University of Chester

Programme Specification
Marketing and Public Relations BA (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)

Marketing and Public Relations

Marketing and Public Relations

University of Chester

University of Chester


Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 Years

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Warrington School of Management

Business and Management, Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies.

Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)

Chester Business School

Sunday 1st May 2011


  • To contribute to the University’s portfolio for Combined Honours programmes on the Warrington campus.  This is a dynamic degree programme which demonstrates Chester’s ability to offer programmes at the ‘cutting edge’ of the demand of employers for skilled graduates. 
  • To offer a relevant, challenging and innovative degree programme that enables staff to expand their areas of interest (teaching and research objectives) and attract quality students.   This in turn ensures the link between scholarship, advanced scholarship, research, and teaching.
  • To offer a programme that builds on the University’s provision in the Faculty of Business, Enterprise and Lifelong Learning.   With an interdisciplinary approach, it aims to broaden the intellectual scope of students and provide potential for collaborative work both within the Faculty, and with other Faculties.
  • To provide a broad, analytical and integrated study of marketing and public relations, which will complement the second academic area that the student chooses to study.
  • To combine marketing and public relations theory and practice in degree-level academic study in a manner and means appropriate for a degree which equips students with theory-based practice, and practice-based theory.
  • To offer a programme which emphasises the synergy between business and socio-political approaches to marketing and public relations teaching, embracing both as part of a holistic approach setting business within a social model and drawing on the wider humanities agenda.
  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills in demand in the marketing, public relations and communications industry, and with transferable generic skills expected of honours degree graduates, to enable them to function effectively in employment.
  • To meet demand within the marketing, public relations and communications industry for honours degree graduates skilled in the sector.
  • To develop students to the level required, with a body of knowledge and skills proper to the field of study of marketing and public relations and reflecting academic developments in that field.
  • To equip students for engagement in lifelong learning and to play a positive and effective role in the wider community.
  • To provide an appropriate base for access to further study or professional qualifications (i.e. entry points to access Chartered Institute of Marketing and Chartered Institute of Public Relations qualifications) by encouraging the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become life-long learners who recognise the need to engage in Continuous Personal and Professional Development.
  • To meet the needs of diversity, retention and progression agendas through learning, teaching and assessment.


  • To engage in the process of lifelong learning with a view to playing a positive and effective role in the wider community.
  • To develop knowledge and skills proper to the field of study of marketing and public relations to the level required for the award and with a view to employability in the sector and/or related sectors

Knowledge and Understanding

As an overview of the progression of knowledge and understanding across the levels, at level 4 students will be expected to know and understand the basic terminology, at Level 5 they will be expected to adapt that knowledge to real practical and specialist situations and to begin to make linkages and at level 6 they will be expected to take an overview of the knowledge and develop a language of interdisciplinary concepts. All modules offerknowledge and understanding of the Marketing and Public Relations context, issues, theory and practice, set within a political and social framework as well as a business/organisational framework, at the appropriate level. Specifically students will learn:

  • The various processes, procedures, competencies and practices associated with effective Marketing and Public Relations.
  • Key traditional and contemporary theories underpinning the concepts of Marketing and Public Relations.
  • The management and development of resources and operations.
  • The diverse nature, purposes, structures, governance, operations, processes and management of organisations.
  • The macro and micro environment and its impact on Marketing and Public Relations programmes.
  • The development and operation of markets and publics and the management of customer expectations.
  • The use of relevant information technologies and their applications to Marketing and Public Relations.
  • The development of relevant, effective and appropriate Marketing and Public Relations policies and strategies.
  • The contemporary challenges and issues that face managers in the modern business environment and the organisations in which they operate.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

Runningalongside thecore practical skills modules will be theory-based modules which enable students to make sense of and apply those practical skills.The student will be expected todevelop towardsownership of their own learning process atlevel six.This will particularly apply to modules which require conceptual analysis and reflection. Thinking and cognitive skills include creative thinking, critical and conceptual reflection and analysis, interdisciplinary linkages and action-learning activities. Specifically students will be engaged in:
  • Application of problem solving skills, knowledge and ideas to a range of situations.
  • Reflection upon a period of work based activity.
  • Development of analysis, synthesis and critical thinking in a variety of contexts.
  • Considering and questioning their own values and opinions relating to a number of ethical and social responsibility issues.
  • Developing reasoned arguments and challenging assumptions.
  • Analysing relevant theories and concepts to determine their relevance to specific problems and situations.
  • Researching and assessing subject specific facts, theories, paradigms, principles and concepts.
  • Application and evaluation of theory to practical industry situations.
  • Collecting, analysing and processing information/data.
  • The planning and conduct of an extended piece of original research relevant to the subject discipline.

Practical Skills

These will be firmly embedded in the skills modules and related to assessment through the Portfolio. Other modules will teach and assess certain specific skills, such as how to undertake market research. These are linked across the levels to ensure that the basic skills learned at level 4 become more strategic and advanced skills at higher levels. For example, ‘press release writingskills’ at level 4 will become 'writing for strategic management reports' at level 6. Students will be assessed in relation to their willingness and ability to critically reflect on the development of a skill, enabling them to 'own' their own portfolio of skills. The outcomes include the practical skills related to the following (the level will dictate the learning outcomes):
  • Press release writing and communicating with the media
  • Event management/exhibition management/organising mediaconferences
  • Applying creativity inPublic Relations
  • Copywriting for a range of publications/audiences
  • Using the Internet as a communication tool
  • Stakeholder and employee communications
  • Crisis management
  • Identification and retrieval of relevant marketing data using paper and electronic sources both primary and secondary
  • Development of problem solving and decision making skills.
  • Effective communication skills, oral and written.
  • Quantitative skills such as data analysis and interpretation.
  • Ability to engage in research into business and management issues by utilising relevant data and appropriate methodologies.
  • Ability to handle data, formulate ideas and present findings.
  • Working in teams and team building.
  • Business report writing.
  • Presentation skills.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

Key skills are mapped across the programme. The skills modules offer these key skills as part of their integral remit. Elsewhere, skills are embedded within individual modules. Information Literacy is delivered where IT skills support academic requirements such as literature search and the use of e-journals and e-books, a developing area within teaching and learning that applies to all modules. Problem-solving, working with others and improving own learning and performance form part of all modules, in particular within embedded formative assessment.
Transferable Professional Skills

This programme encompasses awide range ofskills for the workplace and addresses them from the perspective of the employer. These are skills evidenced by employers as being of value to them and which they seek when recruiting. In addition students will undertake:
  • Use of information technology and an appreciation of its application in management and business.
  • Application of number (eg research methods and finance).
  • Working with others (eg group work tasks and activities).
  • Communication and presentation skills, both written and verbal
  • Lifelong learning skills and continuous personal and professional development.
  • Effective time management skills.
  • Construction of consistent and sustained argument
  • Managing and developing self
  • Research, evaluation and synthesis of information
  • Managing tasks and solving problems
  • Numeracy, technology and creativity.

The programme is a three year honours degree course offering a combination of Marketing and Public Relations with another strand.   It is a combined honours programme and students may choose to study marketing as a major, minor or joint pathway. 

Each module is worth 20 credits, with 200 hours of learning activity and an average across the programme of 48 contact hours per module at level 4, 40 at level 5 and 36 at level 6. These are weighted towards more traditional contact activities at level 4 and more independent student learning at level 6.  The level of a module is determined by linking the intended learning outcomes and the assessment criteria to the descriptors of the characteristics of learning for each level; assessment is informed by generic marking criteria. Qualifications are awarded to mark the achievement of positively defined outcomes which are transparent in the module descriptors. The programme is informed by several agendas. These include the requirements from

  • The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications for honours students to have achieved specific learning outcomes (including, for example, the highly relevant: ‘the ability to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including where appropriate, the application of these concepts in an employment context... qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making’) 
  • The Subject Benchmark Statement for Business and Management, and Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies;
  • The Skills Agenda;
  • Employability links such as resources from the Council For Industry and Higher Education;
  • The requirements of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Chartered Institute of Public Relations for programme affiliation.

