Attachments

 

Quality Handbook

 

 

 

Programme Specification Template - Postgraduate

 

Please note:

  • Guidance notes for staff or suggestions for the design and functionality of the database are in grey highlight.  Guidance notes should be deleted in the final version.

 

SECTION A: CORE INFORMATION

 

  1.  

Name  of programme:

Public Relations

 

  1.  

Award title:

MA

 

  1.  

Programme linkage:

 

Is this part of group of linked programmes between which students can transfer at agreed points? (e.g. a group of programmes with a common set of taught modules)

No

 

 

  1.  

Is the programme a top-up only?

No

 

  1.  

Level of award:

Level 7

 

  1.  

Awarding body:

University of Sunderland

 

  1.  

Department:

Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

 

  1.  

Programme Studies Board:

Journalism & PR

 

  1.  

Programme Leader:

Diane Green

 


  1. How and where can I study the programme?

Tick all boxes that apply

 

At Sunderland:

x

Full-time on campus

x

Part-time on campus

x

As work-based learning full-time

 

As work-based learning part-time

 

As a full-time sandwich course

 

As a part-time sandwich course

 

By distance learning

 

 

At the University of Sunderland London campus: 

 

Full-time on campus

 

Part-time on campus

 

As work-based learning full-time

 

As work-based learning part-time

 

As a full-time sandwich course

 

As a part-time sandwich course

 

By distance learning

 

 

At a partner college:

 

Full-time in the UK 

 

Part-time in the UK

 

Full-time overseas

 

Part-time overseas

 

By distance learning

 

As a full-time sandwich course in the UK

 

As a part-time sandwich course in the UK

 

As a full-time sandwich course overseas

 

As a part-time sandwich course overseas

 

As work-based learning full-time in the UK 

 

As work-based learning part-time overseas

 

Other (please specify)

 

 

 

  1. How long does the programme take?

 

 

Min number of years / months

Max number of years / months

Full-time

1 year

2 years

Part-time

2 years

3 years

Distance learning

 

 

Work-based learning

 

 

 

For start-dates please see the current edition of the Prospectus or contact the relevant department at the University. For start-dates for programmes delivered in a partner college, please contact the college.

 

SECTION B:  FURTHER CORE INFORMATION

 

Use Outline Programme Proposal Form for ADC, for questions 12 to 23

 

24. Learning and teaching strategy The learning and teaching strategy for this programme is aligned to the University Learning and Teaching Plan whose aims are to:

 

  • Develop independent ,active and reflective learners
  • create learning environments where teaching approaches, learning technologies, and institutional structures and culture foster these learners
  • ensure that staff are supported and developed for their roles, and valued for their contribution to learning and the learner experience
  • promote learning partnerships in which innovative, supportive and challenging practice inspires students to approach their courses and careers with curiosity, enthusiasm and creativity.

 

The main learning and teaching methods employed are a combination of:

 

Lectures

to present and explain factual information and give grounding in the key theories, genres and works associated with PR practice.

 

 

Seminars

to allow guided group discussion as a means of clarifying and elaborating on aspects of course work and thinking.

 

 

 

Group critiques

to allow practice presenting work to others and to develop the ability to become reflective in practice, and to learn from the feedback of others.

 

Tutorials

Take place throughout the programme, mainly one-to-one with the tutor.

 

 

 

Electronic learning resources

(Intranet - CANVAS internet, self-learning DVDs, videos, etc)

develop skills of research and analysis, and encourage you to become an independent learner embracing the notion of professional self development.

 

 

Independent learning or private study

encourages you to become resourceful and self-reliant using your own initiative and time management skills. With experience you also learn when its better to seek appropriate guidance. This is a core skill that employers are keen to see in any graduate.

 

 

 

Presentations

Overtime, you will gain practice presenting your work as would be expected in industry in a client presentation situation. This not only helps with your oral and visual presentation skills, it helps you to develop the skills to evaluate your own work and concisely identify the key points that can sell the idea to your audience. This is crucial to also enable employability skills to be embedded.

 

 

 

25. Retention strategy The University has a range of strategies in place to guide and support students, which help to maintain retention.

 

Induction

Students enrolling on this programme are taken through a series of induction activities, including a welcome event that introduces them to the University, the staff and fellow students. This induction also includes library inductions and students union activities all designed to help students make friends, settle in to University life, find their way around and get ready for their studies.

 

Student Handbook

All students receive a student handbook that explains the necessary information for their academic studies, how and where to get advice and support, and directs them to some of the wider support systems in place for students.

 

Student Reps

Students elect a student representative who can speak for them at the various committees and forums where decisions are made about how the programme is run.

