Higher Certificate in Commerce in Public Relations

This unique qualification provides foundational knowledge, theory, and methodology in commercial management, public relations, computer literacy, and work orientation.

By studying this qualification, you will develop your understanding of digital practice and integrated marketing communication from a public relations perspective.
You will gain insight into the principles of public relations, commercial law, economics, accounting principles, and business management. Accredited by the SABPP, this qualification serves as a stepping stone towards a Boston Diploma or Degree, opening doors to further educational opportunities.

HCert (Commerce) (Public Relations)

Time to Complete:

18 months (minimum) - 3 years (maximum)

Study Options:

Full-time or Part-time



NQF Level:




Entry Requirements

A minimum requirement for admission into the diploma is a:

  • National Senior Certificate (NSC); or
  • National Certificate (Vocational) (NC(V)) Level 4; or
  • Prior to 2009, Senior Certificate; or
  • Further Education and Training (FET) Certificate.

This programme is offered by Boston City Campus in the distance mode of education with support provided at Learner Support Centres. Apply to register at any Boston City Campus Learner Support Centre nationwide.

All modules are compulsory and must be passed.

Possible employment opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Public Relations Assistant
  • Communication Officer
  • Marketing Communications Assistant
  • Marketing Accounts Assistant
  • Social Media Assistant
  • Spokesperson Assistant

Semester ASemester B
  • Computer Literacy (HCLT101-1)*
  • Academic Literacy (HALP1181)**
  • Public Relations (HPR1181)**
  • Commercial Law 1 (HLWC1181)**
  • Digital Practice: Social Media (HYFT1181)**
  • Economics 1 (HECO130-1)****
  • Business Management 1 (HBMN1181)**
Semester A 
  • Integrated Marketing Communication 1 (HINT1181)**
  • Basic Finance and Budgeting (HBFB1181)**
  • Work Integrated Learning (HWCPR1181)***

Various Assessment Strategies (ASC, ASW, AS1 to AS5) are used throughout the modules in the programme. For example, AS3 is predominately applied in this programme and consists of a Formative Assessment (FA1), also known as an assignment or test, which count forty percent (40%) towards the overall mark.

Summative Assessments in the form of a final exam or capstone project (SA1), count fifty percent (50%), and a research or reflective essay (SA2) count ten percent (10%) towards the overall mark.

Assessment Strategy 4 (AS4): Formative assessments (FA1 and FA2), also known as assignments or tests, will count forty percent (40%) – twenty percent (20%) each – towards the overall mark. Summative assessments in the form of a final exam or capstone project (SA1), will count fifty percent (50%), and a research or reflective essay (SA2) will count ten percent (10%) towards the overall mark.

No supplementary assessment is provided for FA1. A maximum of one (1) additional supplementary assessment opportunity is provided for SA1 and SA2 respectively, which will be charged for.

Please consult the Fact Sheet and Student Rulebook for additional, detailed programme information.

On completion of the programme, graduates will have the necessary knowledge and practical skills required to:

  • Operate effectively in the workplace using a number of Windows-based end-user applications.
  • Define key principles of public relations and business management.
  • Explain the use of social media platforms from a public relations point of view.
  • Explain the difference between micro- and macro-economics.
  • Identify and discuss the importance of the core financial statements compiled for small businesses.
  • Define key concepts used in the world of integrated marketing communications.
  • Identify and explain certain core areas that are of importance in commercial law.

Boston will apply on behalf of the Learner, to the SABPP for verification of the Learner’s results. On successful verification, the learner will be issued a Higher Certificate: Commerce: Public Relations SAQA ID 21084, NQF Level 5, 160 credits from the SABPP.

The South African Board for People Practices (SABPP) is a Quality Assurance Partner (QAP) of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) and is registered as a Professional Body by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).