The programme has been designed to reflect the changing nature of Marketing and Public Relations, offering a dynamic and contemporary programme of study to enable the student to reconcile traditional theories with new thinking.  It is designed to give students a sound knowledge and appreciation of Marketing and Public Relations with which they can underpin their second strand of study.  The modules have been selected so that they offer the combined student the broadest base of knowledge possible. In terms of structure, level 4 is an introduction to the Marketing and Public Relations industry, providing a combination of know-how and theoretical context to the study of Marketing and Public Relations as a discipline. Level 5 develops both the theoretical and the practical streams further and introduces management, research and planning. Level 6 places greater emphasis on making linkages across the discipline, reaching more clearly into society and professional practice, with a strong view on employability.   

The programme has its spine a series of skills modules, which run across all three levels and are assessed through a skills portfolio. Local and regional employers (through the Marketing and Public Relations Employer Group) and the Careers Service input into these modules which are developmental and employability driven.  The skills are assessed according to both evidence demonstrating achievement and student critical reflection on achievement. The portfolio has a three-fold purpose. It is a well-established, effective and popular form of assessment which

  • meets the requirements of retention and progression, of diversification, and of employability;
  • enables students to develop critical reflection as a part of a lifelong learning agenda
  • is a tool to show to employers during the job search process, to evidence what students have achieved in relevant skills and competencies. 

At level 5 the student will develop a sound understanding of the principles of their field of study, and will be able to apply these principles more widely within an organisational context. Through this, they will have learned to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. Their studies will have a vocational orientation, enabling them to perform effectively in their chosen field. They will also develop the qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.  Students will explore the relationship between functional areas and develop an appreciation of the context in which communication managers operate. Key aspects of Marketing and Public Relations behaviour and practice will be developed culminating in a period of Work Based Learning in which students will have the opportunity to transfer acquired skills, knowledge and understanding. Work Based Learning offers students the opportunity to undertake a 5-week placement with an organisation as a 20 credit module.  Students are free to arrange their own placement, or undertake one arranged by the Work Based Learning Office. The placement need not necessarily be related to a student’s academic discipline(s).  Whilst all efforts are made to match students to placements which align closely with their academic interests and/or prospective career, this is not always feasible. The number of placements available is sometimes restricted, particularly in certain specialist areas, and some students may have to complete placements in organisations or roles outside their preferred specialism.  

In addition to WBL students are encouraged to regard any relevant part-time work, volunteering or charity work as well as any hobby/sports as appropriate for critique/reflection from a Marketing and Public Relations perspective. The teaching team bring in case studies and guest lecturers to ensure up to date, current and relevant 'real life' scenarios. There are enactments and role play, such as the staging of a competitive agency pitch and press conference, to mirror actual activities in the classroom, where reflection can take place. These real life activities usefully demonstrate the synergy between business and the social model, and between theory and skills, which underpins the programme. Students are automatically student members of the CIPR because of course accrediation and will also encouraged to join the CIM as a student member. 

At level 6 the student will develop an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, some of it at the current boundaries of the academic discipline. Through this the student will be able to use analytical techniques and problem solving skills that can be applied in many types of employment. The student will be able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively.  A level 6 student will develop an understanding of how organisations undertake Marketing and Public Relations at a strategic level, whilst allowing an opportunity to specialise in aspects of the discipline that are of particular interest to the student. Specialisation will be achieved by completing a range of module options and an individual research project, which focuses on an appropriate issue.  Students can also choose to focus more on either Marketing or Public Relations and evidence their chosen pathway through their module choices. 

Barred Combinations 

At level 4, students combining with Events Management should take the module BU4201 Organisational Behaviour as TM4008 Events Management in Action forms part of the Events programme. At level 6 students combining with Events Management are barred from taking the option module TM6009 Major Events in Context as this will form part of the Events Management section of their degree.

