module specification

MC4012A - Public Relations (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Public Relations
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
105 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 100%   Group Presentation - To include a set of 12-16 slides
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will develop an understanding of the role and purpose of Public Relations (PR) together with an appreciation of the societal context and global business environment within which PR operates.  Given the range of course subjects sectors that this module will contribute to, many of the cases and industry practice examples employed will directly relate to the creative industries such as Fashion, Music, Events & Tourism.

In addition and from a more generic practical perspective, it will also aim to develop students’ writing skills with a specific focus on public relations content copywriting for both analogue & digital media platforms.

The module provides an introduction to the breadth of oral, written and graphic public relations material, such as press releases, articles, photography, video, social media and related digital content, press notices that are key creative elements of public relations campaigns. The module also considers how the media interacts with public relations practitioners via such forms of communication material and how the media goes on to use various platform contributions from the public relations sector.

Additionally, in recognition of the huge increase in global social media usage, the module will examine how this has resulted in an explosion of user-generated content that is significantly influencing how PR is practiced in the 21stC.

Given this changing nature of PR practice the module will:

● Examine and analyse the various specialisms within PR practice as set out by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations
● Examine the current research
● Develop an understanding of the wide range of career options within public relations and more broadly, communications management.

In terms of learning related outcomes, the module will promote various graduate attributes, in particular the application of knowledge; communicating and presenting (including inter-cultural communication); critical thinking and writing; reflective professional skills; project and event management; and business and political awareness  - together with  various other elements in the LMBS Skills Framework.

Prior learning requirements



The syllabus will cover the following:

● Definitions and scope of PR practice LO1
● Overview of key PR concepts and theories LO1
● PR as a strategic management function;  and its relationship with marketing & other corporate functions LO1
● Societal and international business context within which strategic PR management operates  LO1
● Writing and broader communication skills in both an analogue & digital context LO2
● The role of media monitoring in anticipating / analysing emerging trends in business and society LO2
● Project/event management LO3
● Management and organisation of the PR function LO3
● Specialist areas of PR practice and sectoral considerations eg Fashion, Creative industries & Aviation LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery consists of a 3-hour weekly blocks, using a combination of 2 hours of lecture based (but enhanced) teaching together with one hour of industry related seminar activity. On rare occasions and where appropriate 2 hour workshops will also be used for skills based activities and guest lecturers/industrial visits.  On such occasions when 2 hours class contact is used for workshops the remaining hours will be devoted to drop-in surgeries and/or “on-line” surgery time.

The module will also seek to exploit the University’s location close to the heart of the PR profession’s highly London-centric positioning.

In particular, guest speakers will be invited from various sectors of the economy and in addition, PR graduates from London Met will also be invited to discuss case studies of their work for clients/employers and their career paths to-date. 

Videos and online case studies will frequently be used to stimulate discussion in seminars.  In the main, seminars will be both tutor and student-led to include a problem-based approach.  The routine of daily media monitoring will be encouraged and tested informally by means of “spot” team quizzes in class. Students are expected to begin the adoption of an increasing degree of independent learning in line with the on-going roll-out of the module.

Weblearn will be used for the dissemination of learning materials, for assessment briefs, and for regular updates by the tutor.  The timely provision of generic feedback following formative assessments will also be facilitated via Weblearn.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you will be able to:

1. Interpret and analyse the nature of PR: its role in a democratic society; its relationship to other strategic management functions; and within a wider communications scenario.

2. Explain the role of oral, written and graphic inputs & outputs in a public relations context and assess the resulting outcomes from media relations and influencer campaigns.

3. Demonstrate and assess your competence on a wide range of PR activities as defined in the appropriate level of the PRCA / PRET matrix.

Assessment strategy

The initial Formative assessment is designed to introduce core disciplines to any PR/Media Relations/Marcomms specialist in the form of content writing and visual awareness and creativity within the context of a specific PR-related brief/task.

The summative assessment (Group Presentation) is designed to add a greater sense of student community and encourage bonding within the context of carrying out specific PR-related tasks that test students’ knowledge, understanding and competence in regards to current fundamental theories, concepts and practice that underpin the practice of Public Relations as well as the effectiveness of communications campaigns.

It will take the form of a review and more specifically a critique of a recent (prior six months) of a consumer PR campaign that demonstrates elements of both media relations activities and influencer marketing. This will both test students’ understanding and competence in regard to current theories and concepts that underpin the practice of Public Relations as well as the effectiveness of a specific PR campaign within a consumer context. This assessment also allows for subject group tailoring by offering students a choice of vertical market campaigns eg Tourism, Music etc.



Core Text:
Tench R & Yeomans L (2017) Exploring Public Relations 4th Edition, FT Prentice Hall

Recommended Texts
Foster, J. 2008. Effective Writing Skills for Public Relations. London: Kogan Page/CIPR.
Wilcox, D. & Reber, B.H. 2013. Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques. London: Pearson Education

Journal of Communication

Journal of Public Relations

Journal of Communication Research

International Journal of Communication


Electronic Databases:
The Office of Communications-
AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Stations),
Community Media Association,

Social Media Sources: