Course Information

BA (Hons)

BA (Hons)

Select year of entry:
3-4 Years School of English and Journalism Lincoln Campus [L] Validated BCC (or equivalent qualifications) P210 3-4 Years School of English and Journalism Lincoln Campus [L] Validated CCC (96 UCAS Tariff points) (or equivalent qualifications) P210

Introduction

The BA (Hons) Public Relations degree at Lincoln provides opportunities for students to learn a strategic approach to PR and benefit from an integrated multimedia approach to communications. The course draws on the disciplines of storytelling, crisis management, events and campaigning.

The programme aims to develop written and verbal skills to give students the opportunity to become confident communicators, prepared to face the challenges of fast-paced modern public relations work. Students can work with multimedia technologies including video, audio and online material, and study how social media can be a volatile but powerful platform to reach large audiences.

Accreditations

The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and is a partner University of the Public Relations Consultants Association. These close relationships with the industry’s two main professional bodies aims to ensure that Lincoln students benefit from opportunities to undertake additional training or work placements with potential graduate employers.

Is This Course Right For Me?

This course is suitable for students who have an interest in communications. A varied range of industries use PR, from fashion to timber suppliers, banks to hospitals, sports organisations to wildlife charities, politics to theatre.

How You Study

The first year aims to introduce students to the breadth of public relations disciplines. Students will have the opportunity to cover academic theory through modules in communication in society, democracy and bureaucracy, while learning key components of public relations practice, including copywriting, design and multiplatform media skills.

The second year aims to apply learning to the real world and help students to decide which area of PR, such as commercial, not-for-profit or the public sector, suits them best. This is followed by an optional professional practice year or three months in a paid work placement of your choice. Costs relating to the latter can be found on the Features Tab.

The final year provides students the opportunity to include in-depth study in an area of PR that especially interests them, as well as modules on PR strategy.

There are opportunities for further study through additional events and outside speakers as well as free access to the CIPR and PRC webinars that provide industry specific skills training and updates.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Contact hours may vary for each year of a degree. When engaging in a full-time degree students should, at the very least, expect to undertake a minimum of 37 hours of study each week during term time (including independent study) in addition to potentially undertaking assignments outside of term time. The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, work placements, research and one-to-one learning.

University-level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two - three hours in independent study.

Please see the Unistats data, using the link at the bottom of this page, for specific information relating to this course in terms of course composition and delivery, contact hours and student satisfaction.

How You Are Assessed

Assessment varies according to the module being studied but is generally portfolio, coursework and practical applications. There will be some assessments by examination and some group assessments.

At final level there are individual tutorials to help students with their dissertations and project work.

Some assessments require the student to build an online personality that will supplement their CVs when seeking work experience and employment.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above)..

Methods of Assessment

The way students will be assessed on this course will vary for each module. It could include coursework, such as a dissertation or essay, written and practical exams, portfolio development, group work or presentations to name some examples.

For a breakdown of assessment methods used on this course and student satisfaction, please visit the Unistats website, using the link at the bottom of this page.

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

What We Look For In Your Application

Curiosity, energy, interest and enthusiasm. You will need good communication skills, both written and verbal. English, Sociology, History, Business Studies and Politics are preferred A Level subjects, but not requirements.

Staff

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

For a comprehensive list of teaching staff, please see our School of English and Journalism Staff Pages.

Entry Requirements 2017-18

GCE Advanced Levels: BCC

International Baccalaureate: 28 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: A minimum of 45 level 3 credits at merit or above will be required.

In addition, applicants must have a minimum of three GCSEs (or the equivalent) at grade C or above, to include English.

We encourage applications from mature students and will give individual consideration to those in this category without the standard entry requirements.

Students whose first language is not English will also need a British Council IELTS band 6.0 or above or equivalent.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk.

Level 1

Communication in Society (Core)

This module offers an introduction to the communication industry, following a theoretical and historical pathway to understand the current workings in mass communications. Students examine the development of various types of media communication and fundamental models and debates that have emerged in the attempt to account for them in a modern, Western cultural context. Access to 'means' of communication, the development of various genres of communication and the impact of digital revolutions on our 'information society' are also explored.

Effective Copywriting and Design (Core)

In this module, students will be expected to develop the critical abilities to judge the effectiveness of public relations writing, through analysis and evaluation of a variety of different texts and their graphical context. Such texts will include newspaper and magazine articles, and other specific public relations examples including brochures, press releases, newsletters, websites, and more. Students will have the opportunity to apply and interpret readability tests to their own writing and that of others, and will consider the legal constraints (including copyright, libel, defamation) on what can properly be stated or alleged.

Integrated Communication (Core)

The more we understand about how people communicate, the better position we shall be in to manage an organisation’s messages. This module encourages students to understand a range of core communication models and theories so that they might analyse the likely impact of media messages on target audiences. A crucial aspect of this module is the discussion of integrated communications and how the disciplines of advertising, marketing and public relations fit together.

Introduction to Business Finance (Core)

This module is designed to provide an introduction to basic business finance for non-specialist students. The module explores the essential elements of business finance, which are required for a career in business, in any discipline.

