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Public relations education - 05.08.2010
University of Leipzig ranked No. 1 in Germany

The master program “Communication Management” offered by the University of Leipzig is the favorite PR education in the largest European country. According to a study published by newsaktuell, a subsidiary of the German Press Agency (dpa), Leipzig is leading far ahead from Munich (TUM University), Stuttgart (University of Hohenheim), Berlin (Quadriga College) and Mainz (University). The ranking of public relations programs is based on a survey of 1,121 PR professionals in corporations and agencies. Leipzig is also the leading place for public relations research in the German-speaking world. Every third practitioner states that professors Ansgar Zerfass (33.3 per cent) and Guenter Bentele (29.3 per cent) conduct innovative academic research, followed by Claudia Mast (University of Hohenheim, 20.6 per cent) and Miriam Meckel (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, 16.8 per cent).

Running since 2007, the full-time master program „Communication Management“ accepts 22 students each year. Courses are taught in German language. After four semesters, graduates will be qualified for management careers in corporations, associations and non-profit organizations as well as for academic careers as Ph.D. researchers. The curriculum comprises theories and concepts ranging from communication science to management and organization studies, public relations and integrated communications. Students have to engage themselves in applied research projects with global companies like Volkswagen, Vattenfall Europe and Deutsche Post DHL. Campaigns developed by student teams from Leipzig have won several national public relations awards during the last years.

The University of Leipzig is known as the birthplace of communication science in Europe ‒ its institute of communication and media science has been founded as early as 1916. Within this institute, the Department of Communication Management and Public Relations, led by full professors Bentele and Zerfass, has developed an advanced program of teaching and research based on a minimum infrastructure provided by the University itself. More than 1 million Euros (1,3 billion US-Dollars) third-party funding have been acquired by a specific public relations research foundation during the last years. Nowadays, ten academics and post-graduates conduct research in topics like media trust in organizations (Corporate Trust Index), public relations ethics, online communication and social media governance, as well as strategic communication and evaluating communication as immaterial assets (Communication Controlling). Members of the department have published more than 60 books and approximately 300 articles and chapters in several languages.

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