The Political Communication major within the Bachelor of Communication is an ideal major for those wanting to be directly part of the political process and help advance social change.
Students will develop key knowledge and communication skills to cover a multitude of political topics, such as policy development, international relations, public health risks, environmental issues, economical change, and foreign crises. The ability to gather and analyse data, and translate these for the public and stakeholders, is an important component of Political Communication.
This major offers particular training in ethical media practice related to managing political communication, including crisis, risk, and reputational communications to alleviate negative reaction, engaging the community in politics, advocacy campaigns, data analytics, and an understanding of how media can impact politics, and public perceptions.
There is a focus on both local Aotearoa New Zealand political communication practices and on global politics, which prepares students for a career in either space.
The degree’s strong emphasis in applied learning gives students the opportunity to take part in industry projects on real-world political cases, and also internship roles in local communities.
- UC’s experts in Media and Communication actively participate in research and critique of Aotearoa New Zealand’s media practices, for example in political news, health research communications, activist and social change communications, crisis communications, and social media ethical practice.
- UC is internationally renowned for its experts in political science, especially in areas such as humanitarian rights and intervention, EU and European politics, Chinese politics, East Asian and South East Asian politics, international relations, and environmental policies.
- Practical courses give opportunities to lead your own industry project and engage with the community, or undertake a supervised internship with one of UC’s local contacts.
- This flexible degree allows students to take elective courses that will further shape their communications skills and political knowledge, for example in international politics and relations, economics, languages, and social psychology.
This major is open to all students and no previous study is required. However, secondary school studies in English, history, social studies, and media studies are particularly useful. A good standard of oral and written English is important.
Students will take 165 points of compulsory courses for the Bachelor of Communication throughout their degree.
Courses towards Political Communication begin in your second year, and offer advanced applied practice in understanding the impact media has on politics, making professional judgements in risk or reputational communications, and ethical practice in political reporting.
- COMS 205 Media and Politics
- COMS 232 Risk and Crisis Communication (offered in 2020 – this course will cover detailed planning of communications in situations of disaster, company reputation, health and safety, and other types of risk. This includes skills in public relations, data analysis, and crafting of public messaging.)
The other points are made up of optional courses from the Bachelor of Arts Schedule (at least 30 points) and optional courses from any bachelor’s degrees at UC.
Students may find taking courses in Political Science and International Relations, European and European Union Studies, Criminal Justice, Human Services, and Sociology alongside their major particularly useful.
With their expertise in policies, media impact, and communicating complex information to a range of audiences, graduates of the Political Communication major are well equipped for roles in government, non-profit sectors, business, journalism, and creative communication industries. Political Communication graduates will have the ability to work in a variety of settings globally.
They would make ideal communication advisors or consultants, data analysts, political commentators, marketers, and public relations coordinators.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
6th Floor, Locke Building - see campus maps
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Browse related subjects to Political Communication
Choose an area that you are interested in and learn how UC's extensive range of study options can let you study what you want to.
News media continue to expand into multiple different forms of reporting, storytelling, and media platforms, and there is a growing need for graduates with ...