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Start date


1 year(s) full-time

Program Code

2019: AUD$ 28,900 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)
2020: AUD$ 30,300 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL)

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • Enjoy the flexibility of online study, using the latest technology-enhanced learning practices.
  • Study South Australia’s only public relations qualification.
  • Benefit from our strong connections with industry.
  • Study a graduate diploma that has been designed in collaboration with the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA).
  • Study at a university that is in the top 2 per cent of universities worldwide1.

1THE World University Rankings 2016-17



If you already have an undergraduate degree and want to develop advanced skills in the area of public relations and communication management this graduate diploma is a good choice.

Designed in conjunction with the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), this qualification will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on a career in this fast-paced and ever-changing field. You will develop advanced theoretical knowledge and technical skills in the production of public relations strategies and content for traditional and digital media. This will prepare you to work at strategic levels of management and deal with complex communication challenges.

Please note: this program is only available by online delivery in your home country.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

Graduates of this postgraduate qualification will have advanced management and writing skills, along with knowledge of contemporary practice, social and digital media management, legal and ethical communication, strategic communication plans and practices. You will study areas such as:

  • public relations theory and leadership
  • writing for various media contexts and audiences
  • social and digital media management
  • communication management
  • ethical and legal responsibilities in communication
  • advanced communication research
  • measurement and evaluation techniques

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Public Relations Contexts COMM 5004 4.5
Writing for Public Relations G COMM 5030 4.5
Advanced Communication Research COMM 5034 4.5
Leadership in Public Relations COMM 5013 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Public Relations Planning COMM 5005 4.5
Social Media Management COMM 5069 4.5
Managing Digital Design COMM 5068 4.5
Communication Management, Ethics and the Law COMM 5014 4.5

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies at UniSA will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • briefs
  • reports
  • essays
  • projects
  • online activities

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Graduate Diploma in Communication (Public Relations)

Why this Degree

This qualification has been designed in collaboration with the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), which means it is relevant, up-to-date and guaranteed to provide you with the best start in this fast-paced industry.

In recognising the need for public relations professionals to work across a vast, technologically-diverse media landscape, this graduate diploma adopts the latest online platforms for learning. It offers flexibility of online with the option of part-time study – great news for students who are trying to fit study in among work and other life commitments.

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented in South Australia. In the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, 97 per cent of our assessed research was rated world-class or above. It’s a very good time to choose UniSA for your postgraduate study.

Career outcomes

Your career

Communications is at the core of everything we do – and skilled communicators are essential in every organisation. Public relations professionals plan, develop, implement and evaluate information and communication strategies for their clients; they then use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage their clients’ engagement and reputations. For graduates of this qualification the job prospects in Australia are looking good, with strong growth expected through to November 20201. Careers to consider:

  • public relations consultant: understand and support client needs – and use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage their reputation
  • communication manager: manage strategic communication activities and teams, and plan and produce content for promotional publications and material
  • corporate communication advisor: develop and implement strategic communication and media relations that assist an organisation to achieve its goals, including issues and crisis management
  • stakeholder and community engagement advisor: provide counsel to senior management regarding the establishment and building of relationships with multiple stakeholders and the community
  • communication and marketing manager: oversee and direct brand communication activities, including social media, public relations, publicity, advertising and promotions
  • digital communication manager: responsible for the design, implementation and management of online communication strategies
  • public affairs manager: responsible for the management of a company’s communication strategy and objectives; plan and implement communication and public relations activities with key stakeholders, such as government and the community
  • media advisor: advise and manage interactions with the mainstream media to disseminate messages and manage the public image of an individual or group
  • internal communication executive: ensure employees of an organisation are informed and motivated
  • content developer: create and update content for websites and social media
  • digital and social media manager: responsible for developing and implementing engagement strategies for an organisation’s social media sites

1 Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015

Professional accreditation and recognition

This program is accredited by the Public Relations Institute of Australia. Graduates of accredited programs have an accelerated path to professional membership of the Institute.

Industry facts


Employment for sales, marketing and public relations professionals in Australia is projected to increase by 14,000 (12.1 per cent) by November 20201.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015


Employment for advertising, public relations and sales managers in Australia is projected to increase by 6,500 (5.2 per cent) by November 20201.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015


Between now and 2020, the total Australian media and entertainment market will reach $47.4 billion1.

1PwC Media and Entertainment Outlook report 2016

How to apply

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

As a student at the University of South Australia you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also have access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, law and psychology. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and lots more.

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

International Student Services will make your life at university easier. We want you to be successful, and if you need help we will be there to assist. Support services include:

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers. You can work with them face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies. They also offer help with the English language. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

Dr Adam Simpson

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Adam Simpson
Portrait image for Dr Adam Simpson

Dr Adam Simpson

Program Director


Ask UniSA

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What others are saying

As a communications professional I have the skills required to increase awareness and ensure that life-saving blood and blood products are available for those in need. Throughout my studies I learnt so much from both my lecturers and classmates – a real benefit of the program is that you are surrounded by like-minded professionals.

Emma Schreiber

Graduate Diploma in Communication (Public Relations)

Emma Schreiber

Emma Schreiber

Graduate Diploma in Communication (Public Relations)