BA (Hons) Advertising and Public Relations with Foundation Year

Course summary

Overview
This course provides you with a foundation year that helps ready you for success in the BA (Hons) Advertising and Public Relations programme. You’ll get the practical knowledge and the industry experience you need to succeed in today's dynamic communications industry. Upon graduation, you will be ready to embark on a successful career in the communications sector.



What will you learn?

The course has been designed to provide you with some basic essentials during your foundation year, as well as a holistic understanding of marketing, advertising and PR.
The main career areas covered by the course include:

  • communications strategy
  • market and consumer research
  • brand development and positioning
  • integrated multi-media promotional communications
  • media planning
  • art direction
  • copywriting
  • public relations and advocacy
  • social media management.

Our course is comprised of learning modules that are tailored to develop the varied skills required by today's creative communicators. In these modules, individual course work is supplemented with collaborative work on briefs from agencies, non-profits, and other companies. Throughout the four years of the course, students build a portfolio that reflects their work, receiving continual guidance about how best to showcase their achievements for career-building purposes.

Advert by Kai Liu, BA (Hons) Advertising

Course detail

If you're returning to your studies after a break or if you don't meet our BA (Hons) Advertising and Public Relations course entry requirements, our Foundation course will help you succeed in the full degree programme.

Graduates develop the essential skills required to succeed in university, and progress to learn about communications strategy, creative development, marketing analysis, and digital media.

Modules

Foundation year (Level 3)

  • Personalised Learning
  • Academic Performance
  • Contextual Studies in Media and Design
  • Creative Research in Media and Design
  • Creative Sectors
  • Foundation Major Project.

Year one (Level 4)

  • Introduction to Contemporary Promotional Culture
  • Introduction to Consumer Behaviour and Trends
  • Digital Creativity
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Communication Design - Story

Year two (Level 5)

  • Research, Data, and Insight
  • Creative and Art Direction
  • Campaigns
  • Internship - Industry Experience
  • Emerging Technologies, Augmented Realities

Year three (Level 6)

  • The Agency
  • Major Project (Public Relations, Advertising, Branding and Communication)
  • Specialist Consumer Behaviour
  • Anti-Advertising and Disruptive Design
  • Professionalisation

Module summaries

Foundation year (Level 3) 

Personalised Learning
This module is linked to your personal tutor group and supported by your personal tutor.  It has been carefully designed to equip you with the specific skills you need to progress successfully onto the next level of your course. 

Academic Performance
This module is designed to help you develop skills in critical thinking and independent study that will. It will also give you a unique opportunity to get to know fellow students from other courses around the university.  The module combines face to face class time and an online forum, where there will be structured activities for you to undertake at a time and pace that suits you. 

The module has been designed to ensure you gain the skills you need to deal with the challenges of independent study and of learning in a digitalised world. You will be encouraged to use a wide variety of material to construct an argument. Through your studies you will learn to demonstrate a wide range of skills that are essential for university study.

Contextual Studies in Media and Design
This module will help you gain basic knowledge and an understanding of media and design in relation to cultural studies. 

You will explore the specific cultural effects, and current on-going topical debates, and develop an understanding of the different roles, audiences and interest groups involved.

Topical major events in the 20th century through to current trends that reflect the creation, production and distribution of creative artefacts will be investigated. 

Creative Research in Media and Design
This module will introduce a variety of research methods available to you when considering how to communicate and extract data. You will need to understand the principles of research and select the most appropriate tools to critically use and articulate your findings in an engaging way.

This module provides you with an opportunity to establish your understanding of research through exploration of research language, ethics and approaches. It introduces you to a range of appropriate research methods, quantitative and qualitative in nature, which you can draw on in conducting your own investigations in preparation for future projects.

Creative Sectors
This is a specialist module with a career led and practical focus that introduces you to the more ‘hands on’ side of the industry.  You will be required to demonstrate an understanding of your chosen specialism and future career paths. This will inform a practical outcome which introduces the various basic techniques within the specialism.

Foundation Major Project
This is the final module and draws together all the elements of your Foundation experience allowing you to reflect on the skills, knowledge and experience you have gained over the year.

The module enable you to use the skills you have developed in your chosen specialism to produce a creative response through a comprehensive body of creative work including a final outcome.

Year one (Level 4)

Introduction to Contemporary Promotional Culture
In this introductory public relations and advertising module, you will examine the theories, practices and principles of public relations, advertising, branding and marketing.

You will examine and debate the relationships between:

  • client
  • agency
  • media
  • consumer

and become familiar with basic regulatory bodies, codes of practice, legal controls and constraints which affect promotional communication.

