Public Relations Courses Requirements in South Africa:

First of all, what grade 10 -12 subjects are required to study Public Relations Courses at South African Colleges and Universities?

To study Public Relations at South African colleges and universities, students typically need to meet specific subject requirements in their high school curriculum. Here are the key subjects and qualifications generally required:

  1. English: A strong proficiency in English is crucial, as Public Relations involves extensive writing and communication. Most institutions require a pass at a level 4 or higher (50-59% or better) in English Home Language or First Additional Language.
  2. Additional Languages: Knowledge of additional languages can be beneficial due to South Africa’s multilingual society, though this is not always a formal requirement.
  3. Social Sciences: Subjects like History, Geography, or Business Studies are often recommended because they develop critical thinking and understanding of societal dynamics, which are valuable in Public Relations.

Each institution may have its own specific admission requirements, so it’s advisable to check directly with the college or university you are interested in to get precise details.

You Should Not Pursue a PR Career in South Africa If…

  1. You Lack Strong English Skills: Public Relations is heavily reliant on exceptional communication abilities, especially in writing and speaking. If you struggle with English, which is a core requirement from high school through to professional PR roles, this field might prove challenging. For example, crafting press releases, managing social media content, and negotiating with clients all demand proficiency in English.
  2. You Are Not Adaptable: The PR landscape in South Africa, much like the rest of the world, is rapidly evolving due to digital media and technological advancements. If staying updated with tools like social media analytics, SEO, and digital marketing feels daunting rather than exciting, PR may not be for you. Adapting campaigns to the fast-paced changes in platforms like Twitter and Facebook is essential for success.
  3. Limited Interest in Ongoing Learning: PR professionals need to continually update their skills and knowledge to keep up with industry trends and technologies. If you prefer a more static career where the required skills do not change frequently, PR might not suit you. Continuous learning is vital, from understanding the latest trends in digital communication to mastering new public engagement strategies.
  4. You Prefer Working Behind the Scenes: If you are someone who shies away from the spotlight and prefers less interaction with people, consider that PR often involves a high degree of public engagement and visibility. Managing public events, speaking at press conferences, and engaging with media personnel are common tasks that require a comfort level with being front and center.
  5. Resistance to High Pressure: PR roles can be highly stressful, especially when managing a crisis or working to meet tight deadlines. If you do not perform well under pressure, the demands of this career might be too intense. For instance, handling a company’s crisis management when a negative event goes viral requires quick, strategic, and calm decision-making.

University VS Colleges – PR Courses Requirements

University VS Colleges - PR Courses Requirements
University VS Colleges – PR Courses Requirements

To study Public Relations at South African universities and colleges, specific admission criteria tailored to the PR field are often in place:

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Here’s a table comparing the requirements for Public Relations courses at universities versus colleges in South Africa:

English ProficiencyMinimum of level 4 (50-59%) in English Home Language or First Additional Language.Generally requires good English proficiency, but may be more flexible with scores.
Related SubjectsBusiness Studies, Media Studies, Arts recommended to enhance understanding of media and business contexts.Not strictly required but beneficial for practical skills in PR.
Admission TestsMay require entry exams or portfolio submissions showcasing communication skills.Might include practical assessments or interviews to gauge aptitude.
Academic FocusEmphasizes a theoretical understanding and analytical skills in PR.Focuses more on practical skills and direct application in PR tasks.
Program TypesOffers degree programs that demand higher academic standards.Offers certificate and diploma programs with lower entry requirements, aimed at direct job readiness.

This table outlines the primary differences in requirements for PR courses between universities and colleges, helping prospective students understand what each educational path may require.


  • English Proficiency: Universities typically require a strong background in English, essential for the writing-intensive nature of PR. A minimum of level 4 (50-59%) in English Home Language or First Additional Language is standard.
  • Related Subjects: Subjects like Business Studies, Media Studies, or even Art can be advantageous. These subjects contribute to a better understanding of media landscapes and business environments—key areas in PR.
  • Portfolio Submission: For more competitive programs, universities may ask for a portfolio that showcases writing and communication projects, reflecting a candidate’s aptitude for public relations tasks.


  • Practical Skills Focus: Colleges might place a greater emphasis on practical skills over academic grades. Prospective students might need to participate in practical assessments or interviews to demonstrate their communication and organizational skills.
  • Flexible Admission Requirements: While a good pass in English is essential, colleges may offer more flexibility in other subject grades and focus on the applicant’s potential to succeed in hands-on PR activities.
  • Certificate and Diploma Programs: These programs often have lower initial academic requirements and provide direct, practical skills applicable to entry-level PR positions. They are also a steppingstone for later pursuing further studies or specialization.
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Both educational paths require a deep understanding of communication dynamics, but universities often emphasize a broader theoretical framework and analytical skills, whereas colleges focus on immediate practical application and job readiness in the PR field.