This course gives you the chance to design, implement and evaluate public relations campaigns – helping you to develop the practical and analytical skills you'll need for a successful career in strategic communications. You’ll develop a critical appreciation of the role of public relations in society, as well as key analytical and professional skills. You’ll also gain a solid understanding of the theory behind public relations, and have many opportunities to put this theory into practice.

By the end of your studies, you’ll have the necessary skills to work at managerial level in public relations. You’ll be able to analyse environments, issues, organisational cultures and relationships – as well as set objectives, and design and implement public relations strategies.

We’re continually updating this well-established course in line with new advances, including how communication campaigns may successfully integrate digital media. Field trips and guest lectures offer opportunities to discuss strategic communication issues with leading practitioners. These also give you networking opportunities and an understanding of current best practice. The course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 1st in Scotland, top 10 in the UK for Communications and Media (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018)

#2 We keep the course up-to-date with new advances, including how public relations practice is adapting to digital media

#3 There are an excellent guest speaker programme, field trips and research placements, and you have the opportunity to work with real clients

Professional accreditations

We're members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Work placements

As part of this course, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake placements and internships. The research placement module in the spring semester is designed to let you undertake an original piece of research with a non-academic partner that is related to live strategic communications and public affairs campaigns. There are also opportunities to undertake applied or work-based dissertation projects over the summer semester

Course details

The course includes six modules, comprising three compulsory and three optional modules, and a dissertation. The taught elements of the course are carried out across two semesters, which run from September until December and from January until the end of May. Masters students are then expected to spend the summer carrying out a research project and submit a 12,000-word dissertation in August.


You’ll be taught by lectures, seminars and workshops.

Guest lectures from public relations practitioners provide networking opportunities and expose students to current practice in the industry. The course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and you can attend CIPR Scotland events, allowing you to meet practitioners working in the field and to extend your network of contacts.


There are a number of field trip opportunities across this course, including a trip to Brussels as part of the Public Affairs and Advocacy module (this trip is optional for any student on our programme). We also run field trips to Edinburgh (including the Scottish Parliament) linked to the Communication and Democracy module and there is a field trip as part of the Tourism and Public Relations module.


Methods of assessment include:

  • exams
  • essays
  • case studies
  • presentations
  • practical reports

For some of the more practical modules, you’re required to produce a portfolio of work – which you can present to potential employers at job interviews.

Course director

Dr Will Dinan

+44 (0) 1786 467525


Fees - 2018/2019

  • Home/EU: £6,300
  • Overseas: £15,250
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Last updated November 14, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
12 - 24 months
6,300 GBP
Home/EU: £6,300 - Overseas: £15,250
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