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BA (Hons) Public Relations

College
LCC
Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
P210

Prepare for a successful and rewarding career in the dynamic Public Relations (PR) industry. Discover how brands communicate ideas, products and services to diverse audiences, and how reputations are formed and maintained in a digital environment.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Industry links: The course is strongly linked to industry, and taught by a team of public relations academics and professionals who also advise commercial clients. The course is accredited by and partnered with industry bodies.
  • Focus on creativity: Utilise the creative potential of UAL to build your communication skill set in the written word, photography, design and film, and how this is applied to Public Relations activities.
  • Blend of theory and practice: Grow your understanding of media and communications theories and learn how to apply them to respond to real-life challenges.
  • Networking opportunities: Build a network of like-minded creative communicators in a multicultural and inclusive community right in the heart of London. Meet PR professionals in our programme of guest lectures, and take part in industry events thanks to our links with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and the Public Relations and Communications Association.
  • Personalisation: In years 1 and 2, choose an option unit from the Communications and Media programme that reflects your academic and personal interest. Complete assignments and a final project that are aligned to your own interests and development to support your own career goals.

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Course stories

Facilities

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Lens-based and Audio-visual

Find out about the workspaces and studios that support Lens-based and Audio-visual practice.

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Image © Lewis Bush

Printing and Finishing

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

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
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The Digital Space

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

Course overview

BA (Hons) Public Relations focuses on how organisations, brands, governments and individuals form relationships with the public and wider society.

Students on the course will understand how communication tools can be used to influence attitudes or individuals and shape societies, as well as learn about the ethical obligations that come with this knowledge.

What to expect

You will gain the skills required for communicating and promoting ideas, products and services to a wide range of audiences.

Alongside this, you'll develop the knowledge of social and political affairs required to assist your creative response to the news agenda and more.

Practice in these areas is solidly underpinned by teaching across social, media and cultural theory so that you’ll be able to engage and contribute to the current debates and issues affecting the industry, as well as its many overlapping disciplines: sponsorship, marketing and advertising in the new digital media environment.

Public Relations is taught at London College of Communication both as a key creative function within strategic business management processes and as a driving force in society. The course is taught within the Media School and draws on the College’s unique heritage to offer a broad perspective that is inclusive of business and culture.

Work experience and opportunities

BA (Hons) Public Relations helps you to prepare and apply for placements and permanent roles in top International PR agencies and in-house departments.

We help you focus on your dream roles by supporting you to design an effective online presence and to identify your career goals. We also train you in responding to recruiter questions.

Mode of study

BA (Hons) Public Relations runs for 93 weeks in full time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 31 weeks. 

Course units

In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Public Relations qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

In Year 1 and Year 2 students will be able to choose one optional unit from a selection offered by other courses in the Communications and Media Programme.

Year 1

In your first year you will learn the basics of Public Relations, business and promotional communication. You will develop your creative skillset and start building your knowledge of effective communication with and for brands and organisations.

  • Introduction to Public Relations (20 credits)

You will learn about different approaches to studying and practising PR and prepare an engaging group presentation to reflect on your understanding of the discipline.
 

  • Creative Public Relations Practice (20 credits)

In this unit you will gain a better understanding of communication channels and will develop your skills in creative Public Relations tactics. You will develop your fist client-focused communication materials.
 

  • Theories of Media and Communication (20 credits)

This unit is focused on presenting current and historical theories that have been shaping the field of PR and aims to contextualise the environment in which PR people operate.
 

  • The Business Environment (20 credits)

In this unit you will learn how to assess the stakeholder landscape and analyse forces shaping businesses – and their reputations - today.
 

  • Branding and Digital Marketing (20 credits)

This unit brings together theory and practice into designing effective PR and Marketing Communications campaigns and challenges you to improve the communications of a chosen brand.

You will choose an option unit which in the past have included:

  • Visual Communication (20 credits)
  • Global Media Cultures (20 credits)
  • Advertising Theories & Contexts (20 credits)

Year 2

The second year is about strategy, collaboration and preparing your professional profile. We will help you apply your theoretical and practical skills in industry settings. Individual tutorials and coaching sessions will support you for working in industry.

  • Media Relations (20 credits)

Former broadcast and print journalists will train you to understand effective media messaging. You will test out your new-found media messaging skills by role playing a reputational crisis and answer questions ‘on the record’ and ‘on camera’.

  • Planning Public Relations Campaigns (20 credits)

In this unit you will focus on developing a consistent and measurable communication strategy. You will learn how to set organisational objectives and develop creative strategies to meet them.

