Public Relations & Strategic Commumications

Effective communication is the lifeblood of any organisation. Strategic communication is an essential factor for an organisation's success and how it effects their end goals and not just their image.

DCU's MSc in Public Relations and Strategic Communications (MScPR) provides a focus on the "why" of communication decisions, rather than merely on the "how" of any communication activities. The programme is designed to provide the skills and ability to think strategically and make effective use of the latest tools in modern communications.

Why do this course?

•A 54-week programme delivered with a high level of industry involvement.

•Designed and continually updated in conjunction with both leading industry and academic experts in Ireland and abroad.

•100% continuous assessment, including several live client-applied projects.

•High employment rates in leading professional communications workplaces.

•Industry mentor provided for each student.

•Three-month industry placement, co-ordinated by DCU, in blue-chip agency or in-house communications organisations.

•Accredited by the PRII, a member of the Global Alliance of Public Relations.

•DCU's School of Communications is ranked in the top 200 communications schools internationally and is the only ranked Irish media / communications school in the QS ranking.

The MSc in Public Relations has been developed in partnership with the public relations industry in Ireland and with the advice and expertise of academics and practitioners across Europe and in the United States. The course is accredited by the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII), which is part of the Global Alliance of PR associations, representing 280,000 practitioners and academics in 126 countries. The MScPR programme is revised annually, with PRII input, to reflect the changing landscape of communications and the emerging use of the latest digital technologies.

Since the programme's establishment in 2016/17, graduates are now working in communication roles on three continents, including in Australia, France, Italy, Norway, United States, as well as in the UK and Ireland.

The programme provides students with public relations theory and practice alongside an understanding of recent developments and challenges for the profession. These include the impact of social media; the decline of traditional media; growing issues of corporate social responsibility influencing organisational reputation; and the increasing influence of other social science disciplines on Public Relations theory and practice.

Based in DCU's School of Communications, the MSc in Public Relations & Strategic Communications is built on the experience and expertise of the school's research in media, communications and journalism for almost forty years.

The MSc in Public Relations & Strategic Communications has several features distinguishing it from other postgraduate offerings in this field:

•All modules include lectures from market leading practitioners.

•The programme is fully integrated with the Irish and European communications sector, within both the academic and professional circles.

•The award-winning teaching staff have expertise and experience in key aspects of public relations and strategic communications.

•The blended delivery of this programme requires students to work with online technologies that are a critical part of a contemporary workplace environment.

•A capstone supervised dissertation, focusing on current topics of importance to the public relations, media and communications sectors.

•Our mentorship scheme partners each student with a senior communications executive from an agency or in-house department for the academic year.

•An emphasis on the vocational aspect of the course includes a "Careers Bootcamp" workshop in conjunction with members of the HR & PR sectors.

•The MScPR is completed with a supervised three-month work placement with leading agencies and significant in-house communications departments.

Entry requirements


General Entry Requirements

For admission to the MSc in Public Relations and Strategic Communications programme, successful applicants will have -

•A degree at the level of an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent,

•Appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may be accepted as equivalent to an honours degree, in accordance with the relevant regulations of the university. This may apply to applicants who have worked in advertising, journalism, marketing, media, public relations, or in a communications role / function for several years.

•International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.


1 year full-time

Enrolment dates

Commencement of Programme
The programme commences in September 2020.

Post Course Info


The skills of strategic communications are used with organisations of all types: in public service, charities, voluntary organisations, entertainment, sports, education and business – across all sectors, including technology, food, healthcare, leisure and utilities.

Graduates from the MSc in Public Relations & Strategic Communications will pursue careers both within and within in-house communications departments and public relations agencies. The programme provides the necessary skills and knowledge for careers in:

•Public Relations
•Strategic Communications
•Media Relations
•Content Management
•Political Communications
•Communications Management
•Brand Engagement
•Reputation Management
•Community Management
•Public Consultation
•Corporate Responsibility Management

Since the programme's establishment in 2016/17, graduates are now working in communication roles on three continents, including in Australia, France, Italy, Norway, United States, as well as across the UK and Ireland.

Agency Strategist
Brand Ambassador
Event Management
Market Research

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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