75% of PR degrees could fail students

Posted on 02/09/2011


Regular readers will know I’m not a massive fan of degrees as a way to get into a media career. Just last week I wrote that degrees mean no guarantees of success in the media.

But, I do believe that there should be many paths to success. And just as we need high quality routes for young people to get into media careers through the work place, universities should also have a role to play in providing a route in for some.

Indeed many young people will believe that doing a PR degree is a good way to start a career in PR. But quality has always been an issue. So, congratulations to the PRCA for trying to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Except the bad news is, there is a lot of chaff, and not much wheat.

Francis Ingham writes about the 11 ‘elite’ universities which have been approved by the PRCA.

But, according to UCAS there are 202 PR courses at universities in the UK for students applying for 2012 entry (the ones paying upto £9k in fees for the privilege of being on one of these courses).

And these 202 courses take place at 41 institutions.

Which means that just 26% of these institutions are actually deemed worth going to. Three-quarters, by definition, are not.

There are no accredited institutions in Scotland or Northern Ireland (although thanks to Neil Cuthbert hopefully the PRCA will look at the Scottish issue).

Just one of the three Welsh universities (Cardiff) makes it onto the list. And just four of the 11 courses in the capital of PR (London) make it on the list.

There will no doubt be debates about how these universities made it onto the list and what makes a good PR degree, but if you’re a student looking to go to university and then into PR, look very carefully indeed.

Thanks to Taras Young for prompting this post.