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BC - Public Relations as a major

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.

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
Points: 360
Start Dates: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
Estimated Fees* (Domestic): $7,821 per year
Estimated Fees* (International): $34,695 per year
Entry Requirements: Undergraduate International
Area of Study:
All amounts are in New Zealand Dollars (NZD). *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 — BC in Public Relations

* If you taking the BC with a double major, choose the higher level paper indicated in the box.

Year 3

Choose one:

Choose one:

200 or 300 Level
BC field paper

200 or 300 * Level

200 or 300 * Level

200 or 300 * Level

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

Paper details

  • MRKTG101 Fundamentals of Successful Marketing
  • STMGT101 Introduction to Management
  • PUBRL302 Issues and Crisis Management
  • PUBRL303 Events Management
  • PUBRL304 Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Licence

Jacinda Ardern 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 (BBus), the Bachelor of Climate Change (BCC), the Bachelor of Communication (BC) and the Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours (BMS(Hons))[1]. Public Relations may also be included as a second major or minor in other undergraduate degrees, subject to approval of the Division in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Public Relations as a single major for the BBus, BC or BCC, 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 MRKTG101 or STMGT101; PUBRL201, PUBRL204, PUBRL205, PUBRL305, 30 points from PUBRL302, PUBRL303, PUBRL304 and one of WSOMM396 or WSOMM399.

To complete Public Relations as part of a double major for the BBus, BC, BCC, 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 MRKTG101 or STMGT101; PUBRL201, PUBRL204, PUBRL205, PUBRL302, PUBRL304 and PUBRL305.

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.


[1] There will be no new enrolments into the BMS(Hons) from 2024. Students who commenced a BMS(Hons) in 2023 or prior should contact the Waikato Management School for programme advice.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
MRKTG101Fundamentals of Successful Marketing15.024A (Hamilton), 24A (Online), 24A (Tauranga), 24B (Hamilton), 24B (Hamilton Waikato College), 24B (Online), 24C (Hamilton Waikato College), 24G (Hamilton), 24VB (National Economics University, Vietnam) & 24X (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
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 Relations15.024A (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 Management15.024A (Hamilton), 24B (Hamilton), 24B (Tauranga), 24VA (National Economics University, Vietnam), 24W (Hamilton Waikato College), 24X (Hamilton Waikato College) & 24X (Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou China)
Managing in organisations, small and large, in changing local and international business environments requires knowledge, skills, and abilities of who managers are, what managers do, and how they can make a difference to organisational performance, competitive position, and sustainability over time. This paper introduces students t...

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
PUBRL201Media Relations and Publicity15.024B (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 Communication15.024A (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.
PUBRL204Contemporary Public Relations Writing15.024A (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.
PUBRL205Internal Communication and Organisational Change15.024B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to communication as central to organisational practices. It provides theoretical and practical insights to equip students to identify, analyse, and respond to communication challenges in contemporary organisations.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
PUBRL301Stakeholder and Community Engagement15.0No occurrences
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 Management15.024B (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 Management15.024A (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.
PUBRL304Corporate Social Responsibility and Social License15.024A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the concepts and practices of corporate social responsibility, and the associated need for organisations to establish their social license to operate. Without such a license, organisational legitimacy is threatened.
PUBRL305Public Relations Campaigns15.024B (Hamilton)
Public Relations Campaigns is the capstone course in the public relations major. It develops students' strategic approach to public relations challenges and hone their communication skills as well as ability to build trustworthy relationships with their organisation stakeholders. PUBRL305 is a practice-oriented paper that helps stu...
WSOMM396Management Internship15.024A (Hamilton), 24A (Tauranga), 24B (Hamilton), 24B (Tauranga), 24C (Hamilton), 24C (Tauranga) & 24VB (Internet National Economics University, Vietnam)
The Management Internship provides students with the opportunity to apply their management discipline-based knowledge to an authentic project within an organisation.
WSOMM399Report of an Investigation15.024A (Hamilton), 24A (Tauranga), 24B (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
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 Points Occurrence / Location
LCOMM583Leadership, Communication and Transformation30.024A (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 Futures30.024B (Hamilton)
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 Dissertation30.024X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
PUBRL592Public Relations Dissertation60.024X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
PUBRL593Public Relations Thesis90.024X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
PUBRL594Public Relations Thesis120.024X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
PUBRL800Public Relations MPhil Thesis120.024X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
PUBRL900Public Relations PhD Thesis120.024I (Hamilton), 24J (Hamilton), 24K (Hamilton), 24X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
No description available.

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Graduate study options


Management Student Centre (MSC)
Level One - Waikato Management School

Phone: +64 7 838 4303
Email: [email protected]

Opening hours: 8.30am - 5,00pm Monday to Friday
Location: MSB.1.50, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato, Hamilton