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Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

MSc in Public Relations and Strategic Communications

Master of Sciences in Public Relations and Strategic Communications

  • PAC CodeDC674
  • Course Type Postgraduate
  • NFQ Level 9
  • Delivery Modes Full-time
  • Duration 1 Year

In today's society, organisations need to communicate and manage relationships with a variety of stakeholders; from employees and investors to Government, the media and the general public.

Keeping pace with a fast-moving world, public relations is rapidly evolving through the use of social communication media and technology. This specialist Masters programme is designed to provide the skills and ability to think strategically and make effective use of the latest tools in modern communications.

DCU's MSc in Public Relations has been developed in consultation with the public relations industry in Ireland and with advice of academics in Europe and the United States. It is aimed at students with an undergraduate degree in a related discipline, including, but not limited to, communications, journalism and media studies.

The programme provides students with public relations theory and practice alongside an understanding of recent developments and challenges for the profession. These include the impact of the Internet and the growth of social media; the decline of traditional media; growing issues of corporate social responsibility influencing organisational reputation; and the increasing influence of other social science disciplines on Public Relations theory and practice.

This is a multipurpose award. A student would register for this programme in order to pursue an interest in public relations and related sectors. Students will acquire the advanced knowledge and skills to seek employment in public relations agencies and to work as independent public relations consultants.

The programme is structured to meet the differing requirements of those wishing to enter the public relations profession and those already working in public relations roles, but who want to enhance their practice with engagement with the latest thinking and research.

Link to the programme's Facebook page:

DCU’s School of Communications has just been ranked in the top 200 communications schools internationally. The only ranked Irish media/communications School in the QS ranking. 


To appreciate the strategic importance of public relations in the corporate, political and non-profit sectors.

To develop an understanding and critical reflection about the role and processes of public relations in organisations and society.

To engage with topics and issues about public relations, and demonstrate leadership and thoughtful reflection in discussions and group work.

To develop practical skills for PR planning and implementation alongside reflective skills and scholarship and understanding of the role and agendas which develop from PR as a strategic discipline.

View the current course structure →


DCU has been a leader in communication and media education in Ireland for thirty years. DCU lecturers, with extensive practice experience across the sector, have excellent industry links and are active in researching and analysing communications nationally and internationally.

DCU graduates of our Communications and Journalism programmes already occupy leading roles within the Irish and European Public Relations industry.




Graduates from the MSc in Public Relations & Strategic Communications will pursue careers both within public relations agencies and within in-house communications departments. The programme provides the necessary skills and knowledge for careers in:

  • Public Relations
  • Strategic Communications
  • Political Communications
  • Communications Management
  • Brand Engagement
  • Reputation Management
  • Community Management
  • Sponsorship
  • Corporate Responsibility Management

The first cohort of graduates - from 2016/17 - have already secured positions with some of the world’s leading agencies, as well as for small and medium sized consultancies and agencies. Other graduates have joined the communication departments of semi-state organisations and commercial concerns.


General Entry Requirements

For admission to the MSc in Public Relations and Strategic Communications programme, successful applicants will have - 

  • A degree at the level of an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent, OR
  • Demonstrated equivalence of learning in accordance with DCU's policy on RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness (see policy for details). 

English Language Requirements:

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information in international applications please click here

Commencement of Programme

September 2019

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Make an Application

All Applicants must submit

  • Certified academic transcripts for each and every year of study, with certified English translations if applicable
  • A written statement of 1,000 words (maximum) outlining their;
  1. suitability for the programme;
  2. relevant recent experiences
  3. involvements in areas specific to the programme. 

Non Native English Speakers

  • Evidence of English competency which meets DCU entry requirements - see link

Application Schedule for 2019/20 entry:

EU Applicants: Apply online through the Postgraduate Application Centre ( ). Applications to this Programme will be accepted on a rolling basis until all places have been filled.  The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 9th August 2019.

Non EU Applicants: Apply online through the Postgraduate Application Center ( ). Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 12 July 2019.  Applications to this Programme will be accepted on a rolling basis until all places hae been filled. 

When applying for this programme use the PAC code DC674.

Queries on completed applications for EU Applicants should be forwarded to, for Non EU Applicants please contact