Postgraduate MA

Public Relations and Digital Communications

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Attendance

Full-time

Course

One year

Next enrolment

September 2021

Introduction

In a nutshell

 

Do you want to develop the technical and editorial skills needed to succeed in the modern digital communications workplace? From reputation management to content creation, our master’s degree in Public Relations and Digital Communications will equip you with the tools and training you need to launch your professional career.

Throughout this course, you’ll learn about the history and origins of PR, as well as the ethical implications associated with the media industry. You’ll gain an understanding of what PR campaigns involve, alongside developing a portfolio of work that can be used to demonstrate your skills and enhance your employability.

As your course progresses, you’ll gain a wealth of hands-on experience by honing your practical skills in storytelling methods and taking part in industry placements in a range of companies – all of which providing instant value to future employers.

What’s more, studying for a master’s degree in public relations and digital communications at Salford means you’ll be given the opportunity to network with practicing creatives across our exciting MediaCityUK campus.

You will:
  • Study at our state-of-the-art MediaCityUK campus, with easy access to international media organisations such as the BBC and ITV
  • Learn from experts in the field while gaining real-world experience through industry placements
  • Master the digital skills and knowledge that are highly sought after in today’s digital workplace
  • Graduate with a strong portfolio of work that can be used for employment or further study

Want to find out more? Why not sign up to our upcoming Open Day?

In the meantime, if you have any general questions, you can contact course enquiries.

 

Placement

options available

International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

You want to launch a professional career in PR or digital communications.

2.

You already work in PR or digital communications and would like to take your skills to the next level.

3.

You want to graduate with a strong portfolio of work that can be used to evidence your skills and establish your reputation as a PR or digital communications professional.

Course details

All about the course

In today’s digital age, the world of PR is always evolving. That’s why our public relations postgraduate programmes not only cover traditional channels associated with PR, but also new digital techniques that are highly sought after by modern employers.

Over the course of a year, our master’s degree in public relations and digital communications will equip you with the skills you need to succeed in a whole host of professional roles. You’ll not only develop an understanding of the importance of ethical PR in the world of business, but also the practical skills required to develop strategies and campaigns that lead to sustainable growth in your chosen field.

In your first trimester, you’ll explore the history of PR, as well as its relationship with journalism. You’ll deepen your understanding of content creation, learning about the opportunities it presents to you as a PR professional working across the mediums of video and social media.

As you move into your second trimester, you’ll take part in an industry placement where you’ll gain real-world experience while building a strong portfolio of work designed to evidence your skills. You’ll research and analyse PR campaigns, as well as create and pitch a PR proposal as part of a group project, to a live brief provided by an external client.

Sound interesting? Learn more about our PR master’s degree modules in our course breakdown below.

Full-time: trimester one

PR and Journalism

In the PR and Journalism module, you will look at the origins and history of PR, the legal and ethical implications and popular genres, such as political PR, celebrity PR, crisis PR and reputation management. The relationship between public relations and journalism will also be explored.

Content Creation

Content Creation will provide and develop technical and editorial online skills, preparing you for the demands of the modern multi-skilled digital communications environment. As well as equipping you with a range of storytelling methods and encouraging you to reflect on the impact of new media within the fields of PR and Digital Communication, it will also give you the chance to develop a portfolio to showcase your work and enhance your employability.

Understanding PR Campaigns

The Understanding PR Campaigns module will involve analysing PR campaign case studies, examining examples of good and bad practice. It will also help you to develop a critical appreciation of the roles and responsibilities of a PR officer. The module will look at the principles and practice behind the creation and implementation of PR publicity campaigns.

Full-time: trimester two

Understanding PR Campaigns

The Understanding PR Campaigns module will involve analysing PR campaign case studies, examining examples of good and bad practice. It will also help you to develop a critical appreciation of the roles and responsibilities of a PR officer. The module will look at the principles and practice behind the creation and implementation of PR publicity campaigns.

Professional PR Practice

Professional PR Practice incorporates an industry work placement, which will give you a chance to develop your professional skills.

Full-time: trimester three

Major Project or Dissertation

The Major Project or Dissertation module will give you the chance to focus on an aspect of PR and digital communication that you wish to explore further.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

TEACHING

Based at our vibrant MediaCityUK Campus, our public relations post graduate programmes are delivered through a combination of lectures and presentations, as well as more intimate seminars and practical workshops. These smaller group sessions will explore and develop students’ understanding of PR as an evolving industry, brought to life by visiting speakers from within PR and related sectors.

