Public Relations and Media - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
P2P3
Attendance:
Full Time (3 years)
Starting:
September 2019
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.

What's covered in the course?

Combining practical skills and industry insights, PR and Media offers a truly unique blend of communication perspectives that will put you in the very best position to pursue a PR career.

Turn your ideas into a reality and be brave with your approach to your work; in PR, there is no such thing as a bad idea, there is always potential and this course will help you realise yours.

Informed by the working approaches of top PR, communication and digital teams across the UK and beyond, this course will develop your understanding, awareness and appreciation of PR as a concept and a discipline. You’ll become a critical media consumer and you’ll draw upon your own areas of interest to assess influence and impact in action. You’ll turn this knowledge into your own creative campaigns, so from the moment you begin, you will be able to build an impressive production portfolio that will make you stand out from the recruitment crowd.

How you will learn

Effective communication is a two-way process and this is at the heart of our teaching and learning approach. Our modules are delivered through engaging seminars and workshops, with an array of guest speakers, case studies and projects for you to sink your teeth into. You’ll have the freedom to develop ideas, creative solutions and presentations, and we’ll have critical debates about current issues and stories impacting on the industry and in the news as the course progresses. You have a say and can inform the direction of workshops and assignments based upon your personal passions. Prepare to have an opinion!

We’ll also give you the opportunity to hone keen writing skills for a multitude of audiences and purposes, making you more job-ready than many other graduates.

Heather Woodhouse

Why Choose Us?

  • Join a course recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, closely linked to industry and with the support of a mentor scheme with practitioners across the region.
  • You will be taught by respected PR professionals and academics, who have managed successful PR agencies and run exciting award-winning client campaigns. The lecturing team delivers a balance of critical understanding and effective delivery but of course in PR, it’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. Rest assured our expert team is very well connected, with renowned theorists, the CIPR and a multitude of communication organisations and professionals.
  • We will prepare you for a fast-paced, rewarding career in PR. You’ll gain valuable experience through regular industry networking opportunities which will help you make contacts, build confidence and put your skills into practice.
  • A real highlight in your diary will be our renowned PR Students’ Conference, a major annual event, respected and supported by industry that showcases student achievements to PR professionals – just look at #MidsPRConf to see the conversations we started at the most recent conference.
  • PR and Media is the complete package for wannabe communications professionals. It provides you with plenty of platforms to build your profile and those all-important contacts, so you can step into the industry with confidence.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Sunday 25 November 2018. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2018 or 2019, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid. Terms and conditions apply.

Find out more

This course is open to International students

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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

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements
Essential

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

112 UCAS tariff points from A Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (112 UCAS points) - does not accept points from A/S Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including merit or higher in 18 credits at Level 3
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or can be combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM (112 UCAS points)
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma

Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

Irish Leaving Certificate Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 112 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Achieve a minimum of 112 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Pass plus grades BB at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge CertificatePoints will be accepted but must be along with either A-levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas or a BTEC 12-unit National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma combination to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points.
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma Core with grade Pass plus grades CC at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications).

Must be offered along with either A-levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diplomas/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diplomas or a BTEC 12-unit National Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma combination to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points.

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.
Extra information for EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

In addition to the above, applicants will also need:

English Group A - Grade 4 or above
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

International Students

Entry requirements here

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

From A Level, not including A/S Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 3 years £12,300 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. 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 up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement 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.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

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

Additional costs

The additional costs listed at the bottom of the page are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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

Year one

During the first year of the BA (Hons) PR and Media, you will build a firm foundation of knowledge, skills and experience to take you from slightly aware to fully engaged.

Understanding Public Relations
20 credits

Understanding Public Relations - Week-by-week, this module will cover all the core components of modern PR practice. You will use your news and consumer awareness to inform lively discussions and workshop activities. As an emerging PR practitioner, you will consider target audiences and discover how to use different platforms and channels for the benefit of your client or cause.

Events and Exhibitions
20 credits

This hands-on module will equip you with the appreciation of and tools for establishing and running an effective event. A key activity in many PR campaigns, events and exhibitions are great platforms to reach an audience and through research and planning, you will develop your own ideas for hosting a successful event.

Media and Influencer Engagement
20 credits

Find out how to bend the media to your whim and what makes influencers so influential. During this module, you will develop core media and influencer relations skills. It establishes an understanding of the dynamic of the relationship between the press, broader media, bloggers, vloggers and other social media influencers. You will then begin to create content that can be used across a wide range of platforms and channels.

Global and Community Impact
20 credits

Media and PR have influence and impact upon stakeholders and publics from hyperlocal and regional levels to national and international reach. This module will explore a range of challenging briefs where PR support can make a difference to different groups and deliver measurable outcomes – and you will come up with the communication goods!

Researching the Media and Communication
40 credits

This module underpins the first year of the course and provides a solid understanding of the development and influence of mass media. From critiquing media texts to considering audiences, this enlightening module will help you see media today in new and exciting ways, to enhance your own media output.

Year two

The second year of the course lets you explore areas of interest and develop hands-on experience of being a competent and creative communications professional.

PR Concepts and Contexts
20 credits

In this module, you can be expected to examine PR activity in a societal context, including role plays of ethical and professional dilemmas. Informed by past and present examples and case studies, you will gain a deeper understanding of the purpose and function of PR and the content within which the industry finds itself today.

