BA (Hons) Public Relations

  • Study Abroad Option Available
  • Sandwich Year Option Available
  • International Students Can Apply
  • Work Placement Opportunity
  • Professional Accreditation

Overview

UCAS Code:P210
Course Length:3 Years Full-Time
Start Dates:September 2016, September 2017
Department:Department of Media
Location:Edge Hill University
  • Public Relations at Edge Hill University ranked top in the UK for teaching and top in the North West for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2015;
  • A degree recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) with strong links to the industry body, including regular attendance at meetings;
  • Coordinate client-led campaigns and gain first-hand experience of the PR industry, developing specialist skills in areas such as event organising, international marketing, charity and political public relations.

Our Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) accredited degree will develop the specialist skills the industry demands and allow you to gain valuable work experience. Public Relations (PR) is about creating and enhancing the reputation of clients and companies, and this industry-orientated degree uses live campaigns for real clients, a work placement and industry guest speakers to develop campaigns, portfolios of practical work, links with prospective employers and an awareness of current trends and issues. You’ll need to have a cool head, to be able to problem solve, think, and act quickly in this fast paced and challenging industry.

Student Profiles

  • Evelyn Anandam

    BA (Hons) Public Relations
    I am sure that the knowledge I have acquired on my degree combined with the experience gained from my placements will help me to achieve my goals.
  • Claire Unwin

    BA (Hons) Public Relations
    I am currently working on a live brief for the Liverpool-based children's charity KIND and will manage this project from start to finish, which is an amazing opportunity.
  • Bethan Mackenzie

    BA (Hons) Public Relations
    There's no doubt that Edge Hill University is a great place to live and study.
  • Jessica Cooper

    BA (Hons) Public Relations
    I have undertaken both theoretical and practical work which has enabled me to develop a wide range of skills, with the hands-on experiences, such as work-placements and client-led campaign briefs, being a real highlight.
  • Download Course Leaflet
  • Watch Video
  • Book an Open Day
  • Request a Prospectus
  • Contact Us
Department of Media

Course in Depth

What will I study?

Year 1 looks at the origins, history and development of public relations and communication theories alongside basic principles that underpin its relationship to the media and the business worlds. Writing for the press, liaising with journalists, analysing media trends, communicating through design and organising events is an integral part of the course.

Year 2 develops decision-making and planning skills. There is a strong emphasis on practical projects and working within the industry, and you will contribute to live campaigns, while building understanding, creative enterprise and persuasive skills. Additionally, you will learn techniques used in crisis management and reflect on current ethical debates in public relations.

In Year 3 you will take charge of the design and the implementation of a campaign, coordinating the work of Year 1 and 2 colleagues and delivering a full campaign for a real client. Industry-based learning and the study of several specialist areas of PR prepare you for employment and guide you through the available routes into this competitive industry. You will be able to carry out a personal research project in a specific area of industry that reflects your professional interests while there is also the opportunity to complete an optional work placement.

How will I study?

Learning will be theoretical and practical. You’ll be supported by a range of resources including library materials, IT and internet access, computer hardware and software to industry standard and by a range of media and digital multimedia. There are numerous opportunities for industry-based practice that will allow you to develop a comprehensive portfolio of work which showcases your skills for future employment.

You will work and coordinate client-led campaigns throughout the three years of study. Clients have included Advocacy West Lancashire, Valley Community Theatre Liverpool, the National Blood Service, Home Start West Lancashire, Kids in Need and Distress, Merseyside Polonia, the Yellow House Project, FareShare Merseyside, Down Syndrome Liverpool, Daisy UK and the English Speaking Board.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments in the first year will ensure you have achieved the required knowledge and skills. In Years 2 and 3, assessment contributes to your final degree award through written and practical assignments, live campaigns, research projects and individual and group presentations.

Who will be teaching me?

An experienced team with a wide range of interests reflecting all areas of media and communication theory and practice will work with you. Team members are active in the research of contemporary developments in PR and communication and have current or recent experience of working in industry.

A Great Study Environment

BA (Hons) Public RelationsThe Department of Media is based in Creative Edge, a state-of-the-art £17m building offering highly contemporary suites of outstanding facilities for creative media students.

