Public Affairs Diploma

CIPR Specialist Diploma: Public Affairs

About this course

Gain an insight into the process of policy formation, how public affairs relates to PR and corporate communication and the reputational context in which public affairs operates. The CIPR Public Affairs Diploma explores theory while being rooted in practice. Learn how public affairs contributes to organisational success and what is expected of an ethical practitioner in the complex political environment.

Our course includes live online sessions, tutorials and individual feedback on assignment topics.

Course detail

Online course, start any time


Assignments: 1

Study at your own pace

Approximately six months

Payment options: instalments available

Study Support Package

Live interactive online workshops

One to one tutorials

Individual feedback on your assignment idea

Online library with all the books you need

Study Hub: our bespoke online learning centre

Networking via our LinkedIn group

Easy tutor contact

Pay monthly

Initial fee: £315.80 (incl. VAT)

6 monthly instalments: £290 (incl. VAT)

A one-off initial fee is taken when you enrol. Instalments are collected monthly from the date you enrolled.

How we calculate your fee

PR Academy tuition: £1,349 (+ VAT)

CIPR fees: £437 (no VAT)

Total: £1,786 (+ VAT)

VAT is calculated upon enrolment and is dependant on your location and situation.
VAT inclusive fee is £2,055.80

Payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and more

Enrol today


+ VAT & CIPR assessment

Enrol today

£1,349+VAT & CIPR assessment fee

Who is this course for?

Public Affairs practitioners. You are an experienced public affairs practitioner or a communication/PR professional working on public affairs activity and looking to gain a specialist qualification to underpin your skills with theory and analysis.

Gain new skills. You want to gain new skills or improve existing skills by learning about the strategic role of public affairs.

Moving into public affairs. You wish to establish yourself as a public affairs practitioner. The course is designed for both generalist public relations practitioners wishing to enhance their understanding of the discipline and also those intending to specialise in public affairs as a career.

Flexible learning. You want to be able to study at a time and pace that works for you.

Master’s level. This is a Master’s level course so make sure you are ready to study and be assessed at this level.

Learning outcomes

Discover how the public policy environment operates and how to engage in the process. Learn about the psychology of communication, persuasion, rhetoric, engaging the electorate, the role of the media and political marketing.

Take a strategic look at public affairs practice and how it integrates with other broader reputation management. Emerging issues and trends that affect contemporary public affairs practice are discussed, together with the strategy and tactics of lobbying and campaigning and the theories underpinning the process.

Research and develop ethical public affairs strategies and plans which confront and manage political and societal issues, change attitudes and influence behaviours, and so achieve strategic objectives.

Reviews from our graduates

Discover how our courses work

Ann Pilkington, co-founder of PR Academy explains how our courses work, demonstrates our Study Hub and explains the resources and support you will receive. Also hear from members of the PR Academy alumni.

Download our course brochure for all the course details including:

  • Full syllabus
  • Assignment details
  • Reasons to study

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Meet your course leader Laura Richards

“Studying public relations has provided me with a huge advantage in my career, allowing me to learn new skills and think differently about how we – as professional communicators – can guide the organisations we work for. I love that I now get to support other professionals through their studies.

Meet Laura

Hear from others

Find out what it’s like to study for the CIPR Professional PR Diploma with PR Academy.

Underpinning my transferable skills with a qualification has been incredibly valuable and my experience of completing the course has been very positive. In particular, having my tutor as a resource who has worked in the industry, and being able to listen to her experience and that of others on the course who are already working in public affairs has been both interesting and informative.

Your questions answered

It definitely can. Many of our students are studying in order to increase their confidence and boost their CV and report a new role or promotion as a result of their qualification. In PR Academy’s 2023 research into PR education, respondents were asked - if they hold a professional qualification - has it led to career progression/promotion. This is a question that PR Academy has tracked since 2013. There is a consistent report of between 74 and 85 percent that a professional qualification has led to a career progression combined with confidence that it will.
Some organisations ask for qualifications when advertising PR jobs.  While a PR qualification isn't essential it improves your CV and also shows your personal commitment to the profession and continuous learning.
If you are looking for a qualification in PR, then a professional qualification is a good option because you can study while you work. The syllabi for CIPR qualifications is very practical while still underpinned by theory so you can apply what you learn straight away.
Yes they are. We have practitioners from all over the world studying with us. The CIPR is the only chartered body for public relations which adds to the recognition of the qualification around the world.
There are CIPR qualifications at all levels. If you are just starting out the Foundation in PR is for you. If you are a few years into your career the Professional PR Certificate or internal communication certificate are designed for you. For more experienced practitioners there are diploma qualifications at approximately Master's level. If you aren't sure just get in touch for a chat.
Our CIPR and PRCA qualifications are designed for practitioners who want to advance their career with a stronger understanding of theory leading to more strategic campaigns. Many of our students say it boosts their confidence and they go on to better jobs or promotion.
Yes, we regularly speak to practitioners who are using a qualification as a way to refresh their knowledge, get up to date with latest practice and boost their CV. A qualification can be a great reminder of how much you already know boosting your confidence to get back into the PR job market. In our 2023 research into PR education, 84% of respondents said they were doing it to increase their skills.

Find out more about this course

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