Take your PR career to new heights.

In today's digital world, with so many communication channels available, how do you get your organizations messages to soar above the crowd and reach their intended audience effectively? It takes skill and a thorough understanding of public relations principles. It takes credibility — credibility that comes from having an industry-recognized credential, declaring you as a true public relations professional.

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Program description

Today's public relations professionals must be able to design external and internal communication plans and integrate the new theoretical and practical models of public relations practice that have recently emerged. The Diploma in Public Relations program meets these needs and gives learners the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in the public relations and communications field. Offered exclusively online, you can take this program part-time to complement your work schedule or opt for a faster rate of completion.

The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), under the Pathways to the Profession™—An Outcomes-Based Approach Towards Excellence in Canadian Public Relations and Communications Management Education, has recognized the Diploma in Public Relations at the University of Victoria. The Seal of Recognition provides a benchmark to the industry, potential employers, alumni, and current and future students.

Program recognized by:

Program features

  • The program is exclusively online. This makes it possible to continue working while pursuing further education
  • Nationally recognized program through the Canadian Public Relations Society which indicates that this program is aligned with industry needs and offers sound preparation in the field of study
  • The program is flexible in that students can determine how many courses they want to take per term. Some students move through the program at an accelerated pace while others take more time to complete it. There is no required program completion date so students determine their program schedule to fit into their lifestyle
  • Instructors are diverse and qualified industry professionals who bring a practical high-level of knowledge to the theoretical learning
  • The direct application from theory to practice makes this program invaluable in the job market
  • The steering committee comprises academic professionals and senior PR practitioners which ensures the curriculum meets theoretical and industry standards
  • Committed staff who are qualified adult educators providing excellent service to instructors and students

Program outcomes

  • Create strategic methods to manage public relations and communications planning programs
  • Critically analyze public relation practices using key learning strategies such as
    • media relations,
    • issues management,
    • crisis communication,
    • communication planning and
    • effective communication tools
  • Learn about the history, evolution and theory of the public relations profession
  • Develop strong critical thinking, teamwork and time and project management skills while expanding upon their work ethic
  • Acquire effective writing skills
  • Increase awareness of current events, the impact of global issues and their effect on organizations

Who is this program for?

The Public Relations program is designed for those working in the public and private sectors, employed in the public relations and communication field, who wish to continue their professional development and who are looking to earn a recognized credential. 

The program also provides necessary qualifications for those entering, or already working in the public relations field, but who do not have a formal education in public relations.

Career options

Some of our learners pursue careers in the following roles:
  • Public Affairs/PR Officer
  • Communication Specialist/Consultant
  • Media Relations Coordinator
  • Communication and Engagement Manager
  • Corporate Communication Director


News and resources

Courses and fees

You need to complete 10 courses to obtain your diploma: seven required courses and three electives.

= Courses open for registration

Program planning

A different selection of courses are offered every term. To see our upcoming offerings, please view our anticipated course schedule. To assist in your program planning, you can also view all course descriptions

Graduation information

For students that have completed the program, graduation forms are available: Application to graduate (Online form) | PDF

Estimated fees

Description Fee
Program application fee $125.00
Seven required courses ($595 early registration fee) $4,165.00
Three elective courses ($595 early registration fee) $1,785.00
Estimated Total $6,075.00*
Fees listed in this section are an estimate. Total program fees may vary depending on delivery format, course selections, student fees, textbooks and taxes.

Explore financial support options on the Public Relations awards and bursaries page.

Application information

Admission requirements

You'll need one of the following to be eligible for admission:

  • a university degree (or relevant professional qualifications) and three years of work experience
  • high school graduation and five years of work experience
  • any combination of equivalent education and work experience
  • relevant voluntary experience and/or a strong motivation to acquire a credential in public relations, but with no previous experience

English language requirement for international students

International students must meet the requirements above. In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must submit proof of English proficiency (TOEFL 90 on the online test or 575 on the paper-based test, with no section less than 20 or academic IELTS 6.5, with no individual component less than 6.0)

How to apply

We accept applications on an ongoing basis, but you must apply to the program before registering for courses. There is a $125 admission fee. Use our secure online application form for credit card payment, or if you prefer to mail/fax your application, download and print off the PDF version and mail the form to:

Diploma in Public Relations
Division of Continuing Studies
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700 STN CSC
Victoria BC V8W 2Y2

Fax: 250-721-8774

Application dates

Starting in
January or September
  Accepting Applications
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