 

Attendance

The University has a system of attendance monitoring system where students’ swipe into at each contact session electronically. Any unexplained absences are noted and admin staff will contact any students who do not attend. Further unexplained absences may result in more formal letters being sent and relevant staff notified for additional information, which may impact subsequent withdrawal proceedings.

 

Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC)

Each area holds SSLC meetings at least once per term at which student reps. and staff are invited to identify things that are worth commending about the operation of each programme, as well as things that need to be addressed. An action plan ensures that all agreed actions are followed up and addressed.

 

Personal Tutor

All students are allocated a personal tutor who is there to turn to and who can support them or direct them to where appropriate help may be obtained. Students can request a change of tutor without any questions asked.

 

26 Any other information

SECTION C:  TEACHING AND LEARNING

 

 

27 What is the programme about?

You will develop a range of higher level specialist skills of the PR practitioner including news release writing, campaign creation, and strategy. You will also learn core PR skills such internal communications crisis management, social media and marketing communications. In your final term you will produce your own PR campaign for a client of your choosing, or produce a dissertation on a PR topic of your choice.

 

28 What will I know or be able to do at the end of the programme?

You will have a range of practical skills including: news release writing, strategic campaign creation, crisis management, internal communication processes pitch and presentation skills.

 

Also you will have an understanding of PR theory that could provide a gateway to further academic study and research.

 

Learning Outcomes Postgraduate Certificate – Skills

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

  • Skills Graduate Certificate Stage
  • S1 An advanced, systematic ability to research and plan a successful public relations campaign to agreed objectives
  • S2 An advanced, systematic ability to critically examine and engage with the key concepts in ethical theory and their relevance to public relations practice
  • S3 An advanced, systematic ability to communicate effectively with a broad spectrum of stakeholders using a broad range of public relations techniques

 

Learning Outcomes Postgraduate Certificate – Knowledge

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:

  • Knowledge Graduate Certificate Stage
  • K1 An advanced, systematic understanding of the role, scope and function of public relations across a broad range of organizational contexts
  • K2 An advanced, systematic understanding of the key models and frameworks needed for an academic analysis and criticism of public relations activity
  • K3 An advanced, systematic critical understanding of the separate roles of advertising, public relations, sales promotion, direct marketing and personal selling in the marketing communications mix
  • K4 An advanced, systematic understanding of the key approaches to ethical theory and their relevance to contemporary communications practice
  • K5 An advanced, systematic knowledge of relevant media law, current principles, codes of practice, regulations and regulatory bodies

 

 

 

 

Learning Outcomes Postgraduate Diploma – Skills

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

  • Graduate Diploma Stage
  • S4 High-level competences in deploying a range of PR techniques relevant to internal communications
  • S5 High-level ability to evaluate the success of a PR project against specific corporate objectives
  • S6 High-level ability to engage with a broad range of social media platforms on behalf of a broad range of client organisations and personal branding.
  • S7 High-level ability to apply key research methodologies in the sociology and discourse of public relations).

 

Learning Outcomes Postgraduate Diploma – Knowledge

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

Graduate Diploma Stage

  • K6 High-level critical understanding of the principles and practice of a range of PR techniques deployed by commercial and non-commercial organisations
  • K7 High-level critical understanding of the influence of social media on public relations practice.
  • K8 High-level critical understanding of key contemporary theoretical approaches to the study of media and society

 

Learning Outcomes Masters – Skills

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:

  • Masters Stage
  • S8 – Higher-level ability to demonstrate a high level of self-direction, initiative, independence and originality when producing a substantial piece of work about an appropriate specialist area of public relations).

 

 

 

Learning Outcomes Masters – Knowledge

By the end of this part of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:

 

  • Graduate Masters Stage
  • K9 – Higher-level knowledge of suitable theories and methods with which to critically engage with a substantial piece of work in relation to an appropriate specialist area of public relations

 

 

29     What will the programme consist of?

 

Taught postgraduate programmes generally consist of a number of taught modules leading to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits). A Masters qualification (180 credits) usually culminates in a major piece of independent work such as a project or dissertation. All modules are at postgraduate level (level 7 in the UK’s national scheme). The summary below describes briefly what is contained in the programme. The programme structure, including a detailed list of modules, can be found in the programme regulations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Programme Structure and Content

Postgraduate Certificate

 

Module

Code

Core/

option

Modes of T&L

Modes of

Assessment

Public Relations Theory & practice

MACM27

Core

Lectures, seminars,

Tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

Portfolio

essay)

PR & Marketing Communications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Relations: Ethics and Critical Contexts

MACM29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MACM70

Core

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

core

Lectures, seminars,

Tutorials, small l group work, directed 

independent learning

 

Lectures, seminars,

tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

Campaign review

Portfolio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essay

Case Study

 

Postgraduate Diploma

 

