Programme overview

Public Relations needs well trained strategic thinkers who are outstanding writers and researchers, are fluent in digital media and thrive on building stakeholder relationships. It’s a rapidly-growing field with a need for well-managed messaging of all kinds.

In this programme you will develop your ability to craft and communicate messages, build stakeholder relationships through engagement, create and manage reputations, and help manage issues through crisis communications. 

During your degree you’ll develop your PR toolkit through hands-on projects and an internship in your final semester. You’ll experience the right mix of thinking (theory) and doing and you’ll have the option of studying areas you’re really interested in – like Media Law, Digital Marketing, Media and Government Communication, Interpreting Social Media and many others. With an eye on the future, you’ll begin your career with a portfolio of work and industry experience.


  • Hands-on experience: in your third year you work in a PR agency or organisation with real clients. Recently our students have worked with Communeco, Pead PR, The Clique, Passion PR, Porter Novelli and opportunities at SweenyVestey and Senate SHJ;
  • Membership of the key professional association for the communication industry, Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) in your final year; 
  • Learn from experienced communication lecturers who are connected to real-world practice and engaged in a wide variety of media and PR research; 
  • High­profile guest lecturers from professional practice;
  • Support and encouragement for career and life-enriching activities like Study Abroad;
  • Part-­time study options available.


Admission requirements

For this programme, you will need the following:

1. 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher including:

  • 14 credits in two different approved subjects; and
  • 14 credits from up to two subjects (approved or non-approved)
  • Your 42 credits must also include 12 credits at Level 3 in English or Maori

2. 14 credits in NCEA Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau

3. A personal written statement describing your interest in your studies

4. Candidates who have English as a second language are required to have one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don’t have NCEA? We also accept:

  • A relevant qualification at Level 3 on the NZQF or above or an equivalent qualification; OR
  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Rhetoric and Persuasion (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 academic and 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 academic and business environment.
Fundamentals of Communication (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.
The Communication Landscape (COMM5545) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To provide students with an understanding of the drivers of change in communication professions and the ways in which they can position themselves personally, interpersonally, and organizationally in relation to this landscape for career pathways. To develop critical reflection of one’s professional persona in a digital context and to apply this reflection to the development of a digital ePortfolio.
Introduction to Content Creation (COMM5547) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop students’ understanding and analysis of the role of content creation and storytelling across a range of platforms. Students are encouraged to analyse and reflect on examples of creative content while measuring and interpreting audience participation and feedback.
Research Practice (BSNS6371) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to apply research methodologies and techniques with the purpose of completing a formal research proposal.
Managing Diversity (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.
Managing Relationships (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.
Understanding 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.
Professional News Writing (COMM6537) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an understanding of sound news writing practice.
Visual Communication (COMM6545) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop students’ understanding of how communication practices, with a particular emphasis on visual communication, are devised and employed in a variety of contexts. Students will develop visual literacy through a survey approach to graphic forms of communication, and philosophical, historical, and theoretical approaches in order to understand visually rich environments and practices.
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.
Communicating in Organisations (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.
Events Creation (COMM5546) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to understand the key foundations of successful event management, the components of an event budget, event marketing and the purpose of an operational plan. Students will demonstrate their understanding by observing an event produced to professional standards.
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.
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.
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
Te Reo - Rua (MAOR5010) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop competencies in speaking, writing, comprehension, structure and the application of te reo Maori me ona tikanga in a variety of settings.
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.
Te Reo me ona Tikanga - Tahi (MAOR5060) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop basic competence in speaking, writing, comprehension, structure and the application of Te reo Maori me ona tikanga.
Interpreting Social Media (COMM6542) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To establish foundational understanding of historic and contemporary social media data use. Students will theorize and apply social media data for strategic communication purposes. Students will develop knowledge of how social media data can be applied to organizational contexts, with particular emphasis on the communications industries.
Oral Japanese 2 (LANG6220) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To develop an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the fundamental structures and vocabulary of the Japanese language.To enable students to communicate successfully in spoken Japanese in unpredictable contexts on a range of topics.
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.
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.
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.
Campaign Project (COMM7544) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS)To enable students to develop, deliver and evaluate a socially responsible digital media-based communication production.
Industry 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.