Public relations professionals, including communications and media relations specialists, share vital messages through attention-grabbing writing, video, social media, special events, and fundraising campaigns. Regardless of the field – sports, fashion, music, television or health-care – a creative PR professional is an essential part of any successful business or non-profit organization. In this growing industry, our graduates are highly sought after and enjoy a wide range of career opportunities. The hands-on curriculum includes two unique field placements. Durham College is the only compressed program in Ontario, which allows graduates to enter the workforce in just two calendar years.

If you like to write then you'll love this program! This fast-track, three-year diploma program, which is delivered over two calendar years, focuses on effective communication strategies in the public relations industry. In this growing business, our grads are highly sought after and enjoy a wide range of career opportunities.

Consider the fact that Forbes’ list of 25 Most Successful Jobs for Millennials listed Public Relations Manager and Public Relations Specialist as two of them.

Public relations (PR) practitioners must be versatile and skilled writers and speakers as they help people and organizations explain who they are, what they do and why they do it.

You will develop your writing and editing skills for electronic and print media as well as your practical skills in a workshop setting with a not-for-profit agency for a one day a week field placement. You will also write and produce Reflections, Durham College's award-winning alumni magazine.

Your hands-on skills will be refined through organizing and executing a media conference. Students’ event plan and fundraise for an international field trip during their second year. Examples include Washington, Chicago, and Boston. Traveling to another country provides students with a wide range of real-world connections through professional development sessions and networking with industry professionals.

After completing your course work you will also gain hands-on industry experience working on placement in a corporate PR office.

Post-admission Communications assessment

To help prepare you for success in your program and in your future career, all students accepted into this program will complete an assessment to determine their reading comprehension and writing skills.

NOTE: Students enrolling in this program are required to purchase their own laptop.

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Mature Student Status
  • Grade 12 English (C or U) (minimum 60 percent)
  • Grade 11 mathematics (C, M or U)
  • Potential onsite interview


  • Keyboarding
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and proficiency in spelling and grammar


Year One Fees Domestic International
Tuition $3,629 $13,791
Compulsory Ancillary $1,245 $1,720
Program Incidental $175 $175
Total Fees: $5,049 $15,687


Semester 1

  • Communication Essentials (COMM 1710)
  • Electronic PUBLishing I (COMP 1338)
  • Digital Presentations (COMP 2318)
  • General Education Elective (GNED 0000)
  • Marketing For P.R. Practitioners (MKTG 1307)
  • Digital Photography (PHOT 1310)
  • Introduction To Public Relations (PR 1301)
  • Research For Public Relations Practitioners (RESR 1300)

Semester 2

  • Electronic PUBLishing II (COMP 2341)
  • Public Relations Copy Writing I (COPY 2301)
  • Digital Imaging For Public Relations (DIGT 2303)
  • Writing For Public Relations (ENG 2307)
  • General Education Elective (GNED 0000)
  • General Elective Credit (GNED 1000)
  • Corporate Management (MGMT 2311)
  • Public Relations Techniques (PRTK 2301)

Semester 3

  • Public Relations Copy Writing II (COPY 3301)
  • Electronic PUBLishing III (DTP 3302)
  • Magazine Design For Public Relations (EDIT 2303)
  • Electronic Media Production (EMP 1301)
  • Public Relations Business Writing (ENG 3307)
  • Media Relations (PRMR 3300)
  • Strategic Communications Planning (WKSP 3302)

Semester 4

  • Publication Management (EDIT 4300)
  • Freelance P.R. Writing (ENG 4300)
  • Field Placement Seminar & Portfolios (FWKS 4303)
  • Social Media & Web Principles (PRSM 4301)
  • Event Planning And Fund Development (PRTK 4300)
  • Non-Profit Placement - PUBL (WKSP 4306)

Semester 5

  • Field Placement - Public Relations (FWK 5300)

Courses and course descriptions are subject to change.

Career Options

What you could be:

  • Social media coordinator
  • Event planner
  • Publicist
  • Media relations coordinator
  • Public relations coordinator
  • Digital content specialist
  • Account Coordinator
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Freelance public relations consultant

Where you could work:

  • Broadcast networks (television and radio)
  • Communications and public relations firms
  • Entertainment and music industry
  • Design and marketing firms
  • Event planning and promotions companies
  • Tourist attractions
  • Government agencies
  • Non-profit organizations and registered charities

Experiential Learning

Field placement

During the fourth semester, students implement a communications plan at a not-for-profit agency where they work one day a week. Students gain further experience in the fifth semester through a 14-week, full-time corporate field placement.

Travel to learn

Students plan and fundraise for an international field trip during their second year. Traveling to another country provides students with a wide range of real-world connections through professional development sessions and networking with industry professionals.

Laptop Requirements

Notebook computer recommendations

For a complete list of hardware recommendations please review the Hardware recommendations and FAQ document.

Software requirements

  • Operating System (bundled with new notebook computer purchase)
  • Membership in Adobe Creative Cloud™ is included in your Student Fees and will be made available during your first week. There is no need to purchase a subscription.
  • Microsoft Office (Available for free for students from Microsoft through your DC Mail account. Please do not buy it.)

Creative Cloud brings together everything you need to create your greatest work. One simple membership gives you and your classmates to the very latest versions of all the Adobe professional creative desktop applications like Photoshop®, Illustrator®, Premiere Pro® and more — plus new features and upgrades as soon as they're available. And that's just the beginning. With Creative Cloud™, everything you need to create intuitively and collaboratively is included.

Free downloadable software (please download and install prior to the start of classes. Caution: To avoid malware, only download from the actual developer or using the links below):

  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Audacity
  • Mozilla Firefox web browser
  • Google Chrome web browser
  • Brackets

Other recommended hardware

  • All students MUST have a Cat 5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable 2 meters long to connect to the campus network and an adapter to connect to Ethernet depending on the laptop.
  • USB flash drive for storing smaller amounts of data
  • External hard disk USB-3 or USB-C 1 TB or larger

NOTE: These requirements were accurate at the time of posting and are subject to change. Please be aware that hardware and software versions are subject to change and will be updated as needed.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated January 21, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
5 semesters
5,049 CAD
Year one domestic: $5,049 (CDN); Year one international: $15,687 (CDN). Additional costs may apply.
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Public Relations