This course equips you with industry-specific skills in public relations (PR) and encourages you to explore the broader context of its practice. You gain an understanding of the rapidly changing business and media environments, as well as knowledge of new media technologies. You benefit from a visiting lecturer programme, where public relations practitioners and academics provide additional industry insight.
This course is designed for recent graduates with little or no public relations (PR) experience, who want to pursue a career in an exciting and expanding sector. It is also ideal if you are a public relations practitioner with one or two years of experience, looking to develop your strategic and analytical skills whilst gaining a broader understanding of the PR industry.
The course combines academic learning and professional practice with a hands-on approach. Key areas of study include
• the origins and history of PR from a global perspective
• how PR is used to manage and restore organisational reputation
• public affairs and government communication
• how charities and campaigning groups use PR
• the ethical dimensions of PR and how to be an ethical PR practitioner
• the impact of globalisation on PR practice and how to create compelling and relevant international PR campaigns
You learn the latest techniques to succeed in the fast changing world of communications, and gain the analytical, strategic, management and organisational skills to succeed at the highest levels in PR. You develop your ability to
• critically evaluate key concepts, theories and debates
• plan and manage PR campaigns
• write for a wide range of communication media including print, broadcasting, and online
• work effectively across a wide range of media channels
• think and work creatively
• critically reflect on your own professional development
• develop a strong and effective social media profile
• use social scientific research skills across academic and industry work
During the course you put important PR campaigns under the spotlight and work on live briefs to develop your professional skills in real-life situations. You learn how to work with bloggers and journalists, to meet their needs and develop your organsiation's reputation, and bring new ideas into the public sphere. You also develop an understanding of how academic research helps us understand the practice and development of public relations across the world.
You gain practical skills in • content creation and curation • writing news releases • organising events • researching and creating strategic PR campaigns • dealing with the media • blogger relations • crisis management • creative use of online and social media • advocacy approaches to engage with hard-to-reach audiences.
We give you the skills you need to communicate with key audiences across different media channels including print, broadcast, social media and online. It is not about ‘spin’, but great writing and verbal skills, critical and creative thinking, and understanding how the media works. You are encouraged to think about an organisation's aims and objectives and how PR knowledge can be used to achieve or question them.
The course is delivered by a team that includes award winning PR industry specialists with national and international experience across TV, health, charity, public and private sectors.
Public Relations Consultants Association
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.
Follow our BA and MA Public Relations Twitter feed @Shefhallam_PR
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 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.
2017 entry requirements
• an honours degree (2.2 or above) or equivalent in any subject
• a good standard of written and spoken English.
Overseas applicants from countries whose first language is not English must normally produce evidence of competence in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all skills (or equivalent) is the standard for non-native speakers of English. If your English language skill is currently below an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English level.
You may also be considered if you do not hold a degree but can provide evidence of relevant professional experience.
If you do not have such academic qualifications we may consider your application individually, based on your personal, professional and work experience, and other formal qualifications. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more
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.
Full time - September start - typically 12 months
Part time - September start - typically 24 months
Typical modules may include
|Postgraduate certificate – core modules||
PR – essential theory and history
PR for the digital era
Practical PR and professional experience
|Postgraduate certificate – optional modules||
Writing for PR
Media law and regulation
|Postgraduate diploma – core modules||
PR issues and crisis management
PR, politics and lobbying
|Postgraduate diploma – optional modules||
• international journalism and PR • print and online news reporting
Organisations are increasingly recognising the value of PR and the importance of effective communication. As more media platforms are launched, and the communication mix becomes more complex, the demand for honest, ethical and skilled PR practitioners continues to grow.
The course gives you the knowledge and skills to work as a public relations officer or executive in • public and private sector organisations • PR agencies • charities • pressure groups • the voluntary sector.
It also prepares you for work • as a campaigns director • in public affairs or lobbying • as an account manager or director making the headlines for your creative campaigns.
Many of our students also move into marketing and social media roles.
The skills from the course are transferrable to a range of other professions as you gain competencies in writing, communicating, presenting ideas and working in a team.
Home / EU student
Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)
2016/17 academic year
Typically £6,300 for the course
Part-time study should be calculated pro rata.
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas. Please note that for 13 month courses your loan will be paid to you over the duration of two years.
2017/18 academic year
Typically £6,400 for the course
Part-time study should be calculated pro rata
2016/17 academic year
Typically £12,500 for the course
2017/18 academic year
Typically £13,250 for the course
Additional course costs
This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.
Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.