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Undergraduate course guide 2012 Aberdeen Business School•Robert Gordon University•Aberdeen

COMMUNICATION – Public Relations – Media


Public Relations 2 What and when: course overview 10 …and course detail 12 Media 14 What and when: course overview 18 …and course detail 20 How will I be taught? 22 Key facts 23 What next? 24


Choosing a course isn’t straightforward. There’s loads of detail you need to know. Where will I study? What topics are covered? How will I be assessed? Plus you also want to gain a ‘feel’ for things – ideally, direct and honest from some current or recent students. In this brochure we’ve combined both of these: hard facts with real views. And we’ve tried to keep things short and clear, so you don’t get put off by more information than you need. Our aim is to give you a quick, genuine and useful insight into our courses. If there’s anything more you’d like to know, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


PUBLIC RELATIONS BA (Hons) UCAS P210

INTRODUCTION:

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This interdisciplinary and highly creative course focuses on key management functions relating to internal and external communication. It gives you a strong foundation for any career in the communication industries – public relations in particular. To be successful in the current competitive market, it’s essential that organisations understand and adopt good practices in press and public relations. Their products and services need to be marketed and advertised effectively to their consumers. We can help you gain these skills.

Our course provides a specialised education in corporate communication. You’ll understand the principles and practice of communication, and its application in a range of contexts. Career options You can use the skills you’ll gain on this course across a range of careers in the communication industries. It will open doors to areas such as public relations, advertising, marketing, media, information services, public affairs, and event management, as well as managerial careers in commerce, industry or the public sector.

Elizabeth Stevenson BA (Hons) Communication with PR

“The RGU course has two stand-out features – the third year communications project and the placement. Both offer a brilliant opportunity to participate in active learning and allow an insight into the communication and public relations field. “The most enjoyable part of the course is the opportunity for practical learning. Having spoken to friends at other universities, the RGU approach seems to be the most hands-on – with smaller tutorial classes, teamwork and modules which offer the opportunity to learn through creative challenges. One second year module involved creating our own magazine, and such projects help to create an eclectic learning experience.”

“Since finishing I’ve been working with my placement organisation – so beyond the fun of my study years, it’s a big bonus to leave with a job opportunity.”

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PUBLIC RELATIONS BA (Hons) UCAS P210

Nothing beats real experience. It makes your studies seem real; tests your understanding of topics, and helps you get an idea of what you might like to do after graduating. (Plus it’s a great thing to have on your CV.) The six week industrial placement in year 3 gives you the opportunity to gain practical experience in your chosen area of the communication and public relations industries. This is also an invaluable opportunity to establish links with potential employers. It’s organised with the help of the Placement Office, which is part of the Aberdeen Business School.

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Recent placement employers > BBC Scotland > Weber Shandwick > Evening Express > Wood Group > Aberdeen and Grampian Tourist Board > The Scottish Rugby Union press office > National Trust for Scotland press office > tbp! > Tricker PR > Oil and Gas UK > The Big Partnership


“I found the way modules are taught – a combination of practical and theoretical elements – really easy to engage with.”

MADELEINE MARCELLA BA (Hons) CORPORATE Communication

… now works as Marketing Officer at ABS whilst studying part-time for a postgraduate degree in Project Management. “The practical elements of the course enabled me to gain transferable skills in internal and external communication, marketing and events management – all key aspects needed for the job I am in today.”

PROSPECTS:

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PUBLIC RELATIONS BA (Hons) UCAS P210

PLACEMENTS:

GET YOUR NAME KNOWN

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Fi Garioch BA (Hons) Communication with PR

“As an ex-journalist who had taken time off to raise my two children, I was finding it hard to get job interviews because I didn’t have a degree. I also needed to update my skill set to make it applicable in the 21st Century job market. Having completed an HND in 1989, I started the course

in third year – and it proved a great way to update my skills. I certainly feel that I have more chance of finding a job now with my degree.

“Robert Gordon University has a fantastic reputation for giving you skills for the working world.”

“The course is well taught and interesting, and the facilities, such as the libraries and computer labs, are great. My fourth year was really enjoyable, particularly my elective classes and dissertation experience, and the lecturers made classes very interesting.”

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PUBLIC RELATIONS BA (Hons) UCAS P210

placements:

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Stephen Watson BA (Hons) Communication with PR

“RGU has a really modern feel to it and one of the best aspects of the course was the practical side: many modules involve designing and working with real clients. My third year was really enjoyable as we had a six-week placement followed by the opportunity to organise our

own fashion show, which raised £13,000 for a local charity. “I spent my work experience as a Communication Assistant with a voluntary organisation in Aberdeen, where I was able to put my newly-learned skills to use. It’s such an important part of the course – having work experience on your CV gives you an edge over students from other universities.”