At level 6 students may only take one of: BU6202 Managing Business Strategy; TM6211 Strategic Marketing Management;  TM6006 Strategic Management for Tourism & Events. Where two of these modules are core for combined programmes, the following general rules apply:

1. For major/minor combinations, the module core to the major programme should be taken, and an approved alternate chosen for the minor programme strategy module.

2. For joint combinations, students may choose which strategy module they wish to take, and then choose an approved alternate module to replace the barred module from the other programme.

Students who major in Marketing and Public Relations MUST take one of either BU6001 Business Dissertation or BU6201 Business Dissertation. BU6201 will be taken by students combining Marketing and PR (Minor) with Business Management (Major). The same applies to MPR students with equally weighted programmes, only the dissertation becomes optional.

Combined Honours only
Mod-Code Level Title Credit Major Equal Minor
BU4201 4 Organisational Behaviour 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU4205 4 Public Relations Theory and Skills One 20 Comp Comp Comp
BU4206 4 Marketing Principles 20 Comp Comp Comp
TM4008 4 Events Management in Action 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU5000 5 Business Placement Year 120 Optional Optional Optional
BU5201 5 Contemporary Issues for Management 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU5204 5 Public Relations Theory and Skills Two 20 Comp Comp Comp
BU5205 5 Research and Planning for Management 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU5206 5 Buyer Behaviour 20 Comp Comp Comp
TM5017 5 Sports and Cultural Events 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5007 5 International Exchange Module – Full academic year 120 Optional Optional Optional
WB5008 5 The Study Abroad Experience 120 Optional Optional Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6001 6 Business Dissertation 40 Optional N/A Optional
BU6201 6 Business Dissertation 40 Optional N/A Optional
BU6205 6 Marketing Communications 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6206 6 Public Relations Skills Three 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6211 6 Strategic Marketing Management 20 Optional Optional Optional
BU6216 6 Digital PR & Social Media 20 Optional Optional Optional
TM6009 6 Major Events in Context 20 Optional Optional Optional

120 credits at Level 4 entitles the student to a Certificate of Higher Education.
240 credits including 120 at Level 5 entitles the student to a Diploma of Higher Education.
360 credits including 120 at Level 6 entitles the student to a Bachelor's degree.

A flexible entry system is available for applicants from groups normally under-represented in Higher Education, in keeping with the University's participation strategy and changes to the national qualifications framework. The University has adjusted its entry criteria to take into account the diverse range of subjects and qualifications offered through Curriculum 2000.

  • A minimum of 240 UCAS points, of which 200 points must be obtained from GCE and/or VCE A Levels (12 or 6 unit awards) including a grade C in one subject. The remaining points may be achieved from GCE and/or VCE A/AS Levels, VCE double award, or from Level 3 Key Skills certification
  • BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: merit profile
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects
  • International Baccalaureate: 30 points
  • European Baccalaureate: a minimum of 70%
  • QAA approved Access course, Open College Units or Open University Credits
Please note: A BTEC National Award or the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer. For A and AS Level and Advanced GNVQ qualifications achieved prior to 2002, please see prospectus for points and grades equivalents.


The QAA Subject Benchmark Statements for this programme are Business and Management and Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies.

QAA Subject Benchmarks Statements for General Business and Management (2007)

This subject benchmark statement is for a general business and management honours degree programme. However, due to the fact that Marketing has no specific benchmark statement and the programmes are aligned with each other, the General Business and Management Benchmark Statements have been used as a guide.

The purpose of the general business and management programme is threefold:

  • the study of organisations, their management and the changing external environment in which they operate
  • preparation for and development of a career in business and management
  • enhancement of lifelong learning skills and personal development to contribute to society at large.

'Organisations' should be understood throughout this text to include a wide range of different types including, for example, public, private and not-for-profit, together with a comprehensive range of sizes and structures of organisations. Similarly, the term 'business' should be interpreted generically.  'Preparation for business' should be taken to mean the development of a range of specific business knowledge and skills, together with improved self-awareness and personal development appropriate to graduate careers in business with the potential for management positions and to employability in general. This includes the encouragement of positive and critical attitudes towards change and enterprise, so as to reflect the dynamism and vibrancy of the business environment. 

