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BCS - Public Relations as a major

Get the up-to-date industry skills you need to become a Public Relations, Marketing or Communications specialist. This degree will teach you how to satisfy customer needs, influence people’s attitudes and behaviour, and drive strategic change within organisations.

The world of public relations is fast-growing and exciting. Get the public relations skills you need to help an organisation build trusted relationships with its key stakeholders and enhance its public reputation.

Key information

Years: 3.0
Points: 360
Study Locations: Hamilton
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $6,462 (approx) per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
Fees (International): $27,165 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
Faculty/s:
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.
Apply now

Career opportunities

  • Public relations manager
  • Public relations account executive
  • Communications advisor
  • Internal communications manager
  • Media relations adviser
  • Event manager
  • Community relations manager
  • Sponsorship/fundraising manager
  • Press secretary

Degree planner — BCS in Public Relations (Single Major)

Year 2

Any UoW
Cultural Perspectives paper, eg. MNMGT302

100 Level or above
Elective

200 Level
Elective

200 Level
Elective

Year 3

One of:
DIGIB301, LCOMM301, LCOMM303, or PUBRL303

MNMGT 495/496/499
Industry experience or applied research*

200 Level or above
Elective

200 Level or above
Elective

200 Level or above
Elective

  • Major
  • Elective
  • Compulsory

Public Relations involves managing relationships between organisations and their public. Within Public Relations a range of strategic communications are practiced; such as crisis and issues management, event management, sponsorship and fundraising, employee relations, government relations and public affairs. Public Relations professionals work with the media, act as the communication intersection between organisations and their public, and provide the communication support that an organisation requires to achieve its mission.

Public Relations is available as a first major for the Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Communication Studies and Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours. Public Relations may also be included as a second major or as a minor in other undergraduate degrees, subject to the approval of the Faculty in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Public Relations as a single major for the BBus, BCS, and BMS(Hons), students must gain 135 points from papers listed for Public Relations, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level. Students must complete PUBRL101, one paper from ACCTN101, ECONS101, FINAN101, either MGSYS101 or MGSYS201, MRKTG101, STMGT101; PUBRL201, PUBRL202, PUBRL204, PUBRL301, PUBRL302 and 30 points from DIGIB301, LCOMM301, LCOMM303 and PUBRL303. BBus students may count one of MNMGT495, MNMGT496 or MNMGT499, and BCS students may count LCOMM300, in place of 15 points from the 30 point option list.

To complete Public Relations as part of a double major for the BBus, BCS, BMS(Hons) or other undergraduate degree, students must gain 120 points from papers listed for Public Relations, including 90 points above 100 level, and 45 points above 200 level. Students must complete PUBRL101; one paper from ACCTN101, ECONS101, FINAN101, either MGSYS101 or MGSYS201, MRKTG101, STMGT101; PUBRL201, PUBRL202, PUBRL204, PUBRL301, PUBRL302 and 15 points from DIGIB301, LCOMM301, LCOMM303 and PUBRL303.

To complete a minor in Public Relations, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Public Relations major, including at least 30 points above 100 level, and including PUBRL101.

200 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LCOMM200Management Communication18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on the processes by which managers communicate with those inside and outside their organisation. It explores managers' main communicative practices and introduces students to some of the major theories underlying management communication as an area of study.
LCOMM201Professional Speaking18B (Hamilton)
This highly practical paper focuses on the skills, principles, and practices of developing and delivering professional speeches and presentations across a wide range of professional purposes and contexts.
MCOM200Management Communication18B (Hamilton)
This paper provides an introduction to the theory and practice of management communication. The paper focuses on the process by which managers communicate with those inside and outside their organisations.
PUBRL201Media Relations and Publicity18B (Hamilton)
This paper provides students with concepts and techniques that enable them to create and report news for traditional and social media and to communicate effectively on behalf of organisations.
PUBRL202Health Communication Campaigns18B (Hamilton)
This paper explores the construction and evaluation of communication campaigns to address health issues in communities and organisations. The campaigns use communication theory to design persuasive and innovative health campaigns.
PUBRL203Events Management18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This experiential paper draws together best practice in event management from a practical, business, and operational perspective. The paper covers researching, designing, planning, and implementing an event for a client.
PUBRL204Contemporary Public Relations Writing18A (Hamilton)
Modern communications professionals write to represent organisations across many different audiences, purposes and contexts. PUBRL204 teaches students to select and use a range of genres from established media to emerging digital platforms.