“RGU had the only course that appealed to me as it was tailored to the career I wanted to pursue.”

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PUBLIC RELATIONS BA (Hons) UCAS P210

what & when: COURSE overview… KEY SKILLS This course gives you the framework for: >> Understanding communication theories and processes in an organisational context >> Developing key communication, mediahandling and research skills >> Taking part in challenging, real-world projects – from design to delivery and subsequent evaluation >> Analysing communication issues from a range of academic and practical perspectives

FOCUS ON EMPLOYABILITY The course is highly vocational. It provides you with an academic qualification that’s extremely attractive to potential employers. You’ll graduate with the professional skills and knowledge required to perform a comprehensive range of communication activities. These include: >> Devising original and stimulating marketing campaigns >> Managing media and public relations >> Preparing text and images for effective print and computer-based production You’ll also learn how to become an accomplished communicator, as well as how to use a range of media effectively.

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CLASSROOM STYLES You benefit from a variety of styles and approaches. In some core modules in year 1, for example Professional Writing (focused on a range of written, oral and IT presentation skills), you study alongside students who are taking other courses within the Department of Communication, Marketing and Media. Also in these modules, you share tutorials with a small group (normally no more than 20 students). These are an opportunity to deliver subject-specific case studies and examples. Other subjects – including PR Strategy and Specialisms, and Communication Principles and Theory – are delivered to small groups of students. This gives you an opportunity to engage individually with members of staff.

OTHER LEARNING For practical elements of the course – such as Digital Media Platforms and Practices, Media Production and Web Design – you’ll get to use our IT labs.

ACCREDITATION The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations – the professional body for the UK public relations industry.

Similarly documentary discourse and practice uses industry standard cameras and editing software, whilst other modules make use of state of the art TV and radio studios. Project-based work, such as the Communication Project in year 3, allows you to pursue individual areas of interest, as well as work in teams with peers. Year 4 is very much led by you. It’s an opportunity to undertake an extended piece of work, for example the dissertation, along with a dedicated member of staff who acts as your dissertation supervisor. Other modules delivered at this more demanding level include Intercultural Communication, Celebrity Culture, Women and Media, Cinema and Society.

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PUBLIC RELATIONS BA (Hons) UCAS P210

…& COURSE detail Year 1

Year 2

Semester One

Semester One

>> Professional Writing >> The Media Business (15 credits) >> Visual Culture and Design (30 credits) Semester Two >> Communication Principles and Theory >> Digital Media Platforms and Practices >> Managing Design and Creativity >> Marketing If you left now, you’d have… Certificate of Higher Education Public Relations

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>> Advertising Communication >> Documentary Discourse and Practice (30 credits) >> Organisational Behaviour Semester Two >> Media Production Project (30 credits) >> Public Relations >> Web Design If you left now, you’d have… Diploma of Higher Education Public Relations


Year 3

Year 4

Semester One

Semester One

>> Communication Project Management (30 credits) >> Public Relations Strategy and Specialisms (15 credits) Choice of one option from: >> Advertising Communication (Direct Entry students only) >> Events Management >> Interactive Media Project (15 credits) Or study abroad at an overseas university

>> Research Methods Plus THREE options from: >> Business Creativity >> Intercultural Communication >> Investigative Journalism >> Journalism into Fiction >> Postmodern Culture >> Women and the Media Semester Two >> Dissertation (30 credits) Plus TWO options from:

Semester Two >> Communication Project Practice (30 credits) >> Fieldwork (30 credits) If you left now, you’d have… BA Public Relations

>> Celebrity Culture >> Cinema and Society >> Corporate Ethics >> Leadership >> Media Strategy >> Political Communication If you left now, you’d have… BA (Hons) Public Relations

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mediA BA (Hons) UCAS P300

PROSPECTS:

GET AHEAD IN THE MEDIA

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Lina Kotseva BA (Hons) Media

“I chose to study at RGU because of all the good reviews I’d heard and read, and once I started my course I knew I’d made the right decision. It’s a modern university and the quality of teaching is exceptional. You’re made to feel welcome right from the start! I formed part of the market research team for our third year communication project

and the things I learned from the experience went beyond education and into real life as I developed delegation, communication and effective time management skills.

“The best thing about studying Media is the diversity of modules you go through as you progress ... you cover the entire spectrum of potential careers in four years.”

“I’m originally from Bulgaria and find the best thing about Aberdeen itself is that it’s intimate, yet offers everything you’d expect from city life – concerts, big shows and trendy shops. It has a fantastic, busy and student-oriented night life.”

