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Course Description

BA (Hons) Public Relations focuses on how organisations, brands, governments and individuals form relationships with the public and wider society. Students on the course will understand how communication tools can be used to influence attitudes or individuals and shape societies, as well as learn about the ethical obligations that come with this knowledge.

What to expect

You will gain the skills required for communicating and promoting ideas, products and services to a wide range of audiences.

Alongside this, you'll develop the knowledge of social and political affairs required to assist your creative response to the news agenda and more.

Practice in these areas is solidly underpinned by teaching across social, media and cultural theory so that you’ll be able to engage and contribute to the current debates and issues affecting the industry, as well as its many overlapping disciplines: sponsorship, marketing and advertising in the new digital media environment.

Public Relations is taught at London College of Communication both as a key creative function within strategic business management processes and as a driving force in society. The course is taught within the Media School and draws on the College’s unique heritage to offer a broad perspective that is inclusive of business and culture.

BA (Hons) Public Relations focuses on how organisations, brands, governments and individuals form relationships with the public and wider society. Students on the course will understand how communication tools can be used to influence attitudes or individuals and shape societies, as well as learn about the ethical obligations that come with this knowledge. What to...

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Course Content

In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Public Relations qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

In Year 1 and Year 2 students will be able to choose one optional unit from a selection offered by other courses in the Communications and Media Programme.

Year 1

In your first year you will learn the basics of Public Relations, business and promotional communication. You will develop your creative skillset and start building your knowledge of effective communication with and for brands and organisations.

  • Introduction to Public Relations (20 credits)

You will learn about different approaches to studying and practising PR and prepare an engaging group presentation to reflect on your understanding of the discipline.
 

  • Creative Public Relations Practice (20 credits)

In this unit you will gain a better understanding of communication channels and will develop your skills in creative Public Relations tactics. You will develop your fist client-focused communication materials.
 

  • Theories of Media and Communication (20 credits)

This unit is focused on presenting current and historical theories that have been shaping the field of PR and aims to contextualise the environment in which PR people operate.
 

  • The Business Environment (20 credits)

In this unit you will learn how to assess the stakeholder landscape and analyse forces shaping businesses – and their reputations - today.
 

  • Branding and Digital Marketing (20 credits)

This unit brings together theory and practice into designing effective PR and Marketing Communications campaigns and challenges you to improve the communications of a chosen brand.

You will choose an option unit which in the past have included:

  • Visual Communication (20 credits)
  • Global Media Cultures (20 credits)
  • Advertising Theories & Contexts (20 credits)

Year 2

The second year is about strategy, collaboration and preparing your professional profile. We will help you apply your theoretical and practical skills in industry settings. Individual tutorials and coaching sessions will support you for working in industry.

  • Media Relations (20 credits)

Former broadcast and print journalists will train you to understand effective media messaging. You will test out your new-found media messaging skills by role playing a reputational crisis and answer questions ‘on the record’ and ‘on camera’.

  • Planning Public Relations Campaigns (20 credits)

In this unit you will focus on developing a consistent and measurable communication strategy. You will learn how to set organisational objectives and develop creative strategies to meet them.

  • Public Relations Professionalism: Work-based Learning (20 credits)

In this unit we will support you to secure a placement in industry in order to help expand and develop your professional career prospects.

  • Investigating Contemporary Communication (20 credits)

In this unit, you will learn about the steps you need to take in planning academic research. Experienced academics will guide you through the process of setting research objectives and designing methodology that answers questions about PR and communication.

  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

You will meet and collaborate with students from different courses to create unique communication solutions that touch people’s hearts and change the way they think.

You will choose an option unit which in the past have included:

  • Behavioural Insights (20 credits)  
  • Film Theory & Cinematic Practice (20 credits)
  • Digital Cultures (20 credits)
  • Convergent Media: From Radio to Podcasting (20 credits)

Year 3

The third year brings together your learning to date with advanced knowledge from all areas of Public Relations as you focus in on your own career and interests.

  • Reputation Management (20 credits)

In this unit, you will be taught the practicalities of building and maintaining reputation – one of the most critical assets of any organisation, and which underpins professional PR practice.

  • Persuasion and Public Opinion (20 credits)

We will challenge you to use psychological and media theories to plan persuasive communication strategies to societal problems. You will learn how the human mind works and how to ethically deploy this information for the benefit of individuals and society.

  • Agency Life (20 credits)

A practical conclusion to the course where PR professionals invite and support you to respond to a live brief in simulated work-place conditions. 

  • Major Project / Dissertation (60 credits)

You can choose between writing a traditional academic paper that researches a communications question or choose to work on a practical solution-based output and design a comprehensive Public Relations plan.

In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Public Relations qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits. In Year 1 and Year 2 students will be able to choose one optional unit from a selection offered...

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Entry Requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

80 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences)
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Merit, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Business/ Business Studies, IT & Computing, Media)
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Marketing, Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum 

And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C) including English.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience;
  • The quality of the personal statement;
  • A strong academic or other professional reference;
  • A combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements (International/EU)

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry. The standard entry requirements for this course are as...

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Assessment Methods

  • Portfolio
  • Group Presentations
  • Essays
  • Analytical Reports
  • Case Study

  • Portfolio
  • Group Presentations
  • Essays
  • Analytical Reports
  • Case Study

Additional Information

Course dates

Autumn term:

Monday 23 September  – Friday 6 December 2019

Spring term:

Monday 6 January  – Friday 13 March 2020

Summer term:

Tuesday 14 April  – Friday 19 June 2020

Course dates

Autumn term:

Monday 23 September  – Friday 6 December 2019

Spring term:

Monday 6 January  – Friday 13 March 2020

Summer term:

Tuesday 14 April  – Friday 19 June 2020