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University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Communication

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Canterbury


The Bachelor of Communication (BC) is an applied communication degree, developing a broad skillset in media content production, planning, and research in international and national contexts.

Communication has experienced rapid growth in the digital environment. Graduates with skills across communication platforms, who can use data and who are creative and critical thinkers, are in demand in professional communication. More widely, Aotearoa New Zealand employers are seeking graduates with skills as public communicators and who can engage with wider communities.

Students will have the opportunity to use a variety of communication technologies, including digital, audio and visual, and social media. They will be able to apply critical thinking skills to a range of forms of journalism, creative projects, and communications scenarios, including to different audiences, and to meet the strategic goals of corporates and drivers of social change.

This degree combines expertise in communication with courses in Digital Humanities, Marketing, Management, Media and Communication, and Maori and Indigenous Studies, as well as the College of Arts internship programme.

The Bachelor of Communication is made up of 360 points:

  • 165 points of compulsory core courses
  • 90-105 points of major courses
  • 30 points from Arts courses
  • up to 75 points of optional courses from any bachelor’s degree at UC.

At least 225 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level.

To graduate with a Bachelor of Communication you must complete the requirements of at least one of these major subjects:

  • Communication Strategy and Practice
  • Journalism
  • Political Communication
  • Tauwhitinga Maori: Maori Communication Strategy and Practice

Double degrees

It is possible to combine the Communication degree with other degrees.

Further study

Students may choose to go onto the Bachelor of Arts with Honours or the Master of Arts in Media and Communication. UC also offers a Graduate Diploma in Journalism, a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Communication, a Master of Strategic Communication, and a Master of Writing.

Students may also go onto the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Media and Communication, or Journalism.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the Bachelor of Communication meet a growing need for communicators in media, creative industries, government, and iwi organisations. Many employers are seeking graduates that have applied knowledge in new and emerging media, collection and usage of data, media ethical practice, critical thinking, and analysis skills. Employers are increasingly telling us they want graduates who are competent in bicultural contexts.

Job titles can include public and stakeholder relations, advertising and marketing, media management and production, journalism, public opinion research, social media management, crisis communications, publications, events and project management, iwi organisations, non-profits, and government.

Graduates will also be suited to roles in business management and strategy, especially in the Aotearoa New Zealand context, with their extensive experience in biculturalism, project management, and communicating corporate goals to the public.

Entry criteria

Applicants must have completed New Zealand University Entrance through NCEA; or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE); or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or any other equivalent overseas qualification.

Recommended preparation

The Bachelor of Communication is open to all students with entry to the University and without previous study in the area. A good standard of oral and written English is important.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 80, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 50, and no communicative skills score below 42.

Undergraduate application deadline: Semester 1 (February start) by 31 October; Semester 2 (July start) by 30 April.

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