Clearing 2016

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BA (Hons) Public Relations and Communication

Craft messages with impact and jump-start your career in public relations.

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Hoping to pursue a career in public relations, reputation management and communications? With a strong history of student satisfaction and graduate employment, Southampton Solent University’s professionally accredited public relations and communication programme can help equip you with the broad range of modern media skills that industry employers are seeking.

  • PR at Southampton Solent is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) – a mark of quality reserved for courses that are best suited to prepare students for professional employment.
  • Students are guided as they learn the essential skills required for in-house, agency or freelance employment.
  • These skills include writing, ideation, presentation, research, creative thinking, digital strategy and general media skills.
  • The course is delivered by a team with extensive industry experience. Their professional contacts have given past students access to live briefs, industry assessment and work experience opportunities.
  • Students benefit from access to a range of industry-standard facilities. These include Mac-equipped newsrooms, multi-camera TV studios, Reuters and Sky news feeds, the latest professional media editing software and a dedicated crisis room.
  • Students benefit from Solent’s partnership with the Institute of Internal Communications (IoIC), who provide guest lectures, additional resources and live briefs.
  • Students are encouraged to pitch for paid work at Solent Creatives, the University’s creative design, communications and marketing agency.

The industry

The industry is currently undergoing a period of expansion, as more organisations begin to recognise the importance of strategic public relations. This is supported by the latest Labour Force Survey (Employment Status by Occupation), which shows that there are 18,000 more PRs in the UK now than there was two years ago. 

The programme

The course curriculum is designed to help prepare students to secure employment at an executive level after graduation. The structure evolves year-on-year, making public relations and communication a key focus as students develop the writing, digital, communication and strategic planning skills required to thrive as a PR executive. 

Students study a curriculum designed with their future employability in mind. With opportunities for networking, live client briefs and portfolio development all built into the course, graduates leave Southampton Solent with a wealth of industry relevant experience to show potential employers. 

Students are also encouraged to carry out work experience alongside their regular studies. The course teams close links with industry have helped past students secure placements at agencies including Five-by-Five, Remarkable, Revolver and Ogilvy PR. 

PR and communications at Solent is accredited by the CIPR and supported by CIPR Wessex. Not only does this show employers that the course content meets industry standards, it also gives students the chance to take part in ‘meet the professionals’ events, networking sessions and work placement opportunities. 

Students are also encouraged to apply and pitch for paid work at Solent Creatives, the University’s creative design, communication and marketing agency. Solent Creatives specialise in connecting students with businesses who need creative support. These extra-curricular projects can help students to strengthen their portfolio of professional work.

Southampton Solent University is proud to offer our students a range of high-end media facilities. Students also have the opportunity to access our extensive media loans facility, where they can book time with the University’s facilities and borrow high-end video production and photography equipment.

The course has been recognised as number one in the UK for student satisfaction for three years running. In 2015 100% of students were satisfied with the degree, demonstrating the friendly and supportive environment that this degree programme provides. 

Next steps

Do you want to work on PR campaigns, deliver communications strategies and manage corporate reputations? Southampton Solent University’s public relations and communications programme is both academically challenging and industry focused, helping to equip you with the essential skills that PR employers are looking for.

Have you got a question about applying?

Email: ask@solent.ac.uk

Don't just take our word for it...

Paige Hiley
Mihaela Cosac
External Examiner
"Having lecturers who are professionals in the industry helps prepare you for the real world of PR."
  More from Paige
"I love this course and the lecturers offer a lot of support. The facilities are great."
  More from Mihaela
Students here produced some outstanding work...
  More from External

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 4 Years Language Foundation Year P2Q3
  • 3 Years Standard entry PH26

Typical entry requirements

2016 entry
280 UCAS Tariff points

2017 entry - New UCAS Tariff
112 UCAS Tariff points

Year one:

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Core units

  • Introduction to Public Relations 
  • Interpersonal Communications 
  • Creative Digital Technology
  • PR in the community
  • Communications in Organisations

Options:

  • Ideation, Creative Concepts and Visualisation
  • The Digital Landscape

Year two:

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Core units

  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Corporate Communications
  • Digital PR
  • PR and Communication in a Digital World
  • Employability and Work Placement Skills
  • Academic and Marketing Research.

Year three:

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Core units

  • Ethics, Issues and Crisis Management
  • Work Placement and Career Development
  • PR Strategy and Campaign Planning
  • Dissertation.

Options

  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
  • Creative Entrepreneurial Freelance
  • Curriculum Plus
  • International and Global PR.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course is taught though a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical workshops. Through this approach, students have the opportunity to develop both their theoretical knowledge and application of public relations.

