Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Rose-Marie Bezuidenhout


The principal aim of the unit is to provide students with the theoretical underpinnings of public relations principles and practice in contemporary society. The unit explains the contexts and scope of public relations within South Africa, the African continent and internationally. It addresses the pivotal role that public relations plays in the organisational setting, the business environment and society at large. A stakeholder centred, strategic and integrative approach is followed and explored through the use of appropriate case studies and applied activities.


On completion of the unit, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Give a critical exposition of the history, concepts, context and scope of public relations practice.
  2. Critically discuss several theoretical approaches to, and models and processes of, public relations practice.
  3. Describe the practice of public relations as an art, a communication science and a management function.
  4. Critique current public relations practices in terms of core organisational values and ethics by analysing South African case studies.
  5. Identify and describe basic local and global environmental trends and changes that impact on organisations and influence public relations practice.
  6. Explain the use of public relations techniques in specific contexts, such as: business and industry, government and politics, non-profit organisations, health care and education.
  7. Develop and apply stakeholder mapping techniques.


Tutorial work: 10%
Quiz: 20%
Case study analysis: 40%
Examination: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 2-hours lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week +
Nine hours of review, self-assessment and preparation per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


PRL1001, PRJ2221, ATS1897