Questioning the relevance of master studies in the field of public relations is not uncommon but rather very frequent observation I encountered while doing my MA. PR is a very practical field where you can’t learn much from the books or by analysing other scholars’ theories. In order to become a good PR practitioner, one needs hands-on experiences. Therefore, the question arises – why doing an MA in PR instead of throwing yourself in the industry immediately?
There are many personal reasons that can affect this decision, so I will share some of my own in this blog post.
Reason #1: Switching majors
I realised I am interested in PR when I finished my undergraduate studies. Since my degree was in English Linguistics and Literature, I decided that I would like to expand my knowledge about the PR industry and get an academic background in the field. Hence, my decision for enrolling MA in PR was following my growing interest in the PR industry.
Reason #2: Networking
Doing MA in PR is a great way of being introduced to the industry professionals, industry bodies and getting an overall understanding about how the industry works, especially if you are not coming from the country where you want to start your career in.
Reason #3: Understanding the context and development of PR
Although you can’t learn practical aspect of the industry from the books, you can definitely form a better and well-rounded understanding of the industry’s development and current challenges. In case you might be interested in pursuing academic career in the field, MA can get you a taste of research that can follow on a PhD level.
Reason #4: Practical modules
While researching the potential programmes for my MA, I noticed that PR programmes in the UK are very practical in comparison to other communication courses that are based around understanding of communications in the globalised world. So, if you prefer learning about strategic communications rather than reading about the effects of politics, economy and globalisation on communication, PR course might be more suitable for you.
When it comes to my choice, I decided that MA Public Relations at the University of Westminster was the most suitable programme for my needs. The modules were based around media relations, creating and pitching a PR campaign, writing press releases, monitoring media, data analysis and doing communication audits and strategies. The course is accredited by PRCA and CIPR which gives you the access to some industry events and plenty of opportunities for networking. Besides practical aspect of the course, there were several theory-based modules as well.
So, to answer the question from the very top of the post – MA in PR can be a very good investment in case you are not really sure what PR is about and you like to learn in an academic environment. There is no right or wrong way to become part of PR industry because everything is up to your preferences. I enjoyed MA in Public Relations and this course definitely made me more confident in my PR knowledge and skills and I am looking forward to test what I learned in practice.
If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!
Author: Kristina Lazarevic
Kristina Lazarevic is an aspiring PR practitioner who has lived in five countries and has just finished MA in Public Relations at the University of Westminster. She’s passionate about tech and digital media. Currently works as Tech intern at Hill + Knowlton Strategies in London.