Key features include TV studios with broadcast capacity and full production capabilities, recording studios, sound-editing suites, animation studios, photographic studio, radio studio and multimedia laboratory. Our innovative resources are designed to ensure you gain practical experience to a professional standard. Dedicated support in the use of all creative media facilities is available through our Media Development Team.

PR students have access to their own designated PR suite, comprising televisions for rolling news, as well as the computers, telephones and printing facilities needed for conducting campaigns or organising events. There is also a dedicated area used for meetings and to generate creative ideas.

Modules

Expand/Collapse all

Year 1

MED1046 Academic, Professional and Research Skills (20 credits)

Academic, Professional and Research Skills assists you in developing key academic skills. Teaching focuses on a range of activities including report writing, presentation styles, using archives and databases, and time management.

MED1055 Media Relations (20 credits)

Media Relations is key to public relations and every PR professional will need to have a clear understanding of the media and how to work with the media. Topics covered include audience selection, selling in stories and working with the differing agendas of different media.

MED1057 Communicating Through Design (20 credits)

Communicating Through Design introduces you to a range of production skills which are essential for public relations and promotion-related work, including campaigns and event management. Alongside developing practical skills, you will discover the theories of design and communication and be introduced to a range of media, including print and digital multimedia. The module will include an overview of the use of industry-relevant hardware and software across a range of media. This includes image manipulation software (Adobe Photoshop), desktop publishing software (Quark Xpress) and web page creation software (Dreamweaver and Flash).

MED1414 Hold the Front Page (20 credits)

Hold the Front Page explores news values and how news decisions are made in relation to the type of media outlet. The module encourages you to acquire a knowledge and appreciation of news in the broader sense. You will start to understand the news agenda and how journalistic decisions are made in order to target a variety of news outlets in an effective way.

MED1427 Foundations of PR and Client-Led Campaign (20 credits)

Foundations of PR and Client-Led Campaign will look at a series of case studies of current and recent PR campaigns and will analyse their successes and failures. The module will introduce the SOSTTAC planning framework and explore how this can guide successful campaigns, setting PR campaigns within the context of organisational objectives and marketing communications objectives. You will consider what PR is and develop some of the basic skills involved. You will also contribute to a real PR campaign for a real client from the not-for-profit sector, operating as an account executive in a PR agency.

MED1428 PR - Past, Present, Future (20 credits)

PR – Past, Present, Future looks at aspects of public relations including how the profession has activity developed and at likely future trends.  There is a focus on the structures within the industry and on the range of specialisms which have been developing as the industry grows.

Language modules in French, Spanish or Mandarin, delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, are available to study as an integral part of this degree. A single Language module can be studied instead of either MED1046 Academic, Professional and Research Skills, MED1057 Communicating Through Design or MED1428 PR – Past, Present, Future.

Year 2

MED2069 PR Campaigns (20 credits)

PR Campaigns gives you a deeper understanding of aspects of campaign planning and implementation. Planned campaigns are central to public relations and you will analyse a number of campaigns in depth. Teaching will also focus on the management aspects of running a successful campaign.

MED2070 Client Led Campaign (20 credits)

Client Led Campaign requires you to implement a real PR campaign for a real client. The module is modelled, as far as possible, on the real world of work. It is designed to develop leadership, teamwork and organisational skills, as well as to enable you to apply your skills to a real life situation and to develop meaningful experiences for your future career development. You will produce a detailed campaign and plan and identify appropriate PR techniques for chosen audiences, justifying choices made during the campaign and explaining the success or otherwise of the activities.

You will select four of the following modules:

MED2052 Integrated Brand Campaigns (20 credits)

Integrated Brand Campaigns focuses on the development of branding and the changing role of advertising, promotion and design. You will develop a critical and practical understanding of how contemporary branding is used in modern societies and institutions and also consider its contexts.

MED2080 Psychology of Persuasion (20 credits)

Psychology of Persuasion has a strong communication component, emphasising the discursive elements of a variety of written and visual texts. The module introduces a range of supporting theories, after which you work with models of audience consumption, reception and visual and discursive techniques aimed at producing impact, changing opinions and behaviours. Analysing a variety of media and case studies, you will apply a number of rhetorical and persuasive techniques to your own practice.

