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Bachelor of Communication

If you are an international student who is not currently in New Zealand, you can start this programme online in C Trimester 2021 (November) or A Trimester 2022 (March) until you are able to join us on campus in New Zealand. See how to apply.

The world is full of stories that need to be told. Get the industry-relevant skills you need to become a communications specialist and digital storyteller using a wide range of technologies - from websites and apps through to films, podcasting and social media.

Waikato's Bachelor of Communication offers a choice of five subject majors in Applied Digital Communication, Creative Media, Public Relations, Marketing, and Media Production.

Learn how to create engaging multimedia content that helps people and organisations tell powerful stories in new ways, connect and engage with people, and communicate with purpose in the digital era.

This degree is an ideal choice if you’re a creative thinker who enjoys expressing ideas and talking to people, you're interested in the latest social trends and digital technology, and you want to produce content that blends writing, film, images, sound and websites.

Our graduates will be equipped with the versatile communication skills needed to launch exciting careers in a wide range of creative and media industries - marketing agencies, public relations, film and TV studios, web design, social media, gaming and virtual reality (VR), podcasting and mobile applications, and so much more. These kind of roles are available in private firms, central and local government, as well as not-for-profit community organisations.

In this degree, students will learn how to create digital communications that have the power to shape people’s beliefs and behaviours; or seek to bring about meaningful social change.

For example, you could be asked by a client to run a publicity campaign around mental health services, spark wider discussion around government legislation, attract new customers to buy a company’s new products/services, or help an organisation build trust and credibility. Which creative media tools should you harness to achieve this?

For this degree, you will gain expertise in one or more major subjects:

In first year, the core papers of this degree will introduce you to the fundamentals of communication, marketing, public relations and the creative industries.

You’ll also learn how to build and maintain positive relationships with key stakeholders, and consider different perspectives when communicating across cultures.

In later years, you’ll take more advanced papers focused on your major subject/s. For example, you could study web development, user experience design, transmedia storytelling, digital marketing, strategic brand management, film production, podcasting, interactive media design, events management, or PR campaigns.

Practical industry experience

In third year, all BC students will complete a work-integrated learning paper, known as COMMS300, 396 or 399. This is a great opportunity to gain practical industry experience working on real projects for a host organisation by completing either a communication consulting project, a workplace internship, or an applied research project.

Major and minor subjects

As part of this degree, you can opt to take a second major or 1-2 minors in almost any undergraduate subject offered at the University of Waikato, such as Creative Writing, Digital Business, or Political Science. See below the degree planner for more suggestions.

Why study communication at Waikato?

The University of Waikato is ranked in the world's top 200 universities for Communication and Media Studies (QS World University Subject Rankings 2021).

Waikato's Bachelor of Communication is the only communication degree in New Zealand – and one of only four outside the United States - certified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). This is your guarantee of a world-class learning experience, as the PRSA sets the gold standard for PR education.

You'll be studying at Waikato Management School, which is ranked in the top 1% of all business schools globally with its prestigious Triple Crown Accreditation from EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB.

World-leading alumni

Our graduates are highly regarded by employers - their creative ideas can help small or large organisations to stand out in a crowded marketplace. You’ll be following in the footsteps of prestigious Bachelor of Communication alumni such as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Briar Thompson at Boston Consulting Group, Kym Bradbury at IKEA Group, and TVNZ journalist Lucas de Jong.


      Apply to enrol

      Key information

      Entry Requirements:

      University Entrance, or its equivalent, or on a case-by-case basis.

      Years: 3
      Points: 360
      Study Locations:Hamilton
      Start Dates: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
      Estimated Fees* (Domestic): $6,913 per year
      See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
      Estimated Fees* (International): $30,260 per year
      Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
      Area of Study:
      *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.

