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Leading PR industry body consults Westminster academics in development of new apprenticeship

Journalism and Mass Communication 23 July 2015

Offering their expertise in the industry, Public Relations lecturers at the University of Westminster are the academic advisors of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) in the development of PRCA’s new masters-level degree apprenticeship which was launched in March 2015.

Aimed at undergraduate recruits and existing PR apprentices, the new masters-level degree apprenticeship will help apprentices develop their understanding of PR practice and theory, digital communications and the wider implications of PR in society. It will work alongside the existing PR higher apprenticeship aimed at school leavers, which is also being re-configured to better meet industry needs.

PRCA has launched an employer consultation to gain feedback on the masters-level degree apprenticeship by the end of July. The consultation is led by employers on the PRCA’s Trailblazer Group with academic input from representatives of the University of Westminster’s Public Relations MA course.

PRs can comment directly on the new masters-level degree apprenticeship by making suggestions on this framework document.

Jon Cope, Senior Lecturer in PR at the University, said: “By combining elements of university PR courses with on-the-job experience and PRCA training we look forward to developing a degree apprenticeship that helps apprentices understand not only how to do their jobs well, but also how their work impacts on wider society and how they can reflect on and improve their practice. We believe this will produce high quality employees for both agency and in-house roles.”

Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the largest PR association in Europe, representing 18,000 people in agencies, in-house communications teams, and individuals.

The University of Westminster’s position in the city of London allows it to continue to build on its close connections with leading figures and organisations. The Public Relations MA and Public Relations and Advertising BA Honours courses are designed to produce the future leaders of the Public Relations Industry. Students do not only learn the practical skills required to embark on a career in PR but also the research and analysis skills that help them get ahead. The courses have close links to the London-based PR industry, and the MA course is one of the select few chosen by the PRCA for its university partnership initiative. These connections with leading PR practitioners help students gain the practical knowledge and understanding they need to work in PR.

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

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