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Communication in Public Relations

Public relations practitioners belong to an important and growing profession that helps organisations build relationships with people who are important to them. It is a practical, people-focused profession that involves developing ideas into projects and events that help charities, businesses, service clubs, government agencies, sports teams and celebrities to advance their public profiles. Practitioners work with journalists, graphic designers, business leaders, sportspeople, celebrities, politicians, employees and other professionals.

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Public Relations

The growing field of public relations needs practitioners who not only have professional skills but are strategic, critical thinkers who know how to work sensitively and responsibly in complex political, cultural, social and media environments.

The Bachelor of Communication in Public Relations degree program focuses on providing graduates with critical and social awareness and work-ready skills for careers in business, consultancies, not-for-profit organisations and government agencies.

The degree explores the theoretical and conceptual foundations of public relations, its influence in contemporary organisations and society and its role in social and corporate responsibility. It focuses on developing high level oral and written communications and presentation skills; analytical abilities for research, problem-solving, project planning and strategy development, as well as an understanding of the legal and organisational contexts in which graduates will work.

The course also has a strong focus on work-integrated learning through the high-level industry experience of the teaching academics, the involvement of senior practitioners, and opportunities to work on real projects with real clients throughout.

Students also benefit from a well-recognised internship program giving them invaluable experience in the workplace in their final year.

Course Information

Open Majors and/or Minors

The following Majors and/or Minors are open to all UC students:

Your Creativity: Your Degree

Students are able to apply for admission into this degree by way of portfolios and brief interviews with our friendly team of academics.

Why Portfolio Entry?

Because your ATAR score is not always a true reflection of your creative potential. This pathway offers you the opportunity to show off your passion for Public Relations. School leavers will use this pathway to secure an offer in the Early Round of admissions. Mature Age Students will benefit from not worrying about their ATAR score (or equivalent) and focus on showcasing their personal talent and/or professional achievements in Public Relations.

What Should I Include in my Public Relations Portfolio?

The purpose of the portfolio is to help us determine whether you are passionate and knowledgeable about public relations. When we look at your portfolio the main question we are asking is: "does this person love PR so much that we should offer them a place in our course?"

To help us answer this question, we want you to give us a portfolio with three major sections:

  1. A short outline - write us a short outline (no more than one page) that tells us a little bit about you, including why you're applying for portfolio entry, and why you think you'd be an excellent person to have in our course. Also tell us about any experience you have in public relations, including any relevant study you have undertaken.
  2. A review of three public relations campaigns - demonstrate that you have thought about PR by reviewing three campaigns that you think are great examples of public relations. For each campaign, tell us what makes them good campaigns and why you chose them specifically.
  3. Examples of your work - In most cases, if you love public relations as much as we do, then you'll already have some skills in the area, perhaps through volunteer work. If so, we strongly encourage you to enhance your portfolio by including some examples of your best work.

Submission format
The portfolio should be put together in an electronic format, preferably in PDF format. If you want to really impress us, give it to us as a blog: a link to a site will suffice.

How do I Apply?

For application details and procedures, as well as information on upcoming Portfolio Workshops, please check our Arts and Design Portfolio Entry page. Or email your enquiry to portfolio@canberra.edu.au.

You can also watch the following video presentation with Erin Hinton, Lecturer in Design & Architecture.

International Exchanges

The University of Canberra (UC) has a robust international student exchange program which is well utilised by public relations students. Students can travel for short courses or six month exchanges to educational institutions throughout Europe, South America and Asia.

Work Integrated Learning

The Bachelor of Communication in Public Relations has a strong practical, work-integrated learning focus through extensive use of real case studies, real projects and industry involvement with the participation of guest lecturers and tutors. Final capstone units include internships and opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skills by working on real projects within the community.

Career Options

  • Public relations officer/consultant
  • Public affairs officer/manager
  • Media adviser
  • Media relations officer/manager
  • Communications coordinator
  • Crisis manager
  • Corporate Communications officer/manager
  • Lobbyist
  • Investor relations manager
  • Internal communications coordinator
  • Publications officer/manager
  • Social marketing officer
  • Events manager
  • Marketing coordinator
  • Market researcher

Select from our staff below for their biographies, qualifications, publications, grants and awards.

Academic Staff