Module Catalogue 2022/23

MCH2034 : Introduction to Public Relations

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Miss Patience Mathambo
  • Other Staff: Mr Jonathan Ward, Dr Sharon Zheng
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
MCH1028Introduction to Professional Communication
Pre Requisite Comment

Students can request an exemption from the pre-requisite from the module leader on satisfaction they have completed similar studies or have relevant industry-related knowledge and experience.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



- To develop in students introductory a) knowledge of, b) skills in and c) understanding of the values and culture of public relations and its variations in commercial, public, private and voluntary sectors
- To enable students to develop and deploy techniques of writing and campaign and event planning in public relations
- To develop the ability to critically apply the methods of public relations to initiate and carry out practical projects in public relations
- To introduce an understanding of the dangers of a range of crises to organisational reputation

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered may include:

Introduction to and definitions of PR
The business of PR across different sectors
Audiences, stakeholders and publics
Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned Media (PESO)
Content creation including news releases, blogs and social media
Event management
Ethics and professionalism
Internal communications
Crisis communications
Introduction to PR planning

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students successfully completing the module should be able to:
K1 - understand the values and culture of public relations and its variations in commercial, public and voluntary sectors
K2 - develop a critical understanding of how public relations practice can be used to manage reputation via communications with organisational stakeholders
K3 - appreciate the role of ethics and professionalism within a PR context during times of crisis and change management (crisis and internal communications)

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students successfully completing the module should be able to:
S1 - draft a news release and other media content
S2 - organise a successful event with timeline and budget
S3 - critically apply the methods of public relations to initiate creative ideas and develop plans for public relations

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion220:0040:00Independent preparation for two assessments.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Interactive synchronous online consolidation lecture to develop key learnings from workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00On-campus (can be delivered online if needed) introductory lecture to the week's theme
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops141:0014:00On-campus (can be delivered online) practical workshop to support application of theory
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity112:0022:00Combination of quizzes, discussion boards and workshop preparation tasks
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study112:0022:00Watching specific programmes, reading specific titles and visiting specific websites
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study180:0080:00Linked to major PR activity and campaigns throughout the teaching period
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The online interactive learning materials will introduce students to various concepts, ideas and topics in public relations as well as setting preparatory tasks for the weekly workshops. Scheduled workshops will allow for an element of group work to encourage students to develop knowledge and skills by critically applying theory and concepts to practical contexts using examples, case studies and activities.

These timetabled workshops will be more practical, using current PR practice and award-winning case studies from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations to allow students to critically assess the use, or not, of theories in practice.

Consolidation lectures will recap and reinforce learnings from the interactive learning material and workshop sessions, equipping students with the knowledge and skills required to meet the learning outcomes for the module, via formative and summative assessment.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M40Campaign portfolio (approx. 2000 words)
Written exercise2A60Written PR presentation and critical reflection (approx. 2000 words) (time-restricted deadline)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first assessment is designed to test two of the key skills employers are looking for: the ability to organise events and the ability to translate a PR brief into a portfolio of industry standard resources (S1, S2, S3).

The second assessment will have a time-restricted deadline and requires students to devise a digital presentation (slides and notes) relating to the role of PR within organisations. This will be supported by a critical reflection of their written presentation. In both assessments there will be a limited choice of topics. Meets knowledge outcomes K1, K2, K3 and skills outcome S1.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 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 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.