Journalism Major - Bachelor of Communication Studies

Today’s rapidly changing news media environment requires journalists with a professional focus who know how to find, write and produce news using today's multimedia technologies, and have a solid grounding in broad communication theory.

The Journalism major in the Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) equips you with the skills to write stories for real publications and deliver breaking news. You will gain experience in news reporting, different writing and production specialisations, bicultural reporting, crosscultural reporting, news photography, media law and ethics.

  • Opportunity to work on AUT's award winning Te Waha Nui newspaper in print and online
  • Practical experience: run a real newsroom in your final year and undertake one of a range of internships in news media outlets to prepare you for working in the news industry
  • Core papers cover news gathering, court and local government systems and how to take notes in shorthand
  • A wide range of elective options, including broadcast journalism, magazine journalism, photojournalism, new media journalism, editing and design, and news production
  • Access to the journalism newsroom
  • You will have the opportunity to work together with students from other majors in the new media centre, a collaborative media studio in AUT's new WG learning precinct
  • Entry to the Journalism major is competitive and is based on the academic results achieved in the Year 2 Journalism papers.
More information about the Bachelor of Communication Studies


Most papers last one semester and are worth 15 points. Students must complete 120 points each year (360 points for the entire degree). In each year students study core (compulsory) papers, and select other papers from a range of options.

Year 1
Introduces essential theory and practice as a basis for later specialisation. This focuses on media and interpersonal communication and the relationships between communication, technology and New Zealand society. Students must successfully complete Principles of Journalism in Year 1 in order to progress to the Journalism prerequisite papers in Year 2.

Level 5:
145701 Interpersonal Communication (15 points)
145708 Media Communication I (15 points)
145717 Image and Sound (15 points)
145718 Media Production Workshop (30 points)
285008 Applied Media Ethics (15 points)
145727 Principles of Journalism (15 points)

SELECT a further 15 points from optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies.

Years 2 and 3
During their studies in journalism, students have many opportunities to contribute to the real world of news. This includes filing stories for Auckland’s newspapers, a week-long field trip working at a provincial newsroom and finally a 2-week internship in a newsroom anywhere around the country. Editors know our students produce publishable work and continue to strongly support our programme.

Year 2 papers
Level 6:
146719 Intercultural Communication (15 points)
146723 Media Communication IIA (15 points)
146752 Principles of Broadcast Journalism (15 points)
JOUR600 News Reporting (15 points)

SELECT a further 60 points from optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies. Students are recommended to take prerequisite papers from another major. If you wish to take a minor, 30 points of these papers at level 6 may be in your minor subject area.

Year 3 papers
Level 7:
147717 Media Communication III (15 points)

147830 Journalism Law and Ethics (15 points)

147831 Public Affairs Reporting (15 points)

JOUR700 Advanced News Reporting (15 points)

JOUR701 News Desk Assignment (15 points)

SELECT a further 45 points from optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies. If you wish to take a minor, 30 points of these papers at level 7 may be in your minor subject area.

Level 5:
145705 Principles of Writing (15 points)

145719 Introduction to Popular Culture (15 points)

145720 Performance Communication (15 points)

145724 Audio Production Techniques (15 points)

145726 Screen Narrative Production (15 points)

915404 Sound Production (15 points)

915405 Technology and Composition (15 points)

Level 6:
116232 Photography (15 points)
916100 Technology and Creative Expression (15 points)
ADVT602 Media Psychology, Strategy and Planning (15 points)
TVSP600 Screen Production Practice (15 points)

Level 7:
147723 Persuasive Communication (15 points)
147732 Editing and Design (15 points)
147734 Magazine Journalism (15 points)
147777 The Music Industries (15 points)
147786 Advanced Studio Production (15 points)
147788 Performance for Camera (15 points)
147789 Radio Journalism (15 points)
147790 Photo Journalism (15 points)
147791 Television Journalism (15 points)
147792 Advanced Copywriting (15 points)
147803 Writing for the Studio (15 points)
147804 Screen Production Management (15 points)
147805 Selected Topics in Advertising Creativity (15 points)
147806 Selected Topics in Creative Industries (15 points)
147807 Selected Topics in Journalism (15 points)
147808 Selected Topics in Digital Media (15 points)
147809 Selected Topics in Public Relations (15 points)
147810 Selected Topics in Radio (15 points)
147811 Selected Topics in Television and Screen Production (15 points)
147813 Radio and Society (15 points)
147816 Promotional Culture (15 points)
147817 Broadcast Interviews and Production (15 points)
147825 Reporting the Pacific Region (15 points)
147826 Maori and Pasifika Media Industry (15 points)
147827 Sponsorship and Promotion (15 points)
147832 Advanced Advertising Art Direction (15 points)
147836 Creative Marketplace (15 points)
147837 Creative Industries and Film (15 points)
ADVT702 Specialist Forms of Advertising (15 points)
JOUR702 Mobile Journalism (15 points)
JOUR703 Data Journalism (15 points)
PUBL700 Communication in a Business Environment (15 points)
TVSP702 Screenwriting: Drama (15 points)

TVSP703 Screenwriting: Non-Fiction (15 points)

Click here to view programme structure and paper outlines.

Additional course information can also be found here.

Enrolment in papers is subject to meeting all requirements and availability of papers.

Career opportunities 

  • News reporter for newspapers, magazines, television, radio or online media
  • Freelance journalist
  • Specialist writer
  • Production journalist
  • Web editor

Last updated: 28-Jan-2015 2.37pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.