Strategic Public Relations


Strategic Public Relations provides you with an understanding of public relations theory and practice at a time when new styles of management and the democratisation of workplaces are demanding higher proficiency in communication skills from practitioners as 'knowledge workers'. Our course will provide you with the strategic planning and thinking required to engage organisational stakeholders in priority initiatives in a media environment within which the boundaries between information, entertainment, image and politics are increasingly blurred. The course curriculum offers a critical approach that encourages you to determine your influence as a practitioner and reflect on how you, in turn, are influenced by dominant discourses and meta-narratives in your own practice. This degree is accredited by the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA).

Drawing on disciplines such as public relations, strategic communication, organisational communication, and political public relations the course content reveals the complexity of public relations practice in shaping identities, dispersing power, and creating knowledge. You will be encouraged to challenge notions of public relations as symmetrical communication and a management (control) function, and to reconsider organisations as sites of collective action rather than bureaucratic structures. Taking a critical approach that recognises that today's communication professional is at the intersection of debates on how organisations and powerful coalitions create knowledge, you will graduate equipped to apply your creativity in innovation, and be confident in developing processes that achieve the critical input of internal and external publics.

Throughout your studies you will explore the various functions of public relations including media relations, relationship building, issues management, boundary spanning, stakeholder liaison, crisis communication and the integration of communications functions while developing essential skills in thinking, writing, speaking and working in teams. Learning how communication about daily practices in informal and formal organisation settings impact on the strategic decisions of all types of organisations, you will gain an understanding of the potential impact your practice can have on strategy execution, and the role that you can play in contributing to a just society and profitable corporations.

There are four core units of study:

  • MECO6908 Strategy Selection in Corporate PR
  • MECO6909 Crisis Communication
  • MECO6912 Political Public Relations
  • MECO6913 Public Opinion, Policy and Public Sphere

See also: Digital Communication and Cultures, Health Communication, Media Practice and Publishing.

Awards and requirements

Please refer to the course rules in this handbook for information on the specific admission requirements for different coursework award courses.

Master of Strategic Public Relations
Candidates for the Master of Strategic Public Relations are required to complete 72 credit points including:

  • a minimum of 24 credit points of core units of study
  • a maximum of 42 credit points from elective units of study
  • at least 6 credit points of capstone units of study

Graduate Diploma in Strategic Public Relations
Candidates for the Graduate Diploma in Strategic Public Relations are required to complete 48 credit points including:

  • a minimum of 24 credit points of core units of study
  • a maximum of 24 credit points from elective units of study

Graduate Certificate in Strategic Public Relations
Candidates for the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Public Relations are required to complete 24 credit points including:

  • a minimum of 12 credit points of core units of study
  • a maximum of 12 credit points from elective units of study
Learning outcomes

At the completion of the Master of Strategic Public Relations, a student will be able to:

No. Learning outcome
1 Produce written and multimedia public relations texts to advanced industry standards using the latest software and applications.
2 Plan and undertake primary and secondary research relevant to communications campaigns and research reports.
3 Design, implement and evaluate public relations campaigns for corporations, organisations, and political candidates for a range of contexts and publics.
4 Develop two-way communication strategies and techniques to support transparency and accountability in democratic systems of government and corporate social responsibility.
5 Undertake independent and critical scholarship to create new knowledge that informs ethical practices.
6 Demonstrate the application of scholastic knowledge to professional practices and new situations in the rapidly changing communications landscape.
7 Develop advanced problem-solving and creative skills that can support commercial effectiveness and/or organisational aims.
8 Plan and produce an innovative research or practice project, independently with minimal supervision.
Reduced volume of learning (RVL)

Candidates who have completed previous study in a relevant discipline may be eligible for a reduction in the requirements in accordance with the table below.

Level of prior learning Full-time duration Credit points to complete
AQF Level 7 eg a bachelor's degree in the Humanities, Social Sciences or Law 1.5 years 72
Relevant professional experience equivalent to a Graduate Certificate 1 year 48
AQF Level 8 eg Honours in a relevant discipline 1 year 48


Contacts and further information

Contact details can be found on these websites:
Department of Media and Communications
School of Literature, Art and Media