BRUNEL UNIVERSITY LONDON

Media and Public Relations

M.A  |  Placement Year:   No

This course examines the role of public relations in shaping media output both within media organisations themselves and in relation to the external impact of PR on the media.

The field of public relations has grown dramatically in the past 20 years and this has had profound implications for the media and other institutions that rely on the media to disseminate knowledge.

This course will investigate the rise of public relations and its links with global media institutions from historical perspectives and in relation to the contemporary media landscape. It will offer a critical examination of the role of PR in the mediation of power as well as the role of public relations in a range of media arenas.

You will be encouraged to reflect critically and theoretically on the function of PR in relation to: the role of the media in political communication, media policy, celebrity culture, film marketing, alternative media, media campaigning, and new media technologies.

You will be offered the opportunity to plan PR campaigns and reflect on their role in the knowledge economy.

This combination will provide you with the opportunity to examine the context in which PR practice takes place and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work ethically in PR at an international level.

Programme description

This course examines the role of public relations in shaping media output both within media organisations themselves and in relation to the external impact of PR on the media.

The field of public relations has grown dramatically in the past 20 years and this has had profound implications for the media and other institutions that rely on the media to disseminate knowledge.

This course will investigate the rise of public relations and its links with global media institutions from historical perspectives and in relation to the contemporary media landscape. It will offer a critical examination of the role of PR in the mediation of power as well as the role of public relations in a range of media arenas.

You will be encouraged to reflect critically and theoretically on the function of PR in relation to: the role of the media in political communication, media policy, celebrity culture, film marketing, alternative media, media campaigning, and new media technologies.

You will be offered the opportunity to plan PR campaigns and reflect on their role in the knowledge economy.

This combination will provide you with the opportunity to examine the context in which PR practice takes place and to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work ethically in PR at an international level.

Key Modules

Recent graduates have been employed as:

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

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

Module & Subject

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.

Compulsory

Public Relations Propaganda and Spin Module Leader: Professor Julian Petley

This module will examine critically what is meant by the term propaganda, particularly in contemporary uses of the term, and will seek to explain why it is necessary to have an understanding of this subject in order to analyse the rise of public relations in the fields of politics and the media.

It will analyse how and why public relations techniques entered these fields, the interrelationship of these two fields, and the consequences for both of the mediatisation of politics. Particular attention will be paid to the rise of the political spin doctor, and also to topics such as ‘churnalism’, the ‘information subsidy’ and the ‘manufacture of consent’.

The module will also introduce students to the appropriate conceptual and theoretical frameworks for the analysis of public relations, propaganda and spin.

Key Issues in Media and Public Relations Module Leader: Dr Milly Williamson

This module will provide students with the essential theoretical background necessary to understand the role of the media in society and the relationship between the media and the growing field of public relations.

You will be offered an advanced understanding of the functioning of public relations in the media including its historical development and its shape in the contemporary media landscape. You will study different media models and theories which explain and debate the significance of public relations practices on media content. You will examine the globalisation of the media and public relations and you will consider the wider political, social and economic contexts in which these changes are occurring. You will study the role of PR in relation to: media policy, the news, celebrity culture, new media and social media.

Building a PR Campaign Module Leader: Dr Craig Haslop

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.

Media Marketing and Public Relations Module Leader: Dr Craig Haslop

This module examines the role of PR within media organisations, particularly in relation to their promotional cultures. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically and theoretically on the function of PR in relation to the promotional and marketing strategies of a variety of media organisations.

The focus on PR within the media will range from that of large corporations to smaller-scale, alternative forms including ‘DIY’ practices employed directly by lower-budget producers via social media and other online channels, key areas of contemporary development in PR and marketing more generally.

This module also introduces the role of the press conference in media marketing and the processes of developing a film festival. Students will benefit from a programme of visiting PR professionals from media organisations.

Optional

Media and Public Relations Major Project 1 Module Leader: Dr Milly Williamson

Media and Public Relations Major Project 2 Module Leader: Dr Milly Williamson

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.

Students can choose between a long theoretical dissertation or a project which combines a practical portfolio with a shorter dissertation. You will develop your independent research and study skills under the guidance of an academic expert.

Entry Requirements
  • A minimum score of 55% - 65% or 2.75/4 - 3.25/4. Offers within the grade range are determined by the higher education institution attended.
  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
Foundation Campus
No Foundation
Course Option
Course Duration: 1 year
Course Fee:  16200.00
Course Level:  POSTGRADUATE
Application Deadline 
International Student:   (15,July)
Location
Country:  UNITED KINGDOM
Campus Location:  Brunel University London, Kingston Lane Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
Intake Deadline
SEPTEMBER