- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)
MA Public Relations
Applications for 2017/18 entry to this course are now closed and will re-open in Autumn 2017 for 2018/19 entry.
Develop the advanced skills and theory you'll need for a successful career in public relations and communications, on this industry approved course.
About this course
You will develop the abilities, knowledge and practical skills to strategically manage the reputation of brands and organisations, add value to their commercial success and support their goals.
You will learn how to communicate effectively with stakeholders and the public, as well as building relationships with all forms of commercial and institutional organisations.
Gain a solid grounding in the theory and practice of Public Relations with this highly regarded Masters degree. Accelerate within one of the UK’s most vibrant professions, that consistently ranks amongst the top three career choices for new graduates.
Recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), this course will appeal to those who may already be working in the profession and who want to progress, those who are seeking a career move, or those wishing to start their career by establishing a strong knowledge base.
What you can expect
You can expect to develop the intellectual abilities, skills and knowledge needed to strategically manage the reputation of brands and organisations, add value to their commercial success and support their goals. This course will give you a framework for the PR planning process, addressing the critical role of research and evaluation.
You will examine the disciplines of stakeholder communications, events management, investor relations, public affairs and employee communications and how they link to corporate strategy. You'll be involved in planning and implementing national and international campaigns.
As part of this, you'll explore the most effective use of PR tools such as media relations, change management and issues and crisis management. The specific skills of storytelling and writing for media across traditional and digital media channels are also practised and looked at in depth, along with the role of persuasion and influence.
An understanding of the impact of global, financial, political and opinion-forming publics will be gained as you hone your ability to communicate with them. You will also gain a better appreciation of the ethical, technological and global issues.
You will explore the wider cultural and societal landscape in which PR operates, touching on areas such as celebrity, power and discourse and the impact of globalisation. This will help develop your research and analytical skills in preparation for the final dissertation.
What students our say
"Coming together with students who are specialists in different fields of communications has been great. For me, what was really important was the fresh perspective on PR that I gained from studying in an arts environment."
Laura Owen, who works in Public Relations at the Home Office.
"Taking this MA is one of the best career moves I have made. I can honestly say it has made certain aspects of my job here a lot easier."
Major Charlie Mayo, Ministry of Defence communications specialist
Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.
Autumn, Term One
- Contemporary PR Theory and Practice (20 credits)
- Organisational Strategy and Reputation Management (20 credits)
- Media and Cultural Landscapes (20 credits)
Spring, Term Two
- Media Relations and PR Specialisms (20 credits)
- Digital Communications and Social Media (20 credit)
- Collaborative Unit (20 credits)
Summer, Term Three
- Media Relations and PR Specialisms (continued)
- Digital Communications and Social Media (continued)
- Final Major Project (60 credits)
Autumn, Term Four
- Final Major Project by Dissertation (continued)
If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.
How to apply
Please note, this course is now closed for 2017/18 entry.
Applications for 2018/19 entry will open in Autumn 2017.
You can begin your application for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process, including detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.
Required information for all postgraduate course applications
You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:
- Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
- Current and/or previous education and qualification details
- Employment history
Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.
Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).
Extra information required for applications to this course
Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.
From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:
- Personal statement
The course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application, from January 2017.
The admissions team will be in touch after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.
Start your application now
Please note: Applications for 2017/18 entry to this course are now closed and will re-open in Autumn 2017 for 2018/19 entry.
Applications are accepted and offers are made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.
The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.
We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.
Recruitment and admissions
Applicants are expected to demonstrate sufficient prior knowledge of and/or potential in public relations to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject.
An applicant will be considered for admission who has already achieved an educational level equivalent to an Honours Degree preferably at 2:1 level. This educational level may be demonstrated by:
- Possession of the qualification named above;
- Possession of equivalent qualifications;
- Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required (as indicated by at least three years of experience which has led to a demonstrable level of expertise in the understanding and practice of place management and development).
- A combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.
Language requirements (International/EU)
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.
- IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent) is required with a minimum of 6.0 in each category.
- If your first language is not English, you can check if you have achieved the correct IELTS level on the Language Requirements page.
For further information about visas and application advice please view the Study at UAL International pages
All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
- Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
- Then they will scrutinise your personal statement and any previous work experience
Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:
- Sufficient prior knowledge and experience of and/or potential in public relations to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject
- An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study
- A higher level of skill and theoretical knowledge in their work, necessary to develop expertise for the future
Academic or professional reference is not required for this course.
In the application form, you will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Public Relations. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for public relations, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.
Please provide a CV detailing your education and qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.
Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
Scholarships and awards
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.
Home / EU and International students
Funding opportunities available for this course:
Many students have progressed within their existing organisations or gained higher-level positions with new employers as a result of this course. Many students have also chosen to go into business for themselves.
UAL Jobs and Careers
UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:
Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.
Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.