Strategic Communication & Public Relations (Joint Degree)

MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma


This variant of our established MSc Strategic Public Relations & Communication Management course is delivered jointly with our partner Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. This course provides students with a solid international perspective on strategic communication and provides an opportunity to study in both Stirling, UK, and Barcelona, Spain.

The MSc Strategic Communication & Public Relations is an interdisciplinary, advanced level course taught by established academics and practitioners. It offers a hands-on approach while at the same time providing you with the theoretical foundations necessary to practise public relations at a managerial level.

You will be offered the opportunity to attend a Public Affairs and Lobbying seminar series in Brussels, which includes visits to the European Parliament, the European Commission as well as specialist industry seminars with leading public affairs and public relations experts in Brussels.

This course is taught completely in English and students will obtain a joint MSc degree from the University of Stirling and Pompeu Fabra University. Students spend the Semester 1 at the University of Stirling and then move to Pompeu Fabra University for Semester 2. Students then decide if they would like to have their dissertation supervised by Stirling or Pompeu Fabra.

Key information

  • Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: 12 months (Stirling in semester 1 - Barcelona in semester 2 - Stirling dissertation period) 16 months (Stirling in semester 1 - Barcelona in semester 2 - Barcelona dissertation period)
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Alenka Jelen-SanchezEmail: +44 1786 466225
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Jane Campbell Graduate Studies Office
University of Stirling
+44 (0) 1786 466220

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  1. You will benefit from valuable international experience, gained not only by studying international public relations and communication, but actually experiencing them first-hand in different cultures.
  2. The course offers an excellent balance between theory and practice. As well as educating students on how to perform certain tasks in practice, we also give them theoretical knowledge.
  3. You will experience university life in both Stirling and Barcelona – two of the most beautiful campuses in Europe.
  4. One of the major strengths of the course is the emphasis on employability and encouraging students to develop their own networks by visiting different institutions.
  5. The course is taught by a lecturing team with both practical and international experience, and who are all research-active

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. 

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Students spend Semester 1 at the University of Stirling and then go to Pompeu Fabra University for Semester 2. Students then can decide to have their dissertation supervision at the University of Stirling or Pompeu Fabra University.

The course covers a range of modules including public relations and communication management theory, strategic public relations planning, public diplomacy and strategic communication, media relations, digital media, public affairs and advocacy, and research methods.

Delivery and assessment

Delivery methods include lecture, workshops and seminars.

Methods of assessment include case studies, timed assignments, essays, presentations and reports. Students also complete a 12,000-word dissertation.


Academic Year 2015/16

Autumn (Stirling)

Spring (Pompeu Fabra) 

  • PREPP97 - Strategic Public Relations Planning
  • PREP90 - Research and Evaluation for Practice
  • PCMPX6 - Public Affairs and Advocacy
  • PCMPX7 - Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication
  • PREP67 - Public Relations and Digital Media


  • PREP10 - Dissertation

Students can choose to complete their dissertation at Pompeu Fabra or Stirling.

Modes of study

Full-time, based at the University of Stirling, Scotland and at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain.

Study method


Why Stirling?



In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Research within Communications, Media and Culture had 70 percent of its research rated as either ‘World-leading’ or ‘Internationally Excellent’ in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. Pompeu Fabra staff are also research active and publish internationally.


Academic strengths

This course provides a unique multicultural and intercultural experience for students as well as an innovative and challenging curriculum that is regularly updated. Students will develop a solid theoretical foundation as well as learn practical skills necessary for working within the public relations industry.

Students benefit from the experience and expertise of the academic research active team at Stirling and Pompeu Fabra; students are able to study in both northern and southern Europe (Scotland and Spain) and will develop an international outlook.

Students are able to attend a two-day Public Affairs and Lobbying seminar series delivered in Brussels (additional cost).

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

This course prepares students for careers in public relations and related areas in consultancies and private sector companies, (in-house positions, such as communications officer/manager, public relations officer/manager, press officer, internal communications officer/manager) NGOS, international organisations (such as the EU, UN etc.).

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).



2016/17 Overseas £13,950
2016/17 Home/EU £6,100
2015/16 Overseas £13,500
2015/16 Home/EU £6,000

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

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