Module

Code

Core/

option

Modes o T&L

Modes of

Assessment

Media Research

MACM28

Core

Lectures, seminars,

tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

Essay

  Public Relations Theory & practice 2 

 

 

 

 

Social Media and PR

 

  

MACM49

 

 

 

 

 

 

MACM69

Core

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Core

Lectures ,seminars,

tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

  

Lectures, seminars,

tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

Essay

 

Portfolio

Case study

 

 

 

 

Blog

Essay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Masters

 

Module

Code

Core/

optional

Modes of

T&L

Modes of

Assessment

Dissertation

OR

 

MACM88

 

 

 

Core

 

 

 

Supervised

self-directed independent learning

Dissertation

 

OR

Practical project

MACM89

Core

Supervised

self-directed independent learning

Presentation

Essay

 

Programme content

Graduate Certificate Stage

At Postgraduate Certificate Stage, students are introduced to theory, research, criticism and practice as it applies to public relations studies. The core entry module (MACM27 Public Relations: Theory and Practice 1) introduces students to basic the fundamentals of public relations practice, firmly grounded in communications theory. Those who are judged to have previously gained sufficient technical skills and understanding through relevant employment for three years or more will have the opportunity to locate this experience in a theoretical context through MACM30 Theory and Practice 1 (Professional Entry). They will be invited to critically evaluate the competing framings of the role of public relations in modern society, from information provider to propagandist, and examine ethical dilemmas facing the public relations practitioner (MACM70 PR and Society: Ethics and Critical Contexts). Students will also gain  understanding  of  how  public  relations  fits  into  the  “marketing  mix”  through  an  introduction  to  related   disciplines, including advertising and marketing (MACM29 PR & Marketing Communications).

 

Graduate Diploma Stage

Students at this level are introduced to advanced communication and strategic skills across a number of different platforms as well as the ability to critically evaluate and reflect on both their work and the influence of public relations at a societal level (MACM49 Public Relations: Theory and Practice 2). The techniques and framings needed for academic study of public relations are also studied within the broader field of key contemporary theoretical approaches (MACM28 Media Research).

They will also gain a critical understanding of the influence of social media on public relations practice (MACM69 Social Media & PR).

 

Masters Stage

Students have the option of completing a major dissertation (MACM88) researching a public relations- related topic or a practical project (MACM89) drawing on the skills and knowledge of research, strategic planning, delivery and evaluation developed in the previous stages. The emphasis at all levels is to develop the student’s capacity for independent learning and self-directed study and at this stage the students have individual tutorial support.


 

 

 

30     How will I be taught? Modes of teaching and learning aligned with Unistats – choose one or more

 

Scheduled teaching activities

x

Independent study

x

Placement

 

 

Describe the type of teaching and learning which students will encounter; explain the way in which it changes over the period of the programme (e.g. greater emphasis on research for the project or dissertation at the end - you may wish to link this with Certificate / Diploma / Masters phases (‘stages’ or ‘parts’) of the programme); give some examples of how specific types of knowledge or understanding are acquired through particular methods of teaching and learning. Use plain English but make sure that the text is academically appropriate and spell out acronyms the first time they are used in the section. Explain ‘technical’ vocabulary if you do not think that it will be familiar to students, bearing in mind of course that they are applicants for a postgraduate award and so will already have experience of the subject.  (Maximum 500 words)

 

The Programme uses a diverse range of teaching and learning strategies that assist in the development of technical and professional skills of students. In the early stages of the Programme, the modules are staffed, providing teaching and learning through staff led sessions and seminars. However, by final stage the self-negotiated projects/dissertation lead to a greater student-led emphasis within their learning with staff guidance. Each module offers a variety of tutorials, seminars, workshops, demonstrations, peer reviews, and feedback.

 

Teaching and Learning

Teaching strategies are  explicitly  linked  to  the  learning outcomes of the programme. They are intended to prompt students towards developing practice in public relations, informed by relevant critical opinion and debate, and understanding the processes required to undertake innovative, creative work, within appropriate legal, regulatory and industry constraints. Overall, the teaching strategy will seek to develop an environment in which ideas and approaches to public relations can be tested and challenged. Students will have the opportunity to use their acquired skills and understanding to apply them in specialist areas of public relations, including media relations, external and internal communications, marketing communications and engaging with social media.

