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Public Relations (MSc)

Course Description

“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.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/663-msc-public-relations

What you will study

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 methods

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.

Visit the Public Relations (MSc) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2:2 Honours degree or an equivalent qualification, or in exceptional circumstances, three years’ or more significant managerial experience. If you already hold the CIM Professional Postgraduate Diploma, you may be able to gain exemptions from this course.

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