Media and Communication


Certificate in Arts
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Graduate Diploma in Arts
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts
Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism
Master of Arts
Master of Strategic Communication
Doctor of Philosophy

Bachelor of Commerce (minor only)

Arts internship

Dr Stephen Hardman, UC Internships Coordinator, with UC students Vanessa de Silva (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film) and Anna Brow (BA in Media and Communication and LLB) who conducted an Arts internship in filmmaking and event management at EPIC Centre through the Ministry of Awesome, Christchurch.


From the uprisings in Ukraine and the Middle East, to your relationship with friends on Snapchat – media are changing the world. Media and Communication as a subject of study enables you to be a part of understanding these profound societal shifts. This subject examines the influence and impact of the media and new information technologies.

Why study Media and Communication at UC?

The spectacular growth of Media and Communication at UC since its introduction fifteen years ago reflects the robust growth of media as a profession and the strength of our internationally recognised staff.

Unlike other media departments in New Zealand, our curriculum is designed to provide students with a critical understanding of how communication and media work within the broader context of society, power and culture. The programme draws on both the arts and social sciences to build a degree that teaches students how to think about media critically and also how to create thoughtful, analytical media content.

Guest speakers

The Media and Communication department's close relationship with professional media ensures numerous visits by guest speakers from the industry and associated industry organisations. Internationally renowned professors from all over the world visit the department every semester, giving public presentations, research seminars, and guest lectures. Some recent fellows came from Cardiff University, University of Florida, George Washington University, University of Helsinki, University of Bradford, and the Danish School of Media and Journalism. Many of these collegial partners are also available for mentoring – and are wonderful international contacts for our students.


See all Media and Communication courses

100-level courses

Students who wish to major in Media and Communication need to have taken at least two of the three 100-level COMS courses offered:

200-level and beyond

Media and Communication courses at 200 and 300-level cover a wide range of topics including media audiences, advertising, visual communication, broadcasting, media and politics, international issues in mass communication, media representations, public relations campaigns, media and conflict, media and social change, and the study of journalists at work.

Further study

The Bachelor of Arts with Honours is designed to turn students into investigative thinkers who are ready for a career in media and communication or further study. Applicants should have no less than a B average in Media and Communication at 300-level. The core honours course (COMS401 Media Research Project) teaches research, presentation and publication skills. Four honours courses also comprise the first year of a Master of Arts degree

UC's strongly vocational Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism is a central component to our department offerings and equips students with important journalistic skills needed in the media industry, be it a career in print, broadcast or online journalism. Students receive intensive training in media ethics and law, news gathering and writing, research and analysis, and multimedia reporting.

The new Master of Strategic Communication* offers students writing and editorial knowledge for a range of complex professional media, such as in business, public relations and advocacy. Students will also have the opportunity for internship work placements within local organisations as part of this one-year programme.

Master's and PhD students work closely with our internationally recognised academic staff.

* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2018.

Career opportunities

Media and Communication courses are an excellent preparation for a career in a communication industry or profession, from the news media to marketing or government communication. While many Media and Communication graduates enter careers directly related to their studies, some graduates tend to initially enter careers that seek university graduates of any discipline, but which offer ample opportunity to use their knowledge, skills and perspectives on communication in society.

Many organisations place a high value on people who can develop relationships between media and the public as well as manage internal communications. These same skills are also valued by government departments and agencies, both in liaising with the public and in developing policy.

Media and Communication graduates are employed in media, commerce, local and central government, education, research, arts/culture/design, tourism, museums, libraries, IT and telecommunications, social services, international affairs, management and business.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Media and Communication.

More information

School of Language, Social and Political Sciences

Phone +64 3 369 3377

6th Floor, Locke Building - see campus maps

Postal address
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Emily Spink

Emily Spink

'As a reporter I'm privileged to be able to connect with people and places...'

Kairi Matsunaga

Kairi Matsunaga

'There are a variety of courses at UC, I believe that motivated me in many ways...'