These teaching, learning and assessment strategies have been developed with three key issues in mind:

  • The need to facilitate student progression from a tutor-centred approach to a student-centred approach at Graduate Certificate stage leading to an emphasis on greater autonomy and self responsibility at Graduate Masters stage.
  • An increasing stress on independent research and research-based work
  • Teaching and learning methods include: lectures, demonstrations, screenings, seminars, workshops, tutorials, small-group work, debates, group and individual project work, supervised independent learning, open and resource-based learning, multi-media and new media learning. Generally, teaching and learning strategies in the theory modules employ a lecture plus seminar format, while practice modules use lecture/workshop and tutorial formats, as appropriate. There is a clear development of the demands placed on the students in terms of both knowledge and skill as they progress through the three stages. The aim is to encourage reflective and autonomous practitioners to emerge who will be capable of researching, planning, contextualising, executing and evaluating their work. Students will receive regular feedback on their work and formal feedback at the assessment points on completion of each module. Assessment will, thus, form an important part of the learning and teaching strategy.

The programme will also include visiting speakers (and academic tutors with current professional experience and specific areas of expertise.

The programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

As noted above, the teaching and learning strategies on postgraduate programmes in the media area have been developed in order to encourage students to become increasingly self-responsible and independent as they progress through the stages of the programme.

The programme conforms to University regulations on the accreditation of prior learning.

 

A list of the modules in the programme can be found in the Programme Regulations.

 

A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in the Matrix of Modes of Teaching.

 

31     How will I be assessed and given feedback? Modes of assessment aligned with Unistats: choose one or more.

 

Written examinations

 

Coursework

X

Practical assessments

X

 

A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in the Matrix of Modes of Teaching.

 

The generic assessment criteria which we use can be found here. Some programmes use subject-specific assessment criteria which are based on the generic ones.

 

This programme uses the Generic University Assessment Criteria

YES

 

This programme uses the Subject Specific Assessment Criteria

 

NO

 

The University regulations can be found here.

Written assignments, essays and reports

Are used to test knowledge and understanding. They also testy our academic research skills and the ability to select critical detail from large amounts of information and to interpret, evaluate, organise and present a coherent argument or report based on that information.

 

Seminar and presentations

Are used to test your ability to sift key information and present it coherently and succinctly to an audience. Depending on the nature of the project, the assessment may require that you present individually or as part of a team.

The University aims to return marked assessments and feedback within 4 working weeks of the assignment submission date after internal moderation process have been completed. If this is not possible, students will be notified by the Module Leaders when the feedback is available and how it can be obtained.

 

The Academic Misconduct Regulations and associated guidance can be found here. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they are familiar with their responsibilities in regards to assessment and the implications of an allegation of academic misconduct.

 

Students should refer to the University Regulations for information on degree classifications.

 

Marking Procedure, Marks are discussed and agreed by the assessment team. If the assessment was made by one member of staff then a second marker will view the work and moderate or agree the marks before the module assessment board. Works is also sampled by an External Examiner. All marks then go through a Module Assessment Board.

 

Student feedback on assessment is provided both verbally and in written form, in both cases referring clearly to the assessment criteria and learning outcomes of the module. This enables students to understand the level of their mark, and draws their attention to areas for improvement

 

The purpose of assessment is to enable students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the Learning Outcomes of each module. Within this programme the students are encouraged to perceive the assessment as an integral part of the learning experience. Whilst all assessment tests knowledge and understanding, a variety of modes allow for that test to be conducted in ways which examine the flexibility and application of skills that a student can bring to their studies.

Effective learning and teaching strategies promote assessment methods which would allow students to develop and demonstrate the broad range of competencies demanded by the programme learning outcomes and need to develop skills and systematic knowledge and critical understanding in the field of media writing:

broad-based knowledge and understanding: assessed, for example, through examination or independent research portfolio;

  • the application of knowledge: assessed, for example, through written assignments/reports;
  • analytical skills and understanding: assessed, for example, through essays, presentations and critical analysis/evaluations;
  • the ability to synthesise and make links across subject areas: assessed, for example, through essays;
  • practice-based skills and knowledge: assessed, for example, through production work and portfolios;
  • independent learning: assessed, for example, through negotiated and managed project work, portfolios and literature searches;
  • research skills: assessed, for example through essays or, as evidenced in production work, action-planning and goal-setting.

key skills: skills of time management, of organisation and communication within small and large groups, and of responsibility for learning and to fellow students are demonstrated in the preparation and delivery of seminar presentations and group projects; information retrieval skills are demonstrated through essay, project work; basic IT skills are demonstrated in all student written work; advanced and specialist IT skills are demonstrated in production work.

