Graduate Diploma in Journalism – GDipJ

Deepen your knowledge and skills in Journalism.

Type of qualification

Graduate diploma

Level of study

Graduate study

Graduate qualifications normally involve study in a different area to your first undergraduate qualification. Some are stepping stones to postgraduate-level study.

More about study levels

NZQF level 7

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year full-time (120 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

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 studying online from outside New Zealand

Study a Graduate Diploma in Journalism – GDipJ

The Graduate Diploma in Journalism enables you to study another subject without completing a second bachelor’s degree. The graduate diploma is a bridging tool to gain the equivalent of an undergraduate major in a specific area so you can go on to postgraduate study.

The diploma will develop your understanding of both theoretical and applied issues in journalism and related areas. Topics covered include:

  • news reporting and writing
  • audio-visual journalism
  • media law and ethics and court reporting
  • investigative reporting
  • political journalism
  • editing for journalism or communication
  • public relations.

Becoming a journalist

If you are not yet a journalist and wish to become one, instead look at our Bachelor of Communication (Journalism).


You can do journalism studies courses as part of a communication, arts, business, or other degree. If you are studying at a university other than Massey, it is likely you can arrange to have journalism studies courses cross-credited to your degree. Ask your university for more details.

Courses in the Graduate Diploma in Journalism also form the journalism studies major in the Bachelor of Communication.

A GDipJ is a good fit if you:

  • are a journalist who wishes to learn more about the profession
  • are a writer who wishes to enhance your writing skills and knowledge
  • are interested in finding out more about journalism before committing to a higher level of study.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Graduate Diploma in Journalism you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for an undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification, or
  • have been admitted to the qualification on the basis of equivalent relevant professional experience.

To ensure this qualification is right for you, you will be required to submit a short personal statement detailing why you wish to study this qualification and your relevant industry experience (if any).

If you already have an undergraduate degree, you are strongly advised to consider doing the Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism

English language requirements

To study this qualification 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:

English language skills

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

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.

Structure of the Graduate Diploma in Journalism

If you study full-time you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits in a year.

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

120 credits

  • Courses from the Schedule – 120 credits

Not more than 45 credits at 200 level.

At least 75 credits at 300 level.

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.
Choose no more than 45 credits from
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.

View full course details
Course code: 219204 News Media and Society 15 credits

This course examines the structure and functions of New Zealand news media, including its linkages to global news media systems. It also examines how different social identities are constructed in news media.

Restrictions: 114264

View full course details
Course code: 219223 Specialist Reporting 15 credits

The theory and practice of reporting on a specialist area of the student's choice (e.g. arts, music, sports, business, science), including building a portfolio of news and feature stories to a publishable standard in either print and/or multi-media formats.

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
Choose at least 75 credits from
Course code: 139340 The Publishing Project 15 credits

In this course, students study and experience the principles, processes and practice of publishing, through the co-production of an online publication. Key concepts include teamwork, co-production, theme selection, peer review, production scheduling, source selection, and online publishing.

Prerequisites: Any 200-level course with a 139 prefix or 219202

View full course details
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: 219325 Current Affairs Journalism 15 credits

The theory and practice of covering current affairs, including national and local politics and other issue-based and breaking news stories in either print or multi-media formats.

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
Course code: 219336 Global, Investigative and Data Journalism 15 credits

Explore the diversity of journalism as it is practised around the world, including investigative, undercover and data journalism.

View full course details

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.

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.

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QS Ranking - Business and Management

Massey University is ranked by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as one of the top 300 universities for business and management.

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QS Ranking - Communication & 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.

ShanghaiRanking - communication

Communication at Massey is ranked #1 in New Zealand, and in the top 150 universities in the world, by ShanghaiRanking.

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ShanghaiRanking – Business Administration

Massey University is ranked #1 in New Zealand for business administration by ShanghaiRanking.

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