Jennifer Norris reviews her course, BA (Hons) Public Relations at the University of Central Lancashire.
CIPR Approved: Yes
Offers Placement Year: Yes
Overall: 4 – Looking back as a final year single honours PR student, I think it is safe to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed my course and got absolutely everything out of it that I possibly could. There are good resources, experienced teaching staff and opportunities for industrial placement and constant work experience.
Teaching/Lecturers: 5 – The lecturers who teach on the course are all from public relations and journalism backgrounds and have worked in the industry themselves. They all offer friendly student support throughout and give constructive feedback and demonstrate areas to progress to aid students’ success. The course encourages real public relations practice by inviting public relations professionals and agency directors to give guest lecturers to students looking for future employment in the industry, as well as assigning groups to perform real practice to local businesses. It really excels the experience and employability level, as well as helping relate PR theory to contemporary practice.
Support available: 5 – There is so much in regards to support being offered at UCLan. The university offers workshops and drop in sessions by Wiser, to help with research, essays and English Language skills. The lecturers are always there with a helping hand. They supply the students with their contact details and keep us well informed with their availability throughout the week. Our personal tutors encourage us to stay in touch with them as much as possible so that any issues that may arise can be dealt with quickly. It’s nice to have such approachable staff to learn from!
Extra Opportunities available: 4- An optional placement year is offered within the course, it was one of the main reasons I picked UCLan. I was lucky enough to secure a one year work placement at Panasonic press office working as the PR Assistant in the consumer brand communications department. I ended extending my placement in the press office over the Olympic period to assist with Panasonic’s London 2012 sponsorship. The experience I gained was invaluable and a once in a life time opportunity. Our lecturer Chris is always offering us opportunities to volunteer in local PR agencies, also in the final year one of the modules supplies us with a real client base. I am currently in the final year of the course, and have found my placement year has proved its importance instantly. I have a much greater understanding of the industry as well as the theories and concepts taught by the lecturers.
Accommodation: 5- A number of university owned student halls and good housing opportunities for second and final year students close to the university.
Facilities (including library): 4 – Good amount of resources, journals and text books available in the library as well as online as e-books/journals. Computers available in the library and throughout the university. There are special dedicated rooms for the PR students to study, such as the UK Progress room located in the Lancashire Business School.
Nightlife: 4 – Student life in Preston is great! Very cheap, very student friendly. Big enough for choice of where to go, but small enough to commute around easily.
Students Union: 3- Friendly staff and good opportunities available. The communication of the SU to the students isn’t as good though, there are a lack of student only nights available.