 

 

32     Teaching, learning and assessment matrix

 

Matrix of modes of teaching, learning and assessment

 

Matrix of modes of teaching, learning and assessment                                                 Appendix 2

 

Postgraduate Certificate

 

Module

Code

Core/

option

Modes of T&L

Modes of

Assessment

LO S1

LO S2

LO S3

LO K1

LO K2

LO K3

LO K4

LO K5

Public Relations Theory & practice

MACM27

Core

Lectures, seminars,

Tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

Portfolio

essay)

T A

 

TDA

TD

 

 TDA

 

 

PR & Marketing Communications

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Relations: Ethics and Critical Contexts

MACM29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MACM70

Core

Lectures, seminars,

Tutorials, small l group work, directed  independent learning

 

Lectures, seminars,

tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

Campaign review

Portfoilo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essay

Case Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TDA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TDA

TA

T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 D

TDA

 

 TDA

 

 

 

 

 

 

TDA

 

Postgraduate Diploma

 

Module

Code

Core/

option

Modes o T&L

Modes of

Assessment

LOS4

LOS5

LO S6

LO S7

LOK6

LO K7

LOK8

Media Research

MACM28

Core

Lectures, seminars,

tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

essay

 

D

 

 

 

 

TDA

  

Public Relations Theory & practice 2 

 

 

Social Media and PR

 

  

MACM49

 

 

 

 

 

 

MACM69

Core

 

 

 

 

 

 

Core

Lectures ,seminars,

tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

  

Lectures, seminars,

tutorials, small group work, directed independent learning

Essay

 

Portfolio

 

 

 

Case study

TDA

 

 

 

 

 

 

TDA

TDA

 

 

 

 

 

 

TDA

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

TDA

D

 

 

 

 

 

D

 TDA

 

 

 

 

 

TDA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Masters

 

Module

Code

Core/

optional

Modes of

T&L

Modes of

Assessment

LO S8

LO K9

Dissertation

OR

 

MACM88

 

 

 

Core

 

 

 

Supervised

self-directed independent learning

Dissertation

Presentation

 

 DA

 

OR

Practical project

MACM89

Core

Supervised

self-directed independent learning

Essay

 

 DA

 

33 How does research influence the programme? 

The Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies team continues to consolidate and develop its research activities, skills and methodologies through initiatives based on individual projects, collaborative exchange, and contact with external scholars and funding partners. In the most recent REF 25% of University of Sunderland media research was deemed to be world leading. This research is fed back into the modules staff teach and students benefit from their insights.  The university’s Centre for Research into Media and Cultural Studies holds weekly research seminars which students can attend.

 

 

SECTION D EMPLOYABILITY

 

34     How will the programme prepare me for employment?

The programme gives you the opportunity to develop advanced skills and knowledge which you can use in the future. Some postgraduate programmes are associated with a particular career path but most skills can be applied to a range of employment situations. The skills which this programme is designed to develop are listed below.

 

Eg MACM27, MACM49, MACM89 News release writing, campaign creation, strategy, media relations marketing communications, pitching and presenting.

 

  • We work closely with the CIPR regionally which involves a number of regional employers. During our annual CIPR networking event – employers provide feedback to the team and students as to what skills are required within the workplace. This acts as a benchmark for module content.

 

  • The practical skills and knowledge attained through this programme are those skills required for a role as a PR practitioner (see above those sills linked to individual modules)

 

As described a bespoke networking event involving local employers enables students to build their own contacts, for employers to seek potential interns and employees. We also invite practitioners into the classroom to give master-classes which involve the sharing of real-life experiences.

 

We also promote a range of industry competitions and other opportunities to enable students to push themselves and demonstrate their abilities on a national platform.

 

 

35     Particular features of the qualification. (optional)

 

 

36     Professional statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation. Choose one of the following.

 

PSRB accreditation is not relevant to this programme 

 

PSRB accreditation is currently being sought for this programme

 

This programme currently has PSRB accreditation

X

The programme is currently accredited until: August 2019

 

The implications of the accreditation not being renewed are: we would lose a key marketing opportunity

 

Please see PSRB Renewal Process for information on the renewal process.

 

The relevant PSRB(s) is/are: The Chartered Institute of Public Relations

 

 

SECTION E:  PROGRAMME STRUCTURE AND REGULATIONS

 

Please complete and insert Part B of the Programme Regulations Form, for question 37

 

Name of programme: Public Relations

Title of final award: MA Public Relations

Interim awards: Postgraduate Certificate in Public Relations; Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations. 

Accreditation: CIPR

University Regulation (please state the relevant University Regulation):

AQH-F1-2 Postgraduate Regulations 2015–16 Version 18.0 October 2015

 

Regulations apply to students commencing their studies from (please state the date / intake that these regulations will apply to students for each Stage):

 

Regulations apply to students

Date the regulations apply

Intakes affected

Stage 1

2016–17 and ongoing

2016–17

 

Graduate Certificate

 

Core modules:

MA Public Relations

Code

Title

Credits

MACM27

Public Relations: Theory and Practice 1

30

MACM29

PR and Marketing Communications

15

MACM70

Public Relations: Ethics and Critical Contexts

15

 

Graduate Diploma

 

Core modules

MA Public Relations

Code

Title

Credits

MACM28

Media Research

15

MACM49

Public Relations: Theory and Practice 2

30

MACM69

Social Media and PR

15

 

Masters

 

Core modules

Code

Title

Credits

MACM89

Public Relations: Practical Project

60

 

OR

MACM88

Dissertation

60

 

 

Progression Regulations: N/A

 

 

 

SECTION F:  ADMISSIONS, LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND SUPPORT

 

  1. What are the admissions requirements?

 

Admissions requirements

  • It is not essential for applicants to have previous public relations experience. Applicants will, however, be expected to have an upper second class degree or above in a relevant subject area or one demonstrating suitable analytical and communications skills (e.g. History, English, Social Sciences).

