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Public relations courses

Public relations (PR) means managing the image an organisation portrays to its customers and the public. If you enjoy writing, giving presentations or have an interest in the media, PR may be for you. This degree prepares you for a role as a communication or press officer for an in-house PR department or to work for a PR consultancy. You will study business, marketing and advertising and how to use traditional and new media in creative ways.

Studying public relations at university

Example course modules

  • Business strategy
  • Internal corporate communication
  • Social media or public relations
  • Work and organisational change
  • Human behaviour
  • Management in context
  • Transition to work
  • Business fundamentals
  • Design in marketing
  • Managing the brand

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 78%
    Male : 22%
  • Mature : 19%
    School leaver : 81%
  • Full-time : 98%
    Part-time : 2%

What students say about public relations

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • No Specific Requirements

Useful to have

  • English

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
Not surprisingly, the advertising and PR industries are the main job sectors grads head into after university. The industry hasn't been as badly affected by the recession as many others, and so the good news is that the unemployment rate is well below the average. A lot of jobs are in London, but graduates don't just go to work in PR agencies. All sorts of organisations do their own publicity these days, and with the rise of digital and mobile technology and social media, a lot of marketing is done in quite innovative ways. This year, a lot of the PR and marketing jobs graduates landed were through personal contacts and help from their university, so build up your contacts and network your way to a job!
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Media professionals

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Public relations officer
  • Marketing executive
  • Conference manager

Other real-life job examples

  • Recruitment consultant
  • Publications editor
  • Web designer

What employers like about this subject

A degree in public relations will help you to gain subject-specific skills in communicating and promoting concepts, products and services; in social media and cultural theory and a knowledge of social and political affairs and how they affect and are affected by the news agenda. You can also develop useful transferable skills in communication, thinking creatively and solving problems, in critical thinking and constructing coherent arguments. Graduates in public relations commonly work for public relations or advertising agencies, but last year they also got jobs in the oil and gas industry, television, recruitment, education, banking, tourism and health.