Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations)

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					                                                                                FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 2010

Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations)
Degree

WHAT IS PUBLIC RELATIONS?
Public relations is used by many organisations to facilitate communication and understanding among their various
stakeholders – for example the media, employees, shareholders, clients, governments. The Public Relations Institute of
Australia (PRIA) defines public relations as “the management function concerned with communication. It includes
understanding issues and analysing public attitudes which may have an impact on an organisation and planning and
implementing communication initiatives.”

For more than two decades, RMIT's Public Relations undergraduate degree has maintained a close association with the
PR profession and allied fields to ensure it maintains relevance. Leading PR professionals participate in an advisory
board that advises on the ongoing development of the degree.

The main aim of the degree is to develop the capabilities and attributes needed for the public relations industry,
including: high level communication and professional skills; creativity, original thought and analysis; excellent written and
verbal communication skills; an understanding of professionalism and ethics; understanding of the social, political,
business and media environments; ability to manage on time and within budget; problem solving and analytical skills;
leadership and team work skills; understanding of research and evaluation methodologies; organisational and project
management skills; and analytical and critical skills.

WHAT SORT OF WORK DOES IT ENTAIL?
PR Practitioners can work in the business, public and not-for-profit sectors.. They can work in-house or in a consultancy.
They may be employed as public relations or public affairs officers, community relations officers, government relations
officers, media relations officers, lobbyists, staff relations officers, website officers, information officers – to name a few.

Areas of specialisation with PR include investor relations, media relations, government relations, community relations,
brochure and newsletter writing, speechwriting, internal communication and change management, website and online
management, event management, fundraising and sponsorship,

Public relations has been recognised as an industry in Australia for around 60 years. The main professional bodies are
the Public Relations Institute of Australia and the International Association of Business Communicators. Go to
www.pria.com.au and http://www.iabc.com.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAM?
All applicants are required to apply through Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) www.vtac.edu.au. Both CY12
and NONY12 are required to take the Public Relations Entrance Test (PRET). If successful in the test, you will be
required to attend an interview.

WHAT ARE THE ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS?
To be eligible for the program you must have completed approved Year 12 (or equivalent). There is no specific ENTER
score required, but students must achieve a minimum score of 35 for VCE English (any). Non-year 12 applicants must
complete the Public Relations Entrance Test (PRET). To be shortlisted for interview applicants must sit the PRET.
Applicants are selected for the program according to the following criteria:
(A) Successful completion of the Public Relations Entrance Test (PRET)
and
(B) Successful participation in an interview (a selected number of students who have successfully completed the
PRET will be invited to attend an interview in November 2009 or early December 2009).

HOW DO I APPLY TO SIT THE PUBLIC RELATIONS ENTRANCE TEST (PRET)?
The Public Relations Entrance Test (PRET) will be on Friday 25 September 2009 at RMIT City campus from 4-6pm. All
applicants for the Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) MUST register to sit the PRET by Friday 18 September.
Registration is compulsory; it will guarantee you a seat at the exam. If you arrive at the exam without having registered
you will not be eligible to sit the PRET. To register go to www.rmit.edu.au/appliedcommunication/publicrelations.

Applicants must arrive for the Public PRET by 3.45pm on Friday 25 September 2009. When you register for the PRET
you will be advised of the venue. The PRET will start at 4pm sharp and will finish at 5.30pm. Applicants should bring a
2B pencil, eraser, a pen and photographic identification (such as a drivers’ licence or school ID).

Applicants with a disability requiring special arrangements must contact RMIT University’s Disability Liaison Unit – email
dlu@rmit.edu.au; phone +61 3 9925 1089; or TTY (61 3) 9925 3673 by Friday 18 September 2009. Interstate and
international applicants, and those with special circumstances (approved by the program director), who cannot attend
RMIT University City campus on 25 September 2009 must email publicrelations@rmit.edu.au by
Wednesday 2 September 2009.
Please note: Information supplied in this document was correct at the time of publication, August 2009. Every effort has been made to ensure that information is accurate and
prospective students are advised to confirm details with the appropriate school or area.
Applicants who do well in the PRET will be shortlisted for interview. You will not be interviewed if you have not completed
the PRET. Applicants selected for interview will be contacted by mid-November 2009 and will be advised when they are
required to attend an interview, which is necessary to be eligible for selection. Interviews may be conducted in group
sessions. They will be held during November 2009 through to early December 2009.