Not every student will engage subsequently in a business and management career, or will have entered directly from secondary education. Therefore, lifelong learning skills should be understood to include the development and enhancement of a range of general transferable intellectual and study skills, which, while being highly appropriate to a career in business and management, are not restricted to this. While there is a clear expectation that all such general degree programmes should cover these three purposes, the actual balance will vary among individual higher education institutions and may also reflect the requirements for recognition by professional bodies (in this case the CIM and CIPR). The particular balance being delivered should be explicable and demonstrable in terms of the specified learning outcomes of particular programmes. 

Knowledge and understanding

There is an expectation that degree programmes covered by this subject benchmark statement should provide a broad, analytical and highly integrated study of business and management. Students should be able to demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding of organisations, the external environment in which they operate and how they are managed. There is likely to be an emphasis upon understanding and responding to change and the consideration of the future of organisations and the external environment in which they operate. 

The interrelationships among and the interconnectedness between these areas are very important within the overall student learning experience, and should be demonstrated in the capabilities of successful graduates from all modes of delivery.

Organisations - this encompasses the internal aspects, functions and processes of organisations including their diverse nature, purposes, structures, governance, operations and management, together with the individual and corporate behaviours and cultures which exist within and between organisations and their influence upon the external environment.

External environment - this encompasses a wide range of factors, including economic, environmental, ethical, legal, political, sociological and technological, together with their effects at local, national and international levels upon the strategy, behaviour, management and sustainability of organisations.

Management - this encompasses the various processes, procedures and practices for effective management of organisations. It includes theories, models, frameworks, tasks and roles of management together with rational analysis and other processes of decision making within organisations and in relation to the external environment.

Within the framework of these three main areas, it is expected that graduates will also be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • markets - the development and operation of markets for resources, goods and services
  • customers - customer expectations, service and orientation
  • finance - the sources, uses and management of finance; the use of accounting and other information systems for managerial applications
  • people - the management and development of people within organisations
  • operations - the management of resources and operations
  • information systems - the development, management and exploitation of information systems and their impact upon organisations
  • communication and information technology - the comprehension and use of relevant communication and information technologies for application in business and management
  • business policy and strategy - the development of appropriate policies and strategies within a changing environment, to meet stakeholder interests
  • pervasive issues - sustainability, globalisation, corporate social responsibility, diversity, business innovation, creativity, enterprise development, knowledge management and risk management.


Business and management degrees are strongly related to practice and therefore there should be a strong link between the development of skills and employability of graduates. Graduates should be able to demonstrate a range of cognitive and intellectual skills together with techniques specific to business and management. Graduates should also be able to demonstrate relevant personal and interpersonal skills. These include (not in any particular priority order):

  • cognitive skills of critical thinking, analysis and synthesis. This includes the capability to identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence, to detect false logic or reasoning, to identify implicit values, to define terms adequately and to generalise appropriately
  • effective problem solving and decision making using appropriate quantitative and qualitative skills including identifying, formulating and solving business problems. The ability to create, evaluate and assess a range of options together with the capacity to apply ideas and knowledge to a range of situations
  • effective communication, oral and in writing, using a range of media which are widely used in business such as the preparation and presentation of business reports
  • numeracy and quantitative skills including data analysis, interpretation and extrapolation, the use of models of business problems and phenomena
  • effective use of communication and information technology for business applications
  • effective self-management in terms of time, planning and behaviour, motivation, self-starting, individual initiative and enterprise
  • effective performance, within a team environment, including leadership, team building, influencing and project management skills
  • interpersonal skills of effective listening, negotiating, persuasion and presentation
  • ability to conduct research into business and management issues, either individually or as part of a team for projects/dissertations/presentations. This requires familiarity with and an evaluative approach to a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies, and for such to inform the overall learning process
  • self-reflection and criticality including self awareness, openness and sensitivity to diversity in terms of people, cultures, business and management issues. Also, the skills of learning to learn and developing a continuing appetite for learning; reflective, adaptive and collaborative learning.

