BA (Honours) Public Relations
Full-timeFour years full-time (including one year work placement) or three years full-time
At a glance
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).
What is public relations?
Public relations involves building relationships, enhancing reputations, and above all, good communication. The best and most creative public relations (PR) campaigns make a positive difference to people's lives. They can improve issues such as health awareness and public safety and be a persuasive force for the public good. More and more organisations, from charities to government and business, now use PR to get their messages across.
For more information on public relations visit the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) website.
About this course
Learn how to research, plan, implement and manage successful PR campaigns. 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 and industry codes of conduct.
Your studies are led by a team which 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 have the opportunity to take a paid work placement. This is a great opportunity to improve your career and starting salary prospects and sharpen your practical knowledge of PR. You have the opportunity to 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 and charities such as Breast Cancer Care, St Luke's Hospice and Whirlow Hall Farm. Some also worked in PR support at the London 2012 Olympics, as well as at 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 is the leading professional body representing the UK public relations industry. Its recent review of the course commended us for covering the essential knowledge, skills and standards expected of todays 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 which 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.
If you want a career in this fast changing, exciting and expanding area, then this course equips you with the essential practical skills and academic knowledge to do so successfully and ethically.
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.
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 including teaching, welfare and social professions.
Further information is available on careers in public relations on the Prospects website.
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.
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
essays reports electronic assessment oral presentations portfolio work project
2014 entry requirements
GCSE mathematics and English at grade C or above, plus one of the following
260 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.
Home and EU students
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.
2013/14 academic year
Typically £10,680 a year
2014/15 academic year
Typically £11,250 a year
How to apply
You apply for this course through UCAS.
For more information or to check the progress of your application phone +44 (0)114 225 5555, fax +44 (0)114 225 2167, e-mail email@example.com