Media Studies – Bachelor of Communication

Discover how the media shape our identities and our world. Massey will help you create, critique, and connect with the media world, building skills to understand and make media for a wide range of professional communication roles.

Where you can study

Distance and online
Wellington campus

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Specialise in Media Studies for your Bachelor of Communication at Massey

Media studies is an exciting discipline that will prepare you for the challenges of an information-rich society.

Media studies is taught through an innovative qualification that blends theory with creative practice. It analyses the production, consumption and content of media and their social, cultural, political and economic implications.

You will learn 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.

Media studies will help you become a flexible and critical thinker and maker, equipped to be a digitally literate, politically-engaged citizen.

Will you change the world?

At the heart of the Bachelor of Communication (Media Studies) is the study and creation of a variety of media forms. Media can include everything from film, social media and television to popular music and smartphone apps. We look at different aspects of the media and their relationships to historical, social and cultural contexts. If you want to change the world for the better, but also want to ensure that you have professional career prospects, this is the major for you.

Understand and create media

During your study, you will have the opportunity for hands-on experience in creating digital media using industry-standard equipment and software.

You'll combine these hands-on production skills with creative ways of employing media texts in meaning-creation. You’ll also gain an understanding of how media influences society and culture. You’ll learn how to help interpret the media world for clients and how to work within media-related jobs.

As part of your study, you will produce a diverse range of media including:

  • websites
  • short fiction films
  • podcasts
  • music videos
  • photography portfolios
  • short documentaries
  • media scriptwriting.

Further study

If you successfully complete this qualification, you could go on to a Master of Arts (Media Studies) where you can take critical and creative media studies learning to the next level in either analytical or combination creative/analytical media research projects.

A Bachelor of Communication in Media Studies is a good fit if you:

  • are interested in the media’s impact on our lives and our understanding of local, national and world events
  • want to learn the practical, creative and technical skills involved in producing a range of media content
  • want to learn how to communicate effectively across a range of media. 

Planning information

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.

This major

Completing a major is compulsory. The Media Studies major requires 120 credits including 15 credits from 154250 as a compulsory course, no more than 60 credits at 200 level and at least 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.

A Bachelor of Communication (Media Studies) with a minor

The Media Studies 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
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations
A Media Studies 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 Media Studies see the Bachelor of Communication regulations for requirements.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

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 qualification 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 qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Core courses for the Bachelor of Communication

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Bachelor of Communication core courses

Media Studies courses

Compulsory course

Course code: 154250 Digital Media: Theory and Practice 15 credits

An exploration of the social, cultural, economic and technological transformations brought about by contemporary digital and networked media. Students will develop critical digital media literacies and learn to produce digital media.

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Choose no more than 45 credits from
Course code: 154202 Advertising and Consumer Society 15 credits

A study of the form and function of advertising in the context of consumer society, with particular emphasis on the conflict between advertising as a form of corporate manipulation and as a form of creative expression. Critical theories will be used to explore the role of advertising in relation to consumerism, capitalism, branding, art and agency.

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Course code: 154203 Popular Culture and the Media 15 credits

A survey of cultural theories and debates in relation to modern mass media. A number of issues such as identity, representation and cultural politics will be considered in their historical contexts and in relation to a variety of texts from popular culture and the media.

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Course code: 154204 Digital Media Production I 15 credits

An advanced introduction to producing digital media. This course uses hands-on, experiential learning to introduce techniques, concepts and processes for producing photography and video using industry standard hardware and software.

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Course code: 154206 International Film History 15 credits

A study of the history of film using case studies and including a consideration of the ways in which social contexts, industrial conditions, technologies and individuals have influenced film narratives and film theory.

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Course code: 154208 Screen Media 15 credits

An exploration of the formal and textual features of film and television, and their relation to technological change, with an emphasis on how film and television have both shaped and been transformed by digital media.

