The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2018

Course handbook


This course contributes to the student's depth and breadth of knowledge in the public relations field by examining the nexus between public relations theory and practice. Students integrate theoretical frameworks with contemporary public relations practice. A unifying concept is the exploration of the way meaning is socially constructed and enacted and what interests are served. Central themes that are covered are: the construction of publics, functionalist approaches to public relations and co-creational approaches to public relations. The course builds on previous courses at 1000 and 2000 level to further examine public relations and its role in society, both in an Australian and in an international context.

Availability2018 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe the historical development of public relations theory;

2. Discuss the main theoretical frameworks for public relations practice;

3. Demonstrate the application of public relations theory to practice through class exercises;

4. Discuss the implications of emerging critical scholarship for public relations.


Topics will include:

  1. The evolution of public relations theory and its impact on practice
  2. The publics in public relations " theory and practice
  3. The examination of public relations practice using functionalist public relations theory
  4. The examination of public relations practice using co-creational public relations theoretical perspectives
  5. Critical scholarship in public relations


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Communication and the Bachelor of Creative Industries, and associated combined degree programs.

Assumed knowledge

Completion of all 1000-level and 2000-level courses within the Public Relations Major.

Assessment items

Presentation: Presentation - Group (Individual Mark)

Written Assignment: Written Assignment Academic Article

Written Assignment: Written Assignment Social Media in Public Relations

Presentation: Group Presentation (Individual Mark)

Participation: Participation & Contribution

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct and PSB Singapore


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 10 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks