Module Catalogue 2021/22

MCH1028 : Introduction to Professional Communication

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Mrs Anne-Marie Lacey
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
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 students to learn from a structured analysis of, and reflection on, communication strategies.
3. To enable students 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 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 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, direct and digital marcomms 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 ask who do you need to communicate with, considering segments, audiences, publics and pluralism, all within the communications context. The next stage is to ask 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.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

A student successfully completing the module should be able to demonstrate that they:
a) are aware of the basic principles, practices and techniques involved in public relations, advertising and other marcomms techniques.
b) can identify the main paradigms and key concepts underpinning the questions: 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?
c) can 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.

Intended Skill Outcomes

A student successfully completing the module will have developed 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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Interactive non-synchronous lecture materials delivered online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Present-in-person, applying theory to current scenarios
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion220:0040:00Research into specific sectors and current campaigns, reviewing current activity
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading112:0022:00Watching specific programmes, reading specific titles and visiting specific websites
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops111:0011:00Present-in-person activity to check learning & apply theory to practice
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity112:0022:00Combination of tasks, quizzes and discussion boards.
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity24:008:00Group work, to devise communications for a specific case, competitive pitching of ideas
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study175:0075:00Linked to major communications activity and campaigns throughout semester 1
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, in class, online and in their own assessment tasks.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M50Review and report on a current communications campaign, 2000 words
Written exercise1A50Take-home case study. Apply communications theory to a case study situation and make recommendations in notes format. 2000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will be required to select a current 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 logos, signs, photos etc). This will allow students to show their understanding of how theoretical communication models are used in practice.

The second assessment, the take-home case study, will assess whether students have understood both the range of, and integrated use of, communications tools available by providing them with a case study 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 2021/22 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 2022/23 entry will be published here in early-April 2022. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.