Graduate Diploma of Public Relations

Postgraduate coursework

With a Graduate Diploma of Public Relations, you'll study key research methods and learn the cultural and ethical implications of PR. Apply to study now.

Key facts


1 year full-time or part-time equivalent

Key dates

Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 1 2022 close 20 February 2022

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Grow your professional identity and develop advanced strategic communication skills by studying the Graduate Diploma of Public Relations. Work on industry-based projects and promotional plans that prepare you to be an adaptable public relations practitioner in a changing communications environment.

Ready to upskill into a leadership role in the public relations industry? 

To thrive in a changing industry, you’ll need to develop new skills and new ways of thinking. The Graduate Diploma of Public Relations prepares you for the changing demands of employers and clients by combining traditional skills, such as writing, collaboration and project and campaign planning, with training in fundamental areas of public relations, such as crisis communications, digital communication and social media. Professionally accredited and designed in close consultation with industry, the course reflects current practice trends while setting you up for sustained career growth in an evolving landscape.

From strategy development and public relations writing to reputation and issues management, you’ll develop the practical skills to tackle the diverse challenges of the role. Through authentic, real-world assessment tasks like developing public relations campaigns, you’ll enhance your ability to influence behaviours, beliefs and attitudes through strategic communications across a broad range of channels.

Internships and work-integrated learning opportunities allow you to build even more practical experience. Work on briefs for real clients and discover what it takes to deliver campaigns to a deadline, while managing stakeholder expectations and dealing with unexpected events. Through these experiences, you’ll grow your professional identity and form valuable networks with other bright minds in the field.

The course also exposes you to the theories and models at work behind public relations practice, allowing you to critically analyse in-market campaigns and better understand the social, cultural and ethical implications of public relations activities.

While there are many exciting career pathways for graduates, there are also opportunities for further study upon successful completion of the course. If you want to continue building your expertise, you might like to articulate into Deakin’s Master of Communication.

Read More

Course information

Award granted
Graduate Diploma of Public Relations

2022 course information

Deakin code
Postgraduate (Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma)
Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8.

Course structure

To qualify for the award of Graduate Diploma of Public Relations, students must successfully complete:

  • 6 credit points in Public Relations from the units listed below, plus
  • 2 credit points of electives, plus
  • AAI018 Academic Integrity (0-credit-point compulsory unit)




Elective units



Core Units

  • Public Relations Campaigns
  • Public Relations Writing and Tactics
  • Marketing Communication
  • Public Relations Theory and Practice
  • Reputation Management: Crisis, Risk and Responsibility
  • Public Relations, Activism and Social Change
  • Public Affairs and Opinion Formation
  • Advertising Theory and Practice
  • Communication and Creative Arts Internship
  • Creating Your Arts Business
  • Electives

    Electives may be chosen from the remaining units above or from any other postgraduate course in the School of Communication and Creative Arts. Students who intend to move from the Graduate Diploma into the Master of Communication are strongly advised to take ACX701Communication Concepts for their two elective credit points.

    Campuses by intake

    Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Cloud Campus

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Cloud Campus

    Additional course information

    Course duration - additional information

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.

    Participation requirements

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. Click here for more information.

    Work experience

    Elective units may provide the opportunity for Work Integrated Learning experiences.

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    Ask a question about studying at Deakin

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    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    Entry will be based on performance in:

    • a Bachelor Degree in any discipline OR
    • a Graduate Certificate in any discipline OR
    • at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)

    Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

    Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place
    $22,600 for 1 yr full-time - Full-fee paying place
    Learn more about fees and your options for paying.
    Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)?
    Not applicable

    The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course within the same year. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of Prior Learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    FEE-HELP calculator

    What is FEE-HELP?

    FEE-HELP loans cover up to 100% of tuition fees for eligible students. By taking out a FEE-HELP loan, the government pays your tuition fees directly to Deakin, and the balance is repaid from your employment income - but only once you're earning over $46,620.

    Please note: fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and based on 2021 rates. Actual fees may vary. We advise confirming fees with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

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    Deakin University (Deakin):

    • gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the currency, accuracy or the completeness of the information provided;
    • advises users that no reliance should be placed upon on the information provided, and;
    • instructs users that they should confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    This tool provides indicative information about the fees that will be payable in respect of courses and subjects offered to prospective students domiciled in Australia during the periods indicated.

    Please note that the fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and actual fees may vary. Users are advised to confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    The estimated course fee is based on the tuition fee costs applicable to a domestic full time student commencing the course in Trimester 1 and studying full time for the duration of the course but:

    • does not include non-tuition costs that may apply, such as Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF);
    • does not take into account any scholarships or bursaries awarded to the student (including the 10% Deakin alumni discount);
    • assumes the maximum number of units that need to be successfully completed actual number completed may be reduced if recognition of prior learning is granted;
    • assumes that no exceptional, or non-typical, circumstances apply to the proposed course of study;
    • assumes that the options that the user selects are appropriate for the course of study that they intend to undertake;
    • where fees are estimated for future years those fee will be subject to annual increases in accordance with increases in the cost of course delivery.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through the Deakin Application Portal. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the how to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    Contact information

    Prospective Student Enquiry Centre

    1800 693 888


    Career outcomes

    This course equips you with the theoretical knowledge, advanced practical skills and industry experience to pursue senior and leadership roles in the public relations industry. Promising career opportunities exist for public relations graduates in:

    • public relations agencies
    • social and market research companies
    • government
    • educational institutions
    • hospitals
    • health and welfare organisations
    • special interest groups
    • community and cultural organisations
    • consumer affairs.

    For more information go to DeakinTALENT

    Professional recognition

    Students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Public Relations are eligible for course-accredited membership of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA).

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Analyse and critically evaluate theoretical approaches to public relations practice and issues including the need to understand current social and legal norms, policies and practices, in the local, national and global context.

    Understand the role and function of communication practitioners across sectors.

    Identify techniques of persuasive communication and its value in public relations tactics and acquire skills to apply these techniques.

    Evaluate the effectiveness of contemporary public relations strategies and tactics.


    Effectively communicate analyses, findings and strategies in public relations to a range of audiences using written, digital and oral formats.

    Digital literacy

    Identify and utilise a range of generic digital communication technologies and specific digital technologies employed by public relations professionals to address communication needs for diverse audiences and to deliver reports and presentations to audiences within and outside the public relations field.

    Critical thinking

    Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the ethical and legal issues surrounding public relations. Analyse and critically evaluate theoretical approaches to public relations practice and issues.

    Understand and apply current social and legal norms, policies and practices, in the local, national and global context.

    Critically evaluate the effectiveness of contemporary public relations strategies and tactics.

    Problem solving

    Employ specialised knowledge, initiative and creativity in conjunction with evidence-based communication methods to generate innovative approaches and solutions to complex, real-world issues within the professional public relations environment.

    Acquire expertise in the formulation, design, implementation and evaluation of public relations strategies and tactics.


    Demonstrate autonomy, responsibility, accountability and a continued commitment to learning and skills development in the field of public relations.


    Work and learn collaboratively with colleagues and real-world (external) clients and others from different disciplines and backgrounds while still maintaining responsibility for your own learning.

    Global citizenship

    Develop an advanced knowledge of ethical, legal, cultural and societal issues within the public relations discipline.

    Analyse and address communication issues in a domestic and global context as a reflective scholar and practitioner, taking into consideration cultural and socio-economic diversity, social and environmental responsibility and the application of the highest ethical standards.

    Approved by Faculty Board November 2017