300 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MCOM330Professional Speaking and SpeechwritingThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM332Professional and Public Relations Writing18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on the theory and practice of written communication in public relations and other professional contexts. Students learn to design, write and edit a portfolio of documents, including a brochure, an annual report narrative, and a newsletter.
MCOM333Public Relations Campaigns18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper may not normally be counted towards a Leadership Communication major. It is recommended that BCS students complete MCOM220 prior to enrolling in this paper. This paper will be delivered to Tauranga via Video-conference.
MCOM334Public Relations Cases18T (Online)
This paper provides students with the concepts and techniques needed to evaluate the public relations strategies of organisations.
MCOM335Media and Public Relations18A (Hamilton), 18A (Tauranga), 18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on the skills, principles and practices of managing ethical and sustainable relationships with media stakeholders. It includes writing for news media, working with television appearances.
MCOM336Negotiation and Persuasion18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the theory and practice of persuasion and negotiation in a range of professional contexts.
MCOM338Communication InterventionsThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM339Events and Communication Management18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
Event management is a strategic public relations, marketing and communication tool for organisations of all sizes. This experiential learning paper draws together best practice in event and communication management from a practical business and operational perspective. The paper covers all aspects of event planning. Students will r...
MCOM340Communicating Social Change18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines a range of theoretical and practical approaches to the communication and management of social change, especially the health and well-being of communities, organisations, and other social groups, and emerging human rights issues.
MCOM376Diversity LeadershipThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM380Special TopicThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM387Communication InternshipThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM390Directed StudyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM399Communication Investigation in the WorkplaceThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MSYS319Industry Experience 218C (Online)
This paper requires a period of four to thirteen weeks work experience in an appropriate and approved host organisation with relevance to the student's degree and major. Investigation of three research topics supports the academic component of the paper.

400 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MCOM430Professional Speaking and SpeechwritingThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM431Negotiation and Persuasion18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the theory and practice of persuasion and negotiation in a range of professional contexts.
MCOM432Professional and Public Relations Writing18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on the theory and practice of written communication in public relations and other professional contexts. Students learn to design, write, and edit a portfolio of documents, including a brochure, an annual report narrative, and a newsletter.
MCOM434Public Relations CasesThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM438Communication InterventionsThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM440Communicating social change18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines a range of theoretical and practical approaches to the communication and management of social change, especially the health and well-being of communities, organisations, and other social groups, and emerging human rights issues.
MCOM476Diversity LeadershipThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM480Special TopicThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM490Directed StudyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
MCOM495Industry Experience 418C (Online)
A period of four to thirteen weeks internship is spent in a host organisation with relevance to the student's major, located in New Zealand or overseas. Students find their own host organisation, which is then approved by the departmental co-ordinator. In addition to the time spent in the host organisation, Weekly small group elect...
MCOM499Report of an Investigation18D (Hamilton), 18E (Hamilton), 18F (Hamilton), 18G (Hamilton), 18H (Hamilton), 18I (Hamilton), 18J (Hamilton), 18K (Hamilton), 18L (Hamilton) & 18M (Hamilton)
Directed investigation of an approved topic, available only to students enrolled in the BMS degree.

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS)

To complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Management Studies major, you'll need to pass 120 points at 200-level or above from one subject area, and include at least 60 points at 300-level or above, of which 40 points must be at 400-level. You'll also need to meet the specific requirements prescribed for any subject.