Work experience

All PR students are expected to undertake a minimum of two, two-week placements between level 5 and 6. The level 5 unit ‘Employability and Work Placement Skills’ supports students to find the most appropriate work experience to build their professional portfolio. Furthermore, all level 4 students will be given the opportunity to undertake a minimum of two weeks work experience towards the end of level 4. Students have recently found placements with organisations including Fleet Street Communications, Carswell Gould, Grayling, LeePeck Group, Deferro Communications and Remarkable Group. 

Assessment

Both the dissertation and the final year ‘PR Strategy and Campaign Planning’ unit cannot be condoned against another unit in the case of a marginal fail. 

Our facilities

Students have the opportunity to use our range of media facilities to support their studies. These facilities include Apple Mac and radio studios, as well as our own in-house creative agency, Solent Creatives. 

Study abroad

The Erasmus+ programme can give you the opportunity to spend between a term and a year of your course studying abroad at one of our partner universities, or undertaking a work placement for a company in Europe. For more information see www.solent.ac.uk/exchange

If you are a student at one of our Erasmus partner institutions in Europe, then you may have the opportunity to come to the UK and study PR and communication units at Solent for either a single term or a full academic year as part of your degree programme.

If you’re studying outside Europe, then you may be able to study with us as an exchange student if there is a partnership agreement in place. If you are studying at a university which does not have a partnership agreement with us, then you could apply to study at Solent under our Study Abroad programme.

Web-based learning

All units on the degree are supported by the University virtual learning environment (VLE). Each unit has a designated page which contains an overview of the unit including the unit descriptor, assessment briefs and criteria, reading list, week by week teaching and learning scheme, tutor contact details and availability.

Furthermore, the VLE is used to host lecture and seminar materials, directed reading and other useful materials. The VLE is also used to host tutorial opportunities which can be booked in advance, as well as to send students reminders about forthcoming sessions. 

Assessment submission is predominately via the VLE where clear dates and times of submission will also be placed.

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 4 Years Language Foundation Year P2Q3
  • 3 Years Standard entry PH26

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

This course provides the theory and practice required to help students progress onto a range of roles in the public relations and communication industry.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Public relations executive
  • Account executive
  • Press officer
  • Social media executive
  • Communications officer
  • Public affairs officer
  • PR and marketing officer
  • Engagement executive
  • Internal communication executive
  • Customer communications analyst
  • Brand partnership executive.

Links with industry

The degree has excellent links with CIPR Wessex, the local branch of the industry body. Through this connection the degree runs an annual ‘meet the professionals’ event.

Each year the final year PR strategy unit and the first year unit work directly with local not-for-profit organisations. Recent students have worked with companies such as Hamble Lifeboat, Breast Cancer UK, The Society of St James, Age UK, The Big Issue and the NHS.

Fleet Street Communications have also recently supported the degree by providing live briefs and student placements, and by attended our Solent PR conference.

Recent guest speakers have included representatives from Hampshire Constabulary hostage negotiation team, Hotwire, Dominic Walters IoIC, and Bethany Ansell, Lemon Squeezy Marketing, and The CommsCo.

Transferable skills

Whatever career destination students choose, the PR and communication degree offers students the opportunity to develop multiple transferable skills. In the 2015 NSS, 95% of students said that the “course has helped me present myself with confidence” and that as a result of the course they feel confident to tackle unfamiliar problems. Furthermore, 100% of students stated that their communication skills had improved.

As well as being supported to learn skills such as communication and resilience, students are taught writing skills (in a variety of different styles), creative digital skills,  the use of social media channels, campaign planning, research skills and presentations and pitching skills. 

Further study

Upon successful completion of the programme, graduates can apply to study MA Creative Advertising or MA PR and Multimedia Communications  at Solent University.

Alternatively some graduates choose to specialise in MA subjects such as international relations, corporate communications or crisis and issues management.

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates

Over the last two years Solent PR graduates have been employed by companies including: Hotwire, Wales Office, Deferro Communications, Alto Social Analytics, Berkley PR, The Communications Store, The Media Eye,PRCo International, i2i Events Group, BMW Ltd, Open Door PR. 


 

Key facts

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Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time

Accreditations: CIPR

Entry requirements

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UCAS have updated their tariff points for 2017 entry. Please click here for more information.

280 points (for 2016 entry) or 112 points (for 2017 entry) from:

  • A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D* or equivalent.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Foundation Year in Journalism, Advertising and Marketing.
We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component- TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved

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Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £11,000 per year

Other costs

Hardcopy printing of two dissertations: £40.00

CIPR Membership: £30.00

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit: www.solent.ac.uk/studying/graduation/home.aspx

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply

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Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website: www.ucas.com.

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services

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Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 4 Years Language Foundation Year P2Q3
  • 3 Years Standard entry PH26



 

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