Public Relations – Bachelor of Communication

Your study of public relations delivers knowledge and skills that are in increasing demand – public relations is one of the fastest-growing specialist areas of communication.

Where you can study

Auckland campus
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 Public Relations for your Bachelor of Communication at Massey

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
  • manage risk and crisis communications
  • develop strategic public relations plans, and
  • build relationships through digital media.

Sought-after by employers

82% of graduates are employed within two years 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. This major is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).

A Bachelor of Communication in Public Relations is a good fit if you:

  • enjoy planning and research
  • are creative and a good writer
  • understand the importance of relationships, and like keeping up with news and issues.

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 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
  • Linguistics
  • 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.

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

Public Relations courses

Choose 90 credits from
Course code: 156235 Social Media and Digital Marketing 15 credits

A study of the impact, application and evaluation of new digital media marketing strategies and techniques.

Prerequisites: 115116 or 115104 or 156200 or 75 credits for non-Business students

View full course details
Course code: 219207 Writing for Public Relations and Digital Media 15 credits

This course develops students’ skills in writing for public relations and relationship management purposes, with particular attention paid to the characteristics and requirements of digital media.

View full course details
Course code: 219209 Public Relations Practice 15 credits

An introductory study of public relations and its use to create and maintain communication between organisations and their internal and external publics. Theoretical and practical approaches are combined so that students are introduced to the diversity of contemporary public relations theory and techniques and have opportunities to develop key skills in practical assignments.

View full course details
Course code: 219305 Public Relations Management 15 credits

This course provides an in-depth examination of public relations theory and shows how it applies to practice. It focuses on strategic engagement with diverse publics, the development of long-lasting and meaningful organisational relationships, and reputation management.

Prerequisites: 219209 Restrictions: 114363

View full course details
Course code: 219309 International Case Studies in Public Relations 15 credits

An examination of the practice and theory of public relations internationally, overviewing the increasingly global industry structure, comparing international theoretical approaches, and introducing specialist intercultural communication skills for internationally mobile public relations practice.

View full course details
Course code: 219312 Risk and Crisis Communication 15 credits

This course critically evaluates ways that organisations can manage reputational risk and communicate in response to crisis situations.

View full course details
Choose at least 15 credits from
Course code: 219206 Communication and Technological Change 15 credits

This course examines the impacts of technology on communication, organizations, and cultures. Students will learn to anticipate change and engage with big problems. Students will also design, create and critique human-centric, ethical solutions to help navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century.

Restrictions: 114263, 14263

View full course details
Course code: 219231 News Reporting 15 credits

An exploration of current principles and practices and the fundamentals of news gathering and news production.

View full course details

At least 15 credits from 300 level courses

Choose at least 15 credits from
Course code: 219311 Communication Internship 15 credits

This course provides students with a period of workplace experience with knowledge of communication concepts and terminology gained throughout their degree, in a series of analytical assessments.

Prerequisites: 2192xx or 1562xx and Appraisal Required

View full course details
Course code: 219335 Media Law and Ethics 15 credits

A reflection on ethical issues involved in contemporary media practices and the application of the principles of media law.

Restrictions: 219331

View full course details

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

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 included in this major 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 for managing organisational reputation and key relationships.

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.

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.

What our students say

“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

Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations)

“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

Bachelor of Communication – Public Relations major, Media Studies minor

Accreditations and rankings

Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC)

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).

Learn more

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

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

Learn more

QS Ranking - Business Management Studies

Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 400 universities for business and management.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

ShanghaiRanking - Communication

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

Learn more

ShanghaiRanking – Business Administration

Massey University is ranked #2 in New Zealand for business administration by ShanghaiRanking.

Learn more

Related study options