Media and Communication (Public Relations) with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons) *

UCAS Code:
P9PH
Attendance:
Full Time (4 years)
Starting:
September 2018
Campus:

Intimately linked to industry, the Public Relations pathway provides you with the skills and knowledge that today’s PR professionals need in a fast-moving media environment.

The course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and provides plenty of opportunities to build contacts with some of the UK’s leading PR organisations, working on genuine campaigns and pitching ideas to clients.

About foundation courses

This four year programme has been specifically designed to allow students who do not initially meet the entry requirements for a three year degree, to undertake additional level 3 study designed to ensure they are successful on their chosen degree programme.

After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate degree programmes within Birmingham School of Media.

Why study a degree with a foundation year?

Foundation years are a great option if you have the talent, ambition and potential to thrive at Birmingham City University, but do not meet the entry requirements for your preferred course. It’s ideal if:

  • You want the flexibility of a year’s study on a more general course to find out the best degree choice for you.
  • You have changed your mind about your career since you chose your A-levels or BTECs and need to improve your skills in a different subject area.
  • You would like extra time and support to help you build your knowledge, skills and confidence before starting a full degree.

What's covered in the course?

  • This course provides the key skills needed to develop a career in the fast-growing fields of public relations and promotion.
  • You will plan PR campaigns, using a wide range of tactics from media briefings to social media outreach, and take part in our PR students' conference, a major annual event attended by PR professionals and students.
  • With strong links to many influential media organisations, this course offers an industry-relevant blend of production, theory and professional studies.
  • In addition to core PR work, there will be an opportunity to develop related skills in other media, including journalism, print and web design, exhibition management and photography.
  • You will work on real-life PR campaigns, and pitch your ideas and proposals to clients and industry representatives.

"Our lecturers have strong links within the industry, not only here in Birmingham but with agencies and professionals across the UK meaning when it comes to looking for work experience, networking and even job hunting you’re in good hands. There’s a real sense of hands-on experience being just as important as theory and academia." Jodie Perkins, 2016-17

Why Choose Us?

  • The course provides excellent professional development in PR through close links with the industry across the Midlands and regular consultation with a panel of PR employers.
  • Our staff are established media professionals with a wealth of industry experience.
  • Student achievement is widely recognised: the CIPR Midlands Student of the Year award has been won by a student from this course every year since 2006.
  • Preparing you for the realities of media work and developing invaluable skills, our courses include compulsory industry placements (equivalent to 70 hours in your first year and 105 hours in your second).

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place in 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.

Register your interest

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:

  • Birmingham City Council
  • Golley Slater Central
  • Willoughby PR

And in jobs such as:

  • Account Executive

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of design and is due to be reviewed and approved to meet our quality standards.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students
Essential

At the point of enrolment, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 or above in English Language. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu as long as the required subject is covered.

80 UCAS tariff points.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
A level  CDD. A maximum of three subjects are considered. Other 6-unit qualifications can be considered in lieu of one or two A-level subjects. Excluded subjects General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

MMP
Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall - 15 credits at level 2 and 45 credits at level 3
GCSE English language at grade 4 (C) or above or equiivalent qualifications must be achieved at application stage.

Scottish Higher

BBB. 80 points, minimum BBB from 3 higher level passes
Must include English Language at Standard Grade

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

Total of 10 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.
Successful completion of IB Diploma with minimum IB point score of 24 or more
English Group A - Grade 4 or above, or English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

OCR Cambridge Technical Certificate

Must be offered along with either two A-levels or two BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diplomas of 80 tariff points. Cannot be offered as a standalone qualification.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

MM. Can be offered along with either one A-level or one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma qualification to achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points.

Scottish Advanced Higher

DDD. Must include English Language at Standard Grade
Maximum of three Advanced Highers can be considered together.
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 years £9,250 per year* Apply via UCAS

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

View additional costs for this course

Sorry, this course is not available part-time

Foundation year

Cross-media Production 1
20 credits

This practical production module explores media production techniques in radio, audio production, online video, virtual reality and television. You will learn industry-level practical skills and develop your own professional practice through a range of production activities and workshops.

You will learn production techniques for broadcast and for online and hear from industry professionals on current and emerging best practice. By the end of this module you will be able to produce and distribute innovative media projects for specific audiences, delivered across a range of online and social networking platforms. 

Cross-media Production 2
20 credits

This practical production module explores media production techniques in journalism, public relations, and events management. The module draws together the skills needed for writing and producing content for print and online, and developing communications campaigns that connect with audiences dispersed across digital platforms. You will develop your own professional practice through a range of production activities and workshops.

