different stages in their career. Typical students include:
■ experienced journalists who need to develop their knowledge of organisations and strategic planning in order to facilitate a move into public relations;
■ ambitious practitioners who need to take time to reflect critically on their practice in light of latest thinking and theory in order to develop their career and
■ graduates who need to quickly gain an in-depth knowledge of the debates, practices and critical thinking within the profession to help
them gain enough understanding to practice professionally.

This course provides PR practitioners with the knowledge and understanding of theory and practice to develop as effective and efficient professionals. You will understand the practice of public relations as a strategic management function and will develop planning expertise as well as being encouraged to analyse existing practice from a critical perspective. You will benefit from sharing experiences and developing a professional network of colleagues in similar situations.

The individual project that forms part of the course offers you the opportunity to work with a supervisor over a number of months to produce a well-researched piece of work focusing on an area of your choice. Students often choose to devote this opportunity to help develop or improve specific work projects or to develop their expertise in a particular area of public relations practice.

Teaching, learning and assessment

On campus teaching comprises a variety of approaches including lectures, workshops, case study, group work and input from senior practitioners and QMU academics. Work is set and contact maintained between teaching blocks through online discussions. Your performance will be assessed through a combination of examinations, reports and projects.

Teaching hours and attendance

Module 2.1 Public Relations Principles: 2nd,3rd October, 13th, 14th November 2015
Module 2.2 Planning and Management: 29th, 30th January, 11th, 12th March 2016
Module 2.3 Personal Skills and Development (reflective practice): 8th January, 6 May 2016,
+ ongoing individual supervision May – July.

Entry requirements:

• CIPR Advanced Certificate in Public Relations
• CIPR Internal Communication Certificate plus one year’s full-time employment in PR*
• postgraduate professional qualification in a related discipline (e.g. CIM diploma), plus one year’s full-time employment (or equivalent part-time employment) in public relations*
• 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 public relations*, 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 public relations* and five GCSE passes, one of which must be in English Language.

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

(Student Profile)

Leanne Mabberley

After completing a degree in American Studies from Nottingham University, I went on to work in various media/communications roles at local newspapers, a children's charity and the City of Edinburgh Council, where I have now been for nearly seven years.

I'd gained lots of hands-on experience of public relations, and felt the CIPR Diploma would give me that added theoretical knowledge and extra confidence. Living and working in Edinburgh, I was at an advantage as QMU is the only Scottish centre to deliver the CIPR Diploma. Due to the delivery of the course, I was able to continue working at the Council.

I really enjoyed the course and found it directly useful in the office. The lecturers were great and I found myself inspired to learn more and more. I liked the fact that the course focused on the more advanced strategic side of PR; this meant that I wasn't repeating the basics which I'm pretty well versed in. I am now more confident in the decisions that I make and feel comfortable in all sides of PR, whether it is writing a wide-ranging communications plan, discussing ethical issues or honing what exactly a project's key messages should be.

Since graduating, I have progressed my career at the City of Edinburgh Council and am now a Senior Communications Officer. I've continued to take an active interest in learning to find out what's going on in PR and I would like to continue my studies soon.


Entry Requirements

See course text

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