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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.


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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:
*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.

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

Stakeholder and
Community Engagement (PUBRL301, not offered 2018)

Issues and Crisis
Management (PUBRL302, not offered 2018)

One of:
DIGIB301, LCOMM301, LCOMM303, or PUBRL303

Communication
Strategies (LCOMM300, not offered 2018)

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

Jacinda Ardern Newly minted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern completed a Bachelor of Communication Studies at Waikato Management School in 2001.

Read stories from other Public Relations students


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.

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Public Relations as a single major for the BBus, BCS or BMS(Hons)

If you wish to take Public Relations as a single major for the BBus, BCS or BMS(Hons), you'll need to pass 135 points (9 papers) in this subject area, including at least 105 points above 100-level and 60 points above 200-level.

As all papers are 15 points, you will need to complete 2 x 100-level, 3 x 200-level and 4 x 300-level papers for your major. No more than three 200-level papers may be included in this major.

The specific requirements for a single major in Public Relations are that you must take the following 9 papers:

  • PUBRL101 Introduction to Public Relations
  • PUBRL201 Media Relations and Publicity
  • PUBRL202 Health Communication Campaigns
  • PUBRL204 Contemporary Public Relations Writing
  • PUBRL301 Stakeholder and Community Engagement
  • PUBRL302 Issues and Crisis Management
  • One of the following papers:
    • ACCTN101 Accounting for Management
    • ECONS101 Business Economics and the New Zealand Economy
    • FINAN101 Introduction to Finance
    • MGSYS101/201 Integrated Thinking – Digital Business and Supply Chain Management
    • MRKTG101 Fundamentals of Successful Marketing
    • STMGT101 Introduction to Management
  • Remaining papers are selected from:
    • DIGIB301 Social Media Analytics
    • LCOMM301 Professional Speaking
    • PUBRL303 Events Management
    • LCOMM303 Leading Social Change
  • Bachelor of Business (BBus): The BBus single major requirements state that you must include MNMGT495/6/9 Industry Experience/Internship/Report of an Investigation as part of your major.
  • Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS): The BCS single major requirements state that you must include LCOMM300 Communication Strategies as part of your major.
  • Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours (BMS(Hons)): The BMS(Hons) honours stream requires you to include a further 60 points at 500-level in papers that are relevant for your first major (see the degree planner for details).

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

To complete the Bachelor of Communication Studies with Honours, you'll need to pass 120 points at 500-level, including at least 60 points from the subject area of Public Relations, and at least 30 points in research (Directed Study, Dissertation or Research Methods Papers).

You will also need to submit a Portfolio of Achievement (see BCS(Hons) qualification information for further details).

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
  • 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

Public Relations as a 2nd Major with any bachelor's degree

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. If Public Relations is your second major then you must pass 120 points in this subject, including at least 90 points above 100- level, of which at least 45 points must be above 200-level.

As all papers are 15 points, you would therefore complete two x 100-level, three x 200-level and three x 300-level for each major.

The specific requirements for the 2nd Major in Public Relations are that you must take the following 8 papers:

  • PUBRL101 Introduction to Public Relations
  • PUBRL201 Media Relations and Publicity
  • PUBRL202 Health Communication Campaigns
  • PUBRL204 Contemporary Public Relations Writing
  • PUBRL301 Stakeholder and Community Engagement
  • PUBRL302 Issues and Crisis Management
  • One of the following papers:
    • DIGIB301 Social Media Analytics
    • LCOMM301 Professional Speaking
    • PUBRL303 Events Management
    • LCOMM340 Leading Social Change
  • One of the following papers:
    • DIGIB301 Social Media Analytics
    • LCOMM301 Professional Speaking
    • PUBRL303 Events Management
    • LCOMM340 Leading Social Change

Public Relations as a Minor subject with any bachelor's degree

To complete a minor in Public Relations, you must complete 60 points, including at least 30 points above 100-level from PUBRL papers.

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

  • PUBRL101 Introduction to Public Relations

Graduate Certificate (GradCert) in Public Relations

To complete the requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations, you'll need to pass 60 points at 100-level, including at least 45 points at 300-level or above. At least 45 points must be from the subject area of Public Relations.

Papers can be chosen from those ticked for this qualification in the tick-chart table. For full details of available papers visit papers.waikato.ac.nz/subjects/PUBRL

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) in Public Relations

To complete the requirements for a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations, you'll need to pass 8 papers (120 points) at 100-level or above, including at least 5 papers (75 points) at 300-level or above. At least 6 papers (90 points) must be from the subject area of Public Relations.

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

For full details of available papers visit papers.waikato.ac.nz/subjects/PUBRL

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) in Public Relations

To complete the requirements for a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Relations, you'll need to pass 60 points at 500-level in the subject area of Public Relations.

Papers can be chosen from those ticked for this qualification in the tick-chart table. For full details of available papers visit papers.waikato.ac.nz/subjects/PUBRL

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

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Public Relations

To complete the requirements for a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations, you'll need to pass 120 points at 500-level, including at least 90 points from the subject area of Public Relations.

You will also need to submit a Portfolio of Achievement (see the Postgraduate Diploma qualification information for further details).

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

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

And choose no more than 60 points from:

  • MCOM502 Managing Virtual Team 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: 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) in Public Relations

The completion requirements for the Master of Management Studies depend on your admission criteria. Please refer to the qualification information for further details. However all students must:

  • 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
  • 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

For full details of available papers visit papers.waikato.ac.nz/subjects/PUBRL

Please note: 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


Contacts

Management Student Centre (MSC)

Phone: +64 7 838 4303
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