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unDeRgRaDuate CouRSe guiDe 2013

t u o b a s k t l a t spec o S n r O i p t a L e PU

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Public Relations What and when: course overview …and course detail

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How will I be taught? Key facts What next?

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Choosing a course isn’t straightforward. There’s lots of detail you need to know. Where will I study? What topics are covered? How will I be assessed? You also want to gain a ‘feel’ for things – directly from some current students and graduates. In this brochure we’ve combined hard facts about the degree with real views of students and graduates. We have also kept things short and clear, so you don’t get 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

e v i t a e r c a r t e ge care n o i t c u d o r int


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.”


PUBLiC ReLatiOnS BA (Hons) UCAS P210

e c n e p d u i f k n a o e c sp : S t C e P S o PRO t 4

Yulia Malkina Ba (honS) CommuniCation with PR

“As part of the course, I did a placement which gave me an opportunity to take part in the planning and development of a marketing strategy for Viciunai Group UK & Ireland. Operating as a Marketing Assistant, I worked on a promotional strategy for a new, innovative seafood product range. My activities included networking, market research, writing press releases and designing presentations. “The course has been enjoyable and I took part in an exciting real-life communications project on behalf of BAA during my time on the course.“

nothing beats real experience. it brings your studies to life, 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.

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

It’s organised with the help of our dedicated Placement Office.


PUBLiC ReLatiOnS BA (Hons) UCAS P210


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“Robert Gordon University has a fantastic reputation for providing students with the skills they need for the working world.”

Fi Garioch Ba (honS) CommuniCation with PR

Fi works as Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Appetite for Learning and reflects upon her experience. “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.

“The course is well taught and interesting, and the facilities, such as the library and computer labs, are great at RGU. 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


BiG in CReative CiRCLeS


“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.”

Ruairidh Macdonald Stage 3, Communication with PR

For Ruairidh, the Communication Project has been the highlight of the course so far…

“The ability to compete for a lucrative prize and showcase our knowledge to leading Aberdeen business professionals without doubt aided my learning process at ABS.” Ruairidh completed his 6 week placement within the Scottish Golf Tourism Industry and his ambition is to go into a career in this industry with the long term aim to be his own boss.



what & when: COURSE overview… KEY SKILLS

This course provides a 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.



You benefit from a variety of styles and approaches. Core modules such as Professional Writing (focused on a range of written, oral and IT presentation skills), provide BA (Hons) Public Relations students with the opportunity to study alongside students from other courses within the Department of Communication, Marketing and Media at ABS. This facilitates group learning and sharing of experiences. 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 spend time in our dedicated IT labs.


The course is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) – 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, will allow 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, the dissertation, alongside 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 the Media, and Cinema and Society.



…& COURSE detail year 1

Please note that the course structure is reviewed each year and may be subject to change.

Semester One >> >> >>

Professional Writing The Media Business 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


year 2 Semester One >> >> >>

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

Semester One >> >>

Communication Project Management (30 credits) Public Relations Strategy and Specialisms

Choice of one option from: >> Events Management >> Interactive Media Project Or study abroad at an overseas university Semester Two >> Communication Project Practice (30 credits) >> Industry Placement (30 credits) If you left now, you’d have… BA Public Relations

year 4 Semester One >> Research Methods Plus THREE options from: >> >> >> >> >>

Business Creativity Intercultural Communication Investigative Journalism 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) Public Relations


SPReaD YOUR winGS enJOY new hORiZOnS

BYe, aU RevOiR, CiaO anD See YOU SOOn

what could possibly be better than studying at Robert gordon university? good question! how about studying here – but also getting a chance to spend some time studying abroad!

Going abroad to study or work could be one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of your course. The experience, new friends, a different country, climate, culture and language: these, and many other factors, make it an unforgettable time – wherever you go!

Well that’s entirely possible. Most undergraduate programmes at Aberdeen Business School include the opportunity for a period of study abroad with one of our carefully chosen international partners – both in Europe and beyond. Our Study Abroad programmes offer additional educational and cultural experiences – but all as part of your accredited qualification with RGU. Many employers like to have graduates with some international experience, so it’s your chance to enhance your CV and widen your employment opportunities.


And where you go – will depend on the course you study. Each participating course has its own partner institutions in different countries. Most of the courses have more than one partner institution, so you can choose which institution or country is most suitable for you. So if we say that you might need a phrase book and sunglasses when you come to Aberdeen, we are being serious!


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thinGS aRe LOOKinG UP, UP nORth

Scotland at its best. aye, that’s right!

A great Scottish location and brilliant career opportunities; Robert Gordon University gives you lots to smile about...

Aberdeen is pretty unique in the UK with its cosmopolitan culture, rich heritage and fantastic scenery. It’s got everything you’d expect from a major city – pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and art galleries – but there’s lots more than that!

Consistently named “best modern university in the UK” by leading University Guides and “top in the UK for graduate employment” (HESA, 2012), Robert Gordon University is the ideal place to start your career. What’s more, Aberdeen was recently named the “sunniest city in Scotland” (Bank of Scotland Quality of Life League, 2011). So it’s time to get yourself up north, where things will be good for you too!

Like the miles of beach boulevard – loved by skaters and surfers – and the wild mountains right on the doorstep: Aberdeen is home to three superb ski and snowboarding slopes, plus some of the best hillwalking in Scotland and loads of great places for canoeing, kayaking and sailing!


? t h g u a t e ow will i b

h 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. The course is 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 Skills and Access unit. 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


KeY FaCtS Alternative qualifications

Study options

Equivalent overseas qualiďŹ cations and some access courses will be considered.

Full-time: 4 years

Degree link programme 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 recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).


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 We also provide a range of opportunities for you to visit us – so you can see what we can offer you first hand.


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 open Days 3 October 2012 3 November 2012 applicants’ Days 2 March 2013 20 March 2013

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. For full details of dates and times, and to see a full programme please see absapplicantsday. 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 or visit us at Izzy Crawford Subject Leader Email: Tel: 01224 263820

tbp! |

BA (Hons) Public Relations  

undergraduate course brochure