Strategic Communication & Public Relations (Joint Degree)



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

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a taught postgraduate degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Alenka Jelen-Sanchez Email: Tel: +44 1786 466225
Download postgraduate prospectus

Jane Campbell

Graduate Studies Office
University of Stirling

  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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Life at Stirling

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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.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs

2017/18 Overseas £14,600
2017/18 Home/EU £6,200


2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU TBC

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

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

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

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

Delivery and assessment

Delivery methods include lectures, seminars, workshops, case studies, small group tutorials, field trips and visiting speaker presentations.

Methods of assessment include academic essays; timed assignments, public relations and communication campaigns including presentations and reports; press conferences; a media relations portfolio which includes press releases, feature articles, and blogs; practical communication reports and strategic plans; case studies; research designs; content analysis; in-class contributions and presentations.

Students also complete a 12,000-word dissertation.


Academic Year 2017/18

Autumn (Stirling)

  • PREPP62 - Public Relations and Public Communication Theories
  • PREPP63 - Media Relations and Production
  • PREPP64 - Research for Dissertation/Research Design

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


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


This listing is based on the current curriculum and changes may be made to the course in response to new curriculum developments and innovations. The module information is currently linking to the 2016/17 module listing and the information for 2017/18 will be made available on 21st April 2017. 

Modes of study

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

Study method


Example timetable

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



Public Relations & Public Communication Theories


Lectures: TUE, 10:00 – 12:00

Seminar Groups:

TUE, 14:00 – 18:00


Media Relations & Production



THU, 14:00 – 17:00


Research for Dissertation PREPP64

Lectures: FRI, 12:00 – 14:00

Seminar Groups:

FRI, 09:00 – 10:30

FRI, 10:30 – 12:00


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.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .


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 international careers in public relations, strategic communication and related areas in consultancies, private sector companies (in-house positions), NGOs and international organisations, including the EU and the UN.  Our graduates typically occupy positions of communications officer/manager, public relations officer/manager, press officer, social media officer/manager, internal communications officer/manager, corporate affairs officer/manager etc.  Some graduates start their own companies or work as project managers.  Others stay in academia, going on to gain PhDs and then work as lecturers, teaching and researching public relations in universities.

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