PR Planning and Delivery
20 credits

From analysis through to evaluation, you will learn how to thoroughly research, creatively develop, successfully deliver and effectively evaluate a PR campaign, creating your own proposal whilst also working on a group pitch presentation to a chosen client.

Creating Compelling Content
20 credits

The industry needs candidates who are able to demonstrate fluency in creating engaging content across a wide range of platforms and channels. During this module, you will focus on compiling, collating and creating content to suit a range of audiences and adapt your style to suit the medium. This workshop will combine guidance with tasks to enable you to build a range of examples of your own work – so you can demonstrate capabilities over and above anyone else applying for positions in the industry.

Optional module
20 credits

Choose to explore your interests as a media professional in a number of ways. Pursue key skills in journalism, photography, event management, media production or the music industries, to complement your studies and add another creative string to your bow.

Collaborative Practice
20 credits

You will have the opportunity to collaborate with students from across the media courses and beyond into the wider BCU faculty. You could help host a fashion show, you might develop a campaign to support a team of designers – the scope of this project is yours to explore and determine.

Live Production – PR Agency
40 credits

Expect your work for Eastside PR to ramp up a gear as you function as a real PR team, responding to internal or external client demands. Running across both semesters, you will need to combine planning with responsiveness as live agency emulates the real faced-paced nature of working in the field. You will have individual roles and responsibilities but team work is also essential for you to deliver for your clients and to meet deadlines.

Year three

During the final third year of study, you focus your attention upon a professional portfolio and realise the potential you have as a highly capable PR practitioner of tomorrow.

Live Production - PR Agency
20 credits

The focus for your final year will be in understanding and delivering Professional PR. Closely connected to industry developments and practice, this module will provide you with the opportunity to build and demonstrate your ability to successfully engage with complex and sophisticated real world challenges. Covering differing disciplines and areas of practice, these sessions rigorously explore industry expectations, evaluating communication campaigns and establishing new ways of thinking and delivering.

Promotional Culture
20 credits

Promotional Culture sets PR in a wider context, looking also at advertising, publicity, marketing and branding, but through a cultural studies lens. Enterprise Start Up is for those students considering striking out on their own, with an emphasis on practical advice.

Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

You will consider what it means to be a public relations or media professional and work to refine your portfolio and create a distinctive CV. These workshops will also help provide you with practical skills so you can present yourself, and your work, in person and on paper, with confidence

Major Project
60 credits

This last piece of the puzzle is in your hands. You can decide how to frame your final year project in order to apply your skills, demonstrate your competencies and create something that exists in the real world. Whether it is your own PR agency, in collaboration with peers, working to live briefs, or establishing an area of PR research to further inform your practice, this Major Project will give you the chance to take a confident step into the industry, and the experience to back it up.

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

During your studies there will be practice-based opportunities to engage with industry professionals and current campaigns. Guest speakers will inform workshops and live briefs will form the basis of some assignments. Analysis of practice, debate and campaigns will be presented as review and proposal documents. Research papers will be presented at industry conferences. Content prepared in class will be developed to an industry standard for your professional portfolio.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

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 ManagementFor PR students, the CIPR Professional Certificate and Diploma are also compelling courses for professionals who have some experience in industry and who want to hone their skills and refine their professionalism once their careers have begun in earnest.

See full list of our postgraduate media courses

Enhancing your employability skills

The BA (Hons) PR and Media course is located within the Birmingham School of Media, which has an excellent track record for graduate employment. The course builds upon the School’s employability driven reputation, by opening avenues for students interested in potential careers in PR, social media and marketing, communications, journalism and teaching PR/media studies.

As well as gaining course-specific skills, you could also gain broader tools through our Graduate+ programme, which will help enhance your employment options by helping with careers development, employability activities, volunteering and part-time work experience.

Allied with these course-specific experiences, you will also have access to a range of support staff and services from the University’s Careers Service, who can help with:

  • Reviewing CVs, covering letters and application forms
  • Career planning and decision making
  • Preparing for interviews and assessment centres
  • Developing portfolios
  • Networking with employers
  • Advice about self-employment and entrepreneurship

Examples of real graduates and their roles

  • Jodie Perkins worked on the Big Sleuth and is now PR Officer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
  • Dean Taylor joined WPR Agency as a Social Media Executive.
  • Heather Woodhouse has recently been promoted to Senior Account Executive at McCanns.
  • Emily Nicholls is Digital Account Manager for Global.
  • Ileana Malacrino is an Influence Marketeer at CLUSE in Amsterdam.

Placements

During the live agency modules in your first and second year, you will have the opportunity to work as part of a team to respond to internal and external briefs. You will also seek placements in practice to enhance your understanding and applied skills, with support provided by the teaching team and a vast network of contacts at your disposal via the Birmingham School of Media’s JobBook site, in PR and other related arenas.

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.

Kelly O’Hanlon is on the CIPR Midlands committee, in the role of Treasurer. Staff are CIPR members.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

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.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

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

Duncan Sedgwick

Course Director MA Events and Exhibition Management

Prior to joining Birmingham City University Duncan spent over 20 years working in the events and exhibition industry.

Working for a various of clients on a wide range of events he has worked throughout the UK, Europe and in the USA.

Since 1999 Duncan has been a Director of a Midlands-based events production company.

Read Duncan's full profile