Radio Major - Bachelor of Communication Studies

Radio is a fast-paced and dynamic medium. It is often the first to break the news and for many listeners it is the primary source of entertainment and information. Radio is at the forefront of popular culture – delivering music, opinion and information to ever more savvy audiences. Today’s radio stations are also developing an increasingly sophisticated online presence and creating new ways to interact with audiences.

The Radio major in the Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) helps you develop the skills to become a multi-skilled, well-grounded, adaptable and creative broadcaster ready to enter the radio industry.

  • Only university-based qualification in radio in New Zealand
  • A mix of creativity and theory, performance skills, and radio station operations and management
  • Practical experience in radio studio production and ability to plan and present on-air radio shows, including pre-planning and recording voice tracks
  • Practical experience in music scheduling software and the techniques for running and presenting an on-air radio programme
  • Develop a detailed understanding of radio as a business in the New Zealand radio market; including establishment costs, the frequency spectrum, programming, radio formats, surveys, publicity and promotions
  • Access to professionally equipped radio workstations and a radio production room in the new WG learning precinct
  • Chances to broadcast your work and work with the latest equipment
  • Guest lecturers include top industry representatives from Radio New Zealand, RadioWorks, The Radio Network and The Radio Bureau
  • Run Static 88.1fm (AUT’s student radio station) in Year 3, along with other students

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.

Years 2 and 3
You will be engaged in a range of professional tasks: announcing, writing and selling commercials, writing features, recording and producing items for broadcast, researching and presenting documentaries, compiling and presenting news and organising station and client promotions.

You will get to know the business of radio and how both public and private broadcasters operate behind the scenes. You will gain significant knowledge and experience of radio as an enterprise, a media form, a practice and a vocation.

During these years you will run an FM and online radio station with other Radio students. You will be onair and also involved with the day-to-day management of the station; creating the format, managing the playlists, selling advertising, writing features and commercials, promoting and marketing the station and its clients and learning how to work as a team in a fast-paced and highly creative media enterprise.

Year 2 papers
Level 6:
146719 Intercultural Communication (15 points)

146723 Media Communication IIA (15 points)

146712 Radio Production I (15 points)

146754 Radio Production II (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
Level 7:
147717 Media Communication III (15 points)
147757 Research Project Radio (15 points)
147758 Radio Performance (30 points)
147760 Applied Radio Techniques (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

  • Announcer
  • Copywriter
  • Account executive
  • Media planner
  • Music director
  • Music programmer
  • Producer
  • Production engineer
  • Programme director
  • Promotions manager
  • Radio journalist
  • Record company representative
  • Station manager
  • Studio engineer
  • Television presenter
  • Website content manager

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.