It is recognised that all programmes covered by these standards need to address issues at European and international business levels. Where specific emphasis is placed upon this, for example, in the title or in requiring study and or work abroad, then appropriate business and cultural understanding and, where appropriate, foreign language capability should be developed and demonstrated by graduates.    

QAA Subject Benchmarks Statements for Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies (2008)

This is a wide-ranging and inter-disciplinary area, as acknowledged in the benchmark. The benchmark states ‘no degree programme will give equal attention to all these elements... the sections which follow give an indication of the areas of knowledge and understanding and of the subject specific and generic skills which will be appropriate within these fields of study, but they should not be taken as a checklist’. The programme addresses the majority of areas identified in the benchmark. We have listed below the modules together with the linked item in the benchmark. This is not an exhaustive list but indicative, as areas are mapped over more than one location.

Subject Knowledge and Understanding

Skills modules (all Levels); Digital PR & Social Media (L6).

Communications, Culture and Society

Skills modules (all Levels); Digital PR & Social Media (L6). 


PR Theory & Skills One (L4).

Processes and Practices 

Research and Planning for Management (L5); Skills modules (all Levels).

Forms and Aesthetics

Public Relations Theories and Skills 2 (L5)

Culture and Identity

Skills modules (all Levels); Public Relations Theories and Skills 2 (L5)

Subject Skills

All modules (all Levels). 

Intellectual Analysis

Research and Planning for Management (L5); Dissertation (L6); Digital PR & Social Media (L6). 

Research Skills

Research and Planning for Management (L5); Dissertation (L6). 

Media Production Skills

Skills modules (all Levels). 

Creative, Innovative and Imaginative Skills

Skills modules (all Levels). 

Skills of Social and Political Citizenship

Skills modules (all Levels); Digital PR & Social Media (L6). 

General Skills

All modules but especially skills modules (all Levels).

Chartered Institute of Marketing and Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Cognisance has also been taken of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Chartered Institute of Public Relation's professional programmes when designing this degree. As the leading bodies for Marketing and Public Relations professionals, these frameworks have been useful guides in the development of core modules. 

The methods of learning and teaching are geared to progression and integration through the levels of the programme.  The individual module descriptors provide details of learning outcomes as well as methods of teaching and learning.  The programme's approach to learning and teaching is informed by the need to take account of assessing for diverse ability, and addressing issues of student progression and retention. Along with more traditional content delivery in relation with the theory of Marketing and Public Relations, and its relation with business milieu and society, great emphasis is placed on the bedding down of theory in real-life settings.

The major forms of teaching methods will be lectures, seminars and workshops.  Other methodologies will be employed as appropriate.  These may include; directed reading, interactive learning via the University computer network, individual research, group learning activities, reflective log/portfolio (eg utilising student progress files in relation to personal development planning) and presentations.  Teaching of the skills modules is conducted in workshops/studios and in a practical environment, using case studies and scenarios. The teaching team have a background in both academia and industry, and are therefore able to share their experiences with the students and create realistic 'real life' scenarios.  Great emphasis is placed on both personal feedback and independent study, increasingly more progressing from level four to six. At level six, self-study, direct practice and engagement is strongly encouraged.  In addition, input is made to the programme by local industry representatives. These practitioners will be used wherever possible, as repositories of up to date, expert knowledge in their specialist or functional areas.

The teaching is underpinned by the scholarship, advanced scholarship and research activities of the teaching team. The team employs a wide range of teaching methods, and works closely with Learning Resources to ensure that, for example through digital scanning, students gain more effective access to learning materials. Formative assessment is embedded throughout and across all modules with the aim of enabling students to take ownership of their own learning. The ethos of the programme is one of support and dialogue with students, enabling them to develop their strengths into skills for employability. At all times of contact, well beyond the traditional classroom, learning and teaching activities are aimed at informing student willingness and ability to engage, critically and practically, with Marketing and Public Relations as part of wider business and social world.

