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This course is ideal if you aspire to a career in corporate communications, public relations or internal communications. It offers a basis in business disciplines rather than journalism. This includes working for an agency or in-house for a company or organisation. Roles may include PR manager, internal/external communications or investor relations.
Over the course of the programme, you will learn to:
Kingston Business School holds the prestigious international accreditation by the AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) in recognition of the excellence of its business education. This accreditation has been earned by just 5% of the world's business schools and recognises the high quality and standard of our business degree offering.
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR): Through our unique collaboration with the CIPR we have embedded a bespoke programme of professional development into the course structure. This will set you on the path to becoming an Accredited CIPR Practitioner, adding value to your CV and marking you out as an industry expert.
My course has provided me with career guidance from expert industry professionals, it has helped me grow and learn, preparing me to become a successful public relations officer.
Stuti Misra, Public Relations and Corporate Communications MA
Grace, a Public Relations and Corporate Communications Master's student from Belgium talks about what she is looking forward to as a KU student.
With the kind of practical, hands-on learning experiences that encourage flexible thinking, and a fundamental basis in business and marketing rather than journalism, our MA in Public Relations and Corporate Communications will help propel you into a range of high-level careers in challenging or commercial environments. We enable our students to graduate with the ability to effectively adapt their communications technique to succeed in any cultural, social, commercial or non-profit context.
The Public Relations and Corporate Communications MA is made up of six core modules worth a total of 180 credits.
This module combines two key elements: cross-cultural communications and internal communications management. Cross-cultural communications involves the study of issues and problems which arise when people from different cultural backgrounds interact and when organisations interact with different foreign cultures. Internal communications encompasses the planning and managing of multidirectional communication within a business to ensure that employees are informed, engaged and can fully contribute to the achievement of organisational goals and strategy and the development of investor relations. An understanding and competence in both areas are essential for success in today's increasingly global environment.
The aims of this module are to build students' understanding of cross-cultural awareness and effective internal communication leading them to success in organisations and to equip them to develop and implement communication plans that meet the needs of organisations and people operating in fast-changing business environments. It is delivered through a combination of lectures, case studies, group presentations and individual assignments. The importance of this subject increases with increasing globalisation and will have a major impact on the students' future work experience and career development.
The module is relevant to all students who want to equip themselves for a career in marketing communications, either on the agency or client side. Marketing communications involves planning, organising, managing and evaluating communications between a company or organisation and its stakeholders. It traditionally involves the integration of advertising, sales promotion, public relations and interactive marketing. This module ensures that you understand the practical issues involved in creating effective integrated communications plans which incorporate both traditional and innovative elements. It also builds an understanding of the theoretical issues which underpin effective communications.
The module is delivered via lectures, in-class exercises, workshops, electronic learning and is supported by guest speakers. There is a strong emphasis on student-centred learning and you will be regularly asked to contribute to sessions with discussion of research projects, presentations and practical assignments.
The module is relevant to students who want to equip themselves for a career in marketing communications, either on the agency or client side. Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation - for individuals, products, organisations, governments even countries. This module comprises an in-depth examination of the theory of public relations and the application of its tools and techniques in building and maintaining reputation to an advanced level. In addition, the module considers a range of specialisms and market sector applications within the PR domain, along with potential future developments. It is delivered through a combination of lectures, guest speakers, case study tutorials and group presentations.
You will combine theoretical perspectives and practical applications to ensure that you develop the rigorous research and analytical skills essential for a career in marketing communications. There is a strong emphasis on student-centred learning with regular research projects, presentations and practical assignments.
This module will help you understand the elements of effective market research. You will:
This module can act as a launch pad for a career in market research within the wider marketing industry. The skills you learn in this module also prepare you for your dissertation. You will learn to:
The module is delivered through a combination of class sessions, workshops and computer mediated practical sessions covering both quantitative and quantitative aspects of data collection and analysis.
You will research a specific area of marketing in depth by identifying a topical issue or problem using appropriate theory and research methods. You will put the knowledge you've developed during the course to the test by writing a research proposal and dissertation that combine academic rigour with practical marketing implications. You will then communicate these findings as you would do in the workplace – by writing a management report.
This module teaches you how to select appropriate research methods and leads to a theoretically-grounded research project which generates findings that inform management decisions. It will teach you to apply your research skills and gain experience managing a large-scale research project. These advanced research skills will prepare you for a highly adaptable career in marketing, and differentiate you as a future business leader.
This module will help you develop a critical understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development (SD), and recognise their development and growing importance. You will learn contrasting methods while you evaluate CSR and SD practices as applied to various business functions and how to manage organisations and their activities in a socially responsible way.
The professional placement year is optional. It takes place after the full-time year. It allows students to do a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The work placement is an assessed part of the course and is therefore covered by a Student Route visa.
Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.
The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a Master's programme that incorporates an extended professional placement that follows completion of the first 180 credits of taught modules and project or dissertation. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject specific skills in their chosen subject.
It is the responsibility of individual students to locate and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this will normally involve one placement which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the module leader prior to commencement to ensure its suitability.
Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.
Within the course, students are given the opportunity to gain real-life work experience. Recently, students worked on a live-client project with Rose Theatre Kingston. They were given their brief by the Theatre's Chief Executive. Then in a formal pitch process the students presented their ideas to the team from the Theatre.
"Our students get the opportunity to understand current challenges that real businesses face, understand the marketing context of an organisation and present solutions to real problems in a formal process."
Dr Shalini Ramlall, Course Director
Recent alumni from our range of marketing postgraduate courses have taken numerous professional roles, including:
Some graduates decide to continue their studies at Kingston University though doctoral research, and many decide to use the skills they have learned to set themselves up in business.
A 2:2 or above honours degree or equivalent, in any discipline. You do not need to have a background in business to study the Public Relations and Corporate Communications MA, but you will need to have a strong interest in internal communications, public relations or corporate social responsibility.
Candidates with non-standard qualifications but with relevant experience are welcome to apply.
If you do not meet these entry requirements, our pre-masters programme can prepare you for the course.
Please note: most students from countries outside the European Union/European Economic Area and classified as overseas fee paying, are not eligible to apply for part-time courses due to UK student visa regulations. For information on exceptions please visit the UKCISA website or email our CAS and Visa Compliance team.
All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with no element below 6.0. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.
Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.
Applicants from recognised majority-English-speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.
You will find more information on country-specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.
Find your country:
When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects and preparing coursework assignments and presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.
As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services.
17% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity
100% of your time is spent on guided independent study (self-managed time) and placement
Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
Public Relations and Corporate Communications MA
Professional Placement Year
Assessment typically comprises practical assessments (e.g. presentations) and coursework (e.g. essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:
Public Relations and Corporate Communications MA
Professional Placement Year
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
Each student receives a personalised timetable. This is usually available after you have completed your online enrolment, which is typically accessible one month before the start of your course.
You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which supports dedicated academic guidance and advice and gives you the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you will be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.
You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. The following group of staff members are currently involved in the delivery of different elements of this course. This pool is subject to change at any time within the academic year.
If you are a UK student, resident in England and are aged under the age of 60, you will be able to apply for a loan to study for a postgraduate degree. For more information, read the postgraduate loan information on the government's website.
Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:
If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.
We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks – this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.
In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.
Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston-upon-Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.
Students who choose to take a placement will need to allow for travel costs. Cost will depend on the location of the placement. If placement is based in London travel costs may vary from £0 to £200 per month, for 12 months.
The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.
Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.
Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.