MED2082 Creative Research Methods and Professional Ethics (20 credits)

Creative Research Methods and Professional Ethics gives an overview of the main research methodologies used in communications. You will get a chance to identify, justify and implement different methods and techniques depending on the chosen topic and type of project. There is a focus on ethics in research and on ethics in the broader world of public relations. This focus includes the ethical codes of the various professional organisations and a look at corporate social responsibility.

MED2215 Analysing Audiences (20 credits)

Analysing Audiences provides you with a range of approaches to the understanding of audiences and methods of researching and theorising those audiences. You will experience a range of texts in a variety of media. Consideration will be given to the role of the media producer in audience creation and evolution, including the role of new media and new technology in the creation of contemporary audience practices.

MED2259 Media and PR in the Digital Age (20 credits)

Media and PR in the Digital Age introduces you to current debates on the role of digital media and explores the various uses that digital media has in PR in maintaining personal or organisational reputation and in professional advancements in the creative industries. You will master the practical and theoretical aspects of PR in a multimedia landscape and, if you wish to specialise in digital multimedia, will learn how to avoid the pitfalls of digital communication and how to use blogs and networking platforms effectively. The module will also develop your writing and communication skills tailored for digital platforms.

MED2285 Writing for the Media (20 credits)

Writing for the Media provides practical experience and understanding of how to identify and promote the ‘newsworthy’ elements of a potential story or feature and present it in the format and structure that journalists use. The module also equips you with the tools required to write other material common in public relations and other fields of communication. The writing techniques used by journalists are exactly those that a would-be PR practitioner needs to develop which is why the ability to write clearly and in the right sort of language is one of the skills most valued by employers in public relations. This module is based around frequent writing exercises and feedback on style and content.

MED2289 Crisis Management (20 credits)

Crisis Management looks at a number of theoretical models relating to how crises develop, to the analysis of crisis situations and to the management of crisis. It focuses on reputation management and related concepts of organisational image and identity. The module includes analysis of past examples of crisis management and workshops simulating reactions to hypothetical crisis scenarios. A wide range of crises are used including crises from the worlds of politics, business and the charity sector.

If you studied a Language module in Year 1, you may wish to study a further Language module in Year 2. This would form an integral part of your degree in place of one of the optional modules above.

Year 3

MED3246 Client-Led Campaign (20 credits)

Client-Led Campaign is all about preparation for the world of work. You will focus on career planning and will work on a real PR campaign for a real client from the not-for-profit sector, operating as an account director in a PR agency. This campaign activities are modelled, as far as possible, on the real world of professional PR work. The module is designed to develop leadership, teamwork and organisational skills as well as to enable you to apply your skills to a real life situation and to develop meaningful experiences for your future career development.

You will select five of the following modules:

MED3057 Event Management (20 credits)

Event Management looks at the organisational reasons for holding events and the techniques needed to manage these successfully. It will also look at how appropriate events are chosen and how venues are selected. This is a specialism which requires a high level of attention to detail and you will be expected to research relevant regulations, such as disability and health and safety rules. Events can be key tools in the marketing communications mix. They range from small highly targeted evenings for key stakeholders to major national conferences. All have key messages and defined audiences.

MED3058 Media Policy and Political Communication (20 credits)

Media Policy and Political Communication provides a critical excursion into the role of media within modern democratic politics, providing you with a good grounding of political theory and also covering the role of power and counter-power at national, European and global levels, the communication strategies deployed by political actors, and the outcomes of the consultation and decision-making processes in the creative industries. The module critically assesses the shift from national to transnational level in media policy making, in direct relationship with the development of media and communication technologies, and investigates the delicate balance between consumer autonomy and corporate interests.

MED3059 PR for Charities and Non-Governmental Organisations (20 credits)

PR for Charities and Non-Governmental Organisations is centred on the voluntary sector often being a destination of choice for PR professionals. Its characteristics, however, mean to be successful in the sector you need to understand a range of legal and ethical factors unique to charitable status. Lack of resource means that communication is nearly always driven by PR rather than by other marketing communications disciplines which means a PR professional in the voluntary sector is likely to be highly influential.

