Skip to main content
Postgraduate

MA Public Relations

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Portfolio by Babette Kurschner. London College of Communication, UAL | Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2023
Course length
1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

Develop the advanced skills and theory you'll need for a successful career in public relations (PR) and communications on this industry-approved course.

Open Evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be on Wednesday 8 February. Book your place.

The next online Open Day for this course will be on Monday 6 March at 4.30pm. Book your place.

Course accredited by

Course overview

Gain a solid grounding in the theory and practice of public relations with this highly- regarded Masters degree, which is accredited and/or recognised by the following professional and industry bodies:

  • The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
  • The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA)
  • The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

This course will appeal to graduates already working in public relations who wish to develop their careers through a Masters qualification, those seeking a career move into the sector, or those wishing to build on their first degree and start a PR career based on a strong personal and practical knowledge of the field.

What to expect

  • Develop the combination of intellectual abilities, practical skills and industry knowledge that is needed to manage the reputation of brands and organisations, add value to their operations and support their goals.
  • This course gives you a framework for planning public relations programmes, the practical skills for delivering campaigns as well as addressing the role of research and evaluation in PR.
  • You will examine the disciplines of stakeholder communications, events management, investor relations, public affairs and employee communications and consider how they link to corporate strategy.
  • You will have the opportunity to plan and implement national and international campaigns yourself on a series of practical assignments and exercises responding to briefs on the course.

Industry experience and opportunities

You will have the opportunity to explore the practicalities of using public relations tools such as media relations and crisis management. The specific skills of storytelling and writing for media across traditional and digital media channels are also practised, along with the role of persuasion and influence. You will develop an understanding of the needs of audiences and how to communicate with them.

The course also considers the wider cultural and societal landscape in which public relations operates, touching on areas such as celebrity, power and the impact of globalisation.

Along with the specialist research methods sessions, consideration of these issues helps develop your analytical skills in preparation for writing a final dissertation on a PR topic of your choice.

Mode of study

MA Public Relations is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

Autumn, Term 1

Contemporary Public Relations Theory and Practice (20 credits) ​

This unit provides an understanding of core theories in the field with a focus on the nature of persuasion, influence and opinion that are at the heart of the PR process. Students then get the opportunity to put some of their learning into practice through generating a PR plan.

Organisational Strategy and Reputation (20 credits)

This unit aims considers PR as an organisational function that manages reputation, and addresses how organisations are formed and the need for integrated management, marketing and organisational communication. It also discusses the reputational threats, challenges and opportunities that organisations face in the 21st century and the ways in which organisational identity (culture, values and behaviours of organisations) is aligned with organisational image.

Global Media and Cultural Landscapes (20 credits)

This unit places PR within global political, social, economic and cultural debates. Drawing on social and cultural theory, the unit considers the relationship between the media, its audiences and wider society, including the rise of celebrity culture, promotion, consumption and the role of PR within a consumer-led society.

Spring, Term 2

Media Relations, Messaging and Influencing (20 credits)

This unit explores the process of media relations and the role that public relations plays in devising and distributing messages in order to achieve influence through global media channels. The unit encourages practical engagement through in-class exercises and workshops that help students to develop their own skills in writing for the media and advising on interviews and other aspects of media relations.

Digital Communications and Social Media (20 credit)

This unit explores how PR can use digital channels most effectively creating integrated communication solutions. There is a strong focus on creativity and using digital media in both mediated and un-mediated applications, while also looking to the future and to the type of digital applications that are coming on-stream.

Collaborative Unit (20 credits) ​

The Collaborative Project involves working on a live project brief in a collaboration with other students and in response to a client requirement. It is an opportunity to develop consulting skills and project management experience alongside creativity and communication knowledge, resulting in a plan and portfolio of content.

Summer, Term 3

Media Relations, Messaging and Influencing (continued)
Digital Communications and Social Media (continued)
Final Major Project (60 credits) ​

The aim of the Final Major Project is to offer an opportunity to engage in a major research project in which the emphasis will be on defining, analysing and developing a constructive response to a research question in the PR field.

As well as drawing on skills and knowledge acquired during Term 1 and 2, taught research methods classes during Term 3 will support the project during which students produce a research proposal that identifies the research question to be addressed and the research plan and appropriate methodology, before beginning work with a supervisor during terms three and four.

Autumn, Term 4

Final Major Project by Dissertation (continued)

In the final Autumn term, students continue to work on the research plan using an appropriate methodology. Work will continue with a supervisor over term four where you will receive feedback on your developing project, and other support through dissertation workshops to help keep the project on track.

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.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Group work
  • Work based learning

Online Open Day

Course Leader, Gareth Thompson, gives an overview of studying MA Public Relations at London College of Communication.

Student voices

Karl-Lydie Jean Baptiste

Karl-Lydie's final project looks at strategies for arts and cultural non-profit organisations to publicise their events.

Alexandra Rodriguez Cifre

Alexandra talks about being mentored as part of the College's Industry Mentoring Programme.

Amber Taft

Graduate Amber Taft talks about the different aspects of public relations covered by the course.

Sara Oberthaler

Sara talks through the benefits of studying public relations in London.

Course stories

Facilities

  • Red light indicating recording is taking place.
    Image © Vladimir Molico
    Lens-based and Audio-visual

    Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-Based and Audio-Visual practice.

  • A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.
    Image © Lewis Bush
    Printing and Finishing

    Discover our printing techniques, from Lithographic Printing to Print Finishing and Bookbinding.

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
    The Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

MA Public Relations attracts applicants from a variety of backgrounds. 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.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

If you do not meet these entry requirements but your application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative relevant experience, you may still be considered. This could include:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit. We cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

  • IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four skills.

All classes are taught in English. If English isn’t your first language, you will need to show evidence of your English language ability when you enrol. For further guidance, please check our English language requirements.

Selection criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Evidence of prior knowledge and/or experience of public relations or communications that would indicate potential to successfully undertake the programme of study.
  • An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach to the area of study.
  • An academic or professional background in a relevant/ related subject.
  • Effective communication of intentions, purposes and issues.

Apply now

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)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and work experience
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Extra information required for applications to this course

There are no additional items (portfolio or study proposal) required for this course.

Start your application now

The online application 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 press submit.

Apply now

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, 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.

Personal statement advice

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 the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future.

This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, we will contact you to invite you to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. For Round 1 applications, you will need to submit your portfolio by 9 January 2023 at the latest and by 20 April 2023 for Round 2.

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in 2 rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about the outcome of your application until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2023.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and work experience
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas). Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Extra information required for applications to this course

There are no additional items (portfolio or study proposal) required for this course.

Start your application now

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, 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.

Personal statement advice

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 the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future.

This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Interview advice

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will be held online, and details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback  please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Careers

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.