The specific requirements for Public Relations are that you must include:

  • MCOM233 Public Relations Practices
  • MCOM333 Public Relations Campaigns
  • MCOM335 Media and Public Relations
  • MCOM432 Professional and Public Relations Writing

And choose 40 points from:

  • MCOM220 Communication Theory and Research
  • MCOM231 Interpersonal Communication at Work
  • MCOM238 Communication, Health and Well-being
  • MCOM292 Business Communication
  • MCOM239 / 339 Events and Communication Management
  • MCOM330 / 430 Professional Speaking and Speechwriting
  • MCOM334 / 431 Negotiation and Persuasion
  • MCOM338 / 438 Communication Interventions
  • MCOM340 / 440 Communicating Social Change
  • MCOM376 / 476 Diversity Leadership
  • MCOM387 Communication Internship
  • MCOM390 Directed Study
  • MSYS353 / MSYS453 Smart Technologies and Social Media
  • MCOM490 Directed Study

If Public Relations is your second major, then you can count MNGT221 as a major paper for this subject.

Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours (BMS(Hons))

To complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours subject major, you'll need to pass 120 points at 200-level or above from one subject area. You must include at least 60 points at 300-level or above, which includes at least 40 points at 400-level or above and at least 30 points at 500-level. You must also meet the specific requirements for any subject.

The specific requirements for Public Relations are that you must include:

  • MCOM233 Public Relations Practices
  • MCOM333 Public Relations Campaigns
  • MCOM585 Public Relations: Context and Applications

And at least one of the following:

  • MCOM335 Media and Public Relations
  • MCOM432 Professional and Public Relations Writing

And choose 30 points from (see note below):

  • MCOM502 Managing Virtual Team Communication
  • MCOM503 Networking
  • MCOM504 Organisational Change and Communication
  • MCOM505 Internal Communication
  • MCOM506 Reputation Management
  • MCOM508 Communication for Investor Relations
  • MCOM566 Special Topic
  • MCOM584 Sustainable Futures
  • MCOM587 Communication Internship

If you are taking two majors you can count either the compulsory 599 or MNGT596 towards your WMS major papers provided it is approved as relevant to that major and you have included a further 30 points at 500-level in that major.

Don't forget, you must pass 120 points at 500-level for the qualification and submit a Portfolio of Achievement. If you have only selected 30 points at 500-level for your major, then a further 90 points at 500-level is required to meet this degree regulation.

Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS)

To complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Communication Studies subject major, you'll need to pass 120 points at 200-level or above from one subject area, and include at least 60 points at 300-level or above. You'll also need to meet the specific requirements prescribed for any subject.

The specific requirements for Public Relations are that you must include:

  • MCOM233 Public Relations Practices
  • MCOM235 Media and Public Relations
  • MCOM332 Professional and Public Relations Writing
  • MCOM333 Public Relations Campaigns

And choose 40 points from:

  • MCOM231 Interpersonal Communication at Work
  • MCOM238 Communication, Health and Well-being
  • MCOM292 Business Communication
  • MCOM239 / 339 Events and Communication Management
  • MCOM330 / 430 Professional Speaking and Speechwriting
  • MCOM334 / 434 Public Relations Cases
  • MCOM336 / 431 Negotiation and Persuasion
  • MCOM338 / 438 Communication Interventions
  • MCOM340 / 440 Communicating Social Change
  • MCOM376 / 476 Diversity Leadership
  • MCOM387 Communication Internship
  • MCOM390 Directed Study
  • MCOM399 Communication Investigation in the Workplace (see notes below)
  • MSYS353 / MSYS453 Smart Technologies and Social Media
  • MCOM490 Directed Study

If Public Relations is your second major then you can count MCOM220 as a major paper for this subject.

Please note: MCOM399 is only available if you are undertaking two of the following majors: Leadership Communication, Marketing, or Public Relations.

Bachelor of Communication Studies with Honours (BCS(Hons))

To complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Communication Studies with Honours, you'll need to pass 120 points at 500-level, include at least 60 points from one subject area and at least 30 points in research (Directed Study, Dissertation or Research Methods Papers), and submit a Portfolio of Achievement. You'll also need to meet the specific requirements prescribed for any subject.

The specific requirements for Public Relations are that you must include:

  • MCOM585 Public Relations: Context and Applications
  • MCOM584 Sustainable Futures

and choose no more than 60 points from:

  • MCOM502 Managing Virtual Team Communication
  • MCOM503 Networking
  • MCOM504 Organisational Change and Communication
  • MCOM505 Internal Communication
  • MCOM506 Reputation Management
  • MCOM508 Communication for Investor Relations
  • MCOM566 Special Topic
  • MCOM576 Intercultural Communication
  • MCOM579 Communication in Organisations
  • MCOM583 Leadership, Communication and Transformation
  • MCOM587 Communication Internship
  • MCOM590 Directed Study
  • MCOM591 Dissertation
  • MNGT501 Research Methods in Management Studies

Please note: If you fail a paper or papers (no more than 30 points), then you may repeat the paper once, or take an alternative paper. If you fail more than 30 points you will not be permitted to proceed with the degree.

Bachelor of Electronic Commerce (BECom)

To complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Electronic Commerce subject major, you'll need to pass 120 points at 200-level or above from one subject area, and include at least 60 points at 300-level or above. You'll also need to meet the specific requirements prescribed for any subject.

The specific requirements for Public Relations are that you must include:

  • MCOM233 Public Relations Practices
  • MCOM332 Professional and Public Relations Writing
  • MCOM333 Public Relations Campaigns
  • MSYS319 Industry Experience 2 (see note below)

Please note: If you are taking Public Relations as a second major for the BECom then MSYS319 may be replaced with another paper ticked as available for this qualification.

Public Relations as a second major

Even if you are enrolled in an undergraduate degree that doesn't list Public Relations as a major subject, you may normally still take it as a second major. In these circumstances you are required to pass 120 points at 200-level or above from one subject area, and include at least 60 points at 300-level or above. You must also include:

  • MCOM233 Public Relations Practices
  • MCOM235 Media and Public Relations
  • MCOM332 Professional and Public Relations Writing
  • MCOM333 Public Relations Campaigns

Graduate Certificate (GradCert)

To complete the requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations, you'll need to pass 60 points at 100-level or above and include at least 40 points at 300-level or above. At least 40 points must be from one subject area. You'll also need to meet the specific requirements prescribed for any subject.

There are no specific requirements for this subject.

Please note: You may need to meet any additional paper prerequisites unless a waiver is obtained and depending upon your programme of study.

Graduate Diploma (GradDip)

To complete the requirements for a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations, you'll need to pass 120 points at 100-level or above and include at least 80 points at 300-level or above, and pass the Writing Competency Module. You'll also need to meet the specific requirements prescribed for any subject.

The specific requirements for Public Relations are that you must include:

  • MCOM233 Public Relations Practices
  • MCOM332 Professional and Public Relations Writing
  • MCOM333 Public Relations Campaigns
  • MCOM335 Media and Public Relations

And choose 40 points from:

  • MCOM239/339 Events and Communication Management
  • MCOM334/434 Public Relations Cases
  • MCOM336/431 Negotiation and Persuasion
  • MCOM338/438 Communication Interventions
  • MCOM340/440 Communicating Social Change
  • MCOM376/476 Diversity Leadership
  • MSYS353/MSYS453 Smart Technologies and Social Media

Please note: You may need to meet any additional paper prerequisites unless a waiver is obtained and depending upon your programme of study.

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert)

To complete the requirements for a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Relations, you'll need to pass 60 points at 500-level from one subject area and meet the specific requirements prescribed for any subject.