Introduction to Public Relations (Core)

This module is designed to provide a broad introduction to corporate public relations (PR), including the role of PR within corporate life and in particular, the assurance of an organisation’s reputation. It is designed for students with no previous experience or knowledge of public relations and the professional activities of practitioners.

There are typically two main areas of study:

  • The context of public relations
  • The practice of public relations to meet objectives.

Multiplatform Media Skills for Public Relations (Core)

In this module students are introduced to the editorial and production skills required for multiplatform production in the increasingly converged media environment. Areas include organisational story telling and output production for radio and television with, as the module progresses, increasing attention given to related online content. During the module, students will work in a production workshop environment with all tasks performed under appropriate time constraints. By bringing the professional environment into the workshop the students can experience the pressures of operating as a public relations practitioner across a range of broadcast and web-based media. Core skills of portable recording, editing, story telling and writing for broadcast can be developed through the module, incorporating interviewing techniques, story selection and editing processes, and audio/visual illustration.

Public Administration 1: Democracy and Bureaucracy (Core)

Students need to understand how legislation is drafted and enacted in the UK and how journalism – the Fourth Estate – effects a check on Government and Parliament(s). This involves a study of the political, democratic and administrative structure of Parliament, government, local government and EU institutions. The module also examines how local government services are delivered around the UK, in the absence of a uniform structure and the emergence of various experimental models. Issues such as public accountability, consultation, responsibilities and decision-taking mechanisms are also studied.

Level 2

Campaign Structures and Components (Option)

Effective campaigning and the structural processes of campaign extension are key components of 21st Century PR practice.

Building on the Level 1 Effective Copywriting and Design module, this unit will introduce new areas of theory and of practical and creative application.

This module considers harnessing a professionally literate visual element to a coherent and integrated PR offer. It will look at such things as speech writing and presentations; exhibitions and events; press conferences and briefings; webcasts and podcasts; ‘news spotting’ and ambush marketing; and cultural referencing.
It will also introduce some of the corporate necessities such as annual reports and prospectuses that students will study in depth in Level 3.

This unit will therefore analyse and critique some existing campaigns and corporate endeavours and set workshop tasks and challenges to construct a sense of cultural and promotional values.

  • Semiotics and visual languages
  • Press conferences, briefings
  • Photo calls and media events
  • Exhibitions and roadshows
  • News Spotting, Ambush Marketing and viral campaigns
  • Speech writing and presentation protocols
  • Consumer culture as a PR reference point

Communicating in the Public Sphere (Core)

Communicating in the Public Sphere is about the process of engaging citizens and voters in the practical as well as the ideological aspects of public administration, it touches on many aspects of political (with a small 'p') communications.

An initial grounding in Public Administration for PR practitioners and journalists will have been offered in the first year; this module builds on that. It looks at the relationship between the citizen (voter), the established political order and the media.

The PR professional needs not only to have a full grasp of the communications techniques open to the 21st C practitioner but also to be aware of the need for impartiality, balance and openness in dealing with public communications.

Well managed, well directed and reliable two-way communications between the politicians and their constituents, via whichever media is appropriate, could be the key to countering the 'democratic deficit' of fewer people voting at elections.

As party politics becomes less engaging, citizens and voters are increasingly politically active on issues that motivate them.

This module will look at the mainstream communications methods, mechanisms and messages but also at the alternative political communications communities.

It addresses issues such as media relationships with officials, representatives, and politicians and examines limitations on, and opportunities for, the reporter to obtain information that institutions prefer the public not to know.

Students can look at examples, case studies and reporting trends to assess the function of reporters and media organisations in presenting these important areas of public concern to their audiences.

Community Engagement (Core)

Community engagement is the process by which businesses and individuals build ongoing relationships with the purpose of achieving a collective vision for the benefit of a community. This increasingly important aspect of Public Relations can prove challenging as both persuasion and influence techniques are required. During this module, students will have the opportunity to evaluate current communication techniques used in persuasion, negotiation and counselling (eg neuro-linguistic programming and transactional analysis).

Essential Law for Public Relations (Core)

Today’s Public Relations operates through multiplatforms of sound and vision, thus students need to understand the essential legal and ethical responsibilities associated with multiplatform communication, working with journalists and with the news agenda.

Students will have the opportunity to examine a range of different audiences and channels of communication from tweets, blogs, news media and speeches to weighty consultation and strategy documentations to justify policies.

Students will also have the chance to develop an understanding of the legal issues around reputation as an essential skill for a PR journalist. A PR professional must have a basic understanding of contract law and of the legal rights and responsibilities of freelancers.

Event Management (Option)

This module provides an insight into the strategic management of events of all sizes and types. The module provides a framework of the event planning process, using short and long-term strategies and an overview of operational strategies. Students are expected to organise an event of their own in this module and all that it entails. The event is assessed from conception through to operation and evaluation.

Public Relations in Organisational Communications (Core)

The module considers the role of Public Relations (PR) in the context of the changing nature of communication between organisations and their publics. The rapidly evolving technological context that is transforming the environment within which communication takes place is of particular concern to communication. Technological change has also had a social impact in terms of individuals' use of media, access to information and social interaction that all have implications for communication. Through completion of the module students can begin to plan and evaluate the contribution of PR within an integrated communications campaign strategy and develop their skills in presenting and defending their ideas within a realistic context.