You will learn new skills in multi-platform and mobile journalism and strategic communications, and hear from industry professionals on current and emerging best practice for the media and music industries. By the end of this module you will be able to produce and distribute innovative media projects for specific audiences, delivered across a range of online and social networking platforms.

Media Context and Production
20 credits

This module will familiarise you with key concepts aligned to studying media and communication. You will draw on your own production work in order to analyse issues relating to the organisation, ownership and regulation of the media industry. You will contextualise the work you have produced in the context of wider media production practices.

By the end of this module you will have undertaken research relevant to the industry sector you are seeking to develop your skills within and understood the value of seeing your own work as that which connects with specific audiences who create meaning from your and others media texts. 

Practice project
40 credits

This module is an independent study module during which you will produce a media practice project. You will present a proposal for a project, setting yourself a significant creative challenge, and work with a supervisory team to bring your work to fruition. You will draw on the production skills you have developed in earlier modules and use the project as the vehicle through which you showcase your creativity and your ability to work to professional standards.

Professional and Academic Skills
20 credits

This module will help you develop the academic skills needed to succeed in higher education, and the professional skills required to support your ambitions to be a media worker. You will build an online portfolio that will both evidence your growing skills developed across the course as a whole, and act as a showcase for the work you produce.

You will aim to build a community of interest around you and your work. You will be introduced to the wide range of academic and practical support that the university offers, and support from tutors will ensure you develop academic skills that will help you succeed as a student. You will keep an online learning diary that reflect on your development.

Year one

Modules include:
Researching the Media and Communication
40 credits

This module will introduce you to key theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches for the study of media texts (semester one) and media audiences (semester two).

Introduction to Media Contexts and Practice 1:Understanding Public Relations
20 credits

You will learn what PR is and how PR works, as well as how to devise and run a PR campaign. 

Introduction to Media Contexts and Practice 2
20 credits

You will choose one of the following modules:

  • Music Industry Landscapes
  • Television Production
  • Introduction to Web Development
  • Events and Exhibition Planning
  • Radio Production
  • Visual Communication 
  • Photography Skills
Professional & Academic Development
20 credits

This module includes study skills, social media presence, practical workshops, and a two-week placement.

Media Festival
20 credits

In this collaborative module you will produce media work around a particular theme.

Year two

Modules include:
PR in Context
20 credits

How PR impacts on society, ethics and globalisation.

Advanced Media Contexts and Practice: Advanced Media Content and Engagement
20 credits

Creating content for organisations and individuals, storytelling, and working with journalists to build awareness and manage reputations.

Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

This module includes study skills, social media presence, practical workshops, and a two-week placement.

Option 1
20 credits

In this module you will choose one research option from the following specialist topics:

Gender, Sexuality and the Body; Alternative Lifestyles (Pleasure, Leisure and Taboo); Comedy in the Media and Popular Culture; Perspectives on Community and Alternative Media; Race, Ethnicity and the Media; Media and Materiality; Fandoms and Subcultures; Communities of Practice: Culture, Heritage and Space (Events and Music Industries); Community and Activist Media; Film Cultures; Media Regulation and Censorship.

Option 2
20 credits

In this module you will choose one practical option from the following options:

Bi-Media Drama; Television Studio;  Branded Media Content; Radio Journalism and Documentaries; Campaigning/Activist Media; Music, Media and Digitalisation; Digital Content Distribution; Visual Communication: Traditions of Design; Music Industry Promotional Practices; Music Programming; Professional Photography and PR Planning and Delivery.

Live Project/ Collaborative Practice
20 credits

Choose from a range of projects, collaborating with students across the faculty, or working with external clients.

Year three

Modules include:
Major Project
60 credits

Either a dissertation on a  PR-related topic or a practical project (usually a campaign) devised for a PR client.

Promotional Culture
20 credits

Encourages a critical understanding of promotional and consumer culture by studying contemporary promotional practices, including corporate communications, brand management, advertising, online promotion and transmedia storytelling.

Professional Media Contexts and Practice: Communication Management
20 credits

How organisations communicate and what they should be doing to get their messages across more effectively. You examine the communication techniques and PR strategies that organisations use – or should be using – to enhance their credibility and reputation and to improve their day-to-day running. 

Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

Preparing you for a successful media career.

Across each of the undergraduate degree routes there is an equal emphasis on production, theory and professional and academic development.

