BA (Honours) Public Relations

UCAS code




Four 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 including TV and radio.
• Gain automatic student membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and benefit from our partnership with the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).

About this course

What you study
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.

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.

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 and 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.

Placements and work experience
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.

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.

Associated careers

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 • digital PR • 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.

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 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.

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


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

Entry requirements


International students

2014/15 academic year

Typically £11,250 a year

2015/16 academic year

Typically £11,500 a year

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS.

Contact details

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