BA/BA (Hons) Public Relations and Marketing Communications

This course will give you the theoretical understanding, professional experience and industry contacts you need to step into an exciting and rewarding career in public relations (PR) and marketing.

Public relations (PR) and marketing communications are fascinating, fast-moving fields that offer many rewarding career opportunities. Thanks to modern media and the voracious consumer appetite for digital content, they are constantly evolving and on this course you will enjoy frontline professional experience and tuition informed by cutting-edge scholarship.

Why QMU?

  • Senior practitioners in PR and marketing support the course through guest lectures, membership of our Industrial Advisory Panel and attendance at our networking events.
  • We have a new initiative that allows students to get a mentor early in the course. Your mentor will be an experienced industry practitioner who advises you with your studies and career direction.
  • An unrivalled opportunity to study two closely aligned disciplines: PR and marketing.
  • In the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022, we are ranked in the top 20 UK universities for Communication and Media (20th out of 88). 

About the course

This course gives you an unrivalled opportunity to study two closely aligned disciplines: PR and marketing. Organisations often take an integrated approach to communication, bringing together these two disciplines to help drive success. PR manages relationships with a range of stakeholder groups including employees, the government and the media and marketing focuses on relationships with the customer.

You will gain practical experience of developing strategic PR and marketing communication solutions for live clients, creating authentic digital content for a range of social media platforms. You will find out how organisations use video, photography, blogs and podcasts to drive their marketing, and how you can help them do it better. You will undertake original research to inform decision making, and measure the effectiveness of campaigns using a range of analytics.

Students gain a wealth of experience through a work placement as well as having the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner institutions (subject to availability).

You will be taught by internationally renowned academics who are still actively engaged with the industry. Industry practitioners will see you in action and many of our graduates have gone on to work with contacts that they made on the course.

In Year One key concepts in PR and marketing are covered and essential practical skills are developed. Students look at the history of the industries and current practice, and debate the role the industries play in economics, politics and society. You will consider contemporary communications practice and the importance of producing dynamic and creative content including video, photography, blogs, infographics and social media posts that are relevant to target publics.

Year Two expands your knowledge and understanding of professional practices in PR and marketing. Students consider how organisations campaign on issues and communicate with external stakeholders through the media and internally with employees.

In Year Three, the principles of planning are expanded on from the perspective of those who manage marketing and PR activities. Concepts of strategy and persuasion are introduced and research skills are strengthened. Students gain an insight into advertising and experiential marketing where the audience is immersed in an event such as a music festival and how this emotional response is used by organisations to build brand awareness, trust and loyalty. In Year Three students can start to tailor their learning around their interests through the selection of an option module.

In Year Four, students are encouraged to work more independently, develop their critical skills and follow their own area of interest. This happens through working on your dissertation research project, working in industry on a one-month placement and choosing options from the two disciplines.


You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.


Year One

  • Media Industries 1
  • Studying Media and Communications
  • Digital Content Creation
  • Media Production: Skills and Techniques
  • Media Production: Video Project
  • Introduction to Marketing

Year Two

  • Popular Media Cultures
  • Media Campaigning
  • Media Production:Online Journalism
  • Event Management
  • Analytics, Insights and Impact
  • Digital Business and e-Commerce

Year Three

  • Advertising and Marketing Communications
  • Campaigning and Practice
  • Experiential Marketing and Consumer Behaviour
  • Designing a Research Project
  • Persuasive Communication
  • plus two options

Year Four

  • Placement
  • Strategic Marketing Management
  • Dissertation
  • plus two options

Year Three and Four options may include:

  • International PR
  • Global Journalism
  • Photography and Visual Culture
  • Film Festivals
  • Communication Arts and Activism
  • Political Communication
  • Radio and Audio Media
  • Photography Practice
  • Pop Music
  • Screenwriting
  • Film and the Family

The modules listed here are correct at time of posting (April 2021) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2022. Please check back here for any updates.

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a mix of methods including lectures, seminars and practical workshops. As well as these face-to-face interactions, some modules are delivered online. Each module is supported by a virtual learning resource site. As well as lecture notes, seminar activities, key readings, assignment specifications and discussion forums, additional materials such as videos, radio edits and links to other resources can be uploaded to the site. The assessment strategy uses a range of methods to support your academic and professional development. These include: essays, reports, presentations, online discussions/postings, exams, reflective diaries, e-portfolios and content production for different media such as video, photography, website, blogs, posts and tweets.

