Public Relations Major - Bachelor of Communication Studies

First impressions make a huge impact. How did you find out about your latest cell phone or a new night club? Chances are, it was the work of a public relations (PR) team.

Public relations communicators plan, develop and manage communication and media strategies for organisations and people, from businesses and communities to nations and celebrities.

We have strong ties with the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) and public relations consultancies like Porter Novelli, Acumen, Botica Butler Raudon PR, Mango, Network Communication, Professional Public Relations, and Sparkactivate.


This is part of 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).

Year 1

You also choose 30 points from the optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies.

Year 2

You also choose 60 points from the optional papers listed 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

This year, you can plan and execute PR strategies through Outside the Square (OTS), our student-run consultancy. You work in teams to interpret a brief from a real client, develop a communication strategy and implement the plan on time and on budget. Recent clients included Hockey New Zealand, Surf Life Saving, Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, The NZ Music Foundation and Starship Foundation.

Outside the Square website

You study the following papers:

Choose one paper from:

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.

Throughout the year you can also apply for internships and gain work experience.

Optional papers

Level 5  papers

Level 6  papers

Level 7 papers

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.

  • Corporate communication executive
  • Public relations consultant
  • Marketing communications executive
  • Government communicator
  • Internal communications advisor
  • Media relations manager
  • Community relations manager
  • Social media manager

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

Public Relations Careers

Key features
  • Supported by the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) and leading PR consultancies
  • Gain experience in our student-run PR consultancy, Outside the Square
  • Includes a PR project for a real client
See yourself as
  • A people person
  • A strategic thinker
  • A builder of reputations and relationships
  • A good writer, speaker and organiser
Simon Hebden
Cassie Arauzo
Brooke Hurndell

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