Skip to main content
Postgraduate

MA Public Relations

Portfolio by Babette Kurschner. London College of Communication, UAL | Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2024
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.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

Open Evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be announced soon.

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.

Course units

We are committed to ensuring that your skills are set within an ethical framework and are embedding UAL’s Principles for Climate, Social and Racial Justice into this course.

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

(Recorded March 2023)

Course Leader, Gareth Thompson, gives an overview of what it's like to study MA Public Relations at London College of Communication.

Student voices

Jasmine Denike

TikTok content creator and winner of PR Academy’s 2022 Student Creator Awards, Jasmine tells us why she chose to pursue PR, her experience on the course, and the connection between PR and content creation.

Karl-Lydie Jean Baptiste

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

Course stories

410 Gone

410 Gone


openresty

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.

Staff

Fees and funding

Home fee

£13,330

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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.

International fee

£28,570

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

All applications received by 3 April will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

All applications received by 3 April will be treated equally. If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply to UAL

Start your application
or

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 500 words and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Step 2: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

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.