Strategic Public Relations (Double Degree with Lund University)



This course is jointly delivered by the University of Stirling, School of Arts and Humanities, and Lund University (Sweden), Institute for Strategic Communication.

Public Relations practitioners provide direction for organisations of all sizes and sectors to communicate with their stakeholders and to manage relationships and emerging issues on the public agenda. Here at the University of Stirling and at the Lund University, we take a strategic approach to the field, encompassing a variety of perspectives and disciplines.

Key information

  • Degree type: MSc
  • Study methods: Full-time
  • Duration: MSc: 21 months Certificate: three months
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Dr Howard Northhaft, Lund University
Download course leaflet

Jane Campbell Graduate Studies Office,
School of Arts & Humanities
University of Stirling
+44 (0) 1786 466220

View fees and finance

Course objectives

This variant of our established MSc in Strategic Public Relations & Communication Management course is delivered jointly with our partner Lund University in Helsingborg, Sweden. This course provides students with a solid European and international perspective on public relations and provides an opportunity to study in both Stirling, UK, and Helsingborg, Sweden.

This course is taught completely in English and students will obtain a double MSc degree from the University of Stirling and Lund University. Students spend Semester 1 at the University of Stirling and then move to Lund University for Semesters 2 and 3 before deciding if they’d like their dissertation supervised by Stirling or Lund.

This new Master’s course has unique features

  • Opportunities to study in two countries at universities recognised for leading public relations and communication management education within Europe
  • A focus on public relations and communication management, including strategic PR planning, media relations, digital media, public affairs, lobbying and advocacy, and organisational communication all within an international context
  • An internship during the third semester of the course
  • Rigorous research methods modules which enable students to build up confidence to engage in high quality qualitative and quantitative communication research
  • The MSc Strategic Public Relations is also the English language line of the MARPE* – Euprera network and students will be able to interact and collaborate with students on the Iberian, French language lines and attend intensive public affairs seminars and workshops in Belgium

The key benefits of this course include:

  • Internationalisation: unique multicultural and intercultural experience
  • Knowledge: an innovative and challenging curriculum which develops both a theoretical and practical understanding of strategic communication
  • Skills: transferable personal and intellectual skills including core management skills required by strategic managers in the developing global public relations industry
  • Career opportunities: graduates are equipped to take up public relations and communication management positions in the private, public and non-profit sectors
  • Contacts: a multi-national course team which is internationally-recognised for teaching and research and an alumni base built up over two decades
  • Additional opportunities: specialist industry seminars and workshops on public affairs and lobbying delivered by leading practitioners and key experts in Brussels

The MSc Strategic Public Relations equips you with the necessary practical and analytical skills for an internationally focused professional career by examining how to design, implement and evaluate public relations (PR) and communication management courses.

*MARPE is the abbreviation for Master Relations Publiques Européenne. MARPE is a framework for Public Relations courses initiated by the European Public Relations Research and Education Association (EUPRERA)

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.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus.

Learn more

Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.  Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

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

Double Award (University of Stirling and Lund University)
Students spend an additional semester at Lund University in order to gain the double award.

Certificate: three months
MSc: 21 months 

Delivery and assessment

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)

  • PCMPPX8 - Public Affairs and Advocacy
  • PREPP96 - Public Relations and Public Communication Theories
  • PREPP63 - Media Relations and Production
  • PREPP87 - Research Design and the Philosophy of Science

Spring (Lund)

Autumn (Lund)

  • PREPRD - Research Design Part 2
  • PREPSR - Specialist Research Methods
  • PREPIN - Internship


  • PREP12 - Strategic Public Relations Dissertation

*  Lund for overseas students and for Home/EU students Lund or Stirling.

Recommended reading

To get you started there are a few suggested text books you may want to take a look at before the start of the semester – they are also available in the University Library but with limited copies available:

PREP62 Strategic Public Relations and Public Communications: Theories & Contexts:

L’Etang, J. (2008). Public Relations: Concepts, Practice and Critique, London: Sage

Ihlen, Ø., van Ruler, B., & Fredriksson, M. (2009). Public Relations and Social Theory: Key Figures and Concepts, London: Routledge.