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mediA BA (Hons) UCAS P300

PLACEMENTS:

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The media industries are rapidly expanding, particularly with the recent growth of digital media. They provide a range of opportunities for graduates properly equipped with a critical knowledge base and production skills appropriate to those industries, as well as a range of managerial, professional and technological knowledge and skills. You’ll gain those skills on this course, plus media communication and IT training. Possible careers are in areas such as radio and TV, animation, computer games, commercials, interactive media, corporate production and photo imaging. Job titles include: television and radio researcher, web designer, advertising executive, producer, presenter, journalist and writer.

“There’s a great social dynamic among students in a city hosting two universities.”

Mike Dowds BA (Hons) Media

“Having such a respected university nearby was a huge factor for me as an Aberdonian. I’d contemplated moving elsewhere to study but instead I first undertook a two-year HND course at a local college then took advantage of the ‘2+2’ progression route, which allows college students to move on straight into third year at RGU. The bulk of the work at

Placement The six week placement in year 3 provides the opportunity to gain practical experience in an area of your choice within the media industries. This is also an invaluable opportunity to establish links with potential employers. We have links with several companies, including Scotsman Publications, The Big Issue, Bloomsbury Publishing, SMG Newspapers and BBC Educational and Factual Magazines. Or you could work at broadcast media organisations including Northsound Radio and STV, as well as in promotional and marketing roles, and at web design companies.

the college was practical, so it made a lot of sense to balance that with a mix of theory and practical work at the university. “It was particularly enjoyable for me to take part in numerous practical exercises, especially the third year fashion show. My placement was also definitely a beneficial experience – I actually worked in the placement office at RGU to produce a video highlighting the benefits of taking part in the scheme!”

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mediA BA (Hons) UCAS P300

what & when: COURSE overview… The BENEFITS Through this course, you‘ll develop a broad understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of the media, in print, broadcast and online formats, as well as an appreciation of the structure and context of the industry and its various facets. We’ve created the content of this course with the real world of contemporary media in mind. You’ll gain an understanding of the manner in which the global media operates and the factors which impact on its strategic management. As the industry becomes increasingly global and digital technology becomes more sophisticated, the opportunities for the industry are both exciting and challenging. A degree in Media from ABS will give you the skills needed to make the most of those opportunities.

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KEY SKILLS You will gain a thorough grounding in essential skills in media production (print, broadcast and online), research, communication, reporting and media handling. Additionally, this course gives you a wide range of key transferable skills in research, oral presentation techniques, time management and IT skills. All of these are essential for the wider media profession.


TEACHING STYLES In some core modules in year 1, such as Visual Culture and Design and The Media Business, you study alongside students who are taking other courses within the Department of Communication, Marketing and Media. Also in these modules, you share tutorials with a small group (normally no more than 20 students). These are an opportunity to deliver subject-specific case studies and examples. Other subjects – including Documentary Discourse and Practice and Digital Animation – are delivered to small groups of students only on this course. This gives you an opportunity to engage individually with members of staff.

OTHER LEARNING For practical elements of the course – such as Media Production Project and Web Design – you’ll get to use our IT labs. Similarly documentary discourse and practice uses industry standard cameras and editing software, whilst other modules make use of state of the art TV and radio studios. Project-based work, such as the Communication Project in year 3, allows you to pursue your own areas of interest as well as work in teams with your peers. As with the other courses in the department, at year 4 you apply the research and evaluation skills developed at earlier stages and work with a dedicated supervisor on your dissertation. Other modules studied include Cinema and Society, Celebrity Culture, Women and Media, Business Creativity.

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mediA BA (Hons) UCAS P300

…& COURSE detail Year 1

Year 2

Semester One

Semester One

>> Professional Writing >> The Media Business (15 credits) >> Visual Culture and Design (30 credits) Semester Two >> Communication Principles and Theory >> Digital Animation >> Digital Media Platforms and Practices >> Marketing If you left now, you’d have… Certificate of Higher Education Media

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>> Advertising Communication >> Documentary Discourse and Practice (30 credits) >> Introduction to Media Law Semester Two >> Media Production Project (30 credits) >> Media Semiotics and Discourse >> Web Design If you left now, you’d have… Diploma of Higher Education Media


Year 3

Year 4

Semester One

Semester One

>> Communication Project Management (30 credits) >> Interactive Media Project >> Media History Or study abroad at an overseas university Semester Two >> Communication Project Practice (30 credits) >> Fieldwork (30 credits) If you left now, you’d have… BA Media

>> Research Methods Plus THREE options from: >> Business Creativity >> Intercultural Communication >> Investigative Journalism >> Journalism into Fiction >> Postmodern Culture >> Women and the Media Semester Two >> Dissertation (30 credits) Plus TWO options from: >> Celebrity Culture >> Cinema and Society >> Corporate Ethics >> Leadership >> Media Strategy >> Political Communication If you left now, you’d have… BA (Hons) Media

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How will I be taught?