Chester Business School seeks to deliver varied, high-quality learning experiences, teaching and assessment in order to develop appropriate knowledge and understanding, and to enhance a variety of key/transferable skills.  This is facilitated through the outcome-directed nature of learning, teaching and assessment, in a student-centred environment, which provides incremental opportunities for independent and autonomous learning.The assessment strategy for this degree will serve three purposes:
  • To test the level of knowledge and skills acquired, measured against the specified learning outcomes, and applied within a relevant Marketing and Public Relations context;
  • To provide the vehicle for modular integration within a Marketing and Public Relations context;
  • To promote teaching to learning, which will assist students in the achievement of academic goals and imbue them with skills and attitudes to assist in life-long learning.
Assessment will follow the university model of a 4,000 word equivalency per 20 credit module.  Each module will be summatively assessed by a minimum of two assessments, with formative assessment also employed throughout.  Student assessment will employ rigorous, objective testing to ensure that learning outcomes are met. Assessment tasks will grow in sophistication and complexity as a student progresses on the programme.  For example:
  • at Level 4 a student may be asked to describe, discuss, compare, and outline;
  • at Level 5 a student may be asked to evaluate, analyse, justify, and differentiate; 
  • at Level 6 a student may be asked to criticise, synthesise, appraise, formulate.

However, it is expected that students will begin to use and develop critical skills from the beginning of the programme. The learning and teaching approach, in line with the subject matter, emphasises dialogue, with an encouraging teaching team who listen to student needs, and a supportive environment. This approach cascades down into assessment. The mix of approaches, including case studies, multiple choice in class test questions, portfolios and 'real scenarios' underpins the applied and practical approach of learning and teaching, which is in turn mirrored in the assessment methods.

The Portfolio assessment plays to the strengths of the students, and has a strong formative basis to it, as well as developmental and self-assessment as it involves self evaluation and critical reflection. It is taught with regular formative assessment sessions ensuring the progress of students is monitored and supported, for example with students from other levels coming to talk about their experiences of the portfolio, through peer-assessment and regular interaction with the teaching team. Equally, other methods of assessment are, at all times, aligned with each other and with the learning outcomes. Scenario planning and role-play promote students’ capacity to think on their feet, to be creative in their approach to problem solving, and to interact with other stakeholders, academic and professional.

The multiple-choice in class test at level 4 and exams at levels 4 and 6 foster direct engagement with the theoretical foundations of the discipline, which can be brought to practical fruition in case studies. The dissertation module encourages students to incorporate the skills thus developed over the three years, and underpinned by the Portfolio, by the in-depth exploration of a research project of their choice.

The programme assessment strategy has been created in accordance to the University's Teaching, Learning & Assessment strategy.

Marketing and Public Relations is core to all aspects of contemporary business and society. Both in the public and the private sector, speed of communications, competition, globalisation, and complexity have led to employer demand for graduates who possess Marketing and Public Relations related skills. Therefore there is a high demand for 'good' people, whose skills directly match employers’ needs – theory-informed, thinking doers, who can interpret real life scenarios, engage in problem solving, flexibly, from day one at work. 

Students completing the BA Marketing and Public Relations combined honours programme should meet the QAA’s Benchmark standards on knowledge and understanding, skills and the assessment strategies. Students will have moved during the programme from the initial reliance on tutor guidance at level 4 towards increasing autonomous study in accordance with the level-related criteria. In addition to developing learning autonomy, students will have developed autonomy in the workplace through our emphasis on employability. A number of modules involve practical employer-based projects.

