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Undergraduate study
Public Relations and Digital Communications

Public Relations and Digital Communications
BA (Hons)

P307 BA/PRDC (P309 BA/PRDCFY for Year 0 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 the 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. 

Discover what it would be like to study one of these degree subjects and get advice on careers in the industry with one of our interactive sTUdio12 sessions.

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.

Design and Creativity

You develop your design and drawing styles, essential for the creative development of interesting and innovative visual solutions.

You are guided through a range of techniques and encouraged to push your ideas and designs in alternative directions, expanding your creative thinking and developing your ideas in new ways.

You produce a range of visual images and worksheets to develop your drawing and image-making styles and process. Throughout the module, you are encouraged to experiment with a variety of drawing and mark-making media and techniques.

You are also encouraged to make connections between seemingly unrelated beginnings and outcomes with briefs that allow creative freedom and broad interpretation.

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Final Project

This module aims to guide you through the production of a small-scale individual project defined in part by you, with guidance from the tutor. The final project aims to develop an individual working approach and good project management. You will develop original ideas and concepts for an appropriate project in your chosen field of study. These may take the form of a short story, artefact, report, campaign, comic, concept art or other appropriate form related to the arts and media 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

Bootcamp Post Production

You develop general digital production skills with an additional focus on post-production. The module enhances effective practical, technical and aesthetical approaches required to create a variety of digital media artefacts across a variety of digital delivery platforms with more relevance to the subject specific disciplines. You learn a variety of advanced sector specific and industry standard digital delivery methods and production techniques surrounding the acquisition, manipulation and operation of media production hardware and software applications. You also have access to freelance resources during the module. You are assessed on two pass/fail components. The first assessment involves a series of practical exams that determine your proficiency across a range of digital media production disciplines. The second is a digital portfolio of the culmination of work developed during the module.

Bootcamp Production

You are introduced to effective practical, technical and aesthetical approaches required to create a variety of digital media artefacts across a variety of digital delivery platforms. You learn a variety of sector specific and industry standard digital delivery methods and production techniques surrounding the acquisition, manipulation and operation of media production hardware and software applications. In addition to the supervised contact time, you also have access to freelance resources. You are assessed on two pass/fail components. Your first assessment is a series of practical exams that determine your proficiency across a range of digital media production disciplines. Your second assessment is a digital portfolio of work developed during the module.

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.

Convergent Cultures

We are all fans of something, and with the development of multimedia platforms for media products such as Game of Thrones and The Avengers, audiences don’t just watch a film anymore, they get involved in all areas of that world. This module explores areas of audience interaction, extreme fandom, and the results of immersing ourselves in the various media multi-verses.

Introduction to Media Theory

Media theory provides the foundations of understanding on how any form of moving image media communicates meaning. You explore what media theory is and further your understanding of a moving image text using canonical analytical codes. You are introduced to critical theory and the technical processes of writing analytical work such as essays. Your assessment is producing an essay, critically analysing a chosen moving image text through the application of media theory.

Reporting and Newsgathering

You are introduced to the core journalistic skills of news reporting and news gathering in the digital landscape. You focus on different styles of writing, interviewing and research and industry level production skills with some exploration of usability and design for news audiences.

You explore news values, agenda-setting and the availability and usability of digital tools and techniques such as social media and imagery. You explore ways to cultivate and develop contacts, effectively utilising sources in the gathering, communication and dissemination of news in developing your own journalistic practice.

 

Year 2 core modules

Advertising for the Creative Industries

We are bombarded with advertising material all day, usually not even realising it – this paragraph is advertising this module for example. In this on-demand, digital world, how we understand and are made aware of advertising has never been more important. You create an ad campaign, and also analyse a range of meanings (sometimes hidden) across a range of media platforms.

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 and Social Media in PR

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 Project

You work on industry-based projects that form part of your developing professional portfolio of work. You respond to time-based and/or live briefs in your allocated role within a professional network or team. You experience working within a professional network, reflecting your specialist area of media industry practice. For assessment, you submit a final product and a supporting research portfolio.


 

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 and Promotional 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.

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.

Final 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 provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
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

Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

For additional information please see our entry requirements

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 enrolment adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2020/21 academic year

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

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years or 4 years with a foundation year
  • UCAS code: P307 BA/PRDC
    P309 BA/PRDCFY for Year 0 entry
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

Apply now through Clearing

 

Part-time

2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 6 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

 
  • On video

    TV and film production summer internship

    V and film production student Sophie Biggerstaff talks about her summer internship at Tees Valley Sport

     
 
 
 

Facilities

ExpoTalent is a unique opportunity to meet businesses to secure placements, internships and future employment opportunities.

 

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

 

Open days

 
 
 

Foundation year

Part-time

Part-time DiscoverUni data