PREP63 Media Relations:

Hicks, Wynford (2006) English for Journalists, 3rd ed, London: Routledge

Hicks, Wynford (2008) Writing for Journalists, 2nd ed, London: Routledge

English Dictionary & Thesaurus

PCMPX2 Public Affairs & Advocacy:

Davis, A. (2010). Political Communication and Social Theory. London: Routledge

Harris, P., & Fleisher, C.S. (2005). The Handbook of Public Affairs, London: Sage

McGrath, C. (2006). Lobbying in Washington, London, and Brussels: The Persuasive Communication of Political Issues. The Edwin Mellon Press

van Schendelen, R. (2005). Machiavelli in Brussels, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press

PREP87 - Research Design and the Philosophy of Science:

Daymon, C., & Holloway, I. (2011). Qualitative Research Methods for Public Relations and Marketing Communications. London: Routledge.

Modes of study

Full-time, based at the University of Stirling, Scotland and at Lund University in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Study method


Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

Lectures, seminars and workshops are scheduled each week. For the Stirling semester students have four modules that run concurrently. A semester timetable is made available prior to students arrival and usually  the lectures, seminars and workshops are scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. For the Lund semesters students take one module at a time over a five-week period and the schedule is issued before the module start.

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.


Communications, Media and Culture had 95% of its research classed as of international standard, with 70% in the top two categories, 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent', in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

Study abroad opportunities

Students spend Semester 1 at the University of Stirling and then move to Lund University for Semesters 2 and 3 before deciding if they would like their dissertation supervised by Stirling or Lund.


Students benefit from an international academic team at Stirling and Lund, which is recognised for their teaching and research; students are able to study in two different countries enabling the development of intercultural communication skills and an international network; the course includes an industry placement.

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

Our students

We currently have 17 students on our course from Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, UK and Ireland.

Living in Germany last year made me realise that there is more than my safe environment in Belgium. So, the international experience was one of the main reasons that made me choose the Master in Strategic Public Relations.

Not only studying in two different countries, but also living and studying together with people from different countries all over the world, with international experiences far beyond the European borders only broadened my perspectives. I got a first-hand insight on how different nationalities deal with different issues, and in many cases national stereotypes were confirmed!

The semester in Stirling taught me about press releases and lobbying, gave me insight in theories and contexts in public relations and so much more.

Although my decision to start in Stirling was last-minute, I would definitely do it again tomorrow if I had the choice!

Barbara Bruynooghe, MSc Strategic Public Relations (Double Degree with Lund University)

The Master of Science double degree at the University of Stirling and Lund University seemed like a perfect match regarding my academic and cultural interests as well as my previous work experiences. I think that this programme is rather unique in Europe, as it offers to study a promising field in two countries known for its academic expertise. Getting the chance to be part of a truly international environment - there are students from nine different countries - is a once in a life time opportunity before settling down for work life. Not only does it broaden your horizon from any point of view, it also trains and nurtures international management and organisation skills. The possibility to get a scholarship from the University of Stirling additionally encouraged me to join the programme. It is by far not the easy way to earn a degree, but it will definitely improve self-organisation, discipline and soft skills/social competence.

Robin Hüdepohl, MSc Strategic Public Relations (Double Degree with Lund University)


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.).

Graduates of our Master's level courses in public relations have successfully established careers in the public relations field working for a wide range of organisations all round the world. Recent examples include Nike, the UK Government, EU Parliament, Pfizer, Office Depot, the National Museum of Wales, as well as within the non-profit/charity sector. 

Many of our graduates work for public relations consultancies, including some of the big names in the PR world, and some have even gone on to start their own business. Others stay in academia, going on to gain PhDs and then work as lecturers, teaching and researching public relations in universities all over the world. 

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).



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

Scholarships & funding

Scholarship finder
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon

Forgotten login?