Media and Communication (Public Relations) - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (3 years)
September 2017

Intimately linked to industry, the Public Relations pathway provides you with the skills and knowledge that today’s PR professionals need in a fast-moving media environment.

The course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and provides plenty of opportunities to build contacts with some of the UK’s leading PR organisations, working on genuine campaigns and pitching ideas to clients.

What's covered in the course?

  • This course provides the key skills needed to develop a career in the fast-growing fields of public relations and promotion.
  • You will plan PR campaigns, using a wide range of tactics from media briefings to social media outreach, and take part in our PR students' conference, a major annual event attended by PR professionals and students.
  • With strong links to many influential media organisations, this course offers an industry-relevant blend of production, theory and professional studies.
  • In addition to core PR work, there will be an opportunity to develop related skills in other media, including journalism, print and web design, exhibition management and photography.
  • You will work on real-life PR campaigns, and pitch your ideas and proposals to clients and industry representatives.

"Our lecturers have strong links within the industry, not only here in Birmingham but with agencies and professionals across the UK meaning when it comes to looking for work experience, networking and even job hunting you’re in good hands. There’s a real sense of hands-on experience being just as important as theory and academia." Jodie Perkins, 2016-17

Why Choose Us?

  • The course provides excellent professional development in PR through close links with the industry across the Midlands and regular consultation with a panel of PR employers.
  • Our staff are established media professionals with a wealth of industry experience.
  • Student achievement is widely recognised: the CIPR Midlands Student of the Year award has been won by a student from this course every year since 2006.
  • Preparing you for the realities of media work and developing invaluable skills, our courses include compulsory industry placements (equivalent to 70 hours in your first year and 105 hours in your second).

This course is subject to approval

Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 19 November 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

This course is 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:

  • Birmingham City Council
  • Golley Slater Central
  • Willoughby PR

And in jobs such as:

  • Account Executive

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

Applicants will also need a good portfolio to bring to interview at an Applicant Visit Day. See Portfolio Guidance on the 'How to apply' tab.

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

112 UCAS tariff points from A Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2017/18
GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (112 UCAS points) - does not accept points from A/S Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including merit or higher in 18 credits at Level 3
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or can be combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM (112 UCAS points)
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
International Baccalaureate Diploma 14 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 112 points, including 4 higher level passes
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 112 points, including 3 higher level passes
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Pass plus grades BB at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2017/18
IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 14 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A Level, not including A/S Levels

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year

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.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Portfolio Guidance

We would like you to bring along some of your work which demonstrates your abilities and interest in the media. This will provide valuable support for your application and enable tutors to make a prompt decision. However, do not worry if the work you bring is not media-related as we are also looking for potential, creativity and enthusiasm.

We require you to bring the following:

An example of written work

(e.g. an academic essay or report. This does not have to be media-related) 

An example of your interest in the media

(e.g. details of any work experience you have undertaken in the media industry or a media-related hobby)

An example of any practical media work

(e.g. a video, website, article, some design work, radio work, photography or scripts you have produced)

Please ensure that any work you bring along is clearly labelled with your name and UCAS number.

Please note:

  • You may bring your portfolio on a memory stick providing the memory stick itself is well marked with your name AND the work on the memory stick is organised into a folder labelled ‘Applicant Day’.
  • Photographs MUST NOT be submitted on memory stick; all photographs must be printed and brought in to the Applicant Day as part of your portfolio.

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 specific courses. 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.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

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

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

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

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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

Year one

Modules include:
Researching the Media and Communication
40 credits

This module will introduce you to key theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches for the study of media texts (semester one) and media audiences (semester two).

Introduction to Media Contexts and Practice 1:Understanding Public Relations
20 credits

You will learn what PR is and how PR works, as well as how to devise and run a PR campaign. 

Introduction to Media Contexts and Practice 2
20 credits

You will choose one of the following modules:

  • Music Industry Landscapes
  • Television Production
  • Introduction to Web Development
  • Events and Exhibition Planning
  • Radio Production
  • Visual Communication 
  • Photography Skills
Professional & Academic Development
20 credits

This module includes study skills, social media presence, practical workshops, and a two-week placement.

Media Festival
20 credits

In this collaborative module you will produce media work around a particular theme.

Year two

Modules include:
PR in Context
20 credits

How PR impacts on society, ethics and globalisation.

Advanced Media Contexts and Practice: Advanced Media Content and Engagement
20 credits

Creating content for organisations and individuals, storytelling, and working with journalists to build awareness and manage reputations.

Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

This module includes study skills, social media presence, practical workshops, and a two-week placement.

Option 1
20 credits

In this module you will choose one research option from the following specialist topics:

Gender, Sexuality and the Body; Alternative Lifestyles (Pleasure, Leisure and Taboo); Comedy in the Media and Popular Culture; Perspectives on Community and Alternative Media; Race, Ethnicity and the Media; Media and Materiality; Fandoms and Subcultures; Communities of Practice: Culture, Heritage and Space (Events and Music Industries); Community and Activist Media; Film Cultures; Media Regulation and Censorship.

