BA (Honours) Public Relations
Four years full-time (including one year work placement) or three years full-time
UCAS code • P210 | Location • City Campus
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If you want a career in the exciting and expanding PR sector, this course equips you with the practical skills and knowledge you need to succeed. Project work with real clients develops your ability to create effective PR campaigns. You are also encouraged to develop your PR knowledge through industry work experience.
• Learn from lecturers who are practicing PR professionals and expert academics.
• Benefit from strong links with PR practitioners for your placement.
• Tailor your training with optional modules from journalism and media courses.
• Gain automatic student membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
This course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
When you enrol on a course recognised by the CIPR you are eligible for free CIPR Student Membership. This gives you access to many industry and personal development opportunities and to the members area of the CIPR website, where they have a dedicated student area which offers help and advice on getting into the PR industry and free online training.
This recognition also allows graduates to become full members of the CIPR without further examination.
Fees – home and EU students
We do not charge course fees during a placement year.
Course fees may be subject to annual inflationary increase. For further information see our fees and funding pages.
2014/15 academic year
For 2014 entry, membership of a professional body is included in the course fee. Mandatory UK field trips are also included in the course fee.
Fees – international students
We do not charge course fees during a placement year.
2014/15 academic year
Typically £11,250 a year
2015/16 academic year
Typically £11,500 a year
Compared to some other university PR courses, our course has a relatively small number of students, usually around twenty, which means staff really get to know you as an individual.
Learn how to research, plan, implement and manage successful PR campaigns. This course equips you with the practical skills and academic knowledge essential for success in this fast changing, exciting and expanding area.
You examine and evaluate key theories relating to PR and engage with current debates about the impact of public relations on the media and wider society. You also study professional issues, including • ethics and corporate social responsibility • crisis management • Freedom of Information • industry codes of conduct.
Your studies are led by a team that includes national award-winning PR industry specialists, with experience across TV, health, charity, public and private sectors.
During your course, you are encouraged to gain PR industry experience working for real clients. In the third year, you can take a paid work placement. This is a great opportunity to improve your career and starting salary prospects and to sharpen your practical knowledge of PR. You can work for a range of large or medium private or public sector organisations in the UK. Recent students have worked with • Sheffield United Football Club • local authorities, such as Derbyshire County Council and Wakefield Council • charities such as Breast Cancer Care, St Luke’s Hospice and Whirlow Hall Farm • PR support at the London 2012 Olympics • regional and national PR consultancies.
In your final year you can apply your theoretical and practical learning to an external project. This may involve producing a portfolio of work to show prospective employers when you graduate or completing original research on a topic of your choice for a dissertation.
Every year we hold a Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) industry event, which brings together regional and national PR experts with our students. We also offer a scheme whereby PR professionals mentor students for one year.
The CIPR’s recent review of the course commended us for covering the essential knowledge, skills and standards expected of today’s PR professionals.
This course also benefits from Partner University status with the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). A limited number of universities are endorsed by the PRCA for offering excellent courses that are intellectually rigorous and esteemed by employers.
Our students gain automatic free student membership of the PRCA and all the benefits that come with it, including • exclusive access to work placements • internships • graduate schemes and entry level jobs • free and unlimited online training • free access to the industry recognised PRCA online certificate.
Key areas of study
As well as learning about public relations, you can learn how to specialise your practice and take a more theoretical or practical route through your degree. You can choose optional modules, including • event management • global PR • celebrity culture • media identity and representation • PR and power.
• essays • reports • electronic assessment • oral presentations • portfolio work • project
2015 entry requirements
GCSE mathematics and English at grade C or above, plus one of the following
• 280 points from at least two GCE A levels, with 80 points in a relevant subject. AS levels and Key Skills may count towards these points.
• Access – an Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2. At least 15 level 3 credits must be at merit grade or above, in a social studies or media-related programme from a QAA-recognised Access to HE course, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate
If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.5 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.
We welcome applications from people of any age. There may be some flexibility in entry requirements provided you have other relevant learning or experience. This must show that you will benefit from and finish the course successfully.
Year one core modules
• history of PR • introduction to PR • making media • media industries • writing for PR • PR persuasion and popular culture
Year two core modules
• digital PR • PR skills • reputation issue and crisis management • professional and academic development for PR
Year two options
• event management • applied photography • celebrity culture • work-based learning 1 • global PR • radio 1 • media identity and representation • storytelling • news media • TV 1 • foreign language
• optional work placement
Final year core modules
• applied project/dissertation • PR specialisms • PR professional issues • corporate PR
Final year options
• PR and power • work-based learning 2 • alternative media • moral panics • TV 2 • media science environment • postcolonial media cultures • communicating through photography • radio 2 • foreign language
Public relations professionals are employed in small, medium and large organisations in a variety of areas, including • charity • health • sports • celebrity • finance • lobbying • business • consultancy • PR agencies.
This course prepares you for careers such as • in-house and agency public relations • media management • event management • corporate communications.
You may also find employment in professions that require excellent communication skills such as teaching, welfare and social professions.
Further information is available on careers in public relations on the Prospects website.
Prepare for your future career
We can help you gain the skills and experience employers are looking for and prepare you for your future career. We offer you
- opportunities to become more employable by gaining hands-on experience and developing work-ready skills that will impress employers
- expert careers advice and guidance through one-to-one adviser appointments, workshops, events, recruitment fairs and literature
- specialist support with becoming self-employed including free access to specialist business advice and office resources to improve your chances of success