PUBLIC RELATIONS, ADVERTISING AND CONSUMER CULTURES - 2019/0

Module code: SOC3074

Module Overview

The module addresses public relations as integral parts of a consumer society, looking at how these play roles in our lives on a daily basis and shape and resource our decisions, from what food to buy, to what university to study at. The module pays particular attention to public relations in a digital age. Lectures address theoretical accounts of the consumer society including resistance, the role of cultural producers and gender in advertising. The module also examines how state and private sector public relations campaigns are increasingly multi-platform and rapidly changing to meet the needs of a digital society. Critical perspectives are fundamental to this module. 

Module provider

Sociology

Module Leader

DAS Ranjana (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: P210

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Theories and concepts in public relations

  • Public relations in a networked age

  • Ethics in advertising and marketing

  • Brands and branding

  • PR portfolios


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PROJECT 30
Coursework PR PORTFOLIO 70

Alternative Assessment

A 1000 word essay on a chosen campaign of the student's choice. 

Assessment Strategy


The summative assessment for this module consists of:

A group project of a critical campaign analysis where students evaluate any public or private sector PR campaign using theories and concepts from the module. 

A PR portfolio consisting of students' own campaign pitches, and design.

Formative assessment and feedback


  • Students will be given feedback during class discussions.


Module aims

  • To introduce a range of theoretical approaches in public relations.
  • To critically explore the roles of these in the digital age.
  • To critically analyse public relations campaigns.
  • To create a public relations portfolio applying ideas from the module.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Conduct a critical analysis of public relations campaigns. PT
002 Critically engage with a range of theoretical approaches in the field. KC
003 Engage critically with public relations theories and concepts in a digital age. KC
004 Produce a public relations portfolio. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


  • Ensure students understand the role of advertising, public relations and consumption in society

  • Introduce students to a range of theoretical perspectives in the consumer society

  • Encourage students to understand decisions in the advertising design process

  • Encourage critical assessments of advertisements and campaigns in the consumer society



The learning and teaching methods include:


  • 11 x 2 hour sessions consisting of lectures, discussion and the development and presentation of project work

  • Ongoing development of group projects in coordination with feedback

  • Reading and critical discussion


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for PUBLIC RELATIONS, ADVERTISING AND CONSUMER CULTURES : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/soc3074

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Media Studies with Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Media Studies with Film Studies BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.