Applications have opened for students to study a Bachelor of Communication at the University of Auckland in 2022. The new Bachelor’s Programme will replace the Communication specialisation within Arts.
By introducing a Bachelor of Communication, UoA is joining the Auckland University of Technology, University of Canterbury, Massey University, Waikato University, Victoria University, and others who all offer their own Bachelor of Communication.
Currently, UoA offers a Communication major and specialisation under the Bachelor of Arts. The University’s Media And Communications Manager, Lisa Finucane, confirmed to Craccum that the BA major in Communication will remain available to students, but that the specialisation will be replaced by the new Bachelor’s degree. “The University is moving to a dedicated degree in Communications rather than just having Comms as a subject within a BA.” Finucane told Craccum that students currently enrolled in the Communication specialisation are still able to complete this. The Master of Arts major in Communication will also still be available.
Associate Professor Luke Goode, who led the project of designing the new degree, explained to Craccum how the new programme differs from what is already offered by Arts Communication courses. “As a full degree programme, the BC can provide greater depth and breadth for students who are interested in studying communication. Students will be able to choose an area of focus by selecting from one of the three new majors, while also gaining a thorough grounding in the field of Communication through a core programme of study.”
The three majors offered are Communication and Social Change, Communication and Technology, and Communication in Leadership. Goode told Craccum that the Communication for Social Change major focuses on how communication shapes society in both positive and negative ways, looking at specific themes such as the environment, public health, and gender. In the Communication and Technology major, students will be studying practical skills like coding and data visualization, and looking at technology from a critical perspective. The last major, Communication in Leadership, examines communication in diverse leadership contexts and organisations.
Goode says he is really excited about the whole programme, which a broad range of people were involved in designing. A unique aspect of the programme he highlighted was its diversity. “Core communication courses are combined with relevant courses from a range of other subject areas and faculties.” As well as taking at least nine courses from their chosen major, Bachelor of Communication students will take eight core Communication courses, two general education courses, two elective courses, and three modules in a specific area of study. Goode told Craccum that Māori and Pacific perspectives and approaches to communication are embedded into the curriculum.
The Bachelor of Communication will take three years to complete studying full-time. The University’s website promotes the new degree as a pathway to careers in broadcast media, content production, copywriting, digital communications, journalism, marketing, and public relations. “You’ll be equipped for a media, PR, communication or marketing career in a wide range of sectors, including corporate, not-for-profit and government.”
When asked if the programme will have any elements of practical work experience or training, which is offered by some Communications programmes at other universities such as AUT, Finucane told Craccum that “internships may be possible, but we are not teaching a technical course. Cameras, lights, studio technician skills, etc. are limited.” Goode says that UoA’s new degree “aims to strike a balance by teaching critical and theoretical perspectives alongside a diverse range of practical communication skills.”