FA4013 - PR, Social and Brand

What will I learn on this module?

This module teaches you the fundamentals of public relations (PR), an area of fashion communication that supports the promotion, reach and impact of brands, individuals, issues and cultural stakeholders. The main aim of the module is to support you in understanding what PR is, where to find it, what agencies and in-house PRs do, and what multi-channel activities are conceived, implemented and activated in this area of industry. Through a series of seminars and practical sessions, you will be shown case-studies of how fashion is promoted through public, promotional and commercial endeavours, and introduced to basic research and analysis tools that help you to ascertain the value, function and role of PR in fashion. You will learn core formal and tacit communication skills of a public relations practitioner in industry, such as how to create social content, promotional planning, how to influence and pitch, and be given opportunities to converse in public and pitch your work so that you develop a confident presentation style that is a step towards client-facing skills.

The essay will help you in taking an iterative approach to research, asking you to source, identify and review key literature, content and material in response to a given question/title. This research will underpin your argument and provide a solid basis for an original response as a critical fashion researcher. You will learn academic writing skills, the conventions of how to plan and construct an academic essay with clear referencing and how to argue a case in writing, all connected to the fascinating area of branding.

How will I learn on this module?

Learning and teaching strategies on Fashion Communication encourage you to acquire a flexible and imaginative approach to problem solving through enquiry-based learning. You will become an active participant in your learning, integrating creative practice with academic and intellectual skills.

The extended studio (X-Studio) environment is integral to this process, encouraging individual intellectual freedom and a creative collaborative community. The X-Studio embraces our physical studios and workshops as well as our virtual spaces to create a flexible and rich environment that is responsive to your learning needs.

This dedicated approach has been developed over many years of continuous teaching innovation, research and industry collaboration. It has created a supportive extended studio culture that encourages you to learn flexibly, dynamically blending your learning and University experience between physical and digital interactions both in real-time and online at your own pace.

This extended studio culture not only helps you to become a more confident autonomous learner but also prepares you for a dynamic design industry in which an extended studio philosophy is current practice.

Lecturers with industry experience and supporting research will guide you through the module, developing your understanding of professional standards and practice. Guest speakers from the fashion and media industries will help you situate your own work in a professional context.

You are encouraged to advance your visual literacy and to be aware of current issues and debates. Working in groups, you learn to be flexible and collaborative, to identify and redefine problems in a creative way and focus on solutions that are both relevant and empathetic.

Traditional, new and emerging technologies are used both in the delivery and realisation of outcomes, and you will learn to present your work and ideas using a range of media and communication tools to a variety of audiences in different situations. You will create digital portfolios and presentations, as well as image-based/multimedia submissions.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

• Tutorials with lecturers provide advice on the direction of your work and whether you are meeting Module Learning Outcomes. These will be timetabled, and will help you to progress your ideas.
• Project briefs are introduced via briefing sessions, where the task is fully explored by both staff and students
• Live projects with industry and regional, national and international external partners extend the practical study of the subject area within an industrial context, where possible. They are also designed to support student confidence in their ability to handle professional practice within the creative industries
• Students experience a range of teaching, learning and assessment methods and course work is largely project based
• Modules are delivered through a combination of delivery modes, with guided and independent learning
• Additional study skills materials and workshops are available through Skills Plus at https://library.northumbria.ac.uk/skillsplus/ and Linkedin Learning
• Students are expected to maintain a project plan and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning
• English language support is provided for international students
• University student services offer specialist support e.g. financial, disability, mental health, international student support etc.
• eLP includes all relevant documentation and learning material, e.g. module briefs, lecture content, video demonstrations, reading lists and weekly tasks, together with meeting spaces, discussion boards and notices
• Visiting professionals support relevant and current practice where possible

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Evidence your elementary knowledge of promotional methodologies/processes and standards through promotional documents.

2. Show a foundational ability to conduct research in a variety of modes, analyse the information and present via visual/oral pitch presentation.

3. Demonstrate your awareness of cultural and contemporary issues through the investigation of fashion branding and realised through the research aspect of your academic essay.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. Evidence awareness of academic writing conventions and standards in the academic essay.

Personal Values Attributes
5. Evaluate your own progress, exercise self-criticism and analysis in response to the brief and evidence this in a reflective document.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be conducted through:

Summative assessment

Part 1: Final summative PR and Social Portfolio
• Promotional documents (1)
• pitch presentation (oral/visual) (2)
• written evaluation comprising 500 words (5)

Part 2: Final summative Brand Essay
• 1500-word academic essay (3, 4)





Module abstract

This module introduces you to public relations (PR) and the principles, practices and theories of brand promotion and communication. It teaches you how to decode the PR industry, to understand tools and techniques of PR and its place, value and function in the management of brands, individuals and stakeholders. You will be taught how to analyse a brand and its promotional PR and social activities, to chart omni-channel touchpoints, tools, channels and content that are being used and produce a range of presentation outputs that evidence your understanding. These outputs will ultimately showcase your growing knowledge of where PR exists in fashion and the importance in engaging with and influencing a range of consumer, media and brand audiences through a range of content, channels and touchpoints.

You will also be taught about the world of branding, research a given brand and its context, and produce a rigorous 1500-word essay. The focus will be on fostering brand literacy, developing the ability to pose critical questions about the fashion industry and its practices and to draw this argument together into an academic text. Altogether this module will give you a solid grounding in PR and brand promotion and prepare you for work placements in associated parts of the fashion industry.

Course info

UCAS Code WP29

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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