Undergraduate study
Public Relations and Digital Communications

Public Relations and Digital Communications
BA (Hons)

P307 BA/PRDC (P309 BA/PRDCFY for Year 0 entry)

 
 
  • This course is available for January 2019 entry
 

Course overview

Public relations and digital communications - encompassing digital magazines, social and multimedia marketing, branding and advertising and corporate communications - has emerged not just as an area of creative media industry, but as a dynamic practice that is ubiquitous across all industries.

There is a need for a new generation of critical and creative thinkers and content producers, evidenced by growing job vacancies in the digital communications field. The BA (Hons) Public Relations and Digital Communications degree responds directly to the fluidity of the global media landscape. It covers content production skills, campaign design, creativity, project management, business understanding and effective team working, entrepreneurial approaches and leadership ability. 

You learn strategically as an agent of change through industry-led and standard projects and build a portfolio of practice and research. You devise strategies, creative solutions and produce quality exciting content, which communicates to audiences at local, national and global levels. 

 

Course details

Year 1 is mainly tutor-led. We provide you with the necessary underpinning to help you build broad public relations and digital communications knowledge and skills. You explore key concepts in areas including digital content and platforms, digital audience and multimedia public relations. You examine global media and communication in the context of public relations, developing skills in creative thinking and critical analysis. Alongside these subject specific skills, you develop your professional skills and employability skills, learning how to market yourself and your portfolio in this fast-paced industry.

Year 2 takes a more student-led approach with an emphasis on exploring your own interests and deepening your insights as well as having more responsibility for your own learning. During this year you develop a broader international perspective. You explore theories of promotional culture related to public relations and campaigns. You extend your knowledge of corporate communications and marketing in national and global markets.

The final year explores more advanced topics within public relations and digital communications. You investigate and evaluate emerging trends including global futures, celebrity culture and advertising. You have the opportunity to put your knowledge into action by undertaking a self-managed independent project in the Dissertation module, where you develop advanced professional practice through research and project management.

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Creative Media Production

You explore the basic technical components of the process of making video or audiovisual materials for outputs such as online publishing, documentary or drama. You are introduced to media languages and how to communicate clearly to target audiences.
The module is project based and you carry out writing, composition and editing of your own short video or online publication. You learn basic skills in risk assessment for technical equipment, filming, editing and using online resources.
Your assessment is the creation of a video in response to a brief and the submission of a written review.

Critical and Contextual Studies

You gain an historical and contextual overview of the history of art, animation, film and games. Aimed at technical, arts, games and animation students, this module equips you with an introductory level of understanding in the context of your chosen field of study.

Through a series of lectures and seminars, you engage in research and discussion based on your chosen areas of art, animation and game history. You learn how to effectively seek out appropriate academic sources on which to base and construct these discussions in seminars and in writing.

Foundation Project

You are guided through the production of a small-scale individual project, defined in part by you with guidance from your tutor. The foundation project guides you to a more autonomous working approach developing your project management skills and consolidating other skills already learnt in other modules.

You develop original ideas and concepts for the pre-production of an appropriate project in your chosen field of study. This may take the form of a game design document, modest game prototype, animation or game pre-production, concept art or another appropriate form related to the games, animation and film industries.

Storytelling

Here, you apply acquired knowledge and skills to a selected project according to an area of your individual interest or specialism. This module provides an overview of professional graphic practice and enables you to reflect on your own learning and personal career aspirations. You review work from modules through your portfolio presentation and set goals for the next stage.

Study Skills

You explore learning skills for undergraduate study at University, providing you with a range of learning material and practical sessions. You develop your professional skills including teamwork, researching a topic, report writing and delivering presentations, as well as time management and learning practice.
You learn by a combination of lectures, e-learning material and support.

You are introduced to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) at Teesside University, exploring e-learning material and reading lists, and student support and learning resources.

Your assessment is a portfolio based on set tasks, including research into set problems.

Understanding Media

You explore a range of contemporary media theories and ideas in their broader historical, social, cultural, technological and economic context. You learn how these contexts can help us understand the power and influence of the media and how to begin to read the media through identifying codes and conventions.
Your assessment is a short essay that researches one area of media production.