Public Relations Organisations and People (Core)

Effective management of PR does not depend on luck; there are Codes of Conduct for practitioners to follow and the typical client / consultant relationship is usually organised into a Contract. This module will look at Public Relations and how it works as a business in its own right, together with how it works as a function of other businesses in order to provide students with a clear image of the establishment, structure and style of a PR consultancy, linked to the professional processes that go on within the business. As well as the world of PR consultancies, this unit will consider and discuss the role of PR within an organisation, considering the similarities and differences between the structure and performance of consultancy and in-house PR resources. One activity that may be embarked upon as part of this module is be the selection of a specialist external consultancy for a particular job.

Research Skills and Practice (Core)

The main aim of this module is to encourage students to consider the relationships between the media and audiences, to ask critical questions relevant for their field of study, and to choose the right method to answer them. It introduces qualitative research methods for communications and guides students through the practical dimensions of conducting a research project into media audiences. In order to help students to understand basic research methods commonly used in communication and media studies and their limits this unit will include discussions on contemporary critiques of these methods, as well as their ethical and philosophical dimensions. Students will examine the multidisciplinary character of these methods and their historical origins in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and psychology. The contribution of literary criticism, history and economy to what is often referred to as 'critical analyses' of contemporary cultural production and reception will be also a matter of discussions.

Level 3

Brand and Reputation (Option)

This module will explore what is meant by 'brands' and 'branding', and students will come to realise that brands and branding are a necessary part of people’s lives, as well as major contributory factors in the on-going success of organisations. This module aims to provide a solid understanding and application in the strategies of global brand management and the impact on reputation. Key branding concepts such as brand identity, brand image, brand positioning and brand equity will be explored and supported by brand insights that will provide clear insights and illustrations of branding strategies in action. Key skills and theories of brand management will be presented and discussed within the context of a global brand management environment. Students can gain an appreciation of the role of brand strategy within a corporation’s operating plan.

Creativity in Public Relations (Option)

Creativity is a crucial element in the PR practitioners toolkit as the industries of advertising and PR are becoming more closely aligned.

Different ways of attracting the attention of clients, target audiences, stakeholders and journalists need to be embraced as we communicate in increasingly noisy environments.

Using traditional and digital/social media to best effective requires a deep understanding of effective writing and what makes eye catching and excellent design.

This module aims to bring together elements potentially studied in the first two years and in brand and reputation.

This module examines the way PR teams work with creative disciplines – designers, writers and creative advertising. Students have the opportunity to attain knowledge and skills to effectively draw up a creative brief and manage its delivery.

Digital Communications (Option)

Students have the opportunity look at the history of the internet and at some of the underlying technology and web page design. Furthermore, they can potentially explore content-management systems, SEO, data journalism and data- base driven websites. Consideration is given to the strategic use of websites and how these can link with blogs, social media and current digital communications tools as part of a long term integrated PR strategy. Image optimisation will be covered involving the use and understanding of software such as Photoshop to ensure efficient and correct use of image data.

Independent Study (Public Relations) (Core)

The dissertation is a major independent piece of work intended to develop a student’s ability to actively engage with core disciplinary issues. The dissertation focuses on analysis, synthesis and critique and combines critical approaches to public relations with practical application through case studies. Hence, it encourages students to apply key theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues in writing a dissertation.

The module challenges the students to pull together the research skills acquired throughout their studies and particularly from the second year module ‘Research Skills and Practice’, make use of a body of literature and reflect upon the link between theory and practice.

Internal Communications (Option)

Internal Public Relations involves more than employee communications and is an essential aspect of most (perhaps even all) PR programmes.

In particular students have the opportunity to consider ethical aspects of Internal Public Relations and distinguish the role of Internal Public Relations from that of related fields such as Human Resource Management and internal publicity.

Roots of Cultural Conflict: The historical origins of contemporary world challenges (Option)

This module provides an opportunity to examine and analyse recent and ongoing international news stories in a cultural and historic context.

Themes will include colonialism, conflicting cultural and religious world-views, economic paradigms, construction of national identity, cultural stereotyping, public health initiatives, poverty, the impact of NGOs and foreign aid, and the significance of a free press.

The module will begin with a brief overview of western colonialism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but will then focus on more recent developments, exploring the nature and consequences of clashes in cultural world views and the impact of globalization.

Strategic Corporate Public Relations (Core)

This module considers Strategic Corporate Communication as a means of engendering trust and building reputation in key aspects of corporate activity, in particular in Investor Relations.

It considers strategically vital concerns of corporate management at the highest level, in particular Corporate Governance and other institutional, social, political and technological issues that have a direct effect on the cost and availability.

Modern media techniques and pressures have been to the fore in the recent fiscal crises as has the relationship between commercial and political interests and imperatives. This relationship will be described and developed as part of a wider understanding that strategic communications is not just a commercial or fiscal priority, especially in difficult times.