Students will also be expected to undertake their own research, independent study and project work, such as analysing and devising PR campaigns. These assignments are designed to help you develop critical skills as well as support programme aims and learning outcomes.

Group work will feature strongly during the PR master’s degree programme, with students working together on real projects involving industry clients, as well as evaluating and appraising existing case studies.

BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY

Our public relations and digital communications course is delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.  

Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.  

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it. 

FACILITIES

Our MediaCityUK facilities are industry-standard, so much so that they are used by our industry partners themselves.

When you study with us, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our facilities. These include:

TV News studio - a state of the art news set, including three HD cameras with teleprompters. 

This studio also can link up to the other two TV studios in the building based on the ground floor, enabling live feeds. 

TV studios - our TV studios have been used by the BBC for a variety of broadcasts, such as the Olympics and Christmas music concerts, and they’re equipped with the same audio-visual systems used by the ITV and Sky too. 

The studios have green screen facilities as well as basic props so you can design and build sets for a range of projects. 

Newsroom - you’ll use this space as a hub to simulate a full working day in a newsroom, covering breaking stories. Software available includes Avid iNews, Avid Newscutter, Adobe Audition and QuarkXPress, all of which is used by the industry. 

 Radio studios - we can offer you three cutting edge studios which have been used for live contributions to shows on talkSPORT and Capital. 

 Finishing and editing suites - these allow you to learn and excel in all elements of post-production work. They feature 4K monitors and 5.1 surround sound systems, so you can pick out all details of your work as you create your masterpiece, as well as all the software you’ll need and use when you start your career. 

Staff Profile

Programme leader Debbie Manley has worked for wide variety of private sector, public sector and non-profit clients in public relations. As an award-winning journalist (British Press Awards), she has worked for newspapers, magazines and websites including Sunday People, East Anglian Daily Times, Wales on Sunday, Venue magazine, Daily Mirror, The Sun, Mail Online, Star, Closer, New, OK, Heat, Woman, US Weekly and Life & Style.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

EMPLOYMENT

With analysis from around the globe suggesting that the PR industry is one of the fastest growing sectors, there’s never been a more exciting time to study for a PR master’s degree.

Our public relations and digital communications programme is designed to combine the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you’ll need to secure a professional media career. As well as gaining hands-on experience in the industry, you’ll also develop the confidence to stand out in today’s competitive job market.

What’s more, you’ll acquire a range of transferable skills that are increasingly sought after by modern employers, from critical research and analysis, to content writing and digital creation. Many of our graduates have gone on to secure successful public relations roles within thriving businesses, while others have pursued careers in a variety of digital marketing areas, including copywriting, SEO and analytics.

FURTHER STUDY

Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further academic research path through our doctoral (PhD) programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.

Career Links

As a student on this course, you will be encouraged to take advantage of work placement opportunities as part of the programme and there will also be a focus on working with industry partners.

We have links with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) as well as a number of organisations (BBC, ITV, Salford Red Devils, Sale Sharks Rugby Union Club, Manchester United and Manchester City Football Clubs, plus independent PR and comms agencies).

Requirements

What you need to know

APPLICANT PROFILE

To gain a place on this PR and Digital Communications MA course, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.

Within your personal statement (up to 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:

• what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of public relations and/or digital communications?

• how have you been involved and what did you do?

• do you have any knowledge of the PR and digital communications sector; are there any projects that inspire you?

• What are your future goals?

and why the University of Salford and this course is the right choice for your future goals.

For some applicants, you’ll be asked to provide us with a portfolio of work and potentially take part in an informal group seminar discussion or interview– either live or on camera – to demonstrate your skills.

Normally we'd invite you to attend a face-to-face interview. At the moment though, we’re reducing the number of people we have on our campus. Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.

Want to know more about our postgraduate public relations courses? You can sign-up to our Open Day. Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have.

Standard entry requirements

Standard entry requirements

To join this MA you should have a second class honours degree, 2:2 or above.

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 7.0, with a written element of 8.0 and no element below 6.0, is proof of this.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £8,100per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,030per year
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
 
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022