The specific requirements for Public Relations are that you must meet with the department's Graduate Convenor to discuss an appropriate personal programme of study.

Please note: If you fail a paper then you may repeat it once. If you fail more than one paper, or you fail the same paper twice, then you will not be permitted to proceed with the Certificate. You may need to meet any additional paper prerequisites unless a waiver is obtained and depending upon your programme of study.

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip)

To complete the requirements for a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations, you'll need to pass 120 points at 500-level and submit a Portfolio of Achievement (see the Postgraduate Diploma qualification information for further details). You must also meet the specific requirements prescribed for any subject. You can choose to take up to 30 points from other graduate subjects with the permission of the department's Graduate Convenor.

The specific requirements for Public Relations are that you must meet with the department's Graduate Convenor to discuss an appropriate personal programme of study and include:

  • MCOM584 Sustainable Futures
  • MCOM585 Public Relations: Context and Applications

And choose no more than 60 points from:

  • MCOM502 Managing Virtual Team Communication
  • MCOM503 Networking
  • MCOM504 Organisational Change and Communication
  • MCOM505 Internal Communication
  • MCOM506 Reputation Management
  • MCOM508 Communication for Investor Relations
  • MCOM566 Special Topic
  • MCOM576 Intercultural Communication
  • MCOM579 Communication in Organisations
  • MCOM583 Leadership, Communication and Transformation
  • MCOM587 Communication Internship
  • MCOM590 Directed Study
  • MCOM591 Dissertation
  • MNGT501 Research Methods in Management Studies

Please note: If you fail more than 30 points you will not be permitted to proceed with the diploma. You may need to meet any additional paper prerequisites unless a waiver is obtained and depending upon your programme of study.

Master of Management Studies (MMS)

The completion requirements for the Master of Management Studies are dependent upon your admission criteria. Please refer to the qualification information for further details. However you'll need to:

  • Meet with the department's Graduate Convenor to discuss an appropriate personal programme of study and to ensure any specific subject requirements are met
  • Take MNGT501 Research Methods in Management Studies (unless passed previously)
  • Take a dissertation (591/592) or thesis (593/594) in your subject area
    Submit a Portfolio of Achievement (see MMS information for further details).
  • Meet the specific requirements prescribed for any subject

The specific requirements for Public Relations are that you must include (unless passed previously):

  • MCOM585 Public Relations: Context and Applications

You may choose any additional papers required from:

  • MCOM502 Managing Virtual Team Communication
  • MCOM503 Networking
  • MCOM504 Organisational Change and Communication
  • MCOM505 Internal Communication
  • MCOM506 Reputation Management
  • MCOM566 Special Topic
  • MCOM576 Intercultural Communication
  • MCOM579 Communication in Organisations
  • MCOM583 Leadership, Communication and Transformation
  • MCOM584 Sustainable Futures
  • MCOM587 Communication Internship
  • MCOM590 Directed Study

Please note: If you fail a paper or papers (no more than 30 points), then you may repeat the paper once, or take an alternative paper. If you fail more than 30 points you will not be permitted to proceed with the degree. You may need to meet any additional paper prerequisites unless a waiver is obtained and depending upon your programme of study.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Please contact the Department's Graduate Convenor.

Documents

Waikato Management School Student Handbook 2017

Contacts

Management Student Centre (MSC)

Phone: +64 838 4303 or 0800 654 303
Email: msc@waikato.ac.nz
Website: www.management.ac.nz/msc

Opening hours: 8.45am - 4.45pm Monday to Friday
Location: MSB.1.50, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton

One of the best times to pop into MSC is Open Advice Day, held every Wednesday from 10am to 2pm.

Public Relations subject convenors:

Dr Margalit Toledano
Senior lecturer in Public Relations
Email: toledano@waikato.ac.nz

Dr Alison Henderson
Senior lecturer in Public Relations
Email: alison@waikato.ac.nz