CIPR Foundation Award in Public Relations
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The CIPR Foundation is a short starter qualification taught at A-level standard. It will equip you with the essential knowledge and skills that you need to get started in public relations – from understanding the role of the PR practitioner to learning the basics of writing for the press and dealing with journalists. The CIPR Foundation is the entry point to CIPR’s suite of professional qualifications.

Why choose this course?

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Create content for written and audio-visual platforms that will engage stakeholders;
  • Identify and prioritise different audience groups and channels, and justify those choices in the context of building relationships between an organisation and its stakeholders;
  • Explain how PR helps to support different organisational objectives, and how it works with related disciplines such as marketing communications and advertising.
  • Understand the role and scope of public relations
  • Be aware of the importance of PR ethics and the role of the CIPR Code of Conduct
  • Understand the key principles of effective media relations

The Foundation Award focuses on the role of PR in organisations and on engagement through content creation. The syllabus comprises two parts:

What will I learn?

Part 1 - PR Skills and Content Creation

This unit considers the types of content PR practitioners produce and how to target content for particular audiences and channels. It also develops practical content creation skills. It will enable students to define the field and scope of public relations and its relationship with marketing, advertising, publicity, propaganda etc. Students will also be able to demonstrate an understanding of the way that public relations is placed within organisations (in terms of its relative position to the dominant coalition, budget share etc.) Broad introductions will be given to some specialist areas including financial/investor public relations, lobbying, marketing PR (FMCGs) sponsorship, working in-house or in a consultancy and corporate social responsibility. Concepts such as relationship building, reputation management and working with publics will be illustrated.


Part 2 - The Role of the PR Practitioner

This unit focuses on the role of PR within an organisation. It looks at the contribution PR makes to the organisation’s key objectives, the way PR practitioners interact with other disciplines, and their responsibility to operate ethically and to keep their skills and knowledge up to date.To make clear the basics of working in partnership with the news media – meeting their needs; writing press releases for them; knowing what is news and why it needs currency and human interest; beginning to understand what makes a good picture for print, the right sound for radio and when something might be of interest to television. Also to understand the needs of online audiences and influencers such as bloggers, what makes a good concept for a viral video, and to be able to write a blog post or tweet to publicise a news event.

How will this course be taught?


Fifteen hours of lectures and participative workshops during which the background, some basic theories and practical skills will be explained and demonstrated using case studies and current issues.


Self directed study:

As well as attending for the three days teaching students are expected to undertake fifteen to twenty hours of self-directed study, guided reading and research and/or homework tasks. 

Start date

Please view our Professional Qualifications Timetable page for specific start dates.

Entry requirements

You will qualify for the Foundation Award if you have at least five GCSEs at grade C or above*.

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 do not have the necessary GCSEs or GCEs you may still be accepted at the discretion of the university on the basis of your professional experience (not necessarily in public relations).


Fees and funding



How to apply

Please contact us at for an application form.


How will this course enhance my career prospects?

CIPR  awards are industry-recognised and the only professional qualifications awarded by a Chartered body. Whether you are entering the profession or an experienced PR practitioner, courses are offered at every level.

The Foundation Award provides entry to the CIPR's higher level qualifications – the Advanced Certificate and the Diploma in PR. These qualifications will enable you to gain a professional grade of CIPR membership in the future and become a CIPR Accredited Practitioner.

How will I be assessed?

You will undertake a two-part assessment that tests your practical PR skills. Part one is a portfolio of content for traditional and digital media to generate positive coverage for an organisation. Part two is a discussion paper showing how the portfolio of content will help deliver the objectives of the PR team in that organisation.

This award is conferred by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

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