You’ll learn through a range of delivery modes, including lectures, tutorials, seminars and IT lab-based practical activity. The nature of the courses is interactive: you’ll apply theory to practice, and consider a range of problems, issues and case studies, including live client projects. How much work’s involved? Typical contact hours are 3–4 per module per week, although this varies between modules. Typically, students are expected to devote 150 hours of study to each module – this includes class contact time, reading and research, additional time spent in labs, TV and radio studios, and studying for assessments. You’re required to actively participate in the learning process. Our courses are intensive, yet highly enjoyable and engaging, and most students become highly motivated to develop their skills and knowledge abilities to a high level. You need to attend regularly and engage with every component to achieve a satisfactory level of performance.

Similarly you’ll need to extend your learning from formally delivered methods through wider reading, research, and self-directed enquiry. Students are expected to utilise the full range of resources available to them, in support of all their studies. As you develop over the course, you’re expected to become increasingly self-motivated and self-supporting, taking greater control of your studies, and defining your personal objectives. You’ll also be encouraged to reflect critically on your learning, and to establish a view of your own progress and development, which may form the basis of tutorial guidance with staff.

What support is there? You will be supported by a range of Learner Support Systems, ranging from personal tutors, to academic and professional support from course tutors (including regular surgery sessions in each module) and from the Study Support Centre. The main vehicle for independent learning is the personal researchbased dissertation. For this, you’ll receive training and instruction in: >> Aspects of methodology >> The nature of research >> Writing a research proposal >> Sourcing relevant information >> Collection, analysis and synthesis of data >> Research ethics >> Writing up your work

Enterprise Skills: The Charles P Skene Enterprise Programme Enterprise skills are critical in every 21st century career; they not only boost your employability, but can also be the key to survival when selfemployed. Which is why, at RGU, we now offer all our students real-life experience and tuition in entrepreneurial skills. The Enterprise Programme introduces all students to enterprise skills through a series of lectures, workshops and master-classes. In addition, it provides access to many other exciting activities including a unique business incubator designed to help students transform embryonic ideas into fully fledged business opportunities. To find out more visit www.rgu.ac.uk/business-incubator

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KEY FACTS

Alternative qualifications

Study options

Equivalent overseas qualifications and some access courses will be considered.

Full-time: 4 years

Degree link programme Communication with PR Entry to year 3 may be possible if you’ve completed an HND in Advertising and Public Relations, Communication with Media or Marketing at one of our partner FE Colleges.

Placement A six week placement in year 3. Professional accreditation Our Public Relations course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Media Entry to year 3 may be possible if you’ve completed an HND in Communication with Media or Creative Industries: Television at one of our partner FE Colleges.

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WHAT NEXT?

The next thing to do is talk to us. We can answer any questions you may have. Simply call us on 01224 262728 or email UGOffice@rgu.ac.uk We also provide a range of opportunities for you to visit us – so you can see what we can offer you ďŹ rst hand.

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This course guide is intended as a guide for applicants for courses delivered by Robert Gordon University. In compiling it the University has taken every care to be as accurate as possible, and the information in this course guide is correct at the time of going to print, but the course guide must be read as subject to change at any time and without notice. The University undertakes to make every reasonable effort to provide the teaching and academic facilities necessary for applicants’ programmes of study. However the University reserves the right, if such action is considered to be necessary, to make variations to fees and/or to vary the content or delivery method of any course at any time. In addition, the University may, at its sole discretion, discontinue or amalgamate any course(s). In these rare cases the University will notify applicants as soon as possible and reasonable steps will be taken to provide a suitable alternative to a discontinued course.


Open Day

Applicants’ Day

We organise two annual open days in October and November each year. It’s a perfect opportunity to visit us, meet the academic staff, experience the first-class facilities and talk to current students.

When you apply for any course at ABS, you’ll be invited to one of our course-specific Applicants’ Days.

For full details of dates and times, and to see a full programme please see www.rgu.ac.uk/openday.

We realise there’s a lot involved in making your final choice, so we hope to give you all the insight and information you need. Visit Afternoons We hold monthly Visit Afternoons. The visit includes a talk by an Education Liaison Officer, a tour of the facilities and a chance to speak to a lecturer about the course you’re interested in.


Aberdeen Business School Robert Gordon University Garthdee Road Aberdeen AB10 7QE Talk to us. We can answer any questions or queries you may have. Simply call us on 01224 262728, email UGOffice@rgu.ac.uk or visit us at rgu.ac.uk

www.facebook.com/robertgordonuniversity

www.twitter.com/robertgordonuni

www.rgu.ac.uk/communication

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