The Professional and Academic Development strand of the course prepares you for at least two placements in a media or cultural industries organisation, such as the BBC, Maverick Television, Warwickshire County Cricket Club, newspapers, magazines, PR companies and local radio stations.

Teaching is conducted across a range of environments, including radio and TV studios, editing suites, a new media production suite, a newsroom, lecture theatres, seminar rooms and online.

You will use blogs, create wikis and other interactive media to support your work and self-development.

All staff at the School are established media professionals, who bring with them a range of expertise. They are able to recognise and respond to the rapidly changing demands of the media, ensuring that the course remains relevant to the industry.

The School maintains close contacts with a variety of media organisations, including Sky, BBC, Maverick Television and Future plc, and visiting tutors and guest speakers regularly hold master class sessions to enhance and enrich your learning.

Hours in the classroom

You will have up to 12 hours of contact time per week, plus additional studio time and directed study tasks.

Teaching breakdown

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38 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
57 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
5 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

Classroom activities

Most classes will be a fluid mix of lectures, seminars and workshops, and you will often work in groups to come up with creative solutions to a wide range of PR challenges. You will learn research skills, and develop professional expertise in explaining and presenting your ideas.  You will constantly be looking out for and discussing real-life examples of PR activity that is designed to sell new products and change lifestyles, from promoting brands, helping charities or creating celebrity.  

Further Study

As a School, we invest significantly in our postgraduate provision as we recognise that more specialist and professional courses are required across the media industry. Our postgraduate courses include MA Public Relations and MA Event and Exhibition Management.

See full list of our postgraduate media courses

Enhancing your employability skills

This course provides the key skills needed to develop a career in the fast-growing fields of public relations, marketing and advertising.

Students will learn about the media, which media to approach, and how to write and prepare material so that it succeeds. In addition to the core PR work, there will be an opportunity to develop related skills in other media, including journalism, print and web design and photography.

Exhibit This

Our third year students showcase their final year work at our Exhibit This event at the end of each academic year.

It offers a springboard for our graduates and a chance for industry to spot emerging talent.

Placements

The School strongly believes in the practical application of learning and is fortunate to have very strong links with employers and the media industry. Students on placements have worked with a wide range of organisations including the BBC, Maverick Television and Endemol.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

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.

Links to industry

Prominent PR professionals sit on an advisory panel to make sure our course is up to date and relevant to industry. Practitioners regularly give masterclasses and guest lectures, and our strong industry links ensure a wide range of placement and opportunities.

Graduate jobs

Our track record for graduate employment is excellent, with the majority of graduates going into a media-related role.

Each course opens up specific employability avenues related to the production route chosen. A high number of graduates have gone into producer/director roles, journalism, public relations, web development, freelance/own business.

Our third-year students showcase their final year work at our Exhibit This event at the end of each academic year. It offers a springboard for our graduates and a chance for industry to spot emerging talent.

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.

External Parkside Building and Water Feature
Parkside building from Curzon building
Parkside Interior
VisCom Hires and Loans landscape
VisCom Hires and Loans CU

Our Staff

Our teaching staff comprises specialists in their respective fields, including academics and industry professionals, all of whom are perfectly placed to offer a wealth of experience and knowledge. Birmingham School of Media students also benefit from access to high-profile guest speakers from across the industry.

A dynamic community that is responsive to the changing face of the media industry, Birmingham School of Media is the perfect starting point to your media career.

Philip Young

Senior Lecturer

A Senior Lecturer for Public Relations at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, Philip has significant experience as an award-winning journalist and owner of a successful PR company.

Before joining Birmingham City University in 2015, Philip previously taught at the University of Sunderland, where he organised and spoke at several innovative PR conferences, which introduced almost 1,000 practitioners to social media. He has been investigating the impact of social media on PR since 2005, as a lead researcher on the pioneering EuroBlog project, as well as being a co-author of Online Public Relations.

Philip has also previously taught at Lund University in Sweden, as well as participating in conferences and talks in Poland, Belgium and Germany.

Read Philip's full profile

Kelly O’Hanlon

Senior Lecturer in PR

As the new Senior Lecturer in PR, Kelly is keen to give students real insight into the ways in which the media world is changing and how this is creating new and exciting pathways for public relations professionals. Passionate about the important role PR has to play and the creative opportunities this career provides, Kelly wants to ensure students become thinking practitioners who actively seek new ways to tell stories, and will continue nurturing her contacts to provide a close link between university study and the industry in practice.

Read Kelly's full profile

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?

Contact the admissions team

+44 (0)121 331 6295