MA, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate Public Relations

Year of entry

*Subject to validation


Public Relations play a key role in the operation and success of organisations, and this role has become even more important recently due to new communication technologies, social media platforms, changing communication patterns and a growing overlap with journalism.


Public Relations has moved beyond companies and corporations to government bodies, charities, third sector organisations, the creative industries and an ever growing number of celebrities and people in the public eye.

The sector is characterised by rapid changes, whether in terms of Social Media platforms or context in which the targeted audience find themselves, and organisations constantly need to adapt to these shifts.

Having worked closely with the teaching staff at CCCU, and with first-hand experience of hiring a number of their previous PR students for my own PR/digital agency Zoodikers, I can highly recommend this MA in PR.

Katie King, MBA CEO of AI in Marketing; Managing Director of Zoodikers.

Our programme will equip you with skills and a knowledge base to critically understand and navigate this environment both in your professional roles and as an individual. Our Public Relations course is a professionally-accredited programme taught by an experienced teaching team and will include contributions from industry experts.

The course focuses on professional knowledge and skills development in Public Relations but also covers academic study of the field and the shifts in communications that have happened in the twenty-first century. It will also enhances your research skills, which will aid your understanding of how to produce press releases and reach particular audiences.

As we know that lives are busy, we have designed the course to be taught through a combination of intensive weekends, distance learning and tutorials. The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) (subject to validation), as well as students will become members of the PR and Communications Association (PRCA). These associations provide a wealth of invaluable resources, networking opportunities, and up-to-date industry information and news.

The course is taught by a team of experienced educators who have had professional careers in a related sector and/or are internationally recognised researchers in the field. A group of non-academic partners and advisors also contribute to the delivery of the programme, in the form of visiting talks, debates and discussions, contributing to assignment briefs, and offering networking opportunities. These professionals have significant experience in the industries, media and communication agencies and as online/digital media practitioners.

You can sign up to complete the MA programme as a whole, or undertake it in stages – initially working towards a Postgraduate Certificate then a Postgraduate Diploma, before completing your Masters qualification. If you do not wish to commit to the full Masters qualification, you can choose to complete either a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma, depending on the module credits you accrue.

The course is for everyone who wishes to develop professional Public Relations skills and knowledge base or to study the field at postgraduate level.

It is partly designed for those who already work in a public relations related role and who wish to enhance their effectiveness and confidence in the workplace, or develop their career prospects. But it is also designed for graduates who have completed a degree in a related field and wish to continue their study in the field; or graduates who have completed a degree in a different discipline but now wish to pursue a career in Public Relations.

We are proud to work with students with varied protected characteristics, including age, disability, race, sex and sexual orientation, and aim to provide appropriate support for individual needs.

For the award of Postgraduate Certificate you will have to complete three modules:

  • Professional Practices in Public Relations I (20 credits) 
  • Public Relations Theory and Approaches (20 credits)
  • Industry trends and Social Context (20 credits)

For the award of Postgraduate Diploma you will have to complete three additional modules:

  • Professional Practices in Public Relations II (20 credits)
  • Communication Strategies and Planning (20 credits)
  • Content management and multimedia skills (20 credits)

To gain the MA award you will also have to study:

  • Individual Research/Professional Practice project (60 credits)


Before starting the course you'll be invited to attend an induction session which will give you details about academic, research and writing skills needed to study at postgraduate level. The induction will include such elements as library skills, IT applications, relevant software skills, research skills and writing at Master’s level. It is also an opportunity to meet with other students on the course. 

Graduates of this course will be able to pursue careers in a variety of public relations roles, including managerial position in a PR agency, public relations manager in either profit or non-profit organisation, media relations, social media manager, running their own PR and communication agency.

Candidates who are already in the workplace will benefit from using their new-found qualification and confidence to progress their careers with their current employer, or to use it to secure promotions or new employment elsewhere. They can also use the qualification as a way to improve what they are undertaking within their current role.

Students completing this MA could also go on to do a PhD in a related field, or could undertake a teaching qualification to take their practice into a school, FE or HE setting.

The course is taught through a combination of intensive weekends in Canterbury, distance learning and tutorials (individual and group; in person or online).

Students will receive over 100 hours of teaching over their course, and are expected to supplement this with independent study.

Our online Virtual Learning Environment allows students to interact with each other outside of the physical class time, allowing a lively culture to develop, even at a distance.

Throughout the course your knowledge and skills will be informally assessed through a variety of learning activities. You will be encouraged to engage in self-assessment and may be actively involved in peer assessment. The course is assessed solely through coursework, including portfolio work, reports, essays and presentations.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full MA, full-time £7,700 £12,420
Full MA, part-time £3,850 N/A
Diploma level, full-time £5,130 N/A
Diploma level, part-time £2,570 N/A
Certificate level, full-time £2,570 N/A
Certificate level, part-time N/A N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2019/20 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

Government loans of up to £10,906 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can  email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    2 years part-time

Entry requirements

  • For entry to the Postgraduate Certificate in Public Relations and the Diploma in Public Relations normally a degree at 2.2 or above and relevant experience, or alternative qualifications and substantial relevant experience may be considered.

    Entry to the MA requires normally a degree at 2.1 or above, or successful completion of the Diploma in Public Relations, or alternative qualifications and substantial relevant experience may be considered.



Last edited 01/05/2019 14:52:00

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Last edited: 01/05/2019 14:52:00