“Amilla” is a national student competition for final year undergraduate and MA students of UK institutions with a clear mission to bring together the PR education community and PR professionals. The idea is to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate what they are capable of to an external audience. Acting as a PR agency, the students will be responding to a brief which will be released by a prestigious PR agency or an in-house communication team each year.

Within the UK, Public Relations is the centre of expertise for a number of Universities offering specialization in the field, while at the same time it consists a vibrant and well-established industry. It is with the realization of the need to bring education, research and professional practice together that has led to the idea of “Amilla: a national competition for PR students”.

The vision of the competition is to rely on the values of “amilla”.

“Amilla” is a concept of Greek origin that stands for 'healthy competition'. Relying on the values of “amilla” means that the participants of a competition should not just focus on winning. The participants should enter with an open-mind aiming to: learn from each other, self-criticize their efforts and learn from the feedback they receive from the expert judging panel. We aim to develop a sustainable national competition, with a clear goal to expand internationally, which will cultivate networking, enhance the student experience and most importantly lead all participants to personal improvement.

Wondering how to pronounce 'Amilla'?
- hear some students give it a go! (mp3)

History of Amilla

As with all great ideas it started as a conversation over coffee.

In the Summer of 2012, colleagues at Bournemouth University were discussing the limited opportunities for PR students to showcase to the PR industry what they had learned and what they are capable of. Something was needed that could generate a unique educational experience for students with opportunities to engage with professional practice. From this, the idea of Amilla was born and a national Public Relations competition for final year BA and MA students was set in motion.

Dr Tasos Theofilou, Dr Dan Jackson and Melanie Gray from the Media School at Bournemouth University developed the idea into a firm proposal and secured internal funding to initiate the inaugural competition in 2013. The principles of the Amilla competition were clear from the start; being focused on the enhancement of student experience and cultivating collaboration between universities.

Very quickly Amilla gained the support from the body of UK Universities, with Leeds Metropolitan University (Richard Bailey) & University of Central Lancashire (Chris Shaw & Dr Alenka Jelen) joining Bournemouth University to become the founding members. Within the first year, the competition secured the interest of University of Lincoln (Jane Crofts) , University of Westminster (Simon Goldsworthy & Trevor Morris), De Montfort University (Liz Bridgen) & University of Wolverhampton (Manuel Hernandez).

Support also came from the PR industry itself, with both the PRCA (Vicky King) and CIPR (Alison Steel) assisting in the initial development of Amilla.

In its inaugural year Amilla surpassed expectations by involving a raft of academics, practitioners and students from across the UK.

Amilla is now a key event on the calendar for all those Universities involved in the education of Public Relations.

Winners/Finalists 2013


Team: Willoonello [Bournemouth University, BA (Hons) in Public Relations]

Finalists (in alphabetical order)

Team: ACBC [Bournemouth University, MA in Public Relations]

Team: Arctic Tern Communications [Leeds Metropolitan University, BA (Hons) in Public Relations]

Team: P Artists [Leeds Metropolitan University, MA in PR and Communication]

Team: Vitality [Bournemouth University, BA (Hons) in Public Relations]