Programme overview

Want an exciting role in the fast-growing field of public relations? Reputation management and stakeholder relationship management are critical to a company's success. Public relations practitioners are playing increasingly strategic roles within organisations, influencing corporate communication, communication law, government lobbying and reputation management. As a student on the Bachelor of Communication's Public Relations major, you learn about the relationship between organisations and the media, and find out how to get positive media coverage for a business or organisation.

Highlights

  • Includes an industry internship in your third year with organisations like Auckland Arts Festival, Paul Blomfield PR, The Edge and JML Communications.
  • A broad knowledge base, giving you the flexibility to perform the wide variety of tasks expected of communication graduates.
  • Experienced communication lecturers who are actively engaged in a wide variety of research.
  • Regular visits from high-profile guest lecturers.
  • Part-time study options available.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the general, or the discretionary, or the special admission requirements and they must also meet any programme-specific admission requirements. Applicants must also meet the English language requirements and may be interviewed.

Generic Admission Requirements

General Admission

Applicants must have:

  1. A minimum of 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher on the National Qualifications Framework, with 14 credits at Level 3 or higher in each of two subjects from an approved subject list, with a further 14 credits at Level 3 or higher taken from no more than two additional domains on the National Qualifications Framework or approved subjects plus a minimum of 14 credits at Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau on the National Qualifications Framework, plus a minimum of 8 credits at Level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Maori; a minimum of 4 credits must be in Reading and a minimum of 4 credits must be in Writing; OR
  2. At least 3 ‘C’ passes in the New Zealand University Bursaries Examinations; OR
  3. Successful completion of the Unitec Certificate in Foundation Studies: Whitinga Level 3 with a relevant pathway, where appropriate;OR
  4. Certificate of University Preparation (Level 4); OR
  5. Certificate in Foundation Studies (Level 4); OR
  6. Equivalent

Special Admission

Applicants must have: 

  1. Attained the age of 20 years on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the degree is to commence; AND 
  2. Have provided sufficient evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other life experience that would indicate a potential successful outcome in the qualification. 

Discretionary Admission

In exceptional cases an applicant who does not meet the general admission requirements and who has not reached the age of 20 on or before the first day of the semester in which study for the degree is to commence may apply for discretionary admission.

In assessing whether to grant discretionary admission in exceptional cases, the primary focus will be on the applicant’s level of preparedness for study at the required level.

English Language Admission Requirements

General English Language Requirements
Applicants must have achieved a minimum standard of English as demonstrated by a minimum of 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in Reading, 4 in Writing).

International Students for whom English is not their First Language
Applicants must have achieved one of the following:

  1. Completion of NZ Certificate in English Language (NZCEL), Academic, Level 4;
  2. An overall IELTS band score (Academic Format) of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5;
  3. An overall TOEFL pBT (Paper-based Test) score of 550 (plus essay TWE of 5) OR  an overall TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test ) score of 60 (plus writing score of 20);
  4. Level B2 under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR);
  5. First Certificate in English (FCE) with a pass at grade B OR Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) with a score of 52 or higher under the Cambridge International standard tests of English as a foreign language;
  6. Pearson Test of English (PToE) (Academic) with a score of 50;
  7. City & Guilds Internal English for Speakers of Other Languages (IESOL) B2 Communicator with a score of 66.

Existing English Language Proficiency
Applicants may also provide evidence of satisfying one of the criteria for existing English proficiency as specified by the NZQA. For more information please visit the NZQA website.

Programme Specific Admission Requirements

To be admitted to this programme, applicants must also meet the requirements set out in this schedule.

To be admitted to this programme, applicants must also meet the requirements set out in this schedule:

  1. Provide a personal written statement describing the nature of and background to their motives for wishing to study for the degree;
  2. Demonstrate minimum competence in English either through:
    i. At least 12 NCEA credits at Level 3 in English; OR
    ii. A grade of C or better in University Bursary English; OR
    iii. An overall IELTS (Academic) score of at least 6.5, with no band score lower than 6.0; OR
    iv. A TOEFL score of no less than 575, or equivalent

Courses and timetables

The following courses are valid for 2015. The courses may be offered as part of the programme. Click on the course links below to see the course details and timetables.

