Module Catalogue 2021/22

MCH2034 : Introduction to Public Relations

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Mrs Anne-Marie Lacey
  • Other Staff: Mr Jonathan Ward
  • 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 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 and definitions of PR
Stakeholders and publics
Media relations
Content creation including news releases
Event management
Internal communications
Crisis communications
PR in the voluntary sector
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 - appreciate the role of crisis management in a PR context
K3 - develop an understanding of how public relations practice can be used to manage reputation via communications with organisational stakeholders

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 - 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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:006 hours on campus; 5 hours online synchronous
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion220:0040:00Independent preparation for two assessments
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Interactive non-synchronous lecture materials delivered online
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading112:0022:00Guided independent reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00On campus, can be switched online if needed
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion111:0011:00Guided engagement with videos & podcasts, discussion forums and quizzes
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study194:0094:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The online interactive learning materials will introduce students to various concepts, ideas and topics in public relations which can then be expanded upon within scheduled weekly lectures, which are held either on campus or synchronously online. Scheduled small-group sessions will allow for an element of group work to encourage students to develop knowledge and skills by applying theory and concepts to practical contexts using examples, case studies and activities.

These timetabled small group sessions will be more practical, using current PR practice and award-winning case studies from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations to allow students to assess the use, or not, of theories in practice. These sessions will equip 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, 3). 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 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.