The Professional Practice Year (Option)

This module is aimed at those students who have decided to take a year out of formal studies to gain accredited work experience and are registered on a degree programme with an accredited professional practice element. The Professional Practice Year aims to give students a continuous experience of full-time work within an organisation; normally this should be paid work.

It should be a three way co-operative activity between employer, student and University from which all parties benefit. Students can choose to pursue a variety of options including a placement year, a consultancy project or a work-based dissertation. Potential costs relating to this module are outlined in the Features tab.

Values, Issues and Crisis Management Counselling (Core)

PR operates in a cultural or social context and the range of problems faced by the organisations represented often present as issues with a potential to become part of the media and public policy agendas and with the potential to have a direct positive or negative impact on the reputation of an organisation.

The management of the PR aspects of such issues is part of the PR practitioner’s professional remit. Crises that have the capacity to impact on the reputation of an organisation are often closely associated with issues and also need managing.

The study of issues leads students into the study of the PR implications of crises that seriously threaten an organisation. Some crises are the result of mismanaged issues but others are not, such as the aftermath of a natural disaster, terrorist attack, a quality control failure in a production line, a passenger aircraft crash or a hostile takeover bid.

Again, the contribution of PR is to the work of a management team reporting to the highest level. Successful crisis management enables the PR practitioner to establish their value to the organisation at the highest level. On a personal level it has the potential make or break a CEO’s or PR practitioner’s own reputation.

The module offers students the opportunity to develop a theoretical and practical understanding and application of digital communications used within Public Relations including: design and writing for web sites; blogs and social media: and to make them aware of some of the implications of this medium for PR.

†The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Special Features

Professional Experience

Students have the option of working with the University of Lincoln’s fully integrated student-run PR agency, which undertakes live pro bono briefs. Cygnet PR provides opportunities for students to work with local businesses, student organisations and charities on fundraising, live blogging, event organisation and business development.

ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD

Students on this course will receive a licence for Adobe Creative Cloud free of charge.

Placements

Placement Year

When students are on an optional placement in the UK or overseas or studying abroad, they will be required to cover their own transport and accommodation and meals costs. Placements can range from a few weeks to a full year if students choose to undertake an optional sandwich year in industry.

Students are encouraged to obtain placements in industry independently. Tutors may provide support and advice to students who require it during this process.

Student as Producer

Student as Producer is a model of teaching and learning that encourages academics and undergraduate students to collaborate on research activities. It is a programme committed to learning through doing.

The Student as Producer initiative was commended by the QAA in our 2012 review and is one of the teaching and learning features that makes the Lincoln experience unique.

Facilities

The single PR degree course is based in the Media, Humanities and Performance building, where there are seven newsrooms with multi-platform media equipment and resources.

At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

View our campus pages [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/ourcampus/] to learn more about our teaching and learning facilities.

Career Opportunities

Recent graduates have secured roles with major agencies such as 33 Digital, Red Consultancy and Fire PR and won places on prestigious graduate schemes at companies such as Sony. Others have gone on to communications roles with organisations, including GlaxoSmithKline in Hamburg. Some have continued with postgraduate study.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with students to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during their time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing a course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise our graduates future opportunities.

The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages for further information. [http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/studentsupport/careersservice/]

Additional Costs

For each course students may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on their subject area. Some courses provide opportunities for students to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and meals may be covered by the University and so is included in the fee. Where these are optional students will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay their own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that students are required to read. However, students may prefer to purchase some of these for themselves and will therefore be responsible for this cost. Where there may be exceptions to this general rule, information will be displayed in a section titled Other Costs below.

Related Courses

The BA (Hons) Advertising and Marketing degree at Lincoln offers the opportunity to develop the creativity, knowledge and skills to deliver successful global campaigns, in preparation for a career in the creative industries.
The BSc (Hons) Events Management degree at Lincoln aims to help aspiring events professionals to develop their creativity, organisational skills and practical problem-solving abilities while building a critical understanding of the theory behind successful events.
On the BA (Hons) Journalism degree students are encouraged to put journalistic theory into practice and have opportunities to produce news content to a professional standard while exploring the ethical and legal considerations of the industry.
The BA (Hons) Journalism and Public Relations degree aims to cover topics that are essential for communications professionals to develop analytical techniques and problem-solving abilities, as well as the cross-disciplinary skills needed for a career in journalism and public relations.
The BA (Hons) Marketing Management degree offers students the opportunity to develop an understanding of marketing techniques and the processes applicable to a wide range of business types and sectors. There is an international focus on developments in the industry, such as the emergence of new technologies and product and service innovation. The importance of digital marketing is acknowledged throughout the programme and students get the opportunity to develop digital skills from the first year.

Introduction

The BA (Hons) Public Relations degree at Lincoln provides opportunities for students to learn a strategic approach to PR and benefit from an integrated multi-media approach to communications. The course draws on the disciplines of storytelling, crisis management, events and campaigning.

The programme aims to develop written and verbal skills to give students the opportunity to become confident communicators, prepared to face the challenges of fast-paced modern public relations work. Students can work with multi-media technologies including video, audio and online material, and study how social media can be a volatile but powerful platform to reach large audiences.

