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Bachelor of Communication (Expressive Arts)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available at Wellington
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • * Some planning advice may be required
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

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 to ensure you have broader career prospects, the Bachelor of Communication (Expressive Arts) is for you.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Communication parent structure.

What is it like?

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, and screenplays, or filming and producing digital video.

Hands-on, relevant skills

The Bachelor of Communication (Expressive Arts) allows you to choose to learn from a range of practical skills in acting, managing productions, wordsmithing, scripting, storyboarding, and video filming and editing. You will also learn how these fit into the everyday activities of a professional communication practitioner and combine them with the leadership skills necessary to effectively manage people.

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 be immersed in the techniques of improvisational theatre, including games and spontaneity activities, 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.

Choose the creative discipline you love

Students told us they wanted a little bit of theatre, or creative writing, or digital media production, or some combination of all three, 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.

Devise, direct and write

As part of your study in the Bachelor of Communication (Expressive Arts), you will be able to devise, direct, write and produce theatre, creative writing and/or digital video productions.

International recognition

Massey University’s communication and media studies programmes are ranked in the top 150 world-wide (by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings). We are ranked No.1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 in the world for our business administration and communication programmes by ShanghaiRanking.

A good fit if you:

  • Love drama, creative writing, film-making, crafting images and videos online, or public speaking/debating – or know you need to build your confidence in these areas!
  • 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 know-how to manage and market yourself, your team and your work
  • Are interested in applying creative skills in a professional communication career with an organisation in the public or private sectors.
Whitney Nuku
Bachelor of Communication
(Media and Expressive Arts)
Communications and Engagement Advisor - ACC

“If you are looking for a degree that gets you an interesting career but is also enjoyable to study, I definitely recommend Expressive Arts …”

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Expressive Arts and Media Studies, my career in communications has been truly diverse. This suits me well because I like a challenge! I started out as the Māori Communications Advisor at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, where I used events, publications and videos to try to make NCEA understandable for diverse audiences. Then I spent a fun and varied two years as a communication professional in the United Kingdom, developing specialty expertise in creative strategic planning, online communication, copywriting, stakeholder, project and event management.  I worked in a few award winning fully integrated creative agencies based in London, where I specialised in creative development and management of digital promotions, experiential activations and social media. In these and other roles I was involved in hands-on copywriting for social media, marketing campaigns, websites and events, and providing leadership for online community building - work that definitely requires creative thinking.

I gained a lot of transferable skills in the Bachelor of Communication at Massey that have helped me perform in my career. These include using creative writing techniques to turn product facts or government policies into an interesting read, filming and editing videos to help audiences understand complex information, or coordinating, designing, editing and proofing written and online content. Plus, Expressive Arts in particular was a lot of fun.

Currently I’m back in Aotearoa New Zealand, contracting at ACC as a Communications and Engagement Advisor. If you like a lot of variety in your working life, and enjoy developing your creative flair, a BC Expressive Arts might be the pathway for you.


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, advertising, marketing and public relations, filmmaking, television and journalism, teaching, theatre and entertainment and creative and professional writing.

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