Introduction to Consumer Behaviour and Trends
Understanding what motivates consumers, stakeholders and audiences is at the heart of successful public relations and advertising strategies. This module defines and assesses consumer behaviour to understand trends in today's communications landscape.

Topics include:

  • market research and trend analysis
  • primary and secondary research
  • quantitative and qualitative research
  • PESTEL analysis
  • attributes of specific consumer cohorts
  • forecasting future behavior
  • presentation of market research.

Digital Creativity
This module explores creative expression in public relations and advertising using digital tools in the advertising and public relations industry.

Tools include social media, audio content such as:

  • sonic brands and podcasting
  • various graphic design and desktop publishing tools
  • short-form and long-form video content
  • mobile design and immersive digital outdoor.

You will create a digital portfolio to begin showcasing academic work for work placement and job opportunities upon graduation.

Persuasive Communication
Persuasion is at the heart of promotional communication.  You will examine how people’s ideas, feelings, and actions are influenced by the tactics we produce including speeches, articles, websites and advertisements. These persuasive acts find their foundation in key theories and concepts explored during this module. You will learn how these elements come to life in persuasive products and campaigns that draw you to think or act in particular ways. You will also explore your own communications style in verbal and written expression.

Communication Design - Story
At the heart of every great promotional campaign is the story. In this module, you will learn about essential story structures and how they constitute the bedrock of compelling communications whether that is a press release, a radio ad, a digital video, or social media posts. You will explore different archetypical stories and understand how the past informs the present.

You will also develop your writing skills across a range of media for a variety of different brand initiatives from product launches to seasonal campaigns.

Year Two (Level 5)

Research, Data and Insight
This module builds on learning from Introduction to Consumer Behaviour and Trends. You will learn how to perform some essential types of consumer research (eg: focus groups, one-to-one consumer observation) and apply your insights to develop a creative brief—the essential strategy document for any communicator.

Creative and Art Direction
You will learn about the aesthetic principles that should inform how you assess creative work—particularly colour theory, typography, and layout. In this workshop-intensive module, you will also get hands-on experience giving and receiving feedback to enhance your own and others work.

Campaigns
This two-semester module explores the architecture of successful promotional campaigns. You’ll also learn how to provide oversight when working with other creative professionals to create winning work.

Internship – Industry Experience
In this module, you’ll develop your personal brand to best market your skillset in the workplace. You’ll learn how to interview well, how to build an attention-getting CV, and how to leverage social media for your career. You'll also take part in an industry placement, working with one of our career advisors to find the role that’s right for you.

Emerging Technologies, Augmented Realities
This module looks at the ways the world of persuasive communications is evolving due to technology and how persuasive communications also shapes technology. We’ll explore how brand-funded virtual worlds are used to influence consumers and how the objects in your home may take on social lives of their own with the Internet of Things (IoT).


Year three (Level 6) 

Major Project (Public Relations, Advertising, Branding and Communication)
The project module offers you the opportunity to develop a substantial piece of work such as a digital communications strategy and roll out of an integrated promotional campaign.

You can demonstrate skills in:

  • creative conception
  • independent management and organisation
  • production and technical skills.

The major project may have specific relevance for future employment, or creative expression relevant to public relations and advertising. You will develop a pitch and project plan, then develop a project portfolio and reflective journal showcasing your understanding in producing exceptional work and an ability to critically reflect on your work.

The Agency
This module familiarises you with the requirements of working in a contemporary public relations and advertising agency or in-house for an organisation.

You will focus on:

  • account planning
  • project management
  • strategy development
  • creativity.

You will work with your peers in groups and focus on a series of briefs provided by your tutors and industry professionals.

Specialist Consumer Behaviour
You will deepen your understanding of consumer classifications using: 

  • demographic data
  • social factors
  • population
  • consumer behaviour.

This module allows you to develop an integrated campaign that explores areas such as brand development, corporate social responsibility and organisational change.

Anti-Advertising and Disruptive Design
Producing effective promotional strategies and tactics often involves unusual approaches.

In this module, you will explore disruptive strategies involving social media and digital communication just as you explore the ethical implications of creating organisational, political and social change.

Professionalisation
This module focuses on your digital portfolio as you prepare to enter the job market. You will polish your brand as expressed through your academic work, CV and web presence. This work will culminate in your participation in the end-of-year Showcase Exhibition at the University of West London.

You will also participate in industry-sponsored briefs that use your developing public relations and advertising skills. This participation may include employment with agencies and organisations within the School’s in-house agency.