Accreditations

The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and is a partner University of the Public Relations Consultants Association. These close relationships with the industry’s two main professional bodies aims to ensure that Lincoln students benefit from opportunities to undertake additional training or work placements with potential graduate employers.

How You Study

The first year aims to introduce students to the breadth of public relations disciplines. Students will have the opportunity to cover academic theory through modules in communication in society, democracy and bureaucracy, while learning key components of public relations practice, including copywriting, design and multiplatform media skills.

The second year aims to encourage students to apply learning to the real world and covers different areas of PR, such as commercial, not-for-profit and the public sector. This is followed by an optional professional practice year or three months in a paid work placement of your choice. Costs relating to the latter can be found on the Features Tab.

The final year provides students the opportunity to include in-depth study in an area of PR that especially interests them, as well as modules on PR strategy.

There are opportunities for further study through additional events and outside speakers as well as free access to the CIPR and PRC webinars that provide industry specific skills training and updates.

Contact Hours

Level 1:

At level one students will typically have around 12 hours of contact time per week. A typical week may consist of:

  • 6 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 1 hour of tutorial time
  • 2 hours in seminars
  • 3 hours in lectures


Level 2:

At level two students will typically have around 10 hours of contact time per week. A typical week may consist of:

  • 3 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 1 hour of tutorial time
  • 1 hour in seminars
  • 5 hours in lectures


Level 3:

At level three students will typically have around 9 hours of contact time per week. A typical week may consist of:

  • 3 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 2 hours of tutorial time
  • 1 hour in seminars
  • 3 hours in lectures


Overall Workload and Independent Study

University-level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. Students’ overall workload will consist of their scheduled contact hours combined with independent study. The expected level of independent study is detailed below.

Level 1:

  • Total scheduled teaching and learning hours: 268.5
  • Percentage scheduled teaching and learning hours: 22%
  • Percentage of independent study expected: 78%


Level 2:

  • Total scheduled teaching and learning hours: 229
  • Percentage scheduled teaching and learning hours: 19%
  • Percentage of independent study expected: 81%


Level 3:

  • Total scheduled teaching and learning hours: 179
  • Percentage scheduled teaching and learning hours: 15%
  • Percentage of independent study expected: 85%

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Contact hours may vary for each year of a degree. When engaging in a full-time degree students should, at the very least, expect to undertake a minimum of 37 hours of study each week during term time (including independent study) in addition to potentially undertaking assignments outside of term time. The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, work placements, research and one-to-one learning.

University-level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two - three hours in independent study.

Please see the Unistats data, using the link at the bottom of this page, for specific information relating to this course in terms of course composition and delivery, contact hours and student satisfaction.

How You Are Assessed

Assessment varies according to the module being studied but is generally portfolio, coursework and practical applications. There will be some assessments by examination and some group assessments.

At final level there are individual tutorials to help students with their dissertations and project work.

Some assessments require the student to build an online personality that will supplement their CVs when seeking work experience and employment.

Assessment Breakdown

Level 1:

Coursework: 76.25%
Practical exams: 12.50%
Written exams: 11.25%

Level 2:

Coursework: 82.2%
Practical exams: 11.1%
Written exams: 6.7%

Level 3:

Coursework: 74.5%
Practical exams: 25.5%
Written exams: 0%

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above)..

Methods of Assessment

The way students will be assessed on this course will vary for each module. It could include coursework, such as a dissertation or essay, written and practical exams, portfolio development, group work or presentations to name some examples.

For a breakdown of assessment methods used on this course and student satisfaction, please visit the Unistats website, using the link at the bottom of this page.

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

What We Look For In Your Application

Curiosity, energy, interest and enthusiasm. You will need good communication skills, both written and verbal. English, Sociology, History, Business Studies and Politics are preferred A Level subjects, but not requirements.

Staff

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

For a comprehensive list of teaching staff, please see our School of English and Journalism Staff Pages.

Entry Requirements 2018-19

GCE Advanced Levels: CCC

International Baccalaureate: 27 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Merit

Pass Access to Higher Education Diploma.

In addition, applicants must have a minimum of three GCSEs (or the equivalent) at grade C or above, to include English.

We encourage applications from mature students and will give individual consideration to those in this category without the standard entry requirements.

Students whose first language is not English will also need a British Council IELTS band 6.0 or above or equivalent.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk.

Level 1

Communication in Society (Core)

This module offers an introduction to the communication industry, following a theoretical and historical pathway to understand the current workings in mass communications. Students examine the development of various types of media communication and fundamental models and debates that have emerged in the attempt to account for them in a modern, Western cultural context. Access to 'means' of communication, the development of various genres of communication and the impact of digital revolutions on our 'information society' are also explored.

Effective Copywriting and Design (Core)

In this module, students will be expected to develop the critical abilities to judge the effectiveness of public relations writing, through analysis and evaluation of a variety of different texts and their graphical context. Such texts will include newspaper and magazine articles, and other specific public relations examples including brochures, press releases, newsletters, websites, and more. Students will have the opportunity to apply and interpret readability tests to their own writing and that of others, and will consider the legal constraints (including copyright, libel, defamation) on what can properly be stated or alleged.

