Dive deeper into communication

An honours degree is a challenging year of study. It will give you new insights and take your knowledge of communication theory and practice to a new level.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Duration

  • 1 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.

Do you already have an undergraduate qualification in communication? Are you seeking more in-depth knowledge and skills? Then the Bachelor of Communication with Honours is for you.

You’ll study, at an advanced level, the different aspects of the media and their relationships to historical, social and cultural contexts. You’ll look at how decisions are made on what is communicated, how media forms and industry structures shape those messages, and how this impacts our lives and  understanding of the world.

An honours degree is a prestigious qualification which shows your in-depth understanding of communication. It builds on your undergraduate study. It then extends you into new areas such as undertaking grounded research and building industry relationships. The expectations from your lecturers and supervisors will be high as you learn how to undertake high-level academic research.

You will graduate with an excellent grasp of research, analysis, and evaluation. You will be able to apply your knowledge to make a difference.

The honours programme for full-time students involves one intensive year of study. You can also study part-time over two or three years, enabling you to balance study with work.

The Bachelor of Communication with Honours (BC(Hons)) prepares you for many occupations, across a wide range of industries. The world is truly your oyster!

Careers and further study


Depending on your major and interests you could move into areas such as:

  • writer, editor, publisher or researcher
  • speech writer, travel writer, blogger, social commentator
  • social media or social entrepreneur
  • scriptwriting
  • relationship management
  • public relations and public affairs
  • project management
  • producing and directing film, theatre, circus, dance and a wide range of other creative enterprises
  • organisational training and development
  • media industries including as producer
  • marketing
  • liaison and advisory work
  • journalism
  • film making
  • event management
  • creative industries or arts administration or management
  • communication management
  • blogging, commentating
  • arts promotion, policy and development
  • artist
  • academic or teacher.

Further study

Upon successful completion of this qualification you could use this qualification as a stepping stone to a PhD (if eligible).

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


To enter the Bachelor of Communication (Honours) you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Communication degree (or close equivalent) with a major in the same discipline as that to be undertaken for the BC (Hons)
  • have at least a B grade average for your 300-level majoring courses and a minimum of a B grade for 15 credits at 300-level in the intended secondary subject.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

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:

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.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

120 credits (at least)

From the Schedule to the Degree including:

60 credits in primary subject including a 30-credit research report

Secondary subject area

Approved credits from 139.703, 154.704, 156.776, 219.790


See ‘Courses for this programme’ below for schedules of courses.

Courses for this specialisation

Subject courses

154701 Modern and Postmodern Visual Cultures 30
154702 Advanced Film Studies 30
154707 The World of Noir 30
154708 Modern Fiction, Popular Culture and the Media 30
154709 Technology and Cultural Change 30
154747 Media Practice and Global Culture 30
154798 Research Report (30) 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

You must complete one of the following research methods courses:

139.703 Critical and Creative Research

154.704 Researching Media and Cultural Studies

156.776 Research Methods in Marketing

219.790 Research Methods in Communication.

For the Media Studies subject, you must complete a secondary subject course in Communication Management, Journalism Studies, Marketing Communication or Public Relations.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

For postgraduate qualifications where they are completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, or Distinction or Merit.

Look for information on ‘Student Progression’ in the:

More information

  • Read the regulations for this programme thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

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:

  • have already completed an undergraduate qualification in communication
  • gained good grades in your degree and achieved at least a b grade point average
  • enjoyed studying communication and want to go into more depth.

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.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

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.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

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 be 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

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships

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