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BCS - Public Relations as a major

The world is full of stories that need to be told. Get the up-to-date industry skills you need to become a Public Relations, Marketing or Communications specialist. Learn how to communicate with purpose, connect with people, influence/shape people's beliefs and behaviour, and help organisations and their leaders build trust and credibility.

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

Entry Requirements:

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

Years: 3.0
Points: 360
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $6,591 (approx) per year
Fees (International): $28,525 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 executive
  • Communications advisor/manager
  • Community liaison manager
  • Content writer
  • Digital and social media manager
  • Events and sponsorship manager
  • Internal communications advisor
  • Media relations adviser
  • Press secretary
  • Sponsorship/fundraising manager
  • Stakeholder and engagement manager

Degree Planner

Degree planner — BCS in Public Relations (single major)

Year 2

200 Level
Any Cultural Perspectives paper eg. MNMGT202

100 Level or above
Elective

200 Level
Elective

200 Level
Elective

Year 3

Choose one of
DIGIB301, LCOMM301, LCOMM303 or PUBRL303

300 Level
Work-Integrated Learning paper

200 Level or above
Elective*

200 Level or above
Elective

200 Level or above
Elective

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

Required papers

Open this section to read more

BCS field papers:

Year 3 papers:

Ninth major paper:

Students have the option to take a ninth major paper* instead of LCOMM300 Communication Strategies.
For Public Relations, you can choose one of the following as your ninth major paper:

However, because LCOMM300 is still compulsory, this would mean taking LCOMM300 instead of an Elective* paper in Year 3. Remember you need to take at least five 300-level papers to complete the BCS programme.

Work-Integrated Learning papers:

  • MNMGT395 Industry Experience
  • MNMGT396 A Management Internship: From Theory to Practice
  • MNMGT399 Report of an Investigation

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 is an exciting, fast-growing industry that involves using strategic communication to help an organisation maintain trusted relationships with its key stakeholders, seek to influence people's opinions or behaviour, and achieve its overall mission. If you enjoy writing and talking to different people, and love framing ideas in imaginative and engaging ways, then a career in PR may be right for you. It may also involve working with journalists, organising events, crisis/issues management, sponsorship and fundraising, government lobbying, and community/corporate relations.

