Module Catalogue 2019/20

MCH1028 : Introduction to Professional Communication

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Miss Ramona Slusarczyk
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



1. To introduce students to themes, issues and ideas involved in media and communications industries.

2. To allow the student to learn from a structured analysis of, and reflection on, communication strategies.

3. To enable the student to develop basic key skills through practical exercises.

4. To familiarise the student with the theories and practices of underpinning professional communication processes.

This module provides students with an introduction as to how information can flow from media and communication industries to its various audiences and stakeholders. Through an understanding of a range of practices, such as public relations, advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing, students will be exposed to the various communication channels, and will start to understand which communications techniques work best in which situation. The module also gives students the opportunity to improve their employability by practising CV and application letter writing for communications vacancies. The module culminates in studying how to integrate the different communications media together to get the best possible results.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will cover an introduction to public relations, advertising, sales promotion and direct marketing within a professional communications context. We start by looking at the purposes of communications and study basic theories such as PESO, DRIP and AIDA. We then move onto looking at who do you need to communicate with, considering segments, audiences, publics and pluralism, all within the communications context. The next stage is then what is the message, where we look at branding, logos and symbols, and use motivation theories such as Maslow to assess what we are we saying. Once this generic groundwork has been covered, we then move on to look at the specifics of advertising, public relations and the other marcomms tools, looking at how they work individually and together. Students will also start in semester 2 to develop their own personal branding in the form of CVs and applying for case study vacancies to help with their employability skills

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate that they are aware of the:

The basic principles, practices and techniques involved in public relations, advertising and other marcomms techniques.

Identify the main paradigms and key concepts underpinning who do you want to communicate with and why, what do you want to say, and how will this be received by the various audiences and stakeholders?

Recognise the tensions and difficulties in planning and managing a communications strategy with the often competing demands of public relations, advertising and the other marcomms techniques in the professional communications process. An appreciation of how to compose a CV and write a covering letter to apply for a part time position in the highly competitive communications workplace.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Intended skills outcomes:
Students will develop their skills in:
a) Communication strategies
b) Analysis and research
c) Linking theory to practice
d) Team working
e) Independent learning and working

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyProject work110:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity120:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity132:0032:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study132:0032:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding about both the theory and practice of communication within a professional context. Each session provides an introduction to the underlying theories and concepts of a specific marcomms area, with an exploration of how well, or not, these are articulated in the everyday world. Students will be expected to research and discuss current communication campaigns, both in class and in their own assessment tasks. Sessions led by Careers staff will help students appreciate how best to promote and brand themselves to help improve their employability throughout their university stay and beyond.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination702A40One hour test (with 10 minute reading time) on unseen mini cases.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M40Report on a communications campaign, 1500 words
Written exercise2M20Professional standard 2 page CV and 300 word covering letter
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will be required to select a Christmas communications campaign and analyse it in terms of intended audience, message and channel using the key themes of rhetoric, language, and other communication materials (such as logo's, signs, photos etc). This will allow students to show their understanding of how theoretical communication models are used in practice.

The CV and cover letter, will give students practical feedback on how best to promote themselves to improve their employability. The vacancies applied for will all be communications based, thereby allowing for a good mix of theory and professional practice.

The final assessment the written test will assess whether students have understood both the range of, and integrated use of, communications tools available by providing them with a range of mini cases and asking them to select and justify which media they will use to solve a particular communications need.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.