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Course code: 154224 Documentary (Non-Fiction) Film 15 credits

A study of the genre of documentary (non-fiction) film. The course will provide students with a critical awareness of the theory, history and various forms relevant to the genre. Students will plan and produce short documentary films. NOTE: Students require access to their own video camera and editing facilities.

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Choose at least 60 credits from
Course code: 139323 Script Writing 15 credits

An in-depth study of the skills, formats, technique and terminology of professional script writing, with emphasis on the adaptation of traditional approaches across the diversity of contemporary media.

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Course code: 139333 Creativity in the Community 15 credits

The course provides an applied service learning project in the disciplines of expressive arts and media studies. Working collaboratively, students apply skills in theatre, performance, film-making, creative writing, media practice or mixed media to developing a creative response to a social issue or community need.

Prerequisites: Any one of 139123, 139104, 139133, 154204, or 139223

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Course code: 154301 Culture, Power and the Media 15 credits

An advanced study of theoretical approaches to the study of media and popular culture, with particular emphasis on how media are involved in the contestation, negotiation and maintenance of power relations.

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Course code: 154302 Gender and Race in the Media 15 credits

A critical study of gender, race and ethnicity in the media, considered from a variety of theoretical approaches.

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Course code: 154303 Hollywood Cinema 15 credits

An examination of how the formal, socio-cultural, and technological characteristics of Hollywood Cinema have intersected with its industrial conditions across history.

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Course code: 154304 Digital Media Production II 15 credits

The further development of skills and abilities in a chosen media area with particular emphasis upon the production of a major media project.

Prerequisites: 154204

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Course code: 154311 Social Media and Digital Cultures 15 credits

This course explores how social media shapes identities, social relationships, work, politics and societies. From fake news to social media influencers, this course examines how digital technologies play a key role in shaping everyday life in the twenty-first century.

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Course code: 154313 Global Media Cultures 15 credits

New media technologies and global patterns of media distribution have produced complex, emergent practices of transnational community formation, text-sharing and collaborative media production. This course examines these practices in relation to the maintenance and negotiation of cultural identity in the contemporary world.

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Course code: 154315 Popular Music Studies 15 credits

A critical examination of the nature, role and meaning of popular music within contemporary Western societies. Particular attention will be paid to the political economy of the international music industry, music and technology, genre and musical texts, making music, stardom and auteur studies, and audiences and subcultures.

Restrictions: 154205

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Course code: 154316 New Zealand Cinema 15 credits

An exploration of the development of the New Zealand film industry with a focus on aesthetics and national identity. Key films are examined in relation to wider contexts, such as history, politics, economics, and culture, which have all contributed to the creation of a distinctive local film industry and film culture.

Restrictions: 154212

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

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?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

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 can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Digital media literacy is becoming increasingly important across all sectors. The skills you will develop with this major are versatile and highly sought-after in many careers.

Media studies graduates have pursued careers in wide-ranging fields such as advertising, social media, public relations, radio, film and television, with government agencies and in teaching.

Our broad-based introduction to media technologies and forms, such as photography, video and web design, provides you with the digital know-how necessary to succeed in a wide range of careers that involve communication and media.

Media studies gives you the expertise not just to work in the media. It provides you with media expertise within any industry or organisation that engages with the media or with public audiences. In today’s media-rich world, that’s almost every organisation.

Media studies qualifies you to work in organisations that connect with and advise on the media. This includes media production and post-production companies, advertising and design agencies, government departments, non-governmental and private organisations. These organisations may engage with, produce or circulate media.

Sought-after by employers

85% of graduates are employed within six months of graduation. They are working across nine different industry categories with more than 60 different job titles.

International students

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.

Accreditations and rankings

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

Massey Business School is rated in the top 5% of global business colleges by AACSB International.

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QS Ranking - Communication and Media

Massey is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 100 universities for communication and media studies. QS is an organisation that ranks universities worldwide in various topics.

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ShanghaiRanking - Communication

Communication at Massey is ranked #1 in New Zealand, and 76th in the world, by ShanghaiRanking.

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