 

  • Applicants from areas with little or no engagement with communications or with a 2ii will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Students without the above academic qualifications may be invited for interview and account taken of their life/work experience.
  • Overseas applicants from countries whose first language is not English are required to produce evidence of advanced competence in English. This will require an IELTS test of score of 7.0 or equivalent. Students with an ILTS score of 6.5 may be accepted if they attend an English for Academic Purposes course in the month prior to course commencement.

 

The University’s standard admissions requirements can be found in the university regulations.

Programme-specific requirements which are in addition to those regulations are given below. 

(Maximum 100 words)

 

Can students enter with advanced standing?

Yes

 

 

If yes, to which Stages?

Stage 1

 

Stage 2

X

Stage 3

 

Stage 4

 

 

If yes, with what qualifications? (Maximum 100 words)

 

  • Those  with  at  least  three  years’  professional  experience  and  who  can  demonstrate   their PR skills by way of a portfolio of work will be considered for admission. They will take MACM30, the “professional  entry”  version  of  MACM27,  in  Stage  1.
  • Holders of the CIPR Diploma will be admitted direct to Stage 2 of the MA.

 

Notes:

Where Entry with advanced standing is given (i.e. after the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma phase of a Masters award) you will need to

  • ensure that the entry route is approved
  • map the learning outcomes of the entry qualification  to the relevant part of this programme  (this requires Faculty approval – seek advice from your AD Student Experience)

See Articulation and Related Processes for details or consult Academic Registry.

 

 

  1. What kind of support and help will there be?

Every student receives personal copies of the programme handbook or has access to them online. These contain a wide range of information including the current Induction information and the relevant safety policy as well as information on how to access the full University Services.

Every student, at the beginning of the induction period, is supplied with detailed timetables of the induction activities and of the course on to which he/she has enrolled.

Students requesting or showing signs of needing additional support or who have specific learning needs will be advised and directed to the support available.

 

On commencement of the programme, all students are allotted a personal tutor – the programme leader who will support them through their studies. They will support students by helping them to understand and navigate through the modular credit scheme and also, where appropriate, by acting as a signpost to refer students to any of the other support systems within the University or beyond.

 

Tutorials will take place in order to discuss programme-specific issues and identify any personal difficulties and to help to develop and maintain the students progress file. Students normally see their personal tutor individually at appropriate points during each term to discuss their progress, but also as required. Students will be referred to Student Services, Financial Counsellor, Students Union and other appropriate agencies who offer expertise to deal with issues of a more personal nature. Students are informed about the careers service, the counselling service, the chaplaincy and the international student service during induction and when necessary during tutorials. The careers and employability services deliver aspects of the programme at Stages 2 and 3.

 

All on-campus students have access to the University’s central support services including Counselling, Disability Service, Health and Well-being, Chaplaincy, financial support and advice, International Office and Careers and Employability Service. The Students’ Union provides an independent service which offers advice and support across the full range of personal and academic problems which students may encounter. Students wishing to lodge a complaint or an appeal can seek advice from the Students’ Union or from Academic Services. Full details of all these services can be found on the University’s web-site. Where appropriate, academic or support staff in the Faculty will sign-post students to these specialist services.

 

  1. What resources will I have access to?

 

On campus

x

In a partner college

 

By distance learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

On campus

Tick all that apply

General Teaching and Learning Space

x

IT

x

Library

x

VLE

x

Laboratory

 

Studio

 

Performance space

 

Other specialist

 

Technical resources 

x

 

The PR MA is mainly taught in the David Puttnam Media Centre on the St Peter’s campus. The university continually invests in industry-standard equipment and is a centre for excellence for training media students.

There is, a cinema, an open-access computer suite, audio and video edit rooms and a range of seminar and lecture rooms. There is full technician support in all these areas.

A key feature of the Media Centre is its state-of-the art Media Hub, a student-run newsroom which houses four online outlets – SRNews, Fashion North, Northern Lights and SportsByte – plus the news desk for awarding-wining student-run community radio station Spark FM.  The Media Centre has six radio studios including a transmission suite for Spark FM and two broadcast-quality TV studios complete with green room and changing facilities. Most public relations modules are taught in the Journalism Suite.


