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Graduate Certificate in Public Relations

Get the industry-ready skills you need with this short course in public relations. Learn how to express your ideas more persuasively, help organisations enhance their public reputation, organise events, pitch stories to journalists, and build relationships with key stakeholders.

Public relations professionals plan and deliver communication strategies for private companies, government departments and non-profit social enterprises to influence people’s attitudes and promote behavioural change.

They are highly effective networkers who act as a crucial link between an organisation and its key stakeholders, such as the local community, customers and corporate shareholders.

They also look after their clients' social media accounts, organise events, write media releases and corporate documents, and work closely with journalists to manage media publicity.

PR professionals can also get involved with crisis and issues management, lobbying government ministers, sponsorship and fundraising, and employee relations.

The assignments for this short course are highly practical. So if you enjoy writing and talking to people, and love framing ideas in engaging ways, then a career in public relations could be a good fit for you.

We encourage our PR students to get involved with the Management Communication Students' Association (MCSA), an award-winning student club that organises regular activities.

Internationally recognised

Waikato is the only university in New Zealand - and one of only four outside the United States - whose Public Relations programme is certified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). This is your guarantee of a world-class learning experience, as the PRSA sets the gold standard for PR education.

We're also ranked in the world's top 250 universities for Communication & Media Studies in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023.

You'll be studying at Waikato Management School, which is New Zealand's number one ranked business school in the Times Higher Education World University Subject Rankings, in both 2022 and 2023.

Waikato is also ranked in the top 1% of all business schools globally with our prestigious Triple Crown Accreditation from EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB.

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Key information

Duration Of Study: 4-8 months (full-time or part-time study)
Points: 60 points
GradCert(PR) Study Locations:Hamilton, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Start Dates: March (A Trimester) and July (B Trimester)
Estimated Fees* (Domestic): NZ$3,552 approx (2023 tuition fees) per programme
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
Estimated Fees* (International): NZ$16,364 approx (2023 tuition fees) per programme
Entry Requirements: Postgraduate International
Area of Study:
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Degree Planner

Degree planner — Graduate Certificate in Public Relations (60 points)

Students will take four papers in total (60 points), worth 15 points each. This includes one introductory paper (15 points) at 100 or 200-level; and three advanced papers (45 points) at 300-level.

You have the option to include one elective paper at 300-level in any subject.

Please contact the Management Student Centre (email [email protected]) for advice before you enrol in any papers.

Admission to each paper is at the discretion of the subject convenor.

  • Subject
  • Explanatory note
  • Elective

Students also have the option of transferring into the Graduate Diploma in Public Relations (120 points).

This information is provisional and subject to change.

Tessa Preddy Tessa Preddy is loving her career in public relations and her new life in Wellington. It was all jump-started by an internship with a communications agency that she completed during her university degree, which later turned into a full-time role.

Read stories from other Graduate Certificate in Public Relations students

To enrol for the Graduate Certificate in Public Relations, applicants must have:

a) completed a bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification; OR

b) be able to demonstrate they have adequate training, experience, and ability to proceed with the programme.

Applicants who do not meet these requirements may still be considered for special admission, subject to completing some additional qualifying papers.

Admission to each paper is at the discretion of the subject convenor.

Scholarships and prizes

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Graduate study options



Management Student Centre (MSC)
Waikato Management School
Phone: 07 838 4303
Email: [email protected]

Have a chat with one of our friendly advisers to help you plan your degree.

Phone: +64 7 807 9275
Email: [email protected]

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