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 and BMS(Hons) students may count one of MNMGT395, MNMGT396 or MNMGT399, 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. Students must complete PUBRL101.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ACCTN101Accounting for Management19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
This paper explains that accounting is an important social practice; an integral aspect of organisational management and covers both the technical aspects of the provision and use of accounting information.
ECONS101Business Economics and the New Zealand Economy19A (Hamilton), 19A (Secondary School - Unistart), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga), 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China) & 19S (Hamilton)
This paper offers insights into the behaviour of consumers, firms and the government within the economy, giving students skills in analysing and predicting the actions of individuals and businesses.
FINAN101Introduction to Finance19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga), 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China) & 19S (Hamilton)
This paper introduces the three core areas of finance -- financial management, investments, and capital markets and institutions. The paper also examines applications of corporate finance concepts to personal finance.
MGSYS101Integrated Thinking - Digital Business and Supply Chain Management19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga) & 19B (Hamilton)
This paper explores the dual concepts of digital business and supply chain management. The interactive lectures help in developing critical thinking skills and highlight many topical case studies.
MRKTG101Fundamentals of Successful Marketing19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China) & 19S (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on the role of Marketing in business, introducing students to marketing research, consumer behaviour, and analysis, as essential tools for developing brand positioning strategies that create value.
PUBRL101Introduction to Public Relations19A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to various kinds of tools and expertise used by public relations practitioners in their effort to build relationships between an organisation and its stakeholders.
STMGT101Introduction to Management19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga) & 19C (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
Explores the world of management in organisations, the roles of managers and how they strategise, plan, organise, and motivate staff to achieve goals.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
PUBRL201Media Relations and Publicity19B (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 Campaigns19B (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 Management19A (Hamilton) & 19T (Hamilton)
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 Writing19A (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
DIGIB301Creating Value with Social Media Analytics19B (Hamilton)
The paper offers advance concepts and techniques needed to extract hidden business insights from big social media data while developing critical thinking of social media security and privacy issues.
LCOMM300Communication Strategies19A (Hamilton)
This capstone paper gives students the opportunity to apply knowledge of communication theories and practices acquired throughout the course of their study by designing and implementing a communication strategy for a client.
LCOMM301Professional Speaking19B (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
LCOMM302Conflict and Negotiation19B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a foundation in conflict management in a variety of contexts and provides students with skills in leading negotiations in interpersonal, organisational, and multi-party settings.
MNMGT395Industry Experience19C (Online)
The industry experience course is a NET delivered course, which runs over the summer from early November to early February. Students search for and find their own host organisation, anywhere in the world, that agrees to take them on for 4 to 13 weeks during the summer period.
MNMGT396Management Internship19C (Hamilton)
The Management Internship provides students with the opportunity to apply their management discipline-based knowledge to an authentic project within an organisation.
MNMGT399Report of an Investigation19C (Hamilton)
This paper offers students the opportunity to complete a directed investigation of an approved topic relevant to an organisation or industry and in an area related to their management discipline of study.
PUBRL301Stakeholder and Community Engagement19A (Hamilton)
This paper is designed to develop capacity in students to develop and facilitate ethical collaborative communication and relationship engagement activities with a diverse range of stakeholders within communities.
PUBRL302Issues and Crisis Management19B (Hamilton)
PUBRL302 takes a case study approach to learning to understand and strategically adapt to a wide range of issues and to respond to crises that may threaten organisational viability and wellbeing.
PUBRL303Events Management19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga) & 19T (Hamilton)
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.

400 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
MNMGT495Industry Experience19C (Online)
The industry experience course is a NET delivered course, which runs over the summer from early November to early February. Students search for and find their own host organisation, anywhere in the world, that agrees to take them on for 4 to 13 weeks during the summer period.
MNMGT496Management Internship19C (Hamilton)
The Management Internship provides students with the opportunity to apply their management discipline-based knowledge to an authentic project within an organisation.
MNMGT499Report of an Investigation19C (Hamilton)
This paper offers students the opportunity to complete a directed investigation of an approved topic relevant to an organisation or industry and in an area related to their management discipline of study.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
LCOMM502Managing Virtual Team Communication19B (Online)
Managing and participating in teams is a feature of organisational life and the everyday workplace. Increasingly, work teams are dependent on communication technologies for effective communication. This paper investigates theory and practice of team communication with specific reference to the capacities of communication technologi...
LCOMM583Leadership, Communication and Transformation19A (Hamilton)
Our focus in this paper will be on leadership communication, or the ways leaders and followers interact and the ways leaders attempt to create and shape meanings through images and words. We will also explore a range of ideas about what it means to lead and the assumptions, beliefs, and values embedded and shaped in diverse leaders...
LCOMM584Sustainable Futures19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Online)
Individuals and organisations operate in contexts that are increasingly complex and uncertain. They face issues that are global in nature and which threaten long term sustainability. To successfully meet fast changing futures, contexts and stakeholders must be addressed. New styles of leadership and management are thus required, ac...
PUBRL591Public Relations Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
PUBRL592Public Relations Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
PUBRL593Public Relations Thesis19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
PUBRL594Public Relations Thesis19C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
PUBRL800Public Relations MPhil Thesis19C (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
PUBRL900Public Relations PhD Thesis19C (Hamilton) & 19C (Tauranga)
No description available.

Scholarships and prizes

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Public Relations as a 1st Major (Bachelor's degree)

Public Relations as a 2nd Major or Minor (Bachelor's degree)

Graduate qualifications

Postgraduate qualifications


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.