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.
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.
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.
Our next Open Day for this course will take place in June 2019. You can register your interest and we'll send you an email update nearer the time. Visit us to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.
We want our students to achieve their full potential. So, if you receive a Special Unconditional Offer from BCU and then go on to Meet or Beat our published entry requirements, you could be eligible for a £1,000 scholarship.
*Term and Conditions apply - some undergraduate courses are not eligible for this scholarship.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
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
|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 Certificate||Points 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.
|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.
|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
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
From A Level, not including A/S Levels
We've put together a whole host of resources including student tips and expert advice to help you nail your exams. You can even get a free revision guide.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2019||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|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. 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.
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.
There are three ways to apply:
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.
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.
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:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 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
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
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.
You will have up to 12 hours of contact time per week, plus additional studio time and directed study tasks.
|38||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|57||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
|5||Time on placement||LightSkyBlue|
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.
You will also get the chance to see your work published on #BCUWeArePR, an online platform for our current PR students and the lecturing team. It also acts as a community for past, present and future students to come together and talk about industry issues and personal achievements.
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. For 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 Inspired Festival at the end of each academic year. It offers a springboard for our graduates and a chance for industry to spot emerging talent.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.