Integrated Communication (Core)

This module encourages students to understand a range of core communication models and theories so that they might analyse the likely impact of media messages on target audiences. A crucial aspect of this module is the discussion of integrated communications and how the disciplines of advertising, marketing and public relations fit together.

Introduction to Business Finance (Core)

This module is designed to provide an introduction to basic business finance for non-specialist students. The module explores the essential elements of business finance, which are required for a career in business, in any discipline.

Introduction to Public Relations (Core)

This module is designed to provide a broad introduction to corporate public relations (PR), including the role of PR within corporate life and in particular, the assurance of an organisation’s reputation. It is designed for students with no previous experience or knowledge of public relations and the professional activities of practitioners.

There are typically two main areas of study:

  • The context of public relations
  • The practice of public relations to meet objectives.

Multiplatform Media Skills for Public Relations (Core)

In this module students are introduced to the editorial and production skills required for multiplatform production in the increasingly converged media environment. Areas include organisational story telling and output production for radio and television with, as the module progresses, increasing attention given to related online content. During the module, students will work in a production workshop environment with all tasks performed under appropriate time constraints. By bringing the professional environment into the workshop the students can experience the pressures of operating as a public relations practitioner across a range of broadcast and web-based media. Core skills of portable recording, editing, story telling and writing for broadcast can be developed through the module, incorporating interviewing techniques, story selection and editing processes, and audio/visual illustration.

Public Administration 1: Democracy and Bureaucracy (Core)

Students need to understand how legislation is drafted and enacted in the UK and how journalism – the Fourth Estate – effects a check on Government and Parliament(s). This involves a study of the political, democratic and administrative structure of Parliament, government, local government and EU institutions. The module also examines how local government services are delivered around the UK, in the absence of a uniform structure and the emergence of various experimental models. Issues such as public accountability, consultation, responsibilities and decision-taking mechanisms are also studied.

Level 2

Campaign Structures and Components (Option)

Effective campaigning and the structural processes of campaign extension are key components of 21st Century PR practice.

Building on the Level 1 Effective Copywriting and Design module, this unit will introduce new areas of theory and of practical and creative application.

This module considers harnessing a professionally literate visual element to a coherent and integrated PR offer. It will look at such things as speech writing and presentations; exhibitions and events; press conferences and briefings; webcasts and podcasts; ‘news spotting’ and ambush marketing; and cultural referencing.
It will also introduce some of the corporate necessities such as annual reports and prospectuses that students will study in depth in Level 3.

This unit will therefore analyse and critique some existing campaigns and corporate endeavours and set workshop tasks and challenges to construct a sense of cultural and promotional values.

  • Semiotics and visual languages
  • Press conferences, briefings
  • Photo calls and media events
  • Exhibitions and roadshows
  • News Spotting, Ambush Marketing and viral campaigns
  • Speech writing and presentation protocols
  • Consumer culture as a PR reference point

Communicating in the Public Sphere (Core)

Communicating in the Public Sphere is about the process of engaging citizens and voters in the practical as well as the ideological aspects of public administration, it touches on many aspects of political (with a small 'p') communications.

An initial grounding in Public Administration for PR practitioners and journalists will have been offered in the first year; this module builds on that. It looks at the relationship between the citizen (voter), the established political order and the media.

The PR professional needs not only to have a full grasp of the communications techniques open to the 21st C practitioner but also to be aware of the need for impartiality, balance and openness in dealing with public communications.

Well managed, well directed and reliable two-way communications between the politicians and their constituents, via whichever media is appropriate, could be the key to countering the 'democratic deficit' of fewer people voting at elections.

As party politics becomes less engaging, citizens and voters are increasingly politically active on issues that motivate them.

This module will look at the mainstream communications methods, mechanisms and messages but also at the alternative political communications communities.

It addresses issues such as media relationships with officials, representatives, and politicians and examines limitations on, and opportunities for, the reporter to obtain information that institutions prefer the public not to know.

Students can look at examples, case studies and reporting trends to assess the function of reporters and media organisations in presenting these important areas of public concern to their audiences.

Community Engagement (Core)

Community engagement is the process by which businesses and individuals build ongoing relationships with the purpose of achieving a collective vision for the benefit of a community. This increasingly important aspect of Public Relations can prove challenging as both persuasion and influence techniques are required. During this module, students will have the opportunity to evaluate current communication techniques used in persuasion, negotiation and counselling (eg neuro-linguistic programming and transactional analysis).

Essential Law for Public Relations (Core)

Today’s Public Relations operates through multiplatforms of sound and vision, thus students need to understand the essential legal and ethical responsibilities associated with multiplatform communication, working with journalists and with the news agenda.

Students will have the opportunity to examine a range of different audiences and channels of communication from tweets, blogs, news media and speeches to weighty consultation and strategy documentations to justify policies.

Students will also have the chance to develop an understanding of the legal issues around reputation as an essential skill for a PR journalist. A PR professional must have a basic understanding of contract law and of the legal rights and responsibilities of freelancers.

