Chartered Institute of Public Relations Advanced Certificate - AdvCert

Part Time
November 2016, January 2017, November 2017, January 2018
£2,590 for UK/EU Part Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations Advanced Certificate will enable you to make a real difference to your organisation, from improved effectiveness at work to enhanced decision-making skills. We are the only centre in the West Midlands approved by the CIPR to offer this course, which is accredited by the Creative Skillset and industry recognised in the UK and worldwide. The course is run part-time, allowing you to work while you study.

Graduates with the Advanced Certificate have quickly gained promotions in their current employment, and many have gone on to exciting roles such as Communications Specialist or PR Account Manager.

The West Midlands' Only CIPR Centre

Birmingham City University is the only West Midlands centre approved by the CIPR to offer this course and students may enrol to commence studies either in October or January each year.

What's covered in the course?

Our course will help you enhance your skills and stay ahead of the game in your job in PR. This course is for you if you’re a practitioner who has recently joined the PR profession, thinking of pursuing a new career in PR, or looking to enhance your skills and knowledge as part of your continuing development.

You will develop an understanding of the history of PR and its business, political and social context, learn how to write for the media and how to plan and manage effective PR campaigns. You will gain confidence and abilities as a communicator along with the ability to focus on strategy - essential skills to any PR professional.

The course takes place on our prestigious City Centre Campus at Millennium Point, with one two-day and seven one-day teaching blocks throughout the year, combined with five-six hours of independent study per week during the course. Alongside this you will have access to our online learning environmentwhere you can contact your tutor and fellow students at any time.

Studying part time allows you to work alongside the course, putting into practice the skills you are learning as you go along.

Our graduates have gone on to work with prestigious companies like the NHS at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Gutenberg Communications. Others have gone on to study the CIPR Diploma which offers accreditation to our MA in Public Relations.

The course timetable features regular speakers from industry leaders in PR and journalism and workshops with visiting practitioners. Programme Director Pete Wilby is a strong advocate of students developing their professional skills as part of their learning experience. He is a member of the CIPR and has initiated several projects where students engage directly with employers.

Why Choose Us?

  • We are the only centre in the West Midlands approved by the CIPR to offer this course.
  • The course is designed for people already working in PR, with part-time study that fits in around your full-time work.
  •  The course is accredited by the Creative SkillSet Tick, the industry kitemark of quality.
  • Thanks to our excellent connections with industry, you can expect regular guest speakers from industry experts in PR and journalism.
  • Birmingham School of Media saw 88 per cent of its 2011 postgraduate leavers in employment and/or further study within six months (DLHE survey), with 93 per cent of those achieving a graduate-level destination.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now
This course is not open to International students
Birmingham School of Media

Discover the Birmingham School of Media

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Gutenberg Communications

And in jobs such as:

  • Sr Account Executive

This course is accredited by:

Creative Skillset Tick

Entry Requirements

UK students

Applicants have to be at least 21 years of age and must have any of the following:

The CIPR Foundation Award

Any UK degree

Two years' relevant full-time employment in public relations (or related sectors e.g. marketing, journalism) and 5 GCSEs grade C or above, one of which must be English Language.

The LCCIEB Group Diploma in PR, plus one year's experience in PR

Equivalent qualifications are acceptable.


Please note: if your first language is not English, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the language – spoken and written – to an International Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 7.0 or above or equivalent.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
AdvCert Nov 2016 PT 1 year £2,590
Jan 2017 PT 1 year £2,590
Nov 2017 PT 1 year TBC
Jan 2018 PT 1 year TBC

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Fees - further information

Please note that the fees include the following:

  • CIPR registration and assessment fees: £855 (VAT zero rated)
  • Birmingham City University tuition fees: £1,735 (VAT zero rated). Cost includes a copy of the textbook Exploring Public Relations' (Ralph Tench and Liz Yeomans) and access to all university facilities. You will also be provided with lunch and teas/coffees.

