How I ended up studying BA Media and Communication (Public Relations) at BCU

Emmi Peikola is a final year student and student ambassador of Birmingham City University's School of Media, who studies BA (Hons) Media and Communications (Public Relations). She explains to us her journey on why she chose to move away from Finland to study abroad and describes her experience of the course so far and the modules she chose to study. Emmi also explains to us why she decided to change her course specialism to Public Relations.

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I have always wanted to study at university, but choosing to move away from Finland and studying abroad was something that I ended up deciding later on. When I got accepted into Birmingham City University's School of Media, I was nervous but equally excited to start the next chapter of my life. My journey to studying Public Relations has not necessarily been the most straightforward one, and if I'm being completely honest, I didn't really know what Public Relations even was before joining BCU. (Don’t worry, I know what it means now!)

Initially, my background and interests led me to look at various music industry-specific courses and I applied to a number of universities across the UK, but the course I was most interested in was the one BCU offered. I wasn't able to visit the campus before applying, but through pictures and talking with tutors, I happily accepted my offer to study BA (Hons) Media and Communication (Music Industries) at Birmingham City University and when I eventually managed to visit the campus, I knew I made the right choice. In addition to visiting the campus, I managed to get in touch with students who were currently studying on the course and other applicants, who in turn ended up becoming my future course mates, and chatting with them made me extremely excited to start the course.

During my first year at university, in addition to taking all the compulsory modules, I took a module around Public Relations and absolutely loved it! In this module, we looked into what Public Relations was, how it is used and for the assignment we were told to choose a client and create a pitch for a campaign idea. Our group pitched an idea for an album launch campaign for the band 'The 1975'. This module is still one of my favourite modules I have taken during my time at university and it peaked my interest in the subject of Public Relations and I managed to choose another PR module to study the following year. After enrolling for my second year, I figured out that I actually wanted to have a career in Public Relations instead of purely focusing on the music industries. This led me to change my specialism for my final year. The change of courses happened easily and the module lecturers were extremely helpful and supported my decision. The flexibility and genuine support from my lecturers has been one of the many reasons that I have thoroughly enjoyed my course.

The course has helped me to gain skills around campaign planning and delivery, as well as content creation. In addition, it has helped me to become more confident with my communication, both oral and written. I now feel ready to enter the industry after graduation. I have truly enjoyed my time at Birmingham City University and I'm glad I followed my intuition and changed my course specialism to Public Relations; the amazing lecturers and my course mates have made the past three years amazing for me, even under the strange circumstances!

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