AUT - Public Relations Major - Bachelor of Communication Studies


Public Relations Major - Bachelor of Communication Studies

Public relations is the professional management of external and internal communications to build the reputation of a wide variety of organisations and causes. Today’s professional communicators manage the relationships of nations, cities, governments, corporations, charities and communities.

Two pathways are available through the Public Relations major in the Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) – public relations and professional communication. Modern organisations need expert writers and speakers to ensure excellent internal and external communication.

The standard public relations pathway produces communication managers who work in public relations, marketing, human resources, politics, journalism and general management. The professional communication pathway focuses on persuasive written and oral communication skills, research within organisational contexts, coaching and supervision of writing, and communication to diverse communities.

Standard Public Relations Pathway

Professional Communication Pathway

  • Acquire an in-depth understanding of employee relations and internal communication, research and present seminars, and work with industry mentors to analyse a live communication project.
  • Learn about investor relations, business communication and the management of people and organisations in at least one professional/ industry sector
  • Develop skills to select appropriate communication technology and apply it to support professional activities, with a focus on ethical responsibility and accountability while operating in a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Learn to work effectively in bicultural, multicultural and international contexts

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.

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)

SELECT a further 30 points from optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies.

Year 2
You will be introduced to the principles of public relations where you will produce a group proposal for a not-for profit organisation. You will also be introduced to various forms of media-writing and professional writing genres.

Level 6:
146719 Intercultural Communication (15 points)
146723 Media Communication IIA (15 points)
146718 Public Relations Communication (15 points)
146761 Writing for Professionals (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
All students study the core paper, Media Communication III. You then choose the remaining papers from a range of papers pertinent to the pathway you have selected.


Level 7:
147717 Media Communication III (15 points)

SELECT 60 points from:
147718 Reputation Management (15 points)
147720 People and Organisations (15 points)
147723 Persuasive Communication (15 points)
147828 Producing Professional Documents (15 points)
147829 Professional Communication Practice (15 points)
147840 Public Relations Strategy and Practice (30 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

  • Corporate communication executive
  • Human resource coordinator
  • Public relations consultant
  • Marketing communications executive
  • Government communicator
  • Internal communications advisor in the public or private sector
  • Professional communications writer
  • Media relations manager
  • Community relations manager

Last updated: 13-Aug-2014 11.08am

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

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