Below you can read about Teaching and Learning Activities and Assessment Activities. We believe this will give you a good indication of what the course will be like, but the exact balance of activities may differ depending on the academic year and on the modules you choose.

Teaching and learning activities

Our Teaching and Learning Activities are focused on building your confidence, developing your problem-solving skills and preparing you for a successful career. Here you can read about how much time you should expect to spend undertaking these activities for this course along with a general description of the activity for all courses.


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and in some cases practical workshops or laboratories. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

Independent Learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, practicals or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the Learning Resource Centre, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. You independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the Learning Resource Centre and the Hub.


Courses with placements give you the opportunity to put what you are learning into practice and to observe and work with a wide range of individuals and groups of people in diverse settings. Some courses offer placement opportunities in the UK and overseas.

Assessment Activities

Assessment Activities provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject and receive feedback on your performance. Here you can read about how much of your final mark is based on each type of formal assessment for this course along with a general description of the activity for all courses.


Assessment by written examinations normally takes place at the end of each module or semester, but they may also happen during modules.


Coursework assessments take place in a variety of ways, including assignments, essays, reports, portfolios, project output and your level 4 Honours project. We aim to provide you with feedback on your assessment within 20 working days of the submission date.


Practical assessments can include oral presentations, performance, practical skills assessment, costume design and construction, film making, lab work or clinical practical skills depending on the nature of the course.



You will complete a four-week or 150 hours placement either in the summer vacation between Years Three and Four or in Year Four alongside other modules. Students are responsible for sourcing a placement host organisation and this can be in the UK or abroad. To help with the process, we hold a speed interview event on campus to match hosts offering placements with students. The placement is unpaid although many hosts cover travel and subsistence.

Exchange opportunities

In Year Three you have the opportunity (subject to availability) to study for one semester at a university overseas. For more information, see Exchanges and Study Abroad.

On December 24th 2020, the UK Government announced that as an outcome of Brexit negotiations, the United Kingdom would not be seeking to participate in the Erasmus+ successor programme.

From 2022/23 Queen Margaret University will no longer operate under the Erasmus+ scheme. Over the coming year we will be working with new and existing partners on study abroad and exchange opportunities for the 2022/23 academic year and beyond.


There is high demand in the industry for graduates with the skills that we teach on this course. You will build strong links with real-world clients across the four years. You will be ready to make your mark in a wide range of career roles, including PR officer, digital strategist, marketing executive, publicity and promotions executive and events manager. There are PR and marketing specialists in almost every field you can imagine: from national government to charities, finance firms to whisky companies, and tourist organisations to universities.

Entry requirements

Scottish Higher: Standard - BBBB, Minimum - BBCC

A Level: BCC

Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H3 H3

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5

Required subjects: English or Media Studies preferred at Higher/ A Level. English required and Maths preferred at Nat 5/ GCSE.

Mature/Access: Related Access course, see: www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

We welcome applications from mature students with other relevant qualifications and/or experience.

Direct Entry:

Year Two

  • HNC/HND in a related subject with B/CB in the graded unit
  • Scottish Higher: BC at Advanced Higher in relevant subjects plus BB at Higher
  • A Level: BBB in relevant subjects

Year Three

  • HND in a related subject with CB in the graded units

For details of related HNC and HND courses, see: www.qmu.ac.uk/college-qualifications

Associate student places


Professional registration/accreditation

You can register as a student member of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).

Teaching staff, class sizes and timetables

For more information, please see ‘How we teach and how you’ll learn’.

Awarding body

QMU. For more information, please see ‘External Review’.

View Open Day presentation

Please note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2022/23 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Teaching staff may be subject to change

QMU is in the top 2 in Scotland for student satisfaction in Tourism, Transport and Travel

QMU is in the top 2 in Scotland for student satisfaction in Tourism, Transport and Travel (includes International Hospitality and Tourism Management, Events Management, and Public Relations, Marketing and Events courses) (Source: NSS 2020)

Course Overview

3 or 4 years full-time
Start Date
September 2022
Study Abroad
Fees & Funding