Public Relations MA

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Students must apply via one of the following online application forms:-

If you are applying for the full time route, click apply now.

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

If you are applying for the part time route, click apply now.

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Study a course professionally accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. Prepare yourself to move seamlessly into a job with a PR agency or in-house communications department.

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Overview

This course is a Masters with a focus on practical skills in Public Relations. It involves a mix of journalism, business and marketing, social networking and communication theory, giving you a competitive edge in this fast-moving industry. As part of the course, you will develop a major PR project and undertake related research and contextual studies.

Why us?

  • Sunderland hosts the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies (CRMCS)
  • 'World-leading' research in Media, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • Accredited by the CIPR the industry’s leading body and a single discipline PR course teaching a wide range of PR specialisms including: campaign creation, crisis management, social media management and Internal communications
  • The course is led by a member of staff who has won numerous PR industry awards 
  • Excellent industry links with guest speakers and annual employability event giving students an opportunity to network with a range of PR practitioners working in agencies, public bodies, charities and the corporate sector to gain vital placements, work experience, internships and jobs
  • You can choose to produce a six month PR campaign as your final practical project, as an alternative to a dissertation to help ensure you with a tangible example of your work demonstrating your full range of skills, to present to a potential employer

New Sunderland Culture logo

A city brimming with creative potential

Offering a year-round programme of exhibitions, events and performances, Sunderland Culture brings big-name artists from the worlds of contemporary visual arts, glass, ceramics and performance to the city, alongside showcasing the best and most exciting local talent. There is a huge range of opportunities for students to visit the venues, take part in events and get involved in the programme. Learn more about Sunderland Culture.

#WeAreCreativeIndustries

Get to know Spark, Fashion North, Northern Lights, SR News, and Sportsbyte, our students' award-winning websites for local news, local sport, fashion and arts and entertainment.

Course structure

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. The course aims to stretch your creativity and maximise your sense of personal fulfilment.

Part-time students can expect around six hours of contact time a week.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars, critiques, workshops and practical demonstrations. These are supported by a range of guest speakers from diverse academic and industry backgrounds. You will also have high levels of contact with tutors who give regular feedback and support. Assessment methods include essays, projects, presentations, and a major project/dissertation.

Public Relations 1 (60 credits):

  • Public Relations: Theory and Practice 1 (30 credits)
  • PR and Society: Ethics and Critical Concepts (15 credits)
  • PR and Marketing Communications (15 credits)


Public Relations 2 (60 credits):

  • Public Relations: Theory and Practice 2 (30 credits)
  • Social Media and PR (15 credits)
  • Media Research (15 credits)


Public Relations 3 (60 credits):

  • You will complete a supervised dissertation or a practical project on a PR topic of your choice.

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

More about MA Public Relations at Sunderland

Discover more articles
  • We’ve got thousands of relevant books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Resources which will be particularly useful for Journalism and Media studies include:

    • Lexis, which provides full-text newspaper articles as well as access to legal information
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
    • British Universities Film and Video Council (BUFVC), which provides resources for the production, study and use of film and related media in higher education and research
    • Screen Online (BFI), which is an online encyclopaedia of British film and television, featuring clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive
    Library Services - journalism and media
  • The mediaHUB is a bustling multimedia newsroom on the top floor of our David Puttnam Media Centre where you will get a real taste of life as a working journalist.

    BBC Newcastle have a team of journalists based here, and they are joined by visiting journalists from organisations such as Trinity Mirror (Newcastle Chronicle, Journal) and Johnston Press (Sunderland Echo).

    The mediaHUB runs websites covering sport, news, entertainments and fashion, provides the content for news bulletins on our award-winning radio station Spark, and is responsible for writing and editing Spark magazine.

    The ground-breaking workspace is designed to be a professional environment and even has a cloud filled sky line, funky colour scheme and a shed for a meeting room. It includes plenty of workstations each with industry-standard software including NewsCutter, Burli and ENPS, and a Sky feed with two 40” plasma screens. The whole space is managed by an ex-Sky Journalist, who is on hand, with her team to point you in the right direction.

    The mediaHUB
  • Learn in our 203 seat cinema and 7.1 surround sound facility. Get hands-on in our two broadcast-quality production studios complete with green room and changing facilities. Access four Steadicam rigs plus dolly, track and mini crane. Our field camera systems, comprises Blackmagic Ursa, Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro, Blackmagic 4K Production Camera and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, with associated location kits, lighting, field monitors and audio mixers.

    Get experience with Made in Tyne & Wear, based in the Media Centre providing placements to students and jobs to several of our graduates.

    Go on-air in one of five radio studios, including a larger radio drama studio and a transmission suite for Spark, our award winning student-run community radio station. Spark has a target audience of 15 to 24 year-olds and broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Develop your skills in our digital audio post-production area with voice-over booths and 70 workstations with state-of-the-art HD Edit systems, including Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Premier Pro. You'll also use DaVinci Resolve for colour correction. 

    TV and radio studios
  • Map and directions

Facilities

The David Puttnam Media Centre is a thriving place to study and experience media. Rub shoulders with BBC Newcastle and Made in Tyne & Wear, who are both based in the building. Volunteer with award winning Spark Sunderland, write for one of our suite of websites or edit Spark Magazine in our mediaHUB. Get hands on in TV and Radio Studios, Journalism and Digital editing suites. Learn from experts in this centre of excellence for training.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is


  • 2:1 classification or equivalent from a Canadian bachelor's degree
  • 2:1 classification or equivalent from a USA bachelor's degree

.We will consider applicants with professional and vocational experience.

If you are suitably qualified, we will invite you to an interview to assess whether this is the right course for you.

We may ask you to undertake a short course that covers essential skills and knowledge, before you join the main Masters course.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language, you should have an IELTS (or equivalent) score of at least 7.0.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £6,000 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £12,500 if you are an international student

Part-time fees for this course are £361 per 10 credits.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night

Employment

Postgraduates are highly employable and, on average, earn more than individuals whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree. On completing this course you will be equipped for roles throughout the PR and communications industries.

Career opportunities

Recent Sunderland graduates have set up their own agencies or are now working in PR consultancies, as well as in the PR departments of organisations such as Giorgio Armani, the Environment Agency, Durham Cricket Board, Tyne and Wear Sports and AA Press Office.

During the course we encourage you to gain industry experience which will enhance your skills, build up a valuable network of contacts and boost your employability.

A Masters degree will also enhance career opportunities within Higher Education and prepare you for further postgraduate studies.


Meet the students

  • My experience was eye-opening, insightful, and a perfect foundation for a successful career in PR.
    AliceMidgleySmall

    Alice Midgley

  • I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for my experience at the University of Sunderland.
    AnneMarieLaceySmall

    Anne-Marie Lacey

  • Supportive tutors and the opportunity to meet employers helped me achieve my goals.
    Bridget Mcclean Small

    Bridget McClean

  • I have fallen in love with the people, places and opportunities afforded to me at Sunderland.
    Brigita small circle

    Brigita Leonaviciute

Meet the team

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