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MA Public Relations

1 year 2 years School of English and Journalism Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

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The MA Public Relations programme is designed to explore the role of PR counsel in commercial and not-for-profit organisations. There is an emphasis on theory and the ability to critically assess contemporary issues in communications.

This programme recognises the rapid changes taking place in the communications environment, and provides you with the opportunity to develop the skills to work across multimedia and digital platforms. Teaching takes an international focus, in recognition that many corporate bodies and PR agencies operate within a global remit.

You will have the chance to research and critique developments in PR practice with a focus on an ethical approach to storytelling in the post-Leveson era. You have the opportunity to develop the strategic management skills required to be a flexible, reflective public relations practitioner.

There is the opportunity to join our student-run PR company, Cygnet PR.

Days Taught

Where possible, core sessions are scheduled on Thursday and Friday, although students may be required to attend on other days of the week depending on module options.

How You Study

A wide range of approaches to teaching and learning are used that reflect the ever-changing nature of the subject of public relations, spanning a diversity of genres, media and audiences.

PR modules aim to employ flexible and varied means of teaching, learning and assessment tailored to the Masters experience and grounded in collaborative research engaged learning. Students have the opportunity to learn to work as individuals and in groups, to produce solo and group presentations, reports, essays, projects, literature reviews and a dissertation.

As well as the traditional skills of research, essay writing, speaking and debating, you have the chance to develop a range of writing and production skills associated with work in the discipline that spans the profit and not for profit sectors, in-house and agency with the aim of providing a foundation for confident and independent counsel as well as participation within a corporate team.

Contact and Independent Study

Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the individual module options chosen and the stage of study.

Postgraduate 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.

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.

For more detailed information please contact the programme leader.

How You Are Assessed

The Public Relations programme will use a full range of assessment and feedback tools.

This may include:

  • Written exam
  • Written assignment, including essays
  • Report
  • Dissertation
  • Portfolio
  • Project output (other than dissertation)
  • Oral assessment and presentation
  • Practical skills assessment
  • Set exercises

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

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2:2 honours degree

International Students will require English Language at IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each element, or equivalent.

Key Contacts

Professor Jason Whittaker
+44 (0)1522 886926

+44 (0)1522 886644

Master's Level

Global Relationship Marketing (Option)

Relationship marketing can be seen as the process of creating added value for organisations by managing their connections with internal and external stakeholders. This can include customers, employees, suppliers and distributors. Central to the module is the development of a perspective that sees an increasing role for co-creation with consumers in relationships and the effective implementation of appropriate customer experiences.

Independent Study - Dissertation (PG PR) (Core)

The Final Project or Dissertation module consists of either a dissertation, portfolio of articles, radio or television documentary or chapters for a book or webpages. You are expected to spend the final term during the summer on self-directed learning, having already decided on the form of media product that you will produce. You are allocated your own tutor for support and guidance. This final project provides an opportunity to research and make an in-depth study of your chosen study area.

Issues in PR (Core)

PR activities are conducted within a context of social issues. In this relationship the media plays a vital part. This module aims to consider the possible genesis of some of the important issues and the conduct of PR as a social activity within which PR may be considered in terms of the ethical values it embodies, how it regards truth and its attitude towards corporate social responsibility.

These dimensions of PR practice may be considered by examining how PR practitioners managed particular issues such as a crisis, government relations or corporate change. The module consists of two inter-related parts. In the first the broader social issues are examined and a number of conceptual analytical tools developed. In the second part a number of cases, UK and international, are analysed using those conceptual tools.

An important under-lying theme of this module is the relationship between PR and the media, particularly in the post-Leveson environment of regulation and over sight.

Law and Institutions (PR) (Core)

This module is designed to examine all aspects of law relating to the media with some focus on issues in science. This challenging module uses real case studies and up-to-date research to provide you with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the framework within which the industry operates, and the ethical dilemmas involved.

This module seeks to provide you with a basic appreciation of systems of power, covering national and local government structures and institutions.