 

Year 1 core modules

Branding and Identity

This module looks at the ideas, concepts, and practicalities of developing a professional online presence. It takes a critical look at social media and considers how best to make use of existing online communities and tools. You design and create something that represents you in an online presence, using a range of available technologies and third-party applications (web authoring, blogging systems, social media, file sharing and networking systems), to act as a PR tool in promoting your career or specific media-related activities to a specified audience.

Digital Storytelling

This module builds on the skills learnt at Stage 1 in Multimedia acquisition, editing and production and further introduces the additional skills of still image acquisition and manipulation and animation for the web. These are explored in an interconnected way to critically examine the developing field of interactive narrative, in particular the professional practice of news production within this context.

Journalism and News Culture

You examine the media through the central themes of industry, audience and text, debating ideology in news production as well as the role of the public sphere, representation and bias

PR: Connect and Engage

PR is all about connecting and engaging with your audience and delivering a campaign with impact. You put theory in to practice and plan, implement and reflect on your own PR campaign.
You explore PR strategies and tactics across digital and social media platforms.
Your assessment is 100% ICA, with group project and reflection.

Principles of PR

You explore the key principles to develop in the growing fields of public relations and digital communications.
You explore key contemporary practices and procedures within public relations and communications. You develop a systematic and critical approach to the development of public relations. You also explore how new media has impacted on creating publicity as well as learning the art of reputation management.

Your assessment is 100% ICA.

The PR Practitioner

A PR practitioner is likely to encounter a number of ethical issues in industry. You are introduced to some of the main issues that may arise, how to deal with them effectively and how to avoid common pitfalls. Areas of focus include: conflicts of interest, honest, trust, transparency, confidentiality and social responsibility.

You explore the professional codes of conduct that all PR practitioners are expected to adhere to in the UK.
Your assessment is 20% ICA group presentation and 80% exam.

 

Year 2 core modules

Creativity in PR

You design and produce creative content. You develop your digital communication skills and capabilities allowing you to explore opportunities for campaigning for either the corporate, charitable or news sectors. You develop your technical skills to produce multimedia content with a focus on audio, video and interviewing techniques. You explore creative ways to develop compelling content suitable for specific audiences and platforms.

Your assessment is 100% ICA: digital portfolio.

Data & Social Media

You produce content for digital platforms. You explore writing and communicating with audience and audience engagement, social media optimisation, understanding the basics of data visualisation, branding, tools and techniques for infographics and campaign planning. You consider the dynamics of user experience and design through developing skills in the use of open source digital tools appropriate for PR and communication practitioners, journalists and content producers.

Your assessment is 100% ICA: campaign and report.

Global Journalism

You examine the way news media operates on a global scale. You explore the structures and characteristics of how journalism is defined and practiced around the world. You discuss global perspectives on key topics and issues relating to news media organisations, globalisation and news flows. You examine key theoretical issues relating to the notion of “global journalism” as a news style located within global communications infrastructure, and take a comparative look at journalism in different parts of the world. You focus on different types of representations of reality people get from media.

Your assessment is 100% ICA: essay.

Media: Truth and Lies

Fake news has been around longer than we think (Orson Welles invaded America with Martians on the radio over 70 years ago). This module helps you to understand how news can skew stories across a range of topics. You get the chance to create your own journalism portfolio where you approach stories from a myriad of different angles. Is the truth out there?

Professional Practice

You develop professional practice skills in concept art, through appraisal and evaluation of industry standards, culminating in an online presence and professional identity. You are encouraged to analyse and evaluate elements of professional practice and synthesise your findings into your own practice, demonstrating employment potential and future professional development.

The PR Campaign

You draw together theory and practice. Responding to, researching, developing and implementing a PR campaign on behalf of a ‘live’ client.

You work in small groups to develop an idea for a PR campaign and implement the ideas and analyse the results against a set of negotiated and agreed metrics.
Your assessment is 100% ICA: group campaign and report.

