Chartered Institute of Public Relations Professional PR Diploma - Diploma

Attendance:
Part Time
Starting:
October 2017
Campus:
Fees:
£2,990 for UK/EU Part Time 2017 entry (view all fees)

Develop your skills in Public Relations (PR) planning and integrated communications management with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Professional PR Diploma. Delivered part-time over one year, this course will boost your career and improve your decision-making and effectiveness at work.

You will gain a critical understanding of the issues facing PR practice in today’s society and the business community. This course offers excellent contact with creative workers and policy bodies, as well as regular guest lectures from industry leaders.

What's covered in the course?

Aimed at people with some experience as PR professionals, the Diploma focuses on strategic public relations and its role as an integral part of both public and private sector communications.

Studying for the CIPR Professional PR Diploma will give you the boost your career needs to take it to the next stage, helping you to develop your team more effectively and progress towards senior management levels. Taking an in-depth look at PR, you will learn to put theory into practice and apply the concepts you learn to your own sector.

The course is taught and assessed at the same level as a postgraduate degree. You will learn through three modules, taught over one year on a part-time basis, with individual tutor support by email and via the course’s online learning environment. The course is taught by academics and practitioners who are full members of the CIPR.

Class time will be based in the Millennium Point building on the City Centre Campus, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development. You will attend four two-day sessions (Fridays and Saturdays) from October to May.

Graduates with the Diploma feel it really improved their career prospects. Whether it is gaining a promotion, like Fiona Denning, who rose from Communications Assistant to Communications Specialist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, or the complete change of career you are looking for, the CIPR Professional PR Diploma offers the skills you need to get ahead in this highly competitive sector.

Why Choose Us?

  • This course offers regular guest speakers from industry leaders in PR and journalism, with excellent contact with creative workers and policy bodies globally.
  • You have the opportunity to contribute to real-world research projects and policy initiatives in the creative industries.
  • Birmingham School of Media saw 88 per cent of its 2011 postgraduate leavers in employment and/or further study within six months (DLHE survey), with 93 per cent of those achieving a graduate-level destination.

Fees

This course costs...

£2,990

This course is not open to International students
Birmingham School of Media

Discover the Birmingham School of Media

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Press Vine

And in jobs such as:

  • Pr Account Manager

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

You must have at least one of the following:

  • Postgraduate professional qualification in a related discipline, or a relevant MA, plus one year’s relevant full-time employment in PR.
  • Degree in business/marketing, plus one year’s relevant full-time employment in PR.
  • Any UK degree, plus two years’ experience in PR
  • CIPR Advanced Certificate in PR.
  • plus one year’s experience in PR.
  • Four years’ relevant full-time employment in PR and five GCSE passes, one of which must be in English Language.

If you feel that you haven't reached this level of study, please take a look at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Advanced Certificate, also offered by Birmingham City University. Or, if you feel you have already achieved this level, please take a look at the Masters in Public Relations.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Diploma Oct 2017 PT 1 year £2,990

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements

.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.

The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

View additional costs for this course

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Modules

The content of this course is determined by the CIPR.

PR Strategy and Planning

This Unit situates public relations within a strategic management framework, enabling critical and ethical examination of the role and responsibilities of the function, and senior practitioners, within a contemporary context. It considers practical challenges and conceptual underpinnings relating to public relations strategy and planning in a variety of situations and types of organisation. The importance of organisational and functional objectives is emphasised with a focus on research and analysis to support problem identification, stakeholder mapping and objective setting.

An analytical perspective is applied to encourage a reflexive approach to your own experience, considered alongside case studies of organisations and scenarios. 

PR Content, Communications and Engagement

This Unit focuses on PR strategies involving content, communications and engagement. It investigates the contemporary media landscape and helps you to develop creative solutions, create and curate multimedia content, and apply communications concepts to a variety of situations facing a range of organisations.

A professional approach emphasises the importance of ethical practice, maintaining trust, reputation management, and informed judgement. You are encouraged to draw on your own experience as well as reflecting on case study examples of campaigns and strategic practice. 

