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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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Public Relations degree overview

If you want a career in the exciting and expanding PR sector, this course equips you with the professional skills and knowledge you need to succeed. Project work with real clients develops your ability to think critically about PR problems and create effective PR campaigns and 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 during your placement.
• Tailor your training with optional modules from journalism and media courses including TV and radio.
• Benefit from our partnership with the Public Relations Consultants Association and have the opportunity to gain student membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Professional recognition

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 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.

Chartered Institute of Public Relations Public Relations Consultants Association

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 the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.

Fees - international students

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

Course fees may be subject to annual inflationary increase. For further fee information see our international fees or scholarships and bursaries pages.

2016/17 academic year

Typically £12,250 a year

Course description

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.

What you study
Learn how to research, plan, implement and manage successful PR campaigns. This course equips you with the professional skills and academic knowledge essential for success in this fast changing, exciting and expanding area.

You examine and evaluate key theories, issues and concepts relating to PR and engage with current debates about the impact of public relations on the media and wider society. You also study • ethics in public relations •corporate social responsibility • crisis management • Freedom of Information • the relationship between PR, politics and society.

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.

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.

Placements and work experience
Between the second and third year of the course you can take an optional one-year work placement. Our dedicated placements team will help you find the right opportunity and support you in your application.

Alongside the placement, you are encouraged to gain PR industry experience working for real clients. 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.

We make sure you can network and make industry connections throughout your course. Every year we have students working at Sheffield Doc/Fest – one of the top three documentary film festivals in the world – attending exclusive workshops with international industry experts.

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.

Your studies are led by a team that includes national award-winning industry specialists, with experience across TV, health, charity, sports, business-to-business and consumer PR in both the public and private sectors as well as internationally recognised PR and media theorists.

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.


• essays • reports • electronic assessment • oral presentations • portfolio work • project

Entry requirements

2016 entry requirements

Normally GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C or above, plus one of the following

• 280 points from at least two GCE/VCE A levels or BTEC National qualifications, including at least 80 points in a relevant subject, or from a VCE double award plus one GCE A level in a relevant subject, which must contribute at least 80 points. 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.

* Relevant subjects are • media studies • communication studies • film studies • English • creative writing • a foreign language • sociology • politics • history • psychology • accountancy/finance • business/economics • hospitality/events management • dance/performing arts • drama/theatre studies • geography • art and design • graphic design • IT/computing • music/music technology • sciences.

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.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course content

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

Year three

• 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 • PR agencies • charity • health • sports • celebrity • finance • tourism • lobbying • business • consultancy.

This course prepares you for careers such as • in-house and agency public relations • media management • digital PR • event management • corporate communications • community affairs • content creation.

Outside PR, you can find employment in professions that require excellent communication skills such as management, teaching, the arts and healthcare. Our students also progress on to our MA Public Relations and other MA programmes at Sheffield Hallam University and elsewhere.

Further information is available on careers in public relations on the Prospects website.

Progression courses

Prepare for your future career

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