9.5 Further Resources within the Faculty

  • e-mail account and internet access
  • printing and photocopying facilities
  • use of presentation/meeting room
  • business advice and support

University Library resources

University Library Services offer a range of resources, both in print and online, in support of University learning, teaching and research activities. The three site libraries provide information collections, a variety of study spaces, IT facilities and experienced library staff during core hours, with online services and support available at any time off-campus. In addition, both The Murray and St. Peter’s libraries offer 24/7 access during main teaching weeks.

On joining the University, all students attend a Library Induction session and library staff are available to help with enquiries during library opening hours. In addition, library staff are experienced in working with academic colleagues in designing and delivering customised Information Skills workshops, either timetabled sessions embedded into core modules or individual sessions provided on request. These workshops provide students with the skills they need to identify and evaluate information from both print collections and electronic sources, including subject specific databases and gateways, online journals and other quality sources available on the Internet. Students can also access subject specific help sheets, online tutorials, FAQs and many more sources of information on the Library website www.library.sunderland.ac.uk

Information about the University’s facilities can be found here.

 

Please see the relevant college prospectus or website for details of college learning resources if you are planning to study in one of our partner colleges.

 

  1. Are there any additional costs on top of the fees?

 

No, but all students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials.

X

Yes (optional) All students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials. In addition there are some are additional costs for optional activities associated with the programme (see below)

 

Yes (essential) All students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials. In addition there are some are essential additional costs associated with the programme (see below)

 

 

List any additional costs the students will have to meet and whether this is optional (e.g. an optional field trip) or essential (e.g. buying a lab coat). Give an estimate of the approximate cost which may be a range (e.g. depending where the field trip goes in a particular year)and some idea of what the activity is (e.g. a visit to a basket-weaving factory). (Maximum 250 words)

 

  1. How are student views represented?

 

All taught programmes in the University have student representatives for each programme who meet in a Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) where they can raise students’ views and concerns. The Students’ Union and the faculties together provide training for student representatives. SSLCs and focus groups are also used to obtain student feedback on plans for developing existing programmes and designing new ones. Feedback on your programme is obtained every year through module questionnaires and informs the annual review of your programme. Student representatives are also invited to attend Programme and Module Studies Boards which manage the delivery and development of programmes and modules.  Faculty Academic Committee, also has student representation. This allows students to be involved in higher-level plans for teaching and learning. At university level on Students are represented on University level Committed by sabbatical officers who are the elected leaders of the Students’ Union.

 

The University’s student representation and feedback policy can be found here.

 

Every year we participate in the national Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) which is run by the Higher Education Academy.

 

 

SECTION G: QUALITY MANAGEMENT 

 

  1. National subject benchmarks

 

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education publishes benchmark statements which give guidance as to the skills and knowledge which graduates in various subjects and in certain types of degree are expected to have. They do not cover all subjects at postgraduate level but those which exist can be found at here.

 

Are there any benchmark statements for this programme?

YES

 

 

The subject benchmark(s) for this programme is/are: The subject benchmark(s) for this programme is/are: QAA Communication, media, film and cultural studies.

 

 

The QAA also publishes a Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) which defines the generic skills and abilities expected of students who have achieved awards at a given level and with which our programmes align. The FHEQ can be found here.

 

  1. How are the quality and standards of the programme assured?

 

The programme is managed and quality assured through the University’s standard processes. Programmes are overseen by Module and Programme Studies Boards which include student representatives. Each year each module leader provides a brief report on the delivery of the module, identifying strengths and areas for development, and the programme team reviews the programme as a whole. The purpose of this is to ensure that the programme is coherent and up-to-date, with suitable progression through the programme, and a good fit (alignment)  between what is taught and how students learn and are assessed - the learning outcomes, content and types of teaching, learning and assessment. Student achievement, including progress through the programme and the way in which the final award is made, is kept under review. The programme review report is sent to the Programme Studies Board and the Faculty in turn reports issues to the University’s Quality Management Sub-Committee (QMSC).

 

External examiners are appointed to oversee and advise on the assessment of the programme. They ensure that the standards of the programme are comparable with those of similar programmes elsewhere in the UK and are also involved in the assessment process to make sure that it is fair. They are invited to comment on proposed developments to the programme. Their reports are sent to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) as well as to the Faculty so that issues of concern can be addressed.

 

All programmes are reviewed by the University on a six-yearly cycle to identify good practice and areas for enhancement. Programmes are revalidated through this review process. These reviews include at least one academic specialist in the subject area concerned from another UK university. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) review reports for Sunderland can be found here.

 

Further information about our quality processes can be found here.

