Journalism Major - Bachelor of Communication Studies

Develop the skills for a journalism career in today's rapidly changing media environment. Learn in AUT's industry standard media facilities and get experience in different news outlets.

The internet has transformed the content and delivery of news as blogging and vidblogs have changed the space that was traditionally the domain of professional journalists. But journalistic skills including quality writing, the ability to verify user-generated material, and a talent for interviewing are still needed to cut through the noise.

At AUT you gain experience in news reporting, different writing and production specialisations, bicultural reporting, cross-cultural reporting, news photography, media law and ethics. You learn on the job in our full-time newsroom, and are encouraged to participate in live reporting exercises. Many of our students also complete internships at leading news organisations and publications.

This is part of the Bachelor of Communication Studies.

You have many opportunities to contribute to the real world of news. This includes filing stories for different news outlets, experience of daily news journalism in our specialist media centre under the guidance of a media professional, and a two-week internship in a newsroom anywhere around the country. Editors know our students produce publishable work and strongly support our programme.

You also write, sub-edit and design stories for our award-winning Te Waha Nui newspaper and website and the Pacific Media Centre.

Most papers last one semester and are worth 15 points. Students must complete 120 points each year (360 points for the entire degree).

Te Waha Nui website

Pacific Media Centre website

Year 1

COMM502 Interpersonal Communication (15 points)
COMM505 Image and Sound (15 points)
COMM506 Media Production Workshop (30 points)
COMM509 Media Communication I (15 points)
JOUR501 Principles of Journalism (15 points)
PHIL580 Applied Media Ethics (15 points)

You must successfully complete Principles of Journalism to progress to the Journalism prerequisite papers in Year 2.

You also choose 15 points from the optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies.

Year 2

COMM601 Media Communication II (15 points)
COMM603 Intercultural Communication (15 points)
JOUR600 Journalism I: Structure, Form and Content (15 points)
JOUR601 Journalism II: Context, Audience and Reach (15 points)

You also choose 60 points from the optional papers below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies. We recommend that you take prerequisite papers from another major. If you want to take a minor, 30 points of these papers at level 6 can be in your minor subject area.

Year 3

COMM707 Media Communication III (15 points)
JOUR700 Journalism III: Depth, Speciality and Data (15 points)
JOUR701 Journalism IV: Investigations, Features and Profiles (15 points)
JOUR714 Journalism Law and Ethics (15 points)
JOUR715 Public Affairs Reporting (15 points)

You also choose 45 points from the optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies. If you want to take a minor, 30 points of these papers at level 7 can be in your minor subject area.

Optional papers

Level 5 papers

COMM507 Performance Communication (15 points)
COMM511 Introduction to Popular Culture (15 points)
MUSC500 Technology and Composition (15 points)
RADC501 Audio Production Techniques (15 points)
TVSP501 Screen Production Fiction I (15 points)

Level 6 papers

MARS603 Communications in Marketing, Advertising, Retailing, Sales (15 points)
MUSC600 Technology and Creative Expression (15 points)
TVSP600 Screen Production Fiction II (15 points)

Level 7 papers

ADVT773 Advanced Copywriting (15 points)
ADVT774 Selected Topics in Advertising Creativity (15 points)
ADVT775 Advanced Advertising Art Direction (15 points)
CIND703 Selected Topics in Creative Industries (15 points)
CIND706 Creative Marketplace (15 points)
CIND707 The Film Industries (15 points)
COMM703 Media and Politics (15 points)
COMM704 Promotional Culture (15 points)
COMM705 The Music Industries (15 points)
COMM710 Performance for Camera (15 points)
DIGM705 Selected Topics in Digital Media (15 points)
HIST770 Popular Monsters (15 points)
JOUR703 Data Journalism (15 points)
JOUR704 News Editing and Design (15 points)
JOUR705 Magazine Journalism (15 points)
JOUR706 Radio Journalism (15 points)
JOUR707 Photo Journalism (15 points)
JOUR708 Television Journalism (15 points)
JOUR709 Selected Topics in Journalism (15 points)
JOUR711 Reporting the Pacific Region (15 points)
JOUR712 Maori and Pasifika Media Industry (15 points)
MARS705 Trends and Innovations (15 points)
PUBL700 Communication in a Business Environment (15 points)
PUBL703 Selected Topics in Public Relations (15 points)
PUBL706 Sponsorship and Promotion (15 points)
RADC704 Radio and Society (15 points)
RADC705 Selected Topics in Radio (15 points)
TVSP702 Screenwriting: Drama (15 points)
TVSP703 Screenwriting: Documentary (15 points)
TVSP704 Advanced Studio Production (15 points)
TVSP705 Screen Interviews and Production (15 points)
TVSP707 Screen Production Management (15 points)
TVSP708 Selected Topics in Television and Screen Production (15 points)

More details about papers in this programme

Detailed programme structure and paper outlines (Blackboard)

Search for a paper (Arion)

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

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

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Journalism Careers

Key features
  • AUT trained journalists play leading roles in news outlets around the world
  • Workplace experience in different news outlets
  • Experience running a newsroom
  • Learn from staff who are internationally known for their industry expertise
See yourself as
  • A truth seeker
  • Inquisitive
  • A hunter of stories
  • Investigative and curious

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