CIPR Courses

CIPR Advanced Certificate in PR

If you are in the first couple of years of your PR career and want to develop your core knowledge and skills, the CIPR Advanced Certificate is for you.

This course will provide you with a solid grounding in all of the key concepts, theories, techniques and skills that you need to become an effective PR practitioner.

On successful completion of this course, you can become a CIPR Associate member and will be eligible to progress your studies with the CIPR Diploma.


The Advanced Certificate will cover topics including:

  • PR and its role in the organisation
  • PR and communication theory
  • PR planning and tactics
  • Writing skills
  • Media relations
  • Management skills and professional practice


The course lasts for approximately 6 months and offers a minimum of 20 hours tuition.. In addition to the taught sessions students would be expected to spend approximately 200 hours on independent study over the length of the course.

Unit 1.1 – Managing PR

Suggested teaching time - 40%

(a) Defining PR and its role in the organisation

Aim: To provide a general introduction to public relations as a management activity.

(b) PR and communication theory

Aim: To develop an understanding of communication processes and how they are used in PR.


Learning objectives

  • introduce the background to how public relations has developed
  • critically examine the various definitions of public relations
  • consider how public relations is managed in organisations and how organisations use public relations to achieve their objectives
  • introduce communication theory and how it is used in public relations
  • examine how new media is changing public relations practice
  • encourage study skills and essay/report writing.


Learning outcomes

At the end of Unit 1.1 you will be able to:

  • use your knowledge of what public relations is to broaden your understanding and plan your career
  • understand how public relations can enable organisations to achieve objectives
  • develop your own professional expertise through your understanding of communication theory
  • use your knowledge of new media to enhance practice.


Indicative content

  • introduction to history and definitions of PR
  • PR's differences from marketing, advertising and journalism
  • introduction to media relations, internal communications, public affairs, CSR
  • introduction to systems theory, management theory, organisational structures and impact on PR.


Assignment: Critical Reasoning Test.

Unit 1.2 - PR in action (vocational skills)

Suggested teaching time – 45%

Aim: To provide an introduction to planning and primary tactics used in public relations.

Learning objectives

  • examine the way in which public relations plans are developed
  • review the principles and practice of media relations
  • encourage an understanding of the importance and purpose of internal communications
  • develop the ability to deploy a range of PR techniques.


Learning outcomes

At the end of Unit 1.2 you will be able to:

  • develop and manage public relations plans
  • use a range of effective media relations techniques
  • manage a full range of internal communications activities.


Indicative content

  • case study
  • planning models and effective communication, targeting publics, developing messages, selecting channels
  • media training, writing, interviews, writing genres and styles, writing media releases, managing launches, internal communications activities including employee research, employee engagement activities, employee briefings, intranet pages, speeches, presentations.


Assessment: Planning Assignment.

Unit 1.3 - Professional development (personal development)

Suggested teaching time – 15%

Aim: To provide an introduction to management skills and reflective professional practice.


Learning objectives

  • support students conducting a self-directed research investigation
  • develop an understanding of effective management skills
  • examine what professionalism is and how it relates to public relations practice
  • put public relations into context as a developing discipline.


Learning outcomes

At the end of Unit 1.3 you will be able to:

  • improve your management skills
  • implement a personal Continuing Professional Development plan
  • actively reflect on how to contribute to the development of public relations.


Indicative content

  • management skills, including organising and managing effective meetings, making effective contributions to meetings, personal time management, making presentations, pitching, managing resources and information systems, negotiating and problem solving
  • professionalism, personal and professional ethics, personal learning approaches, personal planning skills
  • completion of personal plan for Continuing professional development.


Assessment: Critique.

The CIPR Advanced Certificate in Public Relations is right for you if…

  • You are interested in pursuing a career in PR
  • You have been working in the PR industry at a fairly junior level for at least two years
  • You are working in any field of PR (e.g. media relations, internal communications or public affairs) and would like to obtain your first professional qualification.

You will qualify for the CIPR Advanced Certificate if you have any one of the following:

  • CIPR Foundation Award
  • CIPR Internal Communication Certificate
  • any UK degree
  • two years' relevant full-time employment in public relations (or related sectors e.g. marketing, journalism) and five GCSEs grade C or above, one of which must be in the English Language.


In addition, those whose first language is not English must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the language - spoken and written - to an International Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 7.0 or above or equivalent.



If you are currently studying full-time or working whilst studying part-time towards another course either within the CIPR or externally your application may not be accepted.

2350 (€2820 + VAT)

* In addition to the course fees specified, CIPR membership is a course requirement and costs £145 for a 15-month membership (three months more than a standard membership subscription).

The membership subscription form is incorporated in the course application.


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