PR Management, Measurement and Evaluation

This Unit concentrates on performance improvement in respect of the management, measurement and evaluation of professional PR practice. It offers critical examination of the effectiveness of public relations strategies, campaigns and programmes. Principles relating to accountability, socio-cultural considerations, ethical practice and continuous professional development will be applied. You will be able to examine your own processes and practices a well as reflecting on case study examples.

Course Structure

This course is designed to fit around your working life, delivered in a series of intensive sessions across one year. It requires 48 hours of class contact, into four two-day teaching blocks throughout the year. You will study independently for five to six hours per week throughout the course.

We will teach you the theory of public relations so you can use this knowledge to enhance your professional skills. You’ll learn the ethical and societal context in which public relations operates as a developing discipline, accompanied by practical skills in campaign management and evaluation, as well as engagement with traditional and social media. Through workshops with visiting practitioners and research in recommended texts, you will gain an understanding of the principles of PR which will greatly improve your decision-making skills and effectiveness at work.

Assessment methods

Class contact consists of 48 hours provided in teaching blocks throughout the year in the Birmingham School of Media. In addition, you would be expected to spend approx five-six hours per week on independent study over the length of the course. You will also have access to a website where you can contact your tutor and fellow students at any time.

At set times throughout the course you will submit three items of coursework for assessment, reflecting each of the three assessed units. These consist of:

  • An executive report and situational analysis based on a case study
  • A thought leadership article for a business publication
  • A management proposal outlining recommendations for performance improvement in a chosen organisation

Further Information

The content of this course is determined by the CIPR. Please visit the CIPR website for detailed information about the course syllabusreading list and course regulations.

Further study

If you wish to further your studies when you have successfully completed the CIPR Diploma, you may apply for a 60-credit exemption against the 180-credit MA in Public Relations.

Student stories Fiona Denning

Working for NHS

Fiona Denning is a multiple graduate of Birmingham City University. After graduating with her first degree, BA (Hons) Media and Communication, Fiona’s career got off to a flying start, taking responsibility for city centre communications for the West Midlands Police. Keen to make more of her skills Fiona soon returned to the university to improve her career prospects with a part-time CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relation) postgraduate diploma. It was a commitment that certainly paid off.

Enhancing your employability skills

The Diploma enables you to analyse and critique a range of public relations theories and concepts, and apply them to practice. This aids your decision-making skills and effectiveness at work.

Giving you the necessary skills to lead a team more effectively, you will leave the course with the knowledge and understanding you need to progress towards senior management and work at board level.

You’ll have the chance to learn from experts in PR and journalism during our annual series of PR Masterclasses, when leading guest speakers come to the university to share their experience.


Student Stories

Michael Howard Graduate Profile

Michael Howard
Owner at Michael Howard Communications & Marketing

I decided to do the CIPR diploma after 12 years in PR and 25 years after I did my National Council for the Training of Journalists pre-entry qualification. Journalism is famously a trade, not a profession, but the route into PR is so well trodden that it’s possible to forget that there’s no qualification at all to cross to “the dark side”.

I considered doing the diploma after a few years with a PR agency but was worried at the amount of work it would involve at a time I had young children. I was then able to move to more senior roles using my experience and the excellent “on the job” training I had received. The CIPR did not seem directly relevant to my work.

The experience of being made redundant at the end of 2014 and looking for new jobs, however, made me realise the value of a solid grounding to my professional practice. So much PR is done on the basis of instinct and experience of what works, but without the theory of why it works or the evidence to show its value, I found. To make the case for PR around the executive table, practitioners need both their instinct and their evidence. On a personal level I also needed something extra to differentiate myself from other job applicants. So I signed up for the diploma at Birmingham City University. The eight teaching days were good and our tutor Alison Theaker guided our small group through the syllabus with plenty of challenge.