CoursesCredits Restrictions
Persuasion & Speech Communication (COMM5532) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to understand the principles of rhetoric and speech communication in today’s world. Students will develop knowledge and skill in the methods and theory of rhetoric and persuasion based on an understanding of the ethical implications of persuasion. Students will also apply their knowledge and skills to speech communication and the varying contexts in which persuasive oral strategies can be utilised.
Professional Writing (COMM5542) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to think critically and communicate effectively for business purposes in such modes as the presentation of proposals and reports, and to conduct basic research procedures. It prepares students for successful management of communication applications in the business environment.
Academic Skills for Communication Studies (COMM5543) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to think critically and communicate effectively for academic purposes such as in essays and reports, and to conduct basic research procedures appropriate to communication studies. It prepares students for successful management of research and academic writing in subsequent courses throughout the degree.
Communicating in a Changing World (COMM5544) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the student to understand and apply a range of communication theories and concepts to diverse and dynamic environments.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Introduction to Communication Research Methods (COMM6501) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to design a research investigation. Students will explore strategies for selecting, refining and researching on communication topics.
Intercultural Communication (COMM6531) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop a methodology for learning about culture, assess the influences of culture on communication, and acquire competencies to work in an intercultural setting, from New Zealand to a variety of international contexts. Students also develop an understanding of models of bicultural/intercultural communication in various workplace settings.
Interpersonal Communication (COMM6532) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to explore the various ways that communication functions in both social and personal relationships. Students will be able to analyse a range of relational contexts including friendship, marriage and family relationships, and the workplace.
Technology & Media Communication (COMM6533) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop students’ understanding of how technological forms are devised, diffused and deployed in society, with a particular emphasis on communications media. It will provide frameworks for analysing the political, economic and cultural factors which shape new technological developments and their impact on society, organisations and interpersonal relations.
Communication Ethics (COMM6534) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to use classical and contemporary models of ethical decision- making to analyse typical media and organisational communication dilemmas. By the end of the course, students will have developed a broad understanding of the inherently ethical role played by organisations within society because of their communication of values to, and interactions with, a wide variety of audiences.
Public Relations (COMM6535) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable an understanding of the theory and practice of public relations and its strategic importance as a key component of any organisation’s management decision making. Students will apply their knowledge to a range of real world settings, and plan and implement a public relations campaign.
News Writing for the Media (COMM6537) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an understanding of sound news writing practice.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
International Communication (COMM7532) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to examine global systems of communication and information flows and the contribution of these systems to effective international communication management. Students will review international communication theory, learning how the informed management of global information may enhance effective international relationships and international organisational communication practices within developed and developing countries.
Industry Internship (COMM7533) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to undertake a short-term work and/or training experience related to a communication investigation activity that will contribute to a student’s vocational pathway. It provides an opportunity to integrate theoretical knowledge and practice through a strategy of applied learning in the workplace.
Organisational Communication Management (COMM7535) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To introduce students to the theoretical perspectives that describe, and may explain or predict, communication in organisations. Students will critically examine everyday organisational occurrences and experiences, and learn to manage communication to achieve a positive communication culture and climate.
Reputation Management (COMM7536) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop awareness of the internal and external information networks that contribute to the public image of an organisation. Students will evaluate the communication management requirements of those networks in a variety of stable, change and crisis situations.
Media & Government Communication (COMM7537) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to critically examine the nature and effects of political and media relationships, and how these relationships are influenced.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Digital Media and Communication Tools (COMM5534) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with an introduction to digital technologies as tools for human communication. It shows how these technologies are used to design, produce, and deliver communication in specific media such as social networks. Students learn basic digital technology tools to build works of communication in a variety of media.
Introduction to Narrative (COMM5539) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to understand the significance of narrative. Students will explore theories of language and meaning, its essential ambiguity and metaphoric nature, as well as the particular demands and appeal of different genres. Students are encouraged to write creatively, through the study of selected examples and the development of a personal portfolio.
Introduction to Oral Chinese (LANG5209) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)By the end of this course students will have developed an understanding and knowledge of the fundamental structures and vocabulary of the Chinese language. This will enable students to communicate effectively in a variety of routine contexts.
Oral Chinese 2 (LANG5210) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to communicate successfully in a variety of routine and some unpredictable contexts using spoken Chinese.
Introduction to Oral Japanese (LANG5219) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)By the end of this course students will have developed an understanding and knowledge of the fundamental structures and vocabulary of the Japanese language. This will enable students to communicate effectively in a variety of routine contexts.
Oral Japanese 2 (LANG5220) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to communicate successfully in a variety of routine and some unpredictable contexts using spoken Japanese.
Introduction to Spanish (LANG5245) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To gain the necessary skills to build a good foundation for successful communication in Spanish and to begin to develop fluency and understanding of standard Spanish language in a range of formal and informal everyday situations
Espanol 2 (LANG5246) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To extend students’ fluency in and understanding of standard Spanish in a range of routine and unpredictable contexts.
Understanding Te Ao Maori (MAOR5050) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)This course will provide students with an introduction to the Maori world, Maori history and the impacts of change on contemporary Maori society and culture.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Japanese Communication in a Social Context: Living the Language (Japanese) (LANG6201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To integrate and apply language, cultural and communicative skills appropriately in authentic Japanese contexts during residence in Japan.
CoursesCredits Restrictions
Event Production (COMM7500) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to examine the critical elements associated with the production of an event. Students will address key concepts of event production and apply their learning to engage in the communication and co-ordination of an event to professional standards of compliance, presentation and evaluation.
Communication Research Project (COMM7501) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to design and implement a research investigation. Students will explore strategies for researching, and reporting on communication projects.
Media Law (COMM7534) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an understanding of the international laws relating to communication and the ability to interpret them in a practical manner in the everyday work setting; both within New Zealand and in international communication interactions.
Narrative Stage 2 (COMM7542) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to understand and apply the theoretical and practical principles of narrative to a range of communication settings. Students will develop a writers’ toolbox, available for them to apply over the many forms of narrative use in business and society.
Global Media Issues (COMM7543) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable the students to understand, interpret and analyse contemporary issues affecting and involving the global media. This course provides a thematically organised, critical exploration of global political, economic, social and technological issues and interrogates the mediation of these events and issues by global actors. In a rapidly changing, media saturated world Global Media Issues provides a thoughtful and reflective examination of these processes of change, development and mediation.
Communication Production Project (COMM7544) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop, deliver and evaluate a socially responsible digital media-based communication production.
Communication Special Project (COMM7545) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with an opportunity to engage in a communications Industry Based Learning opportunity. This project is designed for senior students seeking to apply their advanced communication skills in a real-world context, developing and implementing a `live’ communications strategy.
Doing Business in East Asia (LANG7277) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)By the end of this course students will develop a broad understanding of East Asian business culture and apply their knowledge into business practice.