Postgraduate Taught › Public Relations - MA
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Public Relations - MA

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

Public Relations shapes our world. Organisations use PR to get noticed, to change opinions, and pass on vital information that helps us to make decisions about health, education and welfare. PR is a fast-growing discipline, employing 83,000 people in a £13bn industry offering a wide range of job opportunities....

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Birmingham School of Media
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

Overview

Public Relations shapes our world. Organisations use PR to get noticed, to change opinions, and pass on vital information that helps us to make decisions about health, education and welfare. PR is a fast-growing discipline, employing 83,000 people in a £13bn industry offering a wide range of job opportunities.

Our MA teaches you how to construct an effective PR campaign, combining theory with the practical skills needed to communicate persuasively on behalf of businesses, charities, public bodies, community groups and activists.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The MA in Public Relations combines theory and practice, providing real intellectual challenge with a sharp focus on real-world events and firmly grounded in extensive industry links. We recognise that most applicants are looking to build a career in PR and our emphasis is on employability.

We look at techniques for raising awareness, listening to stakeholders and influencing ethical policies. We will develop your strategic planning and help you to engage with a wide range of tactical devices, including building expertise in using a range of social media platforms and tools. You will also learn techniques that will build your confidence as a presenter and a communicator.

The MA explores the ever-changing media landscape while critically examining PR’s impact on society.

Birmingham City University has extensive experience in teaching the skills and knowledge that PR organisations worldwide are looking for. In addition to well-established undergraduate programmes, the Birmingham School of Media works closely with the leading professional body for PR in the UK, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, as well as teaching their qualifications - the CIPR Professional Certificate and Professional Diploma.

We also have the distinction of being based in Birmingham, England's second city and a major centre for PR activity in both the public and private sectors. We work closely with employers from public and private sector organisations who support us with visiting speakers, resources and case studies, enabling students to work on genuine and realistic PR campaigns as part of their assessed work.

Why Choose Us?

  • Emphasis on employability
  • Wide range of career paths
  • Excellent industry links
  • Up to the minute course design
  • Stimulating choice of modules

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be an online event. Booking isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Open Day: Wednesday 25 January 2023

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

Applicants should possess at least an upper second class first degree (or equivalent), or have considerable experience in a related field and be able to demonstrate outstanding ability and potential.

Good spoken and written English are vital. IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands.

Applicants should have sound academic skills (research, writing, presentation), an interest in ideas and their application, as well as some basic competence in IT skills (word-processing, internet activities etc).

Above all, applicants need to have an inquiring mind, an aptitude for research, sharing and communicating ideas, and a desire to develop as an independent and self-motivated thinker.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Jan 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £7,900 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £7,480 in 2022/23

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Jan 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £16,300 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £17,930 in 2022/23

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.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Personal stationery and study materials (optional)

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £30 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

*Professional Placement option

The Professional Placement version of the course is optional and is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course.

This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market. Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course. All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Modules

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 140 credits):

Major Project: Media 60 credits

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Download course specification

Download now

MA Public Relations takes a year to complete, full-time. You study three modules in Semester One (Sept-Jan), three in Semester Two, (Feb-May) then complete a dissertation or practical project that you submit in late August.

Classroom activities and projects

Mixing theory and practice we work together to plan campaigns, dissect case studies, and analyse topical examples. You will hone your presentation skills, and learn to talk confidently and persuasively on behalf of a range of organisations.

Student Stories

Tarek Temrawi

Tarek Temrawi

Tarek is a graduate of the MA Public Relations course.

Employability

Employment Opportunities

There are many opportunities for PR students at Birmingham to build strong links with the professional community in the region and worldwide.

PR programmes taught at this university are supported by an active panel of employers who meet regularly to provide case studies, live projects and placement opportunities. You will have several opportunities for direct contact with employers, not least through our annual PR Students Conference in which students from all our PR programmes present papers to delegates of peers and professionals.

We work closely with practitioners, including the CIPR, to match skills with industry expectations, PR demands flexibility, imagination, focus and creativity and we explore many ways to build personal profile and contribute to industry debate.

As a result of studying PR at this university, you will not only build up the knowledge and skills needed for employment in the public or private sectors, but also a level of professional experience of live project and campaign work plus a network of contacts that will dramatically enhance your employability prospects.

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

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 £340 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

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 staff

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...

More about Philip