Join a unique degree to extend your career options
If you love being creative and want to study a selection of theatre, performance, creative writing and digital media production courses, but you also want great career prospects the Bachelor of Communication (Expressive Arts) is for you.
- Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
- Auckland, Manawatū, Wellington
- 3 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
- Available for international students studying in NZ
Expressive arts is unique in New Zealand and was created in response to student demand. As part of your study, you will be able to choose from a range of activities such as devising, directing and writing theatre, writing creative works including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, writing for children, and screenplays, or filming and producing digital video.
Choose the creative discipline you love
Students told us they wanted a little bit of theatre, creative writing or digital media production, or some combination. But not necessarily to focus just on one. So we invented ‘expressive arts’. We call it the ‘triple dip’ major where you can add as much or as little as you like to your degree from any of the three creative discipline areas of theatre, creative writing, or digital media production. You choose what to emphasise, whether it’s one, two or all three of these areas.
Hands-on, relevant skills
As well as hands-on skills in various creative areas, you’ll learn leadership skills and how creativity fits into a professional communications role.
For example, you might write a travel memoir, produce a music video, or direct an experimental multi-media show based on your original script. You might use techniques of improvisational theatre as a way of unlocking and managing your creativity across other media including creative writing. You might find yourself crafting Twitter poetry or learning how your posture communicates instantly to others.
Devise, direct and write
As part of your study you will be able to devise, direct, write and produce theatre, creative writing and/or digital video productions.
Careers and further study
Surveys have shown that today’s employers seek graduates who are collaborative, creative and can communicate well. They want staff who can give compelling presentations, problem-solve creatively, think originally, analyse perceptively, communicate effectively (both in person and on paper) and work well in teams. They especially want ‘creative disruptors’ in the sense of people who use their imagination to see things differently and propose new alternatives.
Learn these skills through expressive arts. When combined with the communication and corporate skills that you learn through your Bachelor of Communication you will have a qualification that can be applied across an amazing range of roles.
Graduates with an expressive arts major are working today in:
- government outreach
- social media management
- arts publicity
- human resources
- marketing and public relations
- television and journalism
- theatre and entertainment, and
- creative and professional writing.
New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.
Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.
As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
There are no specific entry requirements for this programme, outside of university admission regulations.
English language requirements
To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
Prior learning, credit and exemptions
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
If you do not have the entry requirements
English language and foundation courses
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.
- English Language Proficiency
- Foundation Certificate in Academic English
- Foundation Certificate in Advanced Academic English
- Full Foundation - Certificate in Foundation Studies
If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.
Courses and planning
- Core courses – 120 credits
- Major courses – 120 credits
- Minor courses – 60 credits
- Electives – 60 credits
Ensure that overall, you have:
- Not more than 165 credits at 100 level (including no more than 45 credits of 100‑level electives)
- At least 15 credits of electives at 200 level or above
- At least 75 credits at 300 level overall
- An approved combination of major and minor
Courses for this specialisation
|No more than 60 credits from|
|139209||Speaking: Theory and Practice||15|
|139220||Theatre for Change||15|
|139224||Making Plays for Theatre||15|
|139225||Writing for Children||15|
|139280||Creative Nonfiction: Creative Writing II||15|
|154204||Digital Media Production I||15|
|154224||Documentary (Non-Fiction) Film||15|
|At least 60 credits from|
|139309||Eco-fictions and Non-fictions||15|
|139320||Theatre in Production||15|
|139329||Advanced Fiction Writing||15|
|139333||Creativity in the Community||15|
|139340||The Publishing Project||15|
|139362||Oceanic Literatures of Aotearoa: Ngā Tuhinga Kōrero o te Moana nui a Kiwa||15|
|139380||Starting Your Manuscript: Creative Writing III||15|
|154304||Digital Media Production II||15|
Planning your programme
Full-time study in your first year comprises eight 15-credit courses, for a total of 120 credits. We recommend studying 60 credits per semester. You may also wish to take some courses at summer school but ensure you include those that are required for the next level of courses.
Although you are asked to nominate your BC major and minor when enrolling, please be aware that you can change these once you are enrolled.
No course can be credited to a major and a minor.
Completing a major is compulsory. The Expressive Arts major requires 120 credits including at least 60 credits at 200 level and 60 credits at 300 level.
Completing a minor is compulsory.
Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.
The Expressive Arts major is from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. That means you can choose a minor from the list of majors the Massey Business School offers:
- Communication Management
- Digital Marketing
- Public Relations
An Expressive Arts minor (for students who are studying a different degree)
If you are not studying a Bachelor of Communication and wish to complete a minor in Expressive Arts see the Bachelor of Communication regulations for requirements.
Fees and scholarships
Fees and finance
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.
A good fit if you:
- are in lots of student clubs and societies at school or enjoy putting on creative events
- want to be a creative writer, filmmaker or theatre maker but know you need organisational skills
- are interested in applying creative skills in a professional communication career.
Meet our students
The best part about studying at Massey is that I could study subjects that I enjoyed with clearly enthusiastic tutors and peers.” Hamish Boyle
The more you learn, the more fun it is, because you become more confident.” Matt Twort
My post-graduate studies made me standout and were a definite factor in being selected for the roles I've had since graduating.” Stevie Greeks
Marketing & Fundraising Manager at BATS Theatre
Accreditations and rankings
Massey Business School is rated in the top 5% of global business colleges by AACSB International.
Massey is ranked in the world’s top 150 universities for communication and media studies, by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking.
Massey University's communication programme is ranked #1 in New Zealand, and in the top 150 universities in the world, by ShanghaiRanking.
Massey University is ranked #1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 universities globally for business administration and finance by ShanghaiRanking.
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.
Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.
Applying and enrolling
Applying for the programme
Check you are ready
If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.
Choose your programme and click on Apply now
You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.
Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.
Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place
You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.
Enrolling in courses
You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.
When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:
- prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
- corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
- restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
- location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.
Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.
More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.
You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.
We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!
If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
What are courses and credits?
What are courses and credits?
Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).
You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.
Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.
There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.
- See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
- Courses search
Understanding course numbers
The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.
The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:
- sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
- undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
- as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study
|Subject area||Level||Course ID number|
Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.
Workload and time management
Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Scholarships and awards
Scholarships related to this programme
- FUJIFILM Business Innovation Global Student Exchange Scholarship
- Margaret Richards Bursary
- Piki Ake Kake Ake Scholarship
There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.