Students are expected to work on a voluntary and occasional basis with local charities or in the public sector for the skills modules. Therefore, the course provides modules where interaction with institutions and industries beyond the University is an essential part of the learning activity.The outcome of level 6 should be a graduate student who will be able to offer added value to the market place by meeting the expectations of employers via the application of acquired transferable, integrated skills, and the developed body of knowledge gained from the programme. They will have been instilled with a positive attitude towards reflection, self-awareness and will possess openness towards seeking out life-long learning opportunities, which may be translated into the pursuit of professional qualifications with the CIM and/or CIPR

Graduates are not limited to entering the Marketing and Public Relations industry. While Marketing and Public Relations is the focus, the reality is that the sector is multi-disciplinary. All professions and sectors need the skills-mix which our graduates will hold. Graduates are likely to be attracted/ attractive to both organisations in a communications specific sector, such as the media, public relations or marketing agencies and to support services to the communications industry. Alternatively they will be sought for a communications, public relations or marketing role within virtually any organisation, public or private sector. Finally, they will have learned professional and key skills which will equip them for any form of graduate employment. Our graduates will have the know-how and confidence to communicate their skills to employers, and to function effectively in a competitive recruitment market-place.


The University of Chester is committed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity both as an employer and an educational institution. For this purpose it has an Equal Opportunities Policy and appropriate codes of practice.

The University has four approved Equal Opportunities Policies relating to: Freedom of Speech; Multicultural Education; Gender, and Disability. It also has a code of practice and guidance notes on recruitment. The Equal Opportunities Committee is responsible for monitoring the operation of the policies.

The aim of the policy is to ensure that all students and all members of staff at the University of Chester have equality of opportunity and are treated solely on the basis of their aptitude, ability and potential to pursue a course of study or to fulfil the requirements of a job. The policy also aims to eliminate unlawful or unfair discrimination. In particular, the University will ensure that no member of the Community will be disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: sex; age (subject to University of Chester retirement policy); marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union, or socio-economic background. It also claims to ensure that disabled people, or those with special needs, do not suffer unfair discrimination and are enabled to achieve their full potential.

The objective of the policy is a University which is open to all sections of the Community, where people from all groups in society are represented at all levels, and in whose activities all members of staff and all its students can participate fully and equally for the benefit of the University of Chester.

A number of sources inform the University's approach to diversity and equality. Chester Business School recognises its duty not to discriminate because of age, disability, gender identity or expression, race or ethnicity, religion or belief or sexual orientation in the educational opportunities it provides.

The programme conforms with relevant codes of practice and guidance, specifically when implementing the Race (2001), Disability (2005) and Gender (2006) Equality Duties. Guidance from the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, such as the code of practice for post-16 education, and the Equality Challenge Unit serve to inform programme developers of their duties and responsibilities. In practical terms, Chester Business School works with colleagues from Student Support & Guidance, Learning Support Services and from Marketing Recruitment and Admissions to ensure the various agendas are taken into account.

In addition, the Institution's Teaching and Learning Strategy (reflected in the Departmental and the Programme strategies) sets out specific aims as part of the diversity agenda.  The programme team have little influence over who applies to the programme, but will provide support and guidance for students with for example, diverse abilities, through the formative approach to teaching and learning which is embedded in the programme.

The drive to retain students, and to enable them to progress, also means that the teaching team are strongly student-focused. The programme team will be mindful of statistics which identify trends in recruitment and retention, and will endeavour, through working with colleagues in for example Aim Higher, as well as working with local Colleges, to encourage Access entrants and to address diversity and equality issues.

This programme combines effectively with the range of other combined programmes at the Warrington campus, especially those offered by Chester Business School and the Faculty of Arts and Media. The unique selling point of this programme is that it links the theoretical and the practical into a vocational, skills-based programme with an emphasis on employability and with an assessment strategy which plays to student strengths.

Accreditation/Affiliation by both the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Chartered Institute of Public Relations will be sought upon validation. A CIPR requirement is to have specialist practitioner lecturers on the programme, with at least one member on the teaching team.

Students studying on the programme will benefit from the experience of staff within the department. For example, extensive experience in delivering management training for organisations and practising managers at undergraduate and postgraduate level will continue to inform the curriculum. Chester Business School has links with local authorities, Merseyside Connexions, Chester Business Club, Chester & Warrington Chambers of Commerce, the Mersey-Dee Alliance, the Leadership Trust Forum and the Birchwood Business Forum. Chester Business School is also a member of the Association of Business Schools and the European Foundation for Management Development.

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