Event Management (Option)

This module provides an insight into the strategic management of events of all sizes and types. The module provides a framework of the event planning process, using short and long-term strategies and an overview of operational strategies. Students are expected to organise an event of their own in this module and all that it entails. The event is assessed from conception through to operation and evaluation.

Public Relations in Organisational Communications (Core)

The module considers the role of Public Relations (PR) in the context of the changing nature of communication between organisations and their publics. The rapidly evolving technological context that is transforming the environment within which communication takes place is of particular concern to communication. Technological change has also had a social impact in terms of individuals' use of media, access to information and social interaction that all have implications for communication. Through completion of the module students can begin to plan and evaluate the contribution of PR within an integrated communications campaign strategy and develop their skills in presenting and defending their ideas within a realistic context.

Public Relations Organisations and People (Core)

Effective management of PR does not depend on luck; there are Codes of Conduct for practitioners to follow and the typical client / consultant relationship is usually organised into a Contract. This module will look at Public Relations and how it works as a business in its own right, together with how it works as a function of other businesses in order to provide students with a clear image of the establishment, structure and style of a PR consultancy, linked to the professional processes that go on within the business. As well as the world of PR consultancies, this unit will consider and discuss the role of PR within an organisation, considering the similarities and differences between the structure and performance of consultancy and in-house PR resources.

Research Skills and Practice (Core)

The main aim of this module is to encourage students to consider the relationships between the media and audiences, to ask critical questions relevant for their field of study, and to choose the right method to answer them. It introduces qualitative research methods for communications and guides students through the practical dimensions of conducting a research project into media audiences. In order to help students to understand basic research methods commonly used in communication and media studies and their limits this unit will include discussions on contemporary critiques of these methods, as well as their ethical and philosophical dimensions. Students will examine the multidisciplinary character of these methods and their historical origins in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and psychology. The contribution of literary criticism, history and economy to what is often referred to as 'critical analyses' of contemporary cultural production and reception will be also a matter of discussions.

Level 3

Brand and Reputation (Option)

This module aims to explore what is meant by 'brands' and 'branding'. This module aims to provide a solid understanding and application in the strategies of global brand management and the impact on reputation. Key branding concepts such as brand identity, brand image, brand positioning and brand equity will be explored and supported by brand insights that will provide clear insights and illustrations of branding strategies in action. Key skills and theories of brand management will be presented and discussed within the context of a global brand management environment. Students can gain an appreciation of the role of brand strategy within a corporation’s operating plan.

Creativity in Public Relations (Option)

Creativity is a crucial element in the PR practitioners toolkit as the industries of advertising and PR are becoming more closely aligned.

Different ways of attracting the attention of clients, target audiences, stakeholders and journalists need to be embraced as we communicate in increasingly noisy environments.

Using traditional and digital/social media to best effective requires a deep understanding of effective writing and what makes eye catching and excellent design.

This module aims to bring together elements potentially studied in the first two years and in brand and reputation.

This module examines the way PR teams work with creative disciplines – designers, writers and creative advertising. Students have the opportunity to attain knowledge and skills to effectively draw up a creative brief and manage its delivery.

Digital Communications (Option)

Students have the opportunity look at the history of the internet and at some of the underlying technology and web page design. Furthermore, they can potentially explore content-management systems, SEO, data journalism and database driven websites. Consideration is given to the strategic use of websites and how these can link with blogs, social media and current digital communications tools as part of a long term integrated PR strategy. Image optimisation will be covered involving the use and understanding of software such as Photoshop to ensure efficient and correct use of image data.

Independent Study (Public Relations) (Core)

The dissertation is a major independent piece of work intended to develop a student’s ability to actively engage with core disciplinary issues. The dissertation focuses on analysis, synthesis and critique and combines critical approaches to public relations with practical application through case studies. Hence, it encourages students to apply key theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues in writing a dissertation.

The module challenges the students to pull together the research skills acquired throughout their studies and particularly from the second year module ‘Research Skills and Practice’, make use of a body of literature and reflect upon the link between theory and practice.

Internal Communications (Option)

Internal Public Relations involves more than employee communications and is an essential aspect of most (perhaps even all) PR programmes.

In particular students have the opportunity to consider ethical aspects of Internal Public Relations and distinguish the role of Internal Public Relations from that of related fields such as Human Resource Management and internal publicity.

Roots of Cultural Conflict: The historical origins of contemporary world challenges (Option)

This module provides an opportunity to examine and analyse recent and ongoing international news stories in a cultural and historic context.

Themes will include colonialism, conflicting cultural and religious world-views, economic paradigms, construction of national identity, cultural stereotyping, public health initiatives, poverty, the impact of NGOs and foreign aid, and the significance of a free press.

The module will begin with a brief overview of western colonialism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but will then focus on more recent developments, exploring the nature and consequences of clashes in cultural world views and the impact of globalization.

Strategic Corporate Public Relations (Core)

This module considers Strategic Corporate Communication as a means of engendering trust and building reputation in key aspects of corporate activity, in particular in Investor Relations.

It considers strategically vital concerns of corporate management at the highest level, in particular Corporate Governance and other institutional, social, political and technological issues that have a direct effect on the cost and availability.

