DIT Partners with Leeds Metropolitan University to Provide New European Public Relations Masters

Dublin, 13 July, 2005 The Dublin Institute of Technology has signed a partnership agreement with Leeds Metropolitan University to provide a new Master of Arts in European Public Relations (MARPE). Students taking the degree will attend one semester at DIT in Aungier Street and the second semester in Leeds.

The agreement is part of a wider agreement, which brings together eight universities across Europe. As well as developing the degree, the universities will both recruit and operate the course. DIT and Leeds Metropolitan are involved in providing the 'English stream' while other partners will subsequently provide a Spanish, French and German stream.

The eight higher education institutions involved include:

  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece   
  • Arteveldehogeschool vzw, Ghent, Belgium
  • Hogeschool van Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • INP - Instituto Superior de Novas Profissoes, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Université de Nancy, Nancy, France
  • Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, U.K.
  • University Cardenal Herrera, Valencia, Spain
  • Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland

Each of these institutions are among the foremost providers of public relations education in their respective countries.

The Master of Arts in European Public Relations in its English stream is designed to accommodate students whose second language is English but who have reached an outstanding proficiency in the language. A small number of students for whom English is their first language will be admitted providing they can demonstrate an outstanding proficiency in a second European language.

This partnership agreement consolidates the position of the Dublin Institute of Technology as the foremost provider of Public Relations education in Ireland. The association between the Dublin Institute of Technology and public relations education extends nearly fifty years-the first short course in Ireland was held at the College of Commerce in Rathmines, followed by a longer evening course in 1955. A one-year full-time programme has been held each year since 1978. It was converted in 1990 from a Certificate to a Diploma exclusively for third level graduates. It was converted to a Postgraduate Diploma in 1997.

Currently, the Institute provide an intensive one-year Master of Arts Degree in Public Relations. This has been available to students since 1998. Forty-five students are admitted annually to the course, which has attracted students from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia. Students completing the Master of Arts in Public Relations at DIT have had outstanding success establishing a career for themselves in public relations both at home in Ireland and abroad. DIT's Master of Arts in Public Relations is recognised by both the Public Relations Institute of Ireland and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in the United Kingdom.

Leeds Metropolitan University has been at the forefront of development in public relations education, both nationally and internationally, and teaching there was rated as amongst the strongest in Europe by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR-UK) in 2003.

This innovative programme is designed to prepare graduates for a professional career in communications within a dynamic economic, social and political European and international environment. Students can expect to follow a stimulating and dedicated pan European scheme which combines a range of specialist modules in public relations and media related studies.  A dissertation presenting original work in the field of European Public Relations is an essential component of the course. An option to undertake public relations work experience in the United Kingdom is also available. The degree granted is that of Leeds Metropolitan University.

With the English stream now accepting students for September 2005, it is hoped that the establishment of the Spanish, French and German streams will soon follow at the other MARPE institutions listed above.

According to John Gallagher, the Course Director for the Master of Arts in Public Relations at DIT, "Providing this new qualification is an exciting development. In terms of public relations education, it places DIT firmly in accord with the post-Bologna era in focussing higher education needs, not simply in a national context but in a pan-European context. We are delighted to have a strong partner like Leeds Metropolitan University to provide the English stream for the MARPE degree and we look forward to many years of this and other collaborations with them as well as with the other fine institutions to which we are now affiliated through MARPE."

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