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Major: Public Relations and Social Media

Major Details

Public Relations and Social Media


Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

200 level

International Communication Campaigns (3)
International Communication Campaigns (3)
International Public Relations and Advertising (3)
3cp from
Radio Production (3)
Screen Production 1 (3)
Cybercultures (3)
Narrative Journalism (3)
3cp from
Radio Broadcasting (3)
Screen Production 2 (3)
Interactive Web Design (3)
Music and Arts Journalism (3)

300 level

3cp from
Media Futures (3)
Media Internship (3)
Media Ethics (3)
Network Cultures (3)
Social Media (3)
Public Relations and Social Media 1 (3)
Public Relations and Social Media 2 (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Units marked with a P are PACE units.
Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program The major in Public Relations and Social Media prepares students for industry through its suite of public communications units (public relations, advertising and social media) that cover domestic and international contexts. Students learn the theories underpinning public relations and social media. Application to real-world scenarios and working with clients in MAS390 Public Relations and Social Media 2 is a focus of this program. These areas are complemented by the opportunity to undertake production units in areas such as screen, radio, web design, journalism and non-fiction writing. The complete package offers students practical experience in public relations underpinned by strong critical enquiry. The inclusion of production units offers students an enriched knowledge of the media. Students have the opportunity to complete an internship as part of the major.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. Utilise communications theories and skills in order to critique, write and present clear and persuasive arguments.
2. Analyse and evaluate the relationships between public relations and advertising, social media, international actors (state, national, NGOs and international enterprise) and the international public.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the role and place of PR and social media in contemporary society.
4. Examine a range of theories of technology and society that enable a cultural evaluation of social media and PR practices.
5. Research, synthesise and apply communications and media theory in the context of developing a PR campaign, social media journalism or web-design.
6. Analyse, identify and communicate the broad and specific arguments in contemporary communications, PR and social media debates.
Learning and Teaching Methods The major in Public Relations and Social Media uses a range of learning and teaching methods to enable students to achieve the program level outcomes.

• Lectures: While some lectures are delivered in traditional face-to-face format, others utilise the Echo 360 lecture recording system and pre-recorded video lectures. The array of formats in which lectures are available ensures that students have access to the lecture materials at any point during the semester.

• Tutorials: Tutorials provide an opportunity for students to critically engage with the selected topic(s). Tutorials provide three key markers: First, they provide forums for resolving uncertainties within and questions about the set materials and topics. Second, tutorial participation generates knowledge. Through tutor-led and peer-assisted direction, students generate knowledge of the subject. Third, tutorials enable students to put generated knowledge into practice through activities such as discussion, debate, group tasks and presentations. Additionally, the knowledge generated in tutorials underpins assessment structures and tasks.

• Workshops: Production units utilise workshops in which students develop production skills such as genre writing, video editing or coding with a JavaScript framework. Student learning is supported by teaching and technical staff with industry-grade knowledge and skills.

• Teaching materials: A range of teaching materials are used to support and direct student learning:
a. lectures (face-to-face and recorded)
b. traditional paper-based and electronic readings
c. text books
d. audiovisual material
e. group task handouts/worksheets
f. online workshop manuals
g. industry speakers
h. student conference

• Program structure: The major in Public Relations consists of eight units across 200 and 300 level. At 200 level students develop foundational disciplinary knowledge relating to public communication, public relations and advertising alongside the opportunity to engage in media production. At 300 level students study more advanced public relations practice including work on real-world scenarios with industry partners. For their capstone, students have the option of MAS316 Media Futures or MAS350 Media Internship (students pursuing a double major will complete both). MAS316 encourage students to be reflective and prepared for employment through offering a range of invited industry speakers, many of whom are leaders in their field. MAS350 (also a PACE unit) allows students to complete an internship relevant to their studies and fosters reflection on the alignment between their studies and the workplace.
Assessment The majors in Public Relations and Social Media provides a blend of critical theory and media practice resulting in a diverse assessment schema:

• Essays: Essays range from 500 to 2500 words and are used to assess a range of outcomes from demonstrating comprehension of a particular issue to synthesizing multiple sources to evaluate a case study. Essays are frequently used in production units which require students to critically articulate applied theory.

• Projects: Students create numerous projects throughout the program depending on their chosen production path. Projects include:
a. public relations campaigns
b. documentaries, features and dramas
c. websites
d. podcasts, audio features, live radio broadcasts
f. photo essays
g. non-fiction and journalistic writing

• Quizzes: Used to periodically assess understanding and comprehension, quizzes also motivate students to participate in a culture of learning by engaging with teaching materials. Quizzes may be in-class or take-home and paper-based or conducted electronically via the learning management system.

• Presentations: Students develop the ability to articulate information in a number of forms. In addition to the above, presentations assess students' abilities to meaningfully articulate information. In addition to their peers, students may deliver presentations to staff (in simulated client scenarios) or industry guests.

• Participation: Students are assessed on their meaningful contributions to a culture of learning. Participation is assessed through engagement with discussions, debates, tasks through learning teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, workshops and online tasks. Through participation students engage with a commitment to learning and develop reflective practices.

• Other: Other assessments include blogs, reflective journals, production diaries and minutes of group meetings. Learning and teaching innovation is a strong feature of the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies and alternative assessment methods are frequently trialed.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Graduates with a major in Public Relations and Social Media will be prepared to work in areas and roles including public relations, social media, public communications, advertising, corporate writer, media producer.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148