Media Relations (Core)

The fundamental purpose of this module is to provide you with the opportunity to develop the analytical and practical tools required for media placement of PR material to the best effect and within the context of a designed campaign.

It aims to familiarise you with the variety of media available and seeks to enable you to make the best selection for your efforts as a PR practitioner, and then to establish the appropriate relationships leading to successful publication in line with the organisation’s defined PR objectives. Constraints on the process will be explored and metrics for evaluating success examined.

Media Skills (Core)

This module aims to develop multiplatform media skills for the PR practitioner. You will have the opportunity to write news releases and news stories and articles for corporate and consumer newsletters. You have the chance to be introduced to the editorial and production skills required for multi-platform production in the increasingly converged media environment. The focus will be on organisational story telling and output production for broadcast (radio, TV and online) and print media. During the module, you will have the chance to work in a production workshop environment with all tasks performed under appropriate time constraints.

Online Communications (Option)

The module is designed provide the opportunity for you to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the application of digital communications used within PR – including: designing, building and writing for web sites; blogs and social media – and to make you aware of some of the implications of these for PR.

You can look at the history of the internet and at some of the underlying technology and web page design. You will also be able to examine content-management systems, SEO, data journalism and data-base driven websites. The implementation of measurement tools will also be explored.

PR Principles and Campaign Strategy (Core)

The module is designed to give you the opportunity to develop the knowledge and understanding necessary to conceive, develop and implement strategic PR campaigns. It also aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills to manage PR activities either in-house or for a consultancy.

This module is pivotal for the course as seeks to lay out the overall geography of PR including pointing out those landmarks (such as managing change, use of web sites, and relationships with the media) that you are expected to pursue in depth elsewhere in the course.

The module considers PR in commercial and not for profit contexts as well as PR for marketing support and strategic corporate reputation assurance delivered both in-house and by a consultancy. You have the opportunity to reflect on and evaluate specific technical and interpersonal skills necessary for a PR practitioner operating at a senior level.

Research Methods and Professional Placement (Core)

On this module, you are expected to take up a work placement in one or several different media organisations of your choice. The module provides prior guidance, together with career advice. Tutors will help with research of the employment market, help to arrange international, national or local work placements and support you as you build an individual career profile, CV and work experience.

Please see the Features tab for more information regarding the potential costs associated with these placements.

This module also provides the opportunity to develop a methodological understanding and to receive support and advice on the final project. You will then be expected to prepare a written proposal for a dissertation, a documentary project, or a portfolio of articles.


There are opportunities for students to work on Siren FM, the University’s community radio station, which broadcasts to the Lincoln area and further afield via the web. Live projects may also be commissioned via Cygnet PR – the Student PR Agency, providing Master's students with the opportunity to mentor and support undergraduate students and the chance to develop collaboration and leadership skills.

Students are also supported by academic staff in their search for work placements with external organisations and agencies.

As part of the Research and Professional Placement module, you will be expected to complete a two-week assessed work placement with one or several organisations.

The module provides prior guidance, together with career advice. Tutors can help with research of the employment market, help to arrange international, national or local work placements and support you as you build an individual career profile, CV and work experience.

Please note that students are expected to cover their own accommodation, travel and general living expenses while on a placement.


This course benefits from a suite of newsrooms, with associated work stations and specialist print production software.

There is exclusive access to the School’s radio and television presentation studios and opportunities for output on the University’s Ofcom-licensed community radio station.

Career and Personal Development

This programme aims to equip you with the eloquence and confidence to progress your career in PR.

Careers Services

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

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your 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 here

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Tuition Fees

  2017/18 Entry*
Home/EU £7,300
(including Alumni Scholarship 30% reduction)
(including Non-Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction)
International £13,800
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)
 Part-time Home/EU £41 per credit point
 Part-time International £77 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A new system of postgraduate loans for Master's courses will be introduced in the UK, beginning from the 2016-17 academic year. Find out if you are eligible.


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

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.