Option 2
20 credits

In this module you will choose one practical option from the following options:

Bi-Media Drama; Television Studio;  Branded Media Content; Radio Journalism and Documentaries; Campaigning/Activist Media; Music, Media and Digitalisation; Digital Content Distribution; Visual Communication: Traditions of Design; Music Industry Promotional Practices; Music Programming; Professional Photography and PR Planning and Delivery.

Live Project/ Collaborative Practice
20 credits

Choose from a range of projects, collaborating with students across the faculty, or working with external clients.

Year three

Modules include:
Major Project
60 credits

Either a dissertation on a  PR-related topic or a practical project (usually a campaign) devised for a PR client.

Promotional Culture
20 credits

Encourages a critical understanding of promotional and consumer culture by studying contemporary promotional practices, including corporate communications, brand management, advertising, online promotion and transmedia storytelling.

Professional Media Contexts and Practice: Communication Management
20 credits

How organisations communicate and what they should be doing to get their messages across more effectively. You examine the communication techniques and PR strategies that organisations use – or should be using – to enhance their credibility and reputation and to improve their day-to-day running. 

Professional and Academic Development
20 credits

Preparing you for a successful media career.

Across each of the undergraduate degree routes there is an equal emphasis on production, theory and professional and academic development.

The Professional and Academic Development strand of the course prepares you for at least two placements in a media or cultural industries organisation, such as the BBC, Maverick Television, Warwickshire County Cricket Club, newspapers, magazines, PR companies and local radio stations.

Teaching is conducted across a range of environments, including radio and TV studios, editing suites, a new media production suite, a newsroom, lecture theatres, seminar rooms and online.

You will use blogs, create wikis and other interactive media to support your work and self-development.

All staff at the School are established media professionals, who bring with them a range of expertise. They are able to recognise and respond to the rapidly changing demands of the media, ensuring that the course remains relevant to the industry.

The School maintains close contacts with a variety of media organisations, including Sky, BBC, Maverick Television and Future plc, and visiting tutors and guest speakers regularly hold master class sessions to enhance and enrich your learning.

Hours in the classroom

You will have up to 12 hours of contact time per week, plus additional studio time and directed study tasks.

Teaching breakdown

38 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
57 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
5 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

Classroom activities

Most classes will be a fluid mix of lectures, seminars and workshops, and you will often work in groups to come up with creative solutions to a wide range of PR challenges. You will learn research skills, and develop professional expertise in explaining and presenting your ideas.  You will constantly be looking out for and discussing real-life examples of PR activity that is designed to sell new products and change lifestyles, from promoting brands, helping charities or creating celebrity.  

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Further Study

As a School, we invest significantly in our postgraduate provision as we recognise that more specialist and professional courses are required across the media industry. Our postgraduate courses include MA Public Relations and MA Event and Exhibition Management.

See full list of our postgraduate media courses

Enhancing your employability skills

This course provides the key skills needed to develop a career in the fast-growing fields of public relations, marketing and advertising.

Students will learn about the media, which media to approach, and how to write and prepare material so that it succeeds. In addition to the core PR work, there will be an opportunity to develop related skills in other media, including journalism, print and web design and photography.

Exhibit This

Our third year students showcase their final year work at our Exhibit This event at the end of each academic year.

It offers a springboard for our graduates and a chance for industry to spot emerging talent.


The School strongly believes in the practical application of learning and is fortunate to have very strong links with employers and the media industry. Students on placements have worked with a wide range of organisations including the BBC, Maverick Television and Endemol.

More about our placement opportunities...


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.

Links to industry

Prominent PR professionals sit on an advisory panel to make sure our course is up to date and relevant to industry. Practitioners regularly give masterclasses and guest lectures, and our strong industry links ensure a wide range of placement and opportunities.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Our track record for graduate employment is excellent, with the majority of graduates going into a media-related role.

Each course opens up specific employability avenues related to the production route chosen. A high number of graduates have gone into producer/director roles, journalism, public relations, web development, freelance/own business.

Our third-year students showcase their final year work at our Exhibit This event at the end of each academic year. It offers a springboard for our graduates and a chance for industry to spot emerging talent.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

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.

Our Staff

Our teaching staff comprises specialists in their respective fields, including academics and industry professionals, all of whom are perfectly placed to offer a wealth of experience and knowledge. Birmingham School of Media students also benefit from access to high-profile guest speakers from across the industry.

A dynamic community that is responsive to the changing face of the media industry, Birmingham School of Media is the perfect starting point to your media career.

Kelly O’Hanlon

Senior Lecturer in PR

As the new Senior Lecturer in PR, Kelly is keen to give students real insight into the ways in which the media world is changing and how this is creating new and exciting pathways for public relations professionals. Passionate about the important role PR has to play and the creative opportunities this career provides, Kelly wants to ensure students become thinking practitioners who actively seek new ways to tell stories, and will continue nurturing her contacts to provide a close link between university study and the industry in practice.

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