Entry requirements

To study the BA (Hons) Advertising and Public Relations course you should meet the following criteria:

  • 72 UCAS tariff points at Level 3, normally including at least two subject areas
  • GCSE English and Maths at grade C or above
  • A demonstrated interest in the fields of advertising and public relations as evidenced by the personal statement portion of the application

If you do not have formal qualifications we will consider your application on a case by case basis.

International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 6.0 or above and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit http://www.uwl.ac.uk/international/your-country to check for local equivalencies.

We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements. Find out more about our English Language courses

Fees

Fees for home and EU students

Main fee
£9,250

Fees for overseas students

Main fee
£11,500
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.

Funding

Help with funding is available to a range of students, whether you are studying full or part-time, in your home country or overseas.

You may be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees or a maintenance loan to support you during your studies. Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as those with dependants, disabled students and more. Find out more about applying for student loans and other funding options.

We also offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help you. Current scholarships include:

  • Full Time Undergraduate Bursary: a £3,000 award for new undergraduate students.
  • Path to Success Scholarship: a £4,000 award for students on a four-year degree course with a foundation year. 

Other scholarships are also available, including awards for specific subjects. Find out more and check your eligibility for the scholarships and bursaries listed above.


Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.

How to apply

If you're interested in being a part of one of the most dynamic sectors in the global economy and want to get some extra learning support in your first year, UWL's BA (Hons) Advertising and Public Relations with Foundation course is for you.

Here are some tips for making a successful application: 

  1. Spend some extra time on your personal statement. Make sure you create a focused statement about why you want to pursue a career in advertising and public relations. Top tip: Map out what you want to say before you write so your statement has strength through structure.
  2. Have a blog or a cool Instagram account or your own YouTube channel? Be sure to include a link in your personal statement so our course team can get a feel for your creative interests.
  3. Get to know our course team! We host numerous Open Days at our stunning campus in West London along with numerous events that are open to the public. Be sure to attend and introduce yourself when you come.
  4. Apply today! No matter how early it is in your decision-making process about university, we accept applications year-round.
Apply for this course

UK and EU students

Apply for this course at www.ucas.com when UCAS applications are open, from the previous September until June (see dates). You will need our institution code W05 and the UCAS code given on the right hand side of this page.

If the UCAS deadline has passed, you can apply through Clearing by calling our hotline on 0800 036 8888 (or +44 8231 2468). Clearing takes place over the summer months (July to September).

If you are making an early application, before UCAS has opened, you can apply directly to the University by clicking the red 'apply now' button above. You should also use this button to receive specialist information if you are applying for Nursing and Midwifery courses.

More about how to apply to the University of West London.

International students

Apply at www.ucas.com or complete our application form for international students. We have an online application form or you can download the print version.

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

More about the application process for international students.

During the course

Notable aspects

Over your four years of study, you will develop technical skills, analytic abilities, and strategic thinking through our course modules and other learning opportunities.
Our course lecturers are award-winning, experienced advertising, marketing and PR practitioners. Course lecturers provide students with real world insight and diverse industry contacts. Many seminars involve guest speakers from leading agencies, businesses, and non-profits. Our focus on career-readiness helps our students seamlessly enter their chosen field on graduation or even before.

Special resources

Given the ubiquity of technology in our daily lives, much of the course focuses on digital media and digital creative technologies. For students seeking to learn practical aspects of creative production, our digital labs and recording studio facilities are state-of-the-art.

Learning materials

Because technology is so essential to today’s creative communicators, our students are frequently engaged in hands-on learning experiences in our digital labs and recording studios. Students also benefit from lectures, group activities, and visits to London’s myriad cultural institutions.

Teaching staff

What our students say

Jobs and placements

Career and study progression

Upon graduation or even before, you may work in an agency or in-house for a company. Given that London is also one of the world’s leading start-up hubs, you may find that you are working to launch a company.

Advertising

  • Creative Directors
  • Art Directors
  • Copywriters
  • Content Strategists and Creators
  • Account Managers and Client Services
  • Media Planners and Strategists

Public Relations

  • Public Relations Specialists
  • Communications Planners
  • Community/Social Media Managers

Marketing Professionals

  • Marketing Strategists/Market Researchers
  • Marketing Specialists
  • Social Media Managers and Specialists.

Study progression

On successful completion of your bachelor's degree you can pursue post-graduate studies in your chosen field.

We have a wide range of postgraduate courses offered by the London School of Film, Media and Design. See our postgraduate courses page to view all the courses on offer.

KIS