Public Affairs Diploma

CIPR Specialist Diploma: Public Affairs
Online Course

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.

Course detail

Online course


Assignments: 1

Study: 3-4 hours a week

Instalments available

5 to 6 months

Course Features

Learn at your own pace

Unlimited tutor support

Specially selected online library

Online learning centre

CIPR accredited

What are the course fees?*

PR Academy fees: £1,550 (+VAT)

CIPR Awarding body fees: £405 (no VAT)

Total: £1,955 (+VAT)

*VAT will be calculated upon enrolment depending on your location and situation. VAT inclusive price £2265.

Instalment options*

Pay in easy instalments. An initial payment of £465 (payable before course starts) then six monthly payments of £300.


*Instalments shown include VAT

Paying by instalment: the first payment is made when you enrol, future payments come out monthly on the same date. For example, if you enrol on the 20th, future payments are made monthly on the 20th.

01 March 2021


Who’s 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 for those intending to specialise in public affairs as a career.

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.

Download our course brochure for all the course details including:

  • Full syllabus
  • Assignment details
  • Key dates
  • Reasons to study

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Why get a qualification?

Studying over a period of time leads to a deep level of learning, helping you to become a more strategic practitioner.

Meet your course leader Dr Heather Yaxley

As a PR practitioner, consultant and educator, I’ve seen how learning improves confidence by enhancing current capabilities to help achieve future potential.

Find out more about this course

Call Shelley on

00 44 (0) 203 862 6910

I was slightly daunted about the prospect of studying Public Affairs – not only is it outside of my specialism (Internal Comms), it can also have some pretty dire consequences if it’s done badly! However, I’m pleased to say that the reality was not so scary. My eyes were opened to an interesting and very important communications discipline.
It was the focus on my own organisation that added a relevance to the theory, and an understanding of how it can relate in different circumstances. And it was also interesting to consider the scenarios my fellow students faced, having to put what we were learning into practice in very different environments.

Kirsty Bowen

Your questions answered

All our courses provide unlimited tutor support. We want to support you every step of the way.
It's great news that your employer is investing in your development. The first thing to do is get a purchase order - you will need it when you enrol. This is really important as without it we aren't able to raise an invoice. Alternatively, you can pay using a company credit or debit card at checkout - that's probably the easiest way. The second thing is to allow plenty of time! We need payment before the course starts and we know that sometimes company's payment processes can take a while. So act now to get it all sorted in time. If you need any help or advice, just give us a call and Shelley will help you.
Yes, most of our students are working full time and many have family commitments too. While the courses are demanding – they wouldn’t be of value if they weren’t – the pace of learning and the flexible options make it possible.
No. For example, the CIPR qualifications have been refreshed so they are now much more about applying theory to practice. We still discuss theory because that’s what makes us better practitioners, but we show how to apply it in practice. We call it applied learning.