SELECTION CRITERIA
The PRET is a written test and could include multiple-choice, short or long-answer questions. These questions are
intended to test your current affairs and general knowledge, writing and comprehension skills, analytical skills, and your
ability to reflect on issues and express yourself in relation to them. The following capabilities and attributes are relevant
to selection in the PRET and interview:
Knowledge
Good current affairs and general knowledge is important for PR practitioners. Applicants should also demonstrate an
interest in the media, including issues covered in the media and the structure and trends in the media industry.
Personal skills and attributes
We are looking for applicants who show the ability to take initiative, a strong work ethic, a sense of responsibility to
others, and an ability to reflect on value- and ethics-related issues. Other attributes we look for are creativity, the ability to
work in a team and resourcefulness.
Public relations requirements
Applicants should show a strong interest for PR and be able to explain why they have it. They should have knowledge of
the industry and current trends. They should be keen consumers of electronic, online and paper-based media.
Technical capabilities
Applicants should have strong writing and verbal skills, and high-level English language skills.

INTERVIEW SELECTION
Based on the results of the PRET, some applicants will be asked to attend an interview in November or early December.
Only applicants who have completed the PRET will be invited to participate in an interview. The interview panel will ask
questions to gain evidence of attributes, aptitudes and capabilities listed in the selection criteria. It is not required, but
applicants may bring in a concise resumé of NO MORE THAN TWO PAGES.

HOW MANY CONTACT HOURS PER WEEK ARE THERE?
Full-time students attend 12 hours of classes and should undertake up to 24 hours of study and research each week.

HOW LONG IS THE DEGREE PROGRAM?
Three years full-time. In special circumstances, with program director advice, it is possible to vary your study load.

CAN I DEFER MY PLACE?
It is RMIT policy that all students are able to defer their studies for a maximum of 12 months.

WHAT ARE THE PATHWAYS FOR THIS PROGRAM?
Subject to successful participation in the PRET and interview process, applicants who have completed the following
RMIT TAFE courses are eligible for recognition of prior learning in this program:
- Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing
- Advanced Diploma in Business (Public Relations)

HOW IMPORTANT IS WORK EXPERIENCE?
Work experience is very important. There are work-integrated learning activities throughout the degree, but we also
encourage students (and applicants) to independently arrange their own work experience to enhance their understanding
of the professional workplace in general, and the public relations industry in particular.

Note, however, that study comes first. While we encourage students to get work experience, they should respect that
work commitments should be organised around their timetable and study commitments.

CAN I STUDY OVERSEAS AS PART OF THIS PROGRAM?
International study can be an exciting, life-changing experience that allows you to engage with the world academically,
culturally and professionally. For further information go to – http://www.rmit.edu.au/GLOBALPASSPORT.

WHAT SUPPORT IS THERE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES?
Please refer to the Disability Liaison Unit information at: www.rmit.edu.au/disability

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Please see www.rmit.edu.au/international for the entrance requirements

FURTHER INFORMATION
Contact us via email: publicrelations@rmit.edu.au

Tel.: (61 3) 9925 3130. Please note: Due to the high number of enquiries, phone calls to the program office are not
encouraged. Please email your enquiries and a response will normally be provided within 3 working days.

Please visit www.rmit.edu.au/appliedcommunication/publicrelations



Please note: Information supplied in this document was correct at the time of publication, August 2009. Every effort has been made to ensure that information is accurate and
prospective students are advised to confirm details with the appropriate school or area.

				
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