      Degree Planner

      Degree planner — Bachelor of Communication (BC) - Single Major

      Year 2

      200 Level
      Major

      200 Level
      Major

      200 Level
      Major

      100 Level or above
      Elective or Minor

      200 Level
      Elective or Minor

      200 Level
      Elective or Minor

      Year 3

      300 Level
      Major

      300 Level
      Major

      300 Level
      Major

      300 Level
      Major

      300 Level
      Work-Integrated Learning: COMMS300, 396 or 399

      200 or 300 Level
      Elective or Minor

      200 or 300 Level
      Elective or Minor

      200 or 300 Level
      Elective or Minor

      • Major
      • Field
      • Elective
      This information is provisional and subject to change.

      Work-Integrated Learning papers:

      Choose one of:

      • COMMS300 Communication Consulting Project
      • COMMS396 Communication Internship
      • COMMS399 Report of an Investigation

      Degree planner — Bachelor of Communication (BC) - Double Major

      Year 2

      200 Level
      Major 1

      200 Level
      Major 1

      200 Level
      Major 1

      200 Level
      Major 2

      200 Level
      Major 2

      200 Level
      Major 2

      Year 3

      300 Level
      Major 1

      300 Level
      Major 1

      300 Level
      Major 1

      100 Level or above
      Any BC field paper

      300 Level
      Work-Integrated Learning: COMMS300, 396 or 399

      300 Level
      Major 2

      300 Level
      Major 2

      300 Level
      Major 2

      • Major
      • Field
      • Second Major
      This information is provisional and subject to change.

      Work-Integrated Learning papers:

      Choose one of:

      • COMMS300 Communication Consulting Project
      • COMMS396 Communication Internship
      • COMMS399 Report of an Investigation

      BC field papers

      Open this section to read more

      • Any Applied Digital Communication paper
      • Any Creative Media paper
      • Any Marketing paper
      • Any Media Production paper
      • Any Public Relations paper


      You have the option to include one or two minors focused on almost any subject as part of your degree programme, instead of taking a 2nd Major or eight elective papers.

      A minor is four papers (60 points) in the same subject, including at least two papers above 100-level, plus any required papers for that minor.


      Career opportunities

      • Advertising account executive
      • Brand and campaign manager
      • Communications advisor
      • Community engagement manager
      • Digital content writer
      • Digital strategist
      • Creative art director
      • Digital marketing specialist
      • Documentary film producer
      • Events manager
      • Film or television producer
      • Game designer
      • Interactive media artist
      • Marketing/sales manager
      • Internal communications manager
      • Market researcher
      • Media relations advisor
      • Multimedia journalist
      • Podcaster
      • Press secretary
      • Product category manager
      • Producer - film, TV, web series
      • Public relations manager
      • Social media advisor
      • Sound designer
      • Sponsorship/fundraising manager
      • User experience (UX) designer
      • Web designer/developer
      • Web editor

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

      Read stories from other Bachelor of Communication students


      Scholarships and prizes

      New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

      Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

      Find your scholarship


      Graduate or postgraduate study lets you develop advanced knowledge in an area of management that you are passionate about, giving you an edge in the job market.

      Choose from the following options:

      For more information about the best study pathway for you, please talk to an adviser in the Management Student Centre (MSC).


      Prepare yourself for a global business career and broaden your horizons by going on an overseas student exchange to one of our partner universities in Europe, Asia, North America or Mexico. You can study overseas for 1-2 semesters, pay your usual Waikato tuition fees, and then credit the points back to your BCS degree.

      An overseas exchange will enhance your personal development, enable you to explore new places and cultures, and make your CV stand out to employers.

      We strongly encourage our students to apply for the Waikato Management School International Exchange Scholarship, offered twice a year and worth up to $2,500.

      If you’re planning to go to Asia, you can apply for a Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia.


      Student experience at Waikato

      A great way to meet other like-minded people is through student clubs, such as:


      Regulations for the BC

      Read the full Regulations for the Bachelor of Communication in the University of Waikato Calendar.


      Contacts

      Have a chat with one of our friendly advisers to help you plan your degree.

      Student Centre
      Phone: 0800 WAIKATO (0800 924 528) or 07 838 4176
      Email: [email protected]

      Have a chat with one of our friendly advisers to help you plan your degree.

      Phone: +64 7 8384610
      Email: [email protected]

      Enquire Now