Integrating theory and professional practice.
Emerging out of long established teaching and research in the field of Communication, and links with the continually developing Communication industries, the Communication Management and Public Relations degree places the study of Communication processes at the heart of an understanding of the Communication industries in general, and the Public Relations industry in particular. On this course you will develop knowledge and skills in strategic internal (interpersonal, group, organisational) and external (public relations, political, media) communication.
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About this course
In this section
The Communication Management and Public Relations degree will give you the opportunity to study both Internal Communication which will focus on our relationships with others in for example personal and work contexts, and External Communication which will focus on the theory and practice of Public Relations, including media and political contexts. New and emergent digital technologies relevant to these fields are reflected throughout the curriculum. A key aim of the course is to foster a deeper understanding between theory and professional practice in applied, work-based settings.
The opportunity to plan and undertake research in the field of Communication and Public Relations is key aspect of the degree particularly in the final year, thus providing students the opportunity to work independently and learn effective time management skills. In addition, critically reflective skills necessary for continuing personal development will be developed.
Students will work in close collaboration with industry and professional bodies like the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Public Relations Institute of Ireland, the Northern Ireland Government Affairs Group, and the International Association of Business Communicators. Many staff are members of the key academic subject association in the area, the International Communication Association.
Modules offered fall broadly within the two main strands of the programme: Internal and External Communication
Language, Media & Society
Principles of Marketing
Communication & Language
Social Psychology of Communication
Creative PR Professional
Written Communication for PR and Advertising
Communication in Groups and Teams
Digital Media Communication
Advanced Interpersonal Communication
Optional Module Choice
Attendance is part-time, and can be completed within 5 years but if preferred can take up to 9 years to complete.
Part-time students are required to complete a minimum of one module per semester but can choose to study two per semester if they prefer (i.e. between 2 and 4 in one academic year). The Course Director will work with you at the beginning of your studies to agree on an appropriate sequence, based on how many modules you are willing to do per year.
Total weekly hours of attendance will be dependent on how many modules you complete per semester. On average one module equates to 3 timetabled hours a week, though this can vary within individual modules. You will also be expected to engage in group and team work in some of your modules and so may need to have further meetings outside of class time.
- September 2019
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Communication and Language
The module explores the complex relationship between language and communication, focusing on competing models of communication and the multi-layered multi-faceted nature of meaning in communication involving language. It explores how understanding features of language informs the study of communication and how reflecting on communication aids reflection on the complex nature of language and meaning.
Social Psychology of Communication
This module is designed to introduce students to key Social Psychology theories and concepts directly related to the study of Interpersonal Communication. It explores social behaviour and interaction in a variety of social contexts, and is concerned with both how we as individuals understand ourselves, and how our social environment shapes us. Students are introduced to the fields of social psychology and communication, exploring key aspects of the interactive process and encouraging students to apply this knowledge base to everyday situations.
Language, Media and Society
The module considers:
• How language and communication are used differently by different people
• How language and communication are used differently to and about different people
• How all of this is related to aspects of people's identity like gender and ethnicity
• How all of this is affected, reinforced and constructed by the media
• How all of this is related to power
Interpersonal Communication: Skills and Strategies
This module introduces the students to the concept of interpersonal communication as skill and strategy. It introduces the idea of different approaches to communication performance and the importance of context in selecting an appropriate or effective approach. It presents and discusses a series of core communication skills used in interpersonal interaction. The emphasis throughout is on the application of theory to practice and on developing skills of behaviour discrimination, self-awareness, critical analysis and skill enhancement.
Principles of Marketing
This module provides students with an appreciation of the nature, scope and breadth of the principles of marketing. It represents a key underpinning to subsequent marketing related modules within degree programmes.
Principles of Public Relations
The module introduces students to students to the study public relations. Students will examine theoretical concepts and examples of public relations practice to approach the subject, allowing students to experience and reflect on examples of public relations. With the module grounded in the wider study of the media and communication, it is intended that the student will gain a core understanding of how public relations operates within the wider media industries. Assessment is by two pieces of coursework, an essay (40%) and a report (60%).
Communication in groups & teams
The purpose of this module is to examine and understand how communication processes reflected in our everyday experiences of groups, teams and group life. It is designed to give students an appreciation of the many aspects of task and social groups and how they impact upon our daily lives, in terms of our membership (or not), in them; their influence on our attitudes and behaviour, and their effect on our ability to perform and make decisions.
Written Communication for Public Relations and Advertising
Written communication is a vital part of being an effective communication professional. The module, by integrating theory and analysis with practical skills development, will enable students to develop the skills to write in a range of genres with technical accuracy, creativity and responsibility.
This module offers a theoretical and practical insight into the dynamic area of online digital communication and explores some of the key questions and issues facing academics and practitioners. Students undertaking the module will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to support the implementation of digital communication objectives in support of business goals including customer acquisition, loyalty and community building. Students will be able to critically evaluate the characteristics of individual online digital media, and select appropriate tools from the range available to execute digital communication in support of organisational objectives.
Advanced Interpersonal Communication
This module extends the study of interpersonal communication by examining advanced interpersonal skills relevant to specific professional contexts. It offers the opportunity to explore underlying theories and concepts, which in turn provides knowledge and understanding of situationally specific communication processes. Behaviour analysis, critical reflection and skill enhancement are the heart of the module. A special feature is the use of CCTV laboratories in the Communication Skills Centre of the University.
