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A fast-growing area
Your study of public relations delivers knowledge and skills that are in increasing demand – public relations is one of the fastest-growing specialist areas in business.
- Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
- Auckland, Manawatū, Wellington
- 3 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
- Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning
The Massey Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) will build the skills you need for a successful career in public relations. You will develop your interpersonal and inter-group communication abilities. You’ll also learn strategic thinking, planning, writing, research and information processing skills.
You’ll learn how to help organisations to communicate in persuasive and ethical ways with their staff, customers, regulators, communities, investors, and society. Public relations practitioners:
- organise events
- write and edit media releases
- write and edit online and print newsletters and publications
- develop strategic public relations plans, and
- build relationships through digital media.
Sought-after by employers
85% of graduates are employed within six months of graduation. These graduates are employed across nine different industry categories with more than 60 different job titles.
Leading the way
Massey University was New Zealand’s first institution to offer university-level courses in public relations, so you’ll be able to take advantage of our extensive knowledge and experience in teaching this discipline.
Careers and further study
Your Massey PR education equips you with a sound grasp of the classic PR disciplines. The Bachelor of Communication structure enables you to complement this with areas such as creative communication. This is a potentially winning combination in the contemporary job market, where employers increasingly value creativity and adaptability.
The internship course offers you the opportunity to gain real life PR experience as part of your studies, and our students are highly rated by internship hosts ranging from local councils to creative consultancies.
Enterprises across the spectrum of private sector, government and not-for-profits now grasp the importance of public relations.
Surveys show BC graduates consistently enjoy high rates of employability, across a wide range of industry categories. Job titles include communication coordinator, consultant, content and social media specialist, project manager and advisor.
Public relations practitioners love how every working day is different, busy and challenging, drawing on creativity and strategic planning to make a real difference in their organisations and communities.
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
300 credits (at least)
From the Schedule to the Degree including:
Elective courses including:
- no more than 45 credits at 100-level
- at least 15 credits at 200 level or above
Ensure that overall, you have:
- Not more than 165 credits at 100 level
- At least 75 credits at 300 level
- Have included one major and one minor in accordance with the approved combinations
See ‘Courses for this programme’ below for schedules of courses.
Courses for this specialisation
|219209||Public Relations Practice||15|
|219305||Public Relations Management||15|
|No more than 45 credits from|
|219204||News Media and Society||15|
|219205||Professional Presentations in Business||15|
|219206||Communication and Technological Change||15|
|219207||Writing for Public Relations and Digital Media||15|
|At least 45 credits from|
|219309||International Case Studies in Public Relations||15|
|219312||Risk and Crisis Communication||15|
|219335||Media Law and Ethics||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 Public Relations 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 Public Relations major is from the Massey Business School. That means you can choose a minor from the list of majors the College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers:
- Expressive Arts
- International Languages
- Media Studies
- composite Expressive Arts/Media Studies.
A Public Relations 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 Public Relations, 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:
- enjoy planning and research
- are creative and a good writer
- enjoy keeping up with news and issues.
Meet our students
My study experience at Massey University can only be described in one word - incredible. I am so grateful for the opportunities that were presented to me and I am so proud to be a Massey graduate.” Kate Harridge
Every day I use the basic PR skills and tactics I learnt at Massey, like writing press releases and media liaison. Now I’m an account manager I have more of a hand in the overall client planning and strategy, which my PR management paper prepared me for.” Lauren Crimp
Accreditations and rankings
Massey’s Bachelor of Communication is the only degree outside the Americas and the Middle East to be recognised by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).
Massey Business School is rated in the top 5% of global business colleges by AACSB International.
Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 300 universities for business and management.
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
There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.