Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations)

As a PR professional you’ll help businesses understand their audience, and create and implement successful campaigns that get the right message across.

This course is delivered online, which means you can study any time and from any location. You’ll graduate with a degree that’s identical to one gained on campus.

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At a glance

Study mode



Swinburne (RTO 3059)
Career Opportunities

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.
Recognised by the Public Relations Institute of Australia for membership requirements.


Relevant academic or work experience



Course length
Set your own timetable & finish the course within 2 years (minimum) to 9 years (maximum)
Study mode



Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.


Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.


Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Reports, essays, projects & exams
Start date

3 start dates per year.

Contact us about enrolling.
Swinburne (RTO 3059)

This Swinburne University of Technology qualification is delivered by Swinburne Online.

As a Swinburne Online student you'll graduate with a nationally recognised Swinburne University qualification, and have the flexibility of studying online when it suits you.

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Swinburne (RTO 3059)

Study now pay later – HECS-HELP

Upfront payment

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To gain entry into this course, you must have:

  • Successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or equivalent, (VCE studies must have included successful completion of units 3 and 4 in English with a minimum study score of 25 in English), and meet the associated minimum ATAR; OR
  • a Certificate IV qualification or above; OR
  • at least 4 years of related work experience

If you don't meet the above requirements, you can still gain entry into this course by completing a Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT).

What you'll learn

Learn how to:

  • Research audiences
  • Develop messages that target these audiences
  • Create communication programs
  • Evaluate a program's success

Course structure

24 units

Core units

  1. Learning & communicating online

    This unit will introduce fundamentals of communication and learning in an online environment. Students will gain increased capability in a range of skills such as online written communication, collaboration in individual and group work, and critiquing and analysing a variety of information sources. Students will be encouraged to draw on their own understanding and experience while contributing and sharing ideas with peers.

  2. Fundamentals of marketing

    At the conclusion of this unit of study, the successful student will have acquired an understanding of key Marketing concepts and their application to modern business. This understanding of Marketing will also aid in the understanding of other disciplines in the Bachelor of Business/Commerce as well as providing a strong philosophical foundation for the vocational study of Marketing. In addition, students will have started the journey towards graduation and as such, this unit of study aims to provide students with opportunities to develop graduate attributes. This unit of study provides students with a series of learning opportunities designed to explore basic business and Marketing concepts from a variety of viewpoints including theoretical and applied perspectives.

  3. Integrated marketing communications

    The marketing communications industry is a major sector of Marketing. This unit explores the various promotional strategies utilised by marketers. It provides insights into how to adapt advertising, media, event management, public relations, sales promotion, and direct marketing policy and techniques to achieve campaign objectives and facilitate their effective implementation.

  4. Public relations theory & practice

    This unit aims to introduce students to the principles, theories, models, roles and approaches of public relations by examining the basic definition(s), perceptions, relevant concepts, and application fields of the profession.

  5. Events management

    This unit aims to identify the scope and scale of events then emphasise their importance, either as a catalyst for economic development, or as a generator of social cohesion. The next stage of the unit is to examine the multi-faceted functions of event management from conceptualisation, through to planning, risk management, and marketing. Finally, students will highlight both positive and negative impacts of events and advance sustainability as an overarching objective.

  6. Public relations project & campaign planning

    This unit introduces the application and benefits of a strategic approach to public relations, and how public relations activities can add strategic value to an organisation.

  7. Introduction to design principles & processes

    This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the language of design and the application of fundamental design principles and processes in practice. Students will learn how design influences society, business and people while gaining practical creative and analytical skills that will be applicable to their future employment. This unit shows how design is integrated in their specific area or discipline, introducing key principles and processes that they can apply to their own areas of study. Students will be encouraged to critically engage with design theory and use creative thinking to make decisions that solve design-related issues in their areas of specialisation.

  8. Marketing & communication information & decision making

    This unit examines the information and decision making processes which organisations most commonly utilise to develop effective marketing and communication. The content reflects the key information areas that companies invest most of their market research budget into capturing, interpreting and utilising. Students will explore trends in marketing research, internal company market information strategies, as well as the information challenges posed by international and emerging markets.

  9. Media / literature project A

    In this unit of study, students undertake a project and are are supervised in both the design and implementation of a product of their choice (for example, an electronic journal; a multimedia presentation; a research report; a radio documentary; a short film; etc).

  10. Professional communication practice

    This unit aims to introduce the vital role communication plays in professional life. In covering ideas and skills fundamental to professional communication success, it aims to build not only competence but also your confidence in functioning as an ethical communicator able to use a range of techniques to achieve desired outcomes.

  11. Introduction to media studies

    This unit aims to introduce students to textual analysis and cultural and social theories that include semiotics, language, narrative, discourse, and ideology by considering the way information is represented in the mass media. This enables students to acquire an understanding of media's significant contribution to the formation of social and cultural attitudes. Students will also be introduced to some of the issues surrounding media ownership and production in Australia.

  12. Global public relations practice

    This unit provides an introduction to the working knowledge of international communication as practised by Australian and foreign multi-national corporations, consultancies, Government agencies and not-for-profit organisations. The course will demonstrate the strategic requirements of different approaches to communication programs in different countries and markets (including Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East).

  13. Public relations writing

    This unit develops writing skills specific to the public relations industry, introduces students to the various writing styles used in public relations, and provides experience in communicating public relations messages in appropriate media.

  14. Issues, crisis & risk communication

    The unit aims to introduce students to the strategic importance to organisations of the public relations-related disciplines of issues, crisis and risk communication. The unit explore how these disciplines can be implemented in a range of public relations contexts.

  15. Professional practice: Client & agency management

    The aim of this unit is to prepare students for their graduate career by developing a high level of proficiency in professional oral and written communication skills in order to manage clients and agency projects. Additionally students will have opportunities to further develop their interpersonal skills aimed at helping them to establish and manage both inter and intra agency relationships, and also relationships with clients. Students (in groups) will undertake a project to communicate discipline specific skills to a wider audience. They will be expected to work collaboratively to identify issues, plan and develop operational plans for the workplace.

  16. Contemporary design issues

    This unit develops a strategic knowledge of how design is practised in the world today through the exploration of contemporary design and media practices. Students are challenged to consider the technological, economic, social, political, cultural and environmental impact of their work.


You will need to complete 8 electives as part of this course. You can select your units from a range of other Swinburne Online courses.

Support and delivery

Studying with Swinburne Online

Support for students

Set your own timetable

Designed for maximum flexibility, this public relations course allows you to study anytime, anywhere.

There are 3 teaching periods a year, and you can enrol in 1 to 4 units every period.

Payment options

There are 2 ways you can pay for this course:

1. Study now pay later – HECS-HELP

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP government loan scheme.

This means you don’t need to pay upfront for the course if you:

  • are an Australian citizen, OR
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa, OR
  • hold a New Zealand Special Category Visa and meet the residency requirements.

Through HECS-HELP the Australian government pays the amount of your course to the education provider on your behalf. You’ll start paying back this loan through the tax system once your earn more than the minimum threshold (which is $54,869 for the 2016-2017 financial year).

The total cost of this course is government-subsidised if you pay via a HECS-HELP loan.

This means the price you pay for the course is much cheaper – the Australian Government covers part of the course fee. Government-subsidised places in this course are called Commonwealth-supported places.

2. Upfront payment

You can pay for this course upfront via credit card or bank transfer.

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