For self funding students it is possible to pay the University fees by instalments. Please email for further details.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

You will be notified as soon as possible whether your application has been successful. Provided candidates satisfy the entry criteria, places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The deadline for applying is usually two weeks before the course start.

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Course Structure

The course requires 48 hours of class contact, divided between one two-day, and seven one-day teaching blocks throughout the year. You will study independently for five to six hours per week throughout the course.

We will teach you the theory of public relations so you can use this knowledge to enhance your professional skills. You’ll learn the ethical and societal context in which public relations operates as a developing discipline, accompanied by practical skills such as writing for both digital and traditional media, media planning and evaluating PR campaigns. Through workshops with visiting practitioners and research in recommended texts, you will gain an understanding of the principles of PR which will greatly improve your decision-making skills and effectiveness at work.

Teaching Schedule 2015-16

Autumn start Winter start
Fri 4 - Sat 5 November
Fri 25 November
Fri 9 December
Fri 20 January
Fri 10 February
Fri 3 March
Fri 7 April
Fri 3 - Sat 4 February
Fri 24 February
Fri 10 March
Fri 7 April
Fri 19 May
Fri 30 June
Fri 8 September

Assessment methods

Class contact consists of 48 hours provided in one two-day and seven one-day teaching blocks throughout the year in the Birmingham School of Media. In addition, you would be expected to spend approximately five to six hours per week on independent study over the length of the course. You will also have access to a website where you can contact your tutor and fellow students at any time.

Further Information

The content of this course is determined by the CIPR. Please visit the CIPR website for detailed information about the course syllabus, reading list and course regulations.

This course is accredited by the following organisation:

Creative Skillset Tick
Creative Skillset Tick

The Creative Skillset Tick is the quality mark for excellence in training courses and education in the Creative Industries. It identifies the UK’s most industry-focused courses and apprenticeships enabling universities, colleges and employers to recruit the brightest talent.

Our Creative Skillset accreditation shows that we will provide you with industry-relevant skills and good links with companies and potential employers.

The accreditation also assures employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and skills they need.

Further study

Successful completion of the Advanced Certificate will qualify you for entry to the CIPR Diploma, which is also offered by the Birmingham School of Media.

Student stories Fiona Denning

Working for NHS

Fiona Denning is a multiple graduate of Birmingham City University. After graduating with her first degree, BA (Hons) Media and Communication, Fiona’s career got off to a flying start, taking responsibility for city centre communications for the West Midlands Police. Keen to make more of her skills Fiona soon returned to the university to improve her career prospects with a part-time CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relation) postgraduate diploma. It was a commitment that certainly paid off.

Enhancing your employability skills

The practical skills you will learn from the CIPR Advanced Certificate will enable you to work as an effective PR professional in the public or private sector, from in-house to consultancy. You will have gained practical skills such as how to write for the media, and produce other media products suitable for publication.

You’ll have the chance to learn from experts in PR and journalism during our annual series of PR Masterclasses, when leading guest speakers come to the university to share their experience.

Whether you are looking to advance your career or you are just starting out in PR, this course will give you the competitive edge you need to get ahead.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Graduates from the course instantly see their career prospects improve along with their ever-advancing skills. Following the course, past students have gone on to exciting positions such as Senior Accounts Executive at Gutenberg Communications.

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.

State-of-the-art facilities

You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.

Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.

Our four broadcast-standard edit suites are based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. Our six digital radio studios are all linked an equipped with the best news and production software.

You will have access to our full broadcast-standard dubbing suites, which are based on a multi-layered ProTools desk and can dub both film and TV with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. We also have an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound).

The Parkside Building

The Parkside Building has been designed to maximise light and encourage collaboration between artists and students. It is the perfect setting for the workshops and teaching spaces of our design courses, as well as the state-of-the-art media centre for the advanced teaching facilities of Birmingham School of Media.

All this ensures that The Parkside Building offers a first class learning environment and a true central location for students in Birmingham City Centre.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295