Module code: SOC3081

Module Overview

This module will examine public relations as a core part of culture and consumer society. Throughout the module, students will examine different concepts, theories and debates surrounding public relations, and apply them to diverse case studies. Students will understand the different public relations strategies used by organisations to influence their publics, and how this has changed as new media technologies emerge. The module will enhance student skills in digital capabilities, resourcefulness and resilience, sustainability, and address career pathways in the public relations sector. The module will critically evaluate different public relations approaches and strategies in the digital age, with students applying this knowledge to create their own public relations campaign.

Module provider


Module Leader

MUIR Robyn (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative key content themes include:

  • Theories and concepts in public relations

  • Exploring how public relations has changed in a networked age

  • Developing a public relations portfolio


Indicative weekly themes which may be amended for each year of study include:

  • Introducing public relations theory

  • Introducing conceptual models for public relations

  • How public relations uses rhetoric and persuasion

  • Dialogic and Socio-Cultural approaches to PR

  • Crisis management in public relations

  • Planning a public relations campaign

  • Social movements and political activism

  • Corporate social responsibility

  • Public Relations Practitioners

  • How public relations engages with prosumers

  • Public Relations campaign advice clinic

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through the building of critical engagement with a wide range of public relations theories, concepts, and strategies. This culminates in a public relations portfolio. Assessment 1 enables students to plan their initial campaign and receive feedback from the lecturer, which they can then put into place in Assessment 2 for their public relations portfolio.


 Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


Assessment 1 – Individual Public Relations Campaign Plan (20%)

The individual public relations campaign plan details the key aspects of the students proposed campaign. Students will outline the goals and public of their campaign, what public relations theories and concepts they will be engaging with, the strategies they will use, and outline their media strategy. This assessment is designed so students can use this and the feedback provided to build their individual public relations campaign portfolio. Through this, students will be addressing LO1, LO3 and LO5, drawing on their resourcefulness and resilience, digital capabilities and build their employability skills.


Assessment 2 – Individual Public Relations Campaign Portfolio (80%)

The individual public relations campaign portfolio is designed to build on the work and feedback received from Assessment 1. Students will outline their campaign and the public relations theories and concepts their campaign engages with, produce a press release for their campaign, a media and evaluation strategy, and finally critically reflect and evaluate their own campaign using public relations theories. This assessment addresses LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 and LO5, drawing on student resourcefulness and resilience, digital capabilities and build their employability skills.


Formative Assessment & Feedback

Students will receive regular verbal feedback in class through individual and group tasks. There will also be opportunities in class for students to receive verbal feedback on their assignment preparation through class activities.


Written feedback on the individual public relations campaign plan will be given to help students feed forward their strengths and improvements in the individual public relations campaign portfolio, as Assessment 2 builds on Assessment 1. This will be achieved through in-text comments on the assignments, as well as overall feedback.

Module aims

  • Introduce theoretical approaches and key debates in public relations, including prosumption and corporate social responsibility in the digital age
  • Critically explore the role of public relations, strategies and tactics in the digital age through the introduction of new media technologies
  • Demonstrate degree career pathways in public relations
  • Apply theoretical and analytical approaches to a public relations campaign created by the student through theories and approaches learnt on the module

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate an understanding of public relations theories and approaches in both traditional and digital public relations KC
002 Critically evaluate public relations campaigns KC
003 Critically discuss different approaches to public relations with respect to empirical examples and case studies KC
004 Identify career routes in public relations PT
005 Demonstrate the acquisition and development of knowledge through the creation of a public relations campaign PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop students knowledge, skills and capabilities around public relations in the digital age, employability skills, and critical thinking. This is achieved through interactive sessions that include lectures, seminars, individual and campaign planning activities.


Key concepts, theories, and public relations approaches in the module will be outlined in each lecture, one building on the next. Interactive sessions will introduce students to key public relations theories and case studies from diverse cultural contexts. Reading, individual and campaign planning tasks will be set to enhance student understanding and facilitate their own reflections and critical thinking around the socio-cultural impact of public relations. Campaign planning tasks will contribute to their resourcefulness and employability.


The module is also exploring how public relations is changing in the digital age through prosumers and social media for example. It also addresses career pathways in public relations to enhance student employability skills and awareness, including designing their own public relations portfolio and networking with public relations professionals.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC3081

Other information

The Department of Sociology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module enhances students skills in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, and Resourcefulness and Resilience.  



Students will be supported to enhance their employability throughout the module by developing key transferable skills: critical thinking, planning a public relations campaign, designing a press release and a media strategy. Critical thinking will be developed across each topic in the module to enhance student’s abilities to communicate and convey arguments effectively. A networking event with public relations professionals will give students further insight to a career in public relations.  


Digital Capabilities

This module demonstrates how public relations has changed in the digital age and encourages students to design a public relations campaign with digital media in mind. Each lecture will address how media technologies have changed the way that public relations functions in society and impacts how organisations communicate with their publics. Both assessments will enhance student digital capabilities through online research, press release design and identifying an appropriate campaign media strategy for the digital age.


Global and Cultural Capabilities

Students will have the opportunity to develop their global and cultural capabilities by learning about global public relations campaigns, and having the opportunity to design their own public relations campaign that can be aimed at a diverse and global audience.


Resourcefulness and Resilience

Students will build their resourcefulness and resilience through designing their own public relations campaign. This will require building on communication skills as well as organization and project management.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Media and Communication BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory 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 2025/6 academic year.