module specification

MC6W50 - Public Relations in Practice (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Public Relations in Practice
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
102 hours Guided independent study
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 40%   Group Presentation (with option to revise/improve content for post-presentation mark upgrade)
Coursework 60%   Employability Portfolio/Personal Skills Audit Statement and Reflective (post presentation) Assessment Report 1500 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module introduces students to the range of skills and competencies of public relations (PR) and to the different areas of PR practice in which they are used.  In particular, the module examines public relations consultancies, the role of in-house practitioners and the nature of the discipline in a work-related context.

After examining these different employment contexts for PR practice, students are encouraged to build on their own employability. This is explored through a combination of initiatives, based on a series of workshops and lectures which will result in the development of PR consultancy-related proposals. In addition, students will also gain greater self-awareness of their professional skills/knowledge and improve their ability to articulate this professionalism in order to assist in achieving their career goals.

This module is designed to provide final year students with the opportunity to gain a clear awareness of the structure of the public relations sector, an understanding of the different contexts in which public relations is practised and to provide evidence of competence in the range of practical skills required in public relations workplaces. 

In addressing QAA skill benchmarks for business and management, the module specifically focuses on the following areas:

1) Ability to conduct research into business  and management issues
2) Effective problem solving and decision making using appropriate quantitative and qualitative 3) Developing skills including identifying, formulating and solving business communication challenges.

More broadly, the module aims to assist students in the acquisition of the following skills:

• Self/time management including efficacy
• Academic writing/literacy
• Self-assessment/reflection
• Interpersonal attributes including collaborating, having a positive attitude
• Enterprise skills, including taking initiative, being creative, leadership, completing tasks and projects, taking calculated risks
• Commercial awareness, including vision corporate social responsibility and governance
• Career development


The module will cover the following aspects of PR and wider related communications practice:

• In-house public relations practice: an overview LO1
• Public relations consultancy practice and management LO1
• Consumer public relations LO2
• Social media and public relations LO2
• Project management in public relations LO3
• Managing creative teams in public relations & wider comms scenarios and reflective analysis of both team and individual performance LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered through a combination of 1.5 hour lectures, including presentations from outside speakers, and 1.5 hour seminars or 2 hour workshops depending on the learning outcomes of the sessions.
The factors driving the learning and teaching strategy for this module are the need for a compelling and realistic approach which will guide students’ development of employability in the specialist sectors of public relations.

The strategy was also influenced by the need to fulfil the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) requirements relating to “PR Practice,” as cited in the CIPR’s criteria for course recognition, which include the areas of campaigns, planning, commissioning” and the requirement to consider specialisms in PR, including “financial, consumer, b2b, role specialisations such as public affairs, investor relations,”

There will also be a consultancy element, where students will work in an agency format on a consumer PR project and then reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of group working.
The intention is to encourage a learning approach which will allow students to focus on identifying an area of public relations practice which they find meshes most closely with their own skills, experience and interests.

Weblearn will be used for the distribution of the Module booklet, for setting online workshop exercises and for updates, commentary and pointers to articles on current PR practice which are appearing in the media. It will also be used to direct students to updated readings, module news and for the distribution of assessment information.

As final year students, applicants will be expected to spend a significant amount of time on all aspects of independent learning including organisational research, media monitoring, journal article analysis and engaging with various aspects of specific organisational communication initiatives.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to :

1. Understand the advantages and challenges of working in teams within public relations practice and the importance of individual enterprise skills in PR
2. Comprehend and evaluate the role of both analogue and digital content platforms in a variety of client/audience campaign contexts.
3. Demonstrate competence in project management; and develop an ability to reflect on your own learning in undertaking PR projects
4. Critically reflect upon how this experience relates to their career goals and undertake action planning towards the further development of practical professional skills and knowledge to help achieve such goals.

Assessment strategy

Group Presentation (with option to revise/improve content for post-presentation mark upgrade ie take into account client & panel observations etc) And Employability Portfolio/Personal Skills Audit Statement and Reflective (post presentation) Assessment Report (1500 words)



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

Other Texts: Theaker, A. and Yaxley, H. (2012) The Public Relations Strategic Toolkit: An essential guide to successful public relations practice. London: Routledge
Gregory, Anne (2015) Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns, Kogan Page

Journal of Communication

Journal of Public Relations

Journal of Communication Research

International Journal of Communication

The Professional Publishers Association (PPA)
BBC Learning
AMARC (World Association of Community Radio Stations),
Community Media Association,
The Office of Communications-

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