MCH8065 : Theoretical Approaches to PR

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module will introduce the key theory of Public Relations by providing a thorough grounding of these concepts and skills in theoretical frameworks that underpin the subject area. The module will look at the history and development of PR, current practices and interconnections with the broader media, and will examine ethical principles and develop reflective practice principles for PR professionals – everything that a well-trained PR specialist needs!

Outline Of Syllabus

The following topics will be developed:                                          
• History and development of the discipline                              
• Communication theory and public relations                        
• Corporate communications and social responsibility                              
• Internal communications                                                      
• Public affairs and the impact of PR                                          
• Ethics
• The role of the PR practitioner
• Crisis management                                                      
• Regulatory frameworks                                                            
• Reflective practice                                                            
• Non-Commercial PR

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion225:0050:00Independent preparation for two assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading122:0024:00Independent reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study196:0096:00Includes 12 hours of Industry Research and Practice
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will introduce students to various academic theories on public relations which will then be debated in class. There will be an element of group work involved and students may well find themselves in the position of defending or advocating a theory which they do not agree with. It is expected that all students will contribute in class discussions.

The seminars will be more practical, using current PR practice and award winning case studies from the CIPR to allow students to assess the use, or not, of theories in practice.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination901A5090 minute test online (OLAF test)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M50Academic essay, 2500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The combination of assessment methods – test and academic essay, is designed to allow each student to perform well in the overall assessment process and to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of applying key PR theories and concepts in a practical context (K1, K3, S1). It will also be a good indicator of academic essay writing skills (K1-K5, S1, S2). Produced towards the middle of the semester, the essay should indicate if a student has grasped some of the key theories and is able to integrate theory into professional practice (S1) and allowing the tutor to provide help and advice ahead of the later test if needed. (K1-K5, S3-S5)

The final OLAF test at the end of the module is designed to allow students to demonstrate their overall knowledge of the course (K1-K5). In contrast, the academic review allows them to look at a specific skills aspects of PR in some depth. (S1-S5). Both assessments are weighted at 50% with 90 minutes allowed for the exam

Reading Lists