MED3060 Advertising: Critical Debates (20 credits)

Advertising: Critical Debates explores critical debates in advertising that involve the relationship between consumerism, identity and lifestyle. You will engage with a range of complex and challenging questions around consumerism, lifestyle and identity, linking these concepts to sociocultural, economic and regulatory changes.

MED3205 Identities and Creative Citizenship (20 credits)

Identities and Creative Citizenship questions how identities are formed and to what extent we can shape our identities. The module also analyses the relationship between public/national identity and private/personal identity. You will consider how changes in social, cultural and political life affect contemporary constructions of identity and citizenship and examine the effect cultural and media production has on conceptions of identity. Drawing on a range of theoretical approaches to identities and citizenship, the overall aim is to investigate the formation, representation and production of identity in relation to issues such as gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality and politics.

MED3208 Media Futures (20 credits)

Media Futures involves the study of contemporary media practices, the impact of technology on creative industries, developments in global and local media, and changing paradigms of media production and audience consumption. You will develop a critical awareness of a number of key themes including social experience and shaping of media forms, access, participation and engagement, and the relationship between public and private spheres. By considering these themes through a range of different theories and research, you will discover a variety of approaches to gaining understanding of what is a rapidly expanding frontier of creative and cultural practice and media knowledge.

MED3220 Work Placement (20 credits)

Work Placement offers you the opportunity to identify, apply for and complete a work placement in the advertising or public relations industry. The placement will be for a minimum four weeks and you will have the opportunity for subsequent reflection upon your experiences, work projects and skills gained in the process.

MED3225 Dissertation (40 credits)

Dissertation offers you the opportunity to undertake an in-depth personal research project, under supervision, and explore a range of research methodologies and presentational formats appropriate to the project. You will gain a thorough knowledge of your chosen subject area and will be expected to shape that knowledge to produce a final submission that demonstrates your ability to locate the material within the wider contexts of your discipline. The module will enable you to work independently, with a supervisor, to explore areas of contemporary academic interest, consider issues of current or historical industry practice, and critically analyse case studies or products within specific cultural and social contexts.

MED3247 Industry Portfolio (20 credits)

Industry Portfolio recognises that the public relations profession covers a wide range of specialisms and that PR professionals operate in an industry that is constantly changing and evolving. Practitioners can work in very different environments, from small focused agencies to large full service agencies, or in-house departments in complex organisations, some of them with international remits. This module provides you with the opportunity to focus on a specialist area of particular interest and to develop at least one product (should they choose that assessment method) that can become evidence of their skills and knowledge.

POL3001 Strategic Political Communications (20 credits)

Strategic Political Communications looks in depth at political communication and how it is used by various players in the political arena. It is impossible to understand modern day politics without understanding how politicians and campaign groups communicate.  This module builds on your understanding of political systems and practices and analyses pieces of communication in a critical way.

Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements.

Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

The UCAS Tariff system, which allocates points to a range of qualifications in university entry requirements, is changing for students joining programmes from September 2017 onwards.

The entry criteria below are mapped to the current UCAS Tariff for academic year 2016/17 entry and the new UCAS Tariff for academic year 2017/18 entry.

  • 2016/17 Entry – 280 UCAS Tariff points. Creative Arts subjects are preferred;
  • 2017/18 Entry – 120 UCAS Tariff points. Creative Arts subjects are preferred.

Example Offers

Some typical examples of how you can achieve the 280 UCAS Tariff points required for 2016/17 entry include:

  • A Levels – BBC;
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) – Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM);
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma – successful completion of Diploma.

Some typical examples of how you can achieve the 120 UCAS Tariff points required for 2017/18 entry are as follows:

  • A Levels – BBB;
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) – Distinction, Distinction, Merit (DDM);
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma – successful completion of Diploma to include 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be graded Distinction and 15 credits graded Merit.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

As long as you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as the Welsh Baccalaureate and Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE), AS Levels that haven’t been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

For further information on how you can meet the entry requirements, including details of alternative qualifications, please visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/offers.

EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at www.edgehill.ac.uk/eu.

International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international for information on the entry criteria for overseas applicants.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

You will assemble a portfolio of work which will help you demonstrate your practical skills to potential employers. These include public relations consultancies, in-house PR or communications departments, press offices, event organisers, publicity and promotional companies, the media, human relations, marketing and management.