 

SITS SUMMARY PROGRAMME/SHORT COURSE DETAILS

(Form to be completed electronically by the Faculty and forwarded to the Quality Assurance and Enhancement (QAE) Quality Officer supporting the Approval event, or sent to Management Information and Systems Development (MISD) for faculty devolved processes before sending to QAE)

PROGRAMME/SUBJECT/SHORT COURSE DETAILS

 

Exit Award: Title of programme/award

MA Public Relations

If replacement for existing, specify title of old

 

Faculty(ies):

 

Department:

 

SITS Programme/Short Course code[1]

 

Programme Studies Board[2]

MA Journalism and Public Relations

UCAS code[3] (if applicable).  If other please state method.

CID986

JACS code[4]

P304

Qualification Level / Qualification Aim

MA

 

Modes of delivery and duration:

 

(delete yes/no as necessary)

Full time       yes – one year (up to two)

Sandwich     no  

Part time      yes/ two years (up to three)

Work Based Learning /no

On-campus  yes

Off-campus no 

CSP Only. Other subject combinations not allowed with this subject:

 

Programme/Subject/Short Course Leader:

Diane Green

Date of Approval /Modification/Review

March 2016

Date of next review (QAE to complete)

 

Start date of programme/Short Course

 

Number of intakes per annum and likely month(s) intake(s) starts.

One September

 

FUNDING DETAILS

 

Confirm funding arrangements for programme e.g. HEFCE/TDA/NHS/Other[5]

HEFCE

If it is TDA, is it primary/secondary/F.E./Other (please state)

 

Is the programme Open or Closed[6]:

Open

 

ACCREDITING BODY

Chartered Institute of Public Relations

 

PROGRAMME SPECIFIC REGULATIONS

Are there to be programme specific regulations?

YES Overseas applicants from countries whose first language is not English are required to produce evidence of advanced competence in English. This will require an IELTS test score of 7.0 or equivalent. Students with an IELTS score of 6.5 may be accepted if they attend an English for Academic Purposes course prior to the commencement of the MA.

 

COLLABORATIVE:

Please complete details

UK                    no

 

Overseas           /no

Institution                                      Collaborative model[7]         Funding arrangements[8]

 

…………………………………………..            ………………………………         ….……………………..

 

…………………………………………..            ………………………………         ………………………..

 

…………………………………………..            ………………………………         …………………………

 

 

INTERIM AWARD SCHEDULE

 

Interim award title

Credits required

Interim structure

Please show mandatory requirements if applicable e.g. core module codes

Postgraduate certificate

60

MACM27* MACM28, MACM29

(MACM30 for professional entry)

 

Diploma of Higher Education

60

 

MACM49, MACM69, MACM70

 

 

 

 

 

   DETAILS SUPPLIED BY:……Diane Green…………  DATE: 11/04/2019………………………..


Module List

New/Existing/ Modified  Module (N/E/MM)

Module Title

Module Code

Module Credit Value

Whether core or option

Must choose (ie designated option):

Assessment weighting – give % weight for each assessment item

Pre-/co-requisites

Module leader

E

Public Relations Theory & Practice 1

MACM27

30

C

n/a

CW1 30%

CW2 70%

none

Diane Green

E

PR : Ethics & Critical Contexts

MACM70

15

C

n/a

CW1 50%

CW2 50%

MACM27

Diane Green

E

PR & Marketing communications

MACM29

15

C

n/a

CW1 40%

CW2 60%

none

Diane Green

E

Public Relations Theory & Practice 2

MACM49

30

C

n/a

CW1 30%

CW2 70%

MACM27

Diane Green

E

Social Media & PR

MACM69

15

C

n/a

CW1 40%

CW2 60%

MACM27

Diane Green

E

Media research

MACM28

15

C

n/a

CW1 100%

none

John Price

E

PR Dissertation

MACM88

60

C

n/a

CW1 100%

MACM28

John Price

E

PR practical project

MACM89

60

C

n/a

CW1 100%

MACM49

Diane Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E

PR Theory & Practice 1

(professional entry)

MACM30

30

C

n/a

CW1 100%

none

Diane Green

 

 


[1]To be allocated in consultation with MISD team in Planning and Finance

[2] Programme Studies/Assessment Board that will have management responsibilities for the programme.

[3]Please contact Admissions Manager for code

[4] JACS code = e.g. (V1) History, (G5) Computing Science, etc. for information contact relevant Faculty Associate Dean (See QAA Website http://www.qaa.ac.uk/WorkWithUs/Documents/jacs_codes.pdf)

[5]Please confer with Amanda Watson for funding status for programme

[6] An Open programme constitutes an open admissions policy.  A Closed programme is normally specific to one client only.  If in doubt please consult Academic Services or Planning and Finance.

 

[7]As per QAE guidelines

[8] Please contact Amanda Watson for confirmation of funding details