Brunel University London
No specific location
01/09/2020 ~ in 4 months

Media and Public Relations MA

£ 8240

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£ 8240

Media and Public Relations MA

£ 8240

Media and Public Relations MA

Media and Public Relations MA

Course Overview

What is public relations? Who does it and why? How does it relate to the media practices? How do you plan a public relations campaign? And why is it important to have a sophisticated understanding of cultural dynamics in order to understand public relations?

On this MA you will engage with theoretical concepts that can help you understand how Public Relations and the Media work and why they are significant; it looks at PR and media history, engages in lively debates about these industries and teaches you practical PR skills which you can creatively deploy in campaign plans.

While Public Relations has often been taught through business studies or marketing approaches, this MA approaches PR through the lens of media studies and cultural studies. This makes for a fresh stimulating take on PR at a time when media practices are changing radically and when cultural industries, cultural exchange and cultural politics are more important than ever.

This MA will offer you the opportunity to examine the context in which PR practice takes place and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work in a sophisticated and ethical way in PR.

We are a partner-member of the Public Relations Communications Association. This means that as students you get:

• Unlimited and free access to PRCA online training courses to add to your academic programme.
• The opportunity to get a PRCA Online Certificate
• Free access to networking events.
• Opportunities to enhance your professional development by attending panels, masterclasses and training sessions.

You can explore our campus and facilities for yourself by taking our virtual tour.

Course content

The MA consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
This course can be studied 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time, starting in September.

Year 1


FM5600 Public Relations Propaganda and Spin

This module explores how public relations emerged as part of the burgeoning propaganda industry in the early part of the twentieth century and how even today, powerful organisations, including state actors and corporations, utilise PR as forms of propaganda. We explore how the shaping of public opinion and perception is clearly a matter of political significance. PR as propaganda can be observed at work in relation to war, consumerism and the promotion of global free market economics. The module looks at theories of specific media and their role in persuasion, such as the press and film and we look at recent trends in political communications.

FM5601 Key Issues in Media and Public Relations

This module will provide students with the essential background to the theories and debates that can help us understand public relations and its relationship to media and culture. How does PR shape the media and how does the media shape PR? We explore how concepts drawn from cultural studies can help us understand the context of PR as one of contests between different values and perspectives. The module examines what has been happening to the media in recent decades and the impact of social media on the media and PR. You engage with semiotic analysis of visual communication, with brand theory and the political economy of public relations. We look at crisis communications and how different types of organisations use PR including NGOs and the Third Sector as well as political activists and ‘culture jammers’.

FM5602 Building a PR Campaign

This module will provide students with the advanced knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to build a PR campaign and to critically reflect on the role of the PR campaign in the knowledge economy and their own practice. Students will develop the practical skills in lobbying, press releases, campaign building and related practices. The module will provide students with an understanding of the changing nature of public relations today and the impact of the processes of globalisation and the rise of social media on the practices of public relations. The module will also provide students with a critical understanding of the expansion of PR across a range of social and media institutions and the effect that this has had on the practices of public relations.

FM5607 Promotional Cultures in Film and Television

This module has a particular emphasis on how public relations works in the film and television industries. We look at the relationship between PR and marketing, the role of celebrities, social media, product placement and crisis communications in the culture industries. The module also begins to teach you some practical skills in public relations skills and develop your ability for PR content creation.


FM5604 Media and Public Relations Major Project 1

The dissertation module enables students to produce a substantial piece of research on a topic agreed with a supervisor in the area of Media and Public Relations. You will be able to develop your research from the knowledge and skills you were introduced to at an advanced level on the taught modules and you can choose to develop an area of specific interest.

FM5605 Media and Public Relations Major Project 2

The dissertation module enables students to produce a substantial piece of research on a topic agreed with a supervisor in the area of Media and Public Relations. You will be able to develop your research from the knowledge and skills you were introduced to at an advanced level on the taught modules and you can choose to develop an area of specific interest.

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel

Careers and your future

Recent graduates have been employed as:

• Communications Officers for NGOs
• Events Officers
• Self-employed PR consultants

UK entry requirements
• A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification, in Social Sciences; Law; Humanties; Arts or Business.
• Other subjects and qualifications will be considered with relevant work experience.
• Applicants may be required to attend an interview

EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

• IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
• Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
• BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
• TOEFL: 92 (min 20 in all)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

Fees and funding


£8,240 full-time

£4,120 part-time

More information on any additional course-related costs.
See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.
Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

Teaching and Learning
The Media and Public Relations MA is taught through lectures, seminars, workshops, screenings and industry speakers.

Assessment and feedback
The MA will be assessed through a combination of essays, reports, case studies, campaign design and a dissertation.
Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.