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Bachelor of Communication (Honours)

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning
  • 1 year full-time or up to 3 years