Modern media techniques and pressures have been to the fore in the recent fiscal crises as has the relationship between commercial and political interests and imperatives. This relationship will be described and developed as part of a wider understanding that strategic communications is not just a commercial or fiscal priority, especially in difficult times.

The Professional Practice Year (Option)

This module is aimed at those students who have decided to take a year out of formal studies to gain accredited work experience and are registered on a degree programme with an accredited professional practice element. The Professional Practice Year aims to give students a continuous experience of full-time work within an organisation.

It should be a three way co-operative activity between employer, student and University from which all parties benefit. Students can choose to pursue a variety of options including a placement year, a consultancy project or a work-based dissertation. Potential costs relating to this module are outlined in the Features tab.

Values, Issues and Crisis Management Counselling (Core)

This module offers students the opportunity to develop a theoretical and practical understanding and application of digital communications used within Public Relations including: design and writing for web sites; blogs and social media: and to make them aware of some of the implications of this medium for PR.

†The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Special Features

Professional Experience

Students have the option of working with Cygnet PR, the University of Lincoln’s fully integrated student-run PR agency, which undertakes live projects and briefs for real clients. A new partnership between the School of English and Journalism and Proactive International PR will give students the opportunity to gain valuable workplace experience.

Our six-month work experience scheme will involve students joining the PR firm once a week, allowing them to work with real-life clients and produce work for their own portfolio. Students are expected to cover travel, accommodation and general living costs associated with their individual placement.

Adobe Creative Cloud

All Public Relations students are provided with free access to Adobe Creative Cloud software.

Placements

Placement Year

When students are on an optional placement in the UK or overseas or studying abroad, they will be required to cover their own transport and accommodation and meals costs. Placements can range from a few weeks to a full year if students choose to undertake an optional sandwich year in industry.

Students are encouraged to obtain placements in industry independently. Tutors may provide support and advice to students who require it during this process.

Student as Producer

Student as Producer is a model of teaching and learning that encourages academics and undergraduate students to collaborate on research activities. It is a programme committed to learning through doing.

The Student as Producer initiative was commended by the QAA in our 2012 review and is one of the teaching and learning features that makes the Lincoln experience unique.

Facilities

At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

View our campus pages [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/ourcampus/] to learn more about our teaching and learning facilities.

Career Opportunities

Recent graduates have secured roles with major agencies such as 33 Digital, Red Consultancy and Fire PR, and won places on prestigious graduate schemes at companies such as Sony. Others have gone on to communications roles with organisations including GlaxoSmithKline. Some have continued to study further at postgraduate level.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with students to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during their time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing a course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise our graduates future opportunities.

The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages for further information. [http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/studentsupport/careersservice/]

Additional Costs

For each course students may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on their subject area. Some courses provide opportunities for students to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and meals may be covered by the University and so is included in the fee. Where these are optional students will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay their own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that students are required to read. However, students may prefer to purchase some of these for themselves and will therefore be responsible for this cost. Where there may be exceptions to this general rule, information will be displayed in a section titled Other Costs below.

Related Courses

The BA (Hons) Advertising and Marketing degree at Lincoln offers the opportunity to develop the creativity, knowledge and skills to deliver successful global campaigns, in preparation for a career in the creative industries.
The BSc (Hons) Events Management degree at Lincoln aims to help aspiring events professionals to develop their creativity, organisational skills and practical problem-solving abilities while building a critical understanding of the theory behind successful events.
On the BA (Hons) Journalism degree students are encouraged to put journalistic theory into practice and have opportunities to produce news content to a professional standard while exploring the ethical and legal considerations of the industry.
The BA (Hons) Journalism and Public Relations degree aims to cover topics that are essential for communications professionals to develop analytical techniques and problem-solving abilities, as well as the cross-disciplinary skills needed for a career in journalism and public relations.
The BA (Hons) Marketing Management degree offers students the opportunity to develop an understanding of marketing techniques and the processes applicable to a wide range of business types and sectors. There is an international focus on developments in the industry, such as the emergence of new technologies and product and service innovation. The importance of digital marketing is acknowledged throughout the programme and students get the opportunity to develop digital skills from the first year.

Tuition Fees

2017/18 Entry UK/EUInternational
Full-time £9,250 per level
£12,800 per level
Part-time £77.00 per credit point  N/A
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

 

2018/19 Entry UK/EUInternational
Full-time £9,250 per level
£13,800 per level
Part-time £77.00 per credit point  N/A
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

The University undergraduate tuition fee may increase year on year in line with government policy. This will enable us to continue to provide the best possible educational facilities and student experience.

In 2017/18, fees for all new and continuing undergraduate UK and EU students will be £9,250.

In 2018/19, fees may increase in line with Government Policy. We will update this information when fees for 2018/19 are finalised.

Please note that not all courses are available as a part-time option.

For more information and for details about funding your study, please see our UK/EU Fees & Funding pages or our International funding and scholarship pages. [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studyatlincoln/undergraduatecourses/feesandfunding/] [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/international/feesandfunding/]

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions [www.lincoln.ac.uk/StudentAdmissionsTermsandConditions].