The course guide warns to expect to do around 10 hours a week of self-directed study and more at the time of assignments. That’s probably about right and it’s certainly substantially more when approaching an assignment deadline. Maybe it was just that it’s been a long time since I was at university, but I found the academic reading and writing hard work. Harvard referencing and the style of writing is so very different from what I’ve done in the workplace.

I arranged with my employer, an NHS organisation, to work four days a week to help me manage and allow a few hours off at weekends. They were supportive and it helped that a couple of colleagues had done the diploma and understood what I was going through. After getting pass grades in my first two assignments I was feeling that post graduate study was perhaps not for me, but I was determined to pass and so put all my effort into the final research project.

It took some tough questions and critique from Alison to get a subject that was suitable and manageable. It was an immense amount of work to identify the people in group I wished to study, plus doing the literature review and the analysis. However, the effort was rewarded with a good response and willing participation.

Like any journalist, I work to a deadline and I spent the final two weeks before submission analysing, drafting, writing and looking for further information until it was done. I was utterly stunned nearly three months later to have the work graded as a clear distinction, lifting my overall grade to a merit.

I’m onto my next contract now and I’ve been able to use the skills gained from my diploma there. The ability to understand PR theory, develop strategy, carry out research and use evidence is all of practical use to me. More than that, however, I think I’ve learned that it’s not good enough simply to learn new skills in the workplace and adapt to a fast changing world. To be really on top of your game you need to constantly challenge yourself and understand that instinct, experience and even past success are not enough. You need to set your own practice in a framework of professional knowledge and keep learning from others who share the same approach.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Graduates from the course instantly see their career prospects improve along with their ever-advancing skills. Following the course, past students have gone on to exciting positions such as PR Account Manager at Press Vine.

Others have seen their prospects improve in the form of a promotion. Fiona Denning, a multiple graduate from the university, was promoted from Communications Assistant to Communications Specialist for the NHS at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham after completing her CIPR Professional PR Diploma. She attributes this to the strategic focus and confidence in her communication abilities that the course gave her.

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

Birmingham School of Media is recognised as a key centre of excellence in interactive media training, television production and education by Creative SkillSet, the UK Sector Skills Council for the audio visual industries.

State-of-the-art facilities

You will learn in our state-of-the-art facilities - including the £62m fully-digital Media Centre - located on the City Centre Campus. You will enjoy access to extensive studio and workshop space including four TV studios, six radio studios and broadcast-standard edit suites, as well as cutting-edge equipment and software.

Facilities include the largest TV floor of any university in the UK, a ‘green screen’ and the MILO motion control camera - we are one of just two universities in Europe to offer MILO technology.

Our four broadcast-standard edit suites are based on the industry-standard Avid editing system, used in almost all films and the majority of UK television. Two of the suites are specialised for Audio Finishing and Colour Grading. Our six digital radio studios are all linked an equipped with the best news and production software.

You will have access to our full broadcast-standard dubbing suites, which are based on a multi-layered ProTools desk and can dub both film and TV with up to 120 simultaneous sound sources. We also have an ADR (Additional Dialogue Recording) booth and the ability to record Foley (additional live sound).

The Parkside Building

The Parkside Building has been designed to maximise light and encourage collaboration between artists and students. It is the perfect setting for the workshops and teaching spaces of our design courses, as well as the state-of-the-art media centre for the advanced teaching facilities of Birmingham School of Media.

All this ensures that The Parkside Building offers a first class learning environment and a true central location for students in Birmingham City Centre.

Philip Young

Senior Lecturer

A Senior Lecturer for Public Relations at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, Philip has significant experience as an award-winning journalist and owner of a successful PR company.

Before joining Birmingham City University in 2015, Philip previously taught at the University of Sunderland, where he organised and spoke at several innovative PR conferences, which introduced almost 1,000 practitioners to social media. He has been investigating the impact of social media on PR since 2005, as a lead researcher on the pioneering EuroBlog project, as well as being a co-author of Online Public Relations.

Philip has also previously taught at Lund University in Sweden, as well as participating in conferences and talks in Poland, Belgium and Germany.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295