  • Public Relations Professionalism: Work-based Learning (20 credits)

In this unit we will support you to secure a placement in industry in order to help expand and develop your professional career prospects.

  • Investigating Contemporary Communication (20 credits)

In this unit, you will learn about the steps you need to take in planning academic research. Experienced academics will guide you through the process of setting research objectives and designing methodology that answers questions about PR and communication.

  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

You will meet and collaborate with students from different courses to create unique communication solutions that touch people’s hearts and change the way they think.

You will choose an option unit which in the past have included:

  • Behavioural Insights (20 credits)  
  • Film Theory & Cinematic Practice (20 credits)
  • Digital Cultures (20 credits)
  • Convergent Media: From Radio to Podcasting (20 credits)

Year 3

The third year brings together your learning to date with advanced knowledge from all areas of Public Relations as you focus in on your own career and interests.

  • Reputation Management (20 credits)

In this unit, you will be taught the practicalities of building and maintaining reputation – one of the most critical assets of any organisation, and which underpins professional PR practice.

  • Persuasion and Public Opinion (20 credits)

We will challenge you to use psychological and media theories to plan persuasive communication strategies to societal problems. You will learn how the human mind works and how to ethically deploy this information for the benefit of individuals and society.

  • Agency Life (20 credits)

A practical conclusion to the course where PR professionals invite and support you to respond to a live brief in simulated work-place conditions. 

  • Major Project / Dissertation (60 credits)

You can choose between writing a traditional academic paper that researches a communications question or choose to work on a practical solution-based output and design a comprehensive Public Relations plan.
 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshop sessions
  • Studio work
  • Personal and group tutorials 
  • Study visits 

Assessment methods

  • Portfolio
  • Group Presentations
  • Essays
  • Analytical Reports
  • Case Study

Staff

Michal  Chmiel

Michal Chmiel

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Public Relations and Senior Lecturer, MA Public Relations

Zoetanya  Sujon

Zoetanya Sujon

Programme Director, Communications and Media

Riccardo  Benzo

Riccardo Benzo

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Public Relations

Ruth  Butah

Ruth Butah

Associate Lecturer, Communications and Media programme

Adrian  Crookes

Adrian Crookes

Associate Dean, Media School

Sara  Marino

Sara Marino

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Contemporary Media Cultures

Gareth  Thompson

Gareth Thompson

Course Leader, MA Public Relations

Joanne  Woodman

Joanne Woodman

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Public Relations and BA (Hons) Media Communications

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

Home/EU/International

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

80 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences)
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Merit, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Business/ Business Studies, IT & Computing, Media)
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Marketing, Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum 

And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C) including English.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

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

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

English Language Requirements (International/EU)

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English language requirements page for more information.

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

Selection criteria

The details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • A considered interest in the discipline of public relations and an appreciation of its 'fit' within the world of communication
  • An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach (through research and practice) to this area of study
  • Commitment to the study and development of your own creative practice and subsequent career opportunities

Making your application

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in public relations, and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course. 

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC. 

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future. 

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

You must apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you'll need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: P210

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application.

Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Erasmus

For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website.

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

If you are applying through UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: P210

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate Application page, and for further advice for international applicants, please visit the UAL International Application page.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Immigration history check

International applicants, whether applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or by direct application, you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you do not complete the check, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2020/21)

International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applicants for entry to year 2 and 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course. You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application.

Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Study abroad applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Public Relations for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.

Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will consider you for a place on the course.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview. To find out more, view our Undergraduate Application Process page.

International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend. Details of this interview will be sent via the UAL Portal.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Track. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

We invite all offer holders to come to London College of Communication to attend one of our Offer Holder events. Offer holders will have the chance to meet the team, find out more about the course, and see our diverse and vibrant student community in action.

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

Deferring your place

If you are offered a place for 2020/21 but wish to defer to 2021/22, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU Fee

£9,250 (2020/21).

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International Fee

£22,920 (2020/21).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and Awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Graduates from BA (Hons) Public Relations have a number of options open to them on completion of the course. A small percentage may opt to progress onto one of our MA courses and others will secure successful associate and account management roles in public relations and marketing industries in the UK and worldwide.

Some, for example, move into agencies on account handling, client-side roles, or even into completely new industries as a result of their skills in development and career mapping over the duration of the course. Other graduate destinations include further study for teaching certificates, starting their own businesses, consultancy and work within the local government.

Alumni include many successful professionals based in noted public relations and creative agencies, handling accounts for clients within corporate, public and third sector organisations, or indeed managing or directing public relations within an in-house communications department.

Alumni

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