Our degree has an Industry Advisory Panel that meets regularly with the course team and these rich industry links support you in your search for prospective employers. You will be encouraged to attend regular CIPR meetings to exchange ideas with other students and network with industry professionals.

How can I enhance my employability?

It is useful to consider, even before you apply, how you will spend your time while studying and make the most of your university experience.

Optional, additional activities may be available on this degree which could help to prepare you for a stimulating and rewarding career. These include:

  • Sandwich Year – you may have the opportunity to apply to complete a sandwich year placement as part of your programme (usually the third year of a four year degree) and gain highly relevant work experience;
  • Study Abroad – you may have the opportunity to apply to spend an additional year (usually the third year of a four year degree) studying or working abroad;
  • Language Learning – you may be able to select language modules in French, Spanish or Mandarin, delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, as an integral part of your degree (for which you will gain academic credits). Alternatively, it may be possible to select the language modules as additional study.

Please note, the availability of these additional activities cannot be guaranteed for all students. Depending on availability and the number of students wanting to participate, there may be a competitive application process for sandwich year placements or study abroad opportunities or you may be required to secure a relevant placement yourself.

Finance

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for full-time study on this undergraduate degree are £9,000 per annum for UK and EU students and £11,350 per annum for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2016/17.

Financial Support

Subject to eligibility, UK and EU students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2016/17, together with details of how to apply for funding, please view our Money Matters 2016/17 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradfinance2016.

Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.

Scholarships

ScholarshipsEdge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time undergraduate students. These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

Additional scholarships, which you may qualify to receive, reward outstanding grades and are available to eligible UK and EU students.

To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.

Apply

How to Apply

Apply online through UCAS at www.ucas.com.

Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyucas to find out more about the application process.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

Visit Us

If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/bookanopenday.

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective undergraduate students, including monthly campus tours, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradevents.

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradprospectus.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email international@edgehill.ac.uk with any queries about overseas study.

  • Book an Open Day
  • Request a Prospectus
  • Enquire Online
  • Live Chat
Expand/Collapse all

Course Changes

This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented since 1st September 2015.

31st May 2016 - Change of Modules

MED1427 Foundations of PR and Client-Led Campaign (20 credits) and MED1428 PR – Past, Present, Future (20 credits) replace MED1053 Introduction to Campaigning and the Client-led Campaign (20 credits) and MED1052 Foundations of PR: History and Concepts (20 credits) in Year 1. There is also now the option of selecting a Language module in French, Spanish or Mandarin as an integral part of this degree in Year 1.

MED2082 Creative Research Methods and Professional Ethics (20 credits), MED2285 Writing for the Media (20 credits) and MED2289 Crisis Management (20 credits) changed from compulsory to optional in Year 2. BUS2009 Retail Marketing (20 credits), BUS2010 Services Marketing (20 credits) and BUS2016 Social and Sustainable Marketing (20 credits) removed as optional modules in Year 2. A Language module is also now available as a Year 2 option, providing a Language module was studied in Year 1.

MED3246 Client-led Campaign (20 credits) and MED3247 Industry Portfolio (20 credits) replace MED3056 Client-led Campaign (20 credits) and MED3055 Industry Portfolio (20 credits) in Year 3, with the Industry Portfolio changing from compulsory to optional. MED3060 Advertising: Critical Debates (20 credits), MED3205 Identities and Creative Citizenship (20 credits) and MED3208 Media Futures (20 credits) added as optional modules in Year 3. BUS3004 International Strategic Marketing (20 credits) removed as an optional module in Year 3.

26th May 2016 - New Module Added

POL3001 Strategic Political Communications (20 credits) added as an optional module in Year 3.

4th February 2016 - Change to Entry Requirements

Entry criteria raised from 280 points on the current UCAS Tariff for 2016/17 entry to 120 points on the new UCAS Tariff for 2017/18 entry. This is equivalent to the requirements changing from BBC to BBB for A Level grades and DMM to DDM for BTEC Extended Diploma awards (or a combination of BTEC QCF qualifications). The increase is effective from 2017/18 entry.