How to Get a Diploma in Public Relations from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

As a Public Relations Specialist, you have to be business savvy, a master of strategy, and an expert negotiator. If you are looking to kick your skill set up a notch, then a diploma in Public Relations from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations may be just what you need to get ahead, here’s how…

Getting Started

In order to enter a program for certification from the CIPR, you must already be working as a Public Relations Specialist professionally or have received a CIPR Advanced Certificate. Garnering the CIPR Diploma in PR will afford you training in specific specialties; namely, strategic public relations, effective communication management, disaster response and recovery for the public and private sector.

Universities That Offer CIPR Diploma and Certification

Some Universities in the UK are CIPR recognized and accredited. These schools allow students to "fast track" certification by allowing recent grads to enter the CIPR Diploma program immediately after graduation. A list of CIPR accredited universities can be found here

Suggested Degrees

Any undergraduate degree is considered acceptable for entering the CIPR Diploma program, but having one of the following may increase your hiring potential:

  • English
  • Communications
  • Journalism
  • Advertising
  • Politics
  • Marketing
  • Business Management

For those with No Employment Experience

If you wish to enter the program but you have no professional PR experience, you must secure the CIPR Advance Certificate. Before beginning your studies for this certificate you must have graduated university with a degree, any undergrad degree is acceptable. If you have not received a degree, you must have worked in the PR field for at least two years.

Advanced Certificate Course

The Advanced Certificate course covers the following:

  • PR roles and responsibility
  • Communication building (written)
  • Media relations
  • Communication theory
  • PR Department management

Courses for the Advanced Cert usually take students about 1 year to complete, part-time. Once you have completed your studies, you will then take an exam to qualify for the CIPR Advanced Certificate.  

Course Components for a PR Diploma

PR Diploma studies offer students in depth training regarding:

  • Disaster recovery and crisis management
  • Individual and company reputation management
  • Stakeholder theory
  • Strategic PR planning
  • Corporate responsibility
  • Theoretical approaches to PR management
  • PR Management function

Course Costs 

Costs for courses and training can vary according to the training centre; a guide to course costs according to region and be found here. If you cannot attend a training course, the CIPR suggests you complete the necessary courses online. This offers students more flexibility and the ability to work toward their diploma at their own pace. 

Becoming a CIPR Member

Only registered members of CIPR can receive a diploma or other certifications. If you are not already a member, you must sign up before you complete your studies. The membership costs £145 and the benefits of membership include exclusive access to tools and resources designed to aid you in your studies, and the accrual of CPD points which can eventually lead to the Award of Accredited Practitioner.

Possible Earning Potential with CIPR Diploma

The earning potential for those who have secured their CIPR PR Diploma can range widely depending on experience. For those just starting out in the profession, they can expect to make from £20,000-£40,000. Department heads and specialist can expect to make from £80,000 - £100,000.

Public Relations can be an extremely lucrative career, but your success depends on your specific skill set and certifications. Needless to say, gaining your CIPR PR Diploma can significantly increase both your hiring potential and starting wage.


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