This module has been designed to enable students to develop their skills in designing, executing and writing up quantitative and qualitative research projects. It provides an important foundation for the final year Project.
The module introduces students to the role of political communication in the political process, and its impact on democracy. Students will examine various aspects of government communication and party-political communication, and address the relationship between politics, the media and the public. The module is structured around theories of democracy, the public sphere, public opinion, spin, celebrity politics and the normative category of deliberative democracy. Emphasis will be placed on the development of critical thinking. Assessment is by a coursework assignment (essay) and a two-hour exam.
This module offers a theoretical and practical insight into traditional, relational, cultural and network communication strategies used by organisations to address current challenges and achieve organisational goals. Such understanding forms the basis for an appreciation of a range of issues including challenges of leadership, organisational uncertainty and conflict, change and crisis management. Students undertaking the module will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to assess the effectiveness of strategies adopted by organisations and to offer proposals for improved communication, innovation and performance
Critical Perspectives in Public Relations
This module provides students with a professional and theoretical grounding in key debates surrounding public relations and its role in comtemporary society and an insight into specialised areas of public relations practice. These areas include media relations, crisis communication, political communication and public affairs, community relations and brand communications. Emphasis will be placed on the development of critical and strategic thinking. Assessment is by individual assignment and a group PR strategy document.
This module offers a theoretical and practical insight into the rapidly developing field of Public Affairs and Lobbying. It provides an opportunity to explore some of the key questions and issues facing academics and practitioners in the field and to examine how pressure/interest groups can strategically develop and manage their relationships with governmental stakeholders in order to successfully influence public policy.
This module is optional
The module considers the theoretical and conceptual trends that appear to be shaping future notions of the study of communication. The module extends the conceptual and theoretical appreciation of the student and enables them to engage with the disputes and debates out of which the future of the domain will emerge.
Groups, Identities and Relations
This module is optional
The module focuses on the study of inter-group communication and the way in which this relates to both personal identity processes and macro-level societal and cultural issues such as prejudice, discrimination and conflict. Throughout, there a strong emphasis on empirical research applications.
Metrics and Evaluation in Organisational Communication
This module is optional
The module presents students with a range of assessment and evaluation instruments currently in use in the measurement of communication and organisational behaviour. Students will develop their skills in analysing data, summarising their findings and presenting useful recommendations in a form that can assist in the achievement or organisational improvement.
The project enables students to apply methods and techniques to exending and applying their knowledge and understanding of Communication and allows them to further develop their conceptual, rational and creative thinking within the field of Communication. It incorporates all aspects of completing a research project, from topic selection through to writing up and builds upon research skills acquired in Years 1 and 2.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
Applicants should satisfy the University General Requirements e.g.
1. Provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE English Language grades A-C/ 4-9 or equivalent); and
2. Provide evidence of passes in five subjects, two of which must be at A level (grades A-E) and three at GCSE level* (grades A-C/4-9); or
3. Provide evidence of passes in four subjects, three of which must be at A level (grades A-E) and one at GCSE level* (grades A- C/4-9); or
4. Provide evidence of an approved qualification at an equivalent level such as a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma or Access to Higher Education qualification or equivalent; or
5. Provide evidence, for a process of formal accreditation by the University, of learning you have gained through work or other experience.
* GCSE English Language (grades A-C/4-9) may be used as part of the GCSE requirement.
You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language grade C or above (or equivalent).
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Teaching and learning assessment
Modules on the programme feature a strong link between learning, teaching and employment. A broad range of methods are used including, but not limited to, Face to face teaching, peer review, reflective practice, integration of theory and practice, strategy and evaluation projects, research projects/reports & placement. Content of modules and their assessment activities (including traditional essays, presentations, practical projects and groupwork) focus students on key concepts and ideas. The broad range of skills that are taught and assessed are transferable across the subject areas and most importantly into the professional context and future employment. In the classroom students are encouraged to present and debate ideas and observations in a rewarding environment, helping them to be socially and intellectually equipped for both their present and their future in the professional context and the wider community.
Exemptions and transferability
It is possible to transfer from a part-time to full-time mode of study. Students who are already studying part-time will apply via UCAS and be made an offer based on their performance on the programme.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
The BSc Hons Communication Management and Public Relations degree has been designed to match a host of new career developments in integrated communications, public relations, digital professions, politics, public affairs, broadcasting, management, and consultancy. Its broad and varied modules are appropriate for careers in the public, private and voluntary sectors, both local and international. The degree is built on the heritage of the BSc Hons Public Relations degree and BSc Hons Communication suite of degrees, which have developed a reputation for nurturing their graduates many of who now hold senior management positions locally, nationally and internationally.
In the School of Communication & Media we understand the importance of communication to personal and professional success. Communication is core to all of the subjects we offer, so no matter what course you choose, you will learn how to become a more effective communicator.
Employers consistently list ‘effective communication’ as the most desirable skill when recruiting. It’s therefore not surprising that many graduates from our Communication programmes enjoy senior roles in the public, private and not for profit sectors. While you may not know our graduates, you will certainly be familiar with the organisations they work for!
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
Scholarships, awards and prizes
The School of Communication and Media holds a prize giving ceremony every year to recognise students' academic achievement. Many of the prizes are sponsored by our Communication Industry Partners.
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Course Director: Mrs Kerry-Ann Porter
Admissions Contact: Amber Crozier
For more information visit
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