 

Final-year core modules

Advanced Professional Practice

Teesside University takes employability seriously and this module enables you to broach the gap between university and the workplace by preparing you for interview and job selection processes. As a third-year student you take on the role of editor for the print publication, TV news programme, and Tside radio show.

Celebrity Culture

From Kim Kardashian to Apple and Virgin you explore the concept of celebrity and brands. You critically evaluate and assess the power of celebrity and brand in today’s society. Looking at how celebrity culture influences how we present ourselves, our buying habits and behaviours. Understanding the psychology behind how brands, advertising and marketing works. You also look at reputational management and what as a PR practitioner you can to do in a crisis and look at the ‘Golden Hour’ in the digital age and the factors controlling facts and rumour.
Your assessment is 100% ICA: essay.

Digital Communications: Emerging Technology

You explore the diverse range of technologies, platforms and techniques existing and emerging designed to connect audiences, brands and content. Digital technologies include VR, AR, 360 photo, live streaming, blogging, vlogging, apps.

Through a series of ‘real world’ case studies and industry analysis, you identify and critically analyse the impact and consequences of digital technologies on the world of PR, media and digital communications.

Your assessment is 100% ICA: research portfolio and report.

Enterprise and Innovation

You consider, engage and analyse a range of key issues around enterprise and innovation when developing a professional digital publishing plan and pitch.

You research audiences, investigate and explore existing and emerging technologies and platforms, marketplaces, human factors, digital conventions and aesthetics. You develop your commercial awareness and business acumen; understanding existing and new digital business models, its challenges and opportunities. You develop an idea and plan for a new concept or an innovation based on an existing business.

You produce a detailed digital business plan, which presents and argues the case from a technical, audience, journalistic, content and commercial perspective.

Your assessment is 100% ICA: pitch and business plan.

PR & Digital Communications Project

You explore professional practice, business development and critical evaluation.

You work individually to produce creative work as a finished multimedia PR and digital communications campaign demonstrating skills in creative campaign planning, management, audio, video, layout, typography, web design and associated technologies.

You also produce an individual critical essay, examining a key issue of professional practice raised in the creative process.
Your assessment is 100% ICA: website and essay.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You learn through lectures, seminars, practical workshops, work-based activities and group work. Teaching staff adopt a range of web-based technologies to deliver module content, assess, provide feedback and communicate with you.

How you are assessed

You are assessed in a variety of ways including assignments, examinations, group work, presentations and live practical projects.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 80-104 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent), together with maths and English at GCSE, grade 4 (grade C) or above (or equivalent), or 64-80 for entry to Year 0 (Foundation Year).

We welcome applications from mature students without conventional entry requirements. We will take into account any alternative qualifications or other experience you may have.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

 

Employability

Work placement

Between Year 2 and your final year, you have the chance to spend a year in industry on placement, or study abroad at one of our partner institutions. Alternatively you can proceed on to the final year.

Career opportunities

Graduates from media and creative industries courses at Teesside University work in a range of digital communication roles, both across the North East and as far afield as Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. 

Roles include public relations, social media design, content production and marketing, digital magazine production and editing and corporate communications for companies as varied as Island Records, Sky Sports, public relations companies such as Harvey and Hugo, digital marketing companies such as Visualsoft, fashion brands and designers and in digital communication roles for major news brands.

Graduates from media courses have also set up their own companies, contributing directly to the UK digital economy.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2019/20 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£11,825 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years or 4 years including foundation year; January intake
  • UCAS code: P307 BA/PRDC
    P309 BA/PRDCFY for Year 0 entry
  • Typical offer: 80-104 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 

Choose Teesside

iPad

Are you eligible for an iPad, keyboard and £300 credit for learning resources?

 

Accommodation

Live in affordable accommodation right on-campus

 

Campus

Study in our town-centre campus with over £270m of recent investment

 

Industry ready

Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses

 

Get in touch

 
 

Facilities

Study media at Teesside University and you can use our convergent newsroom, broadcast news studio, multimedia publishing studios and computer suites.

 
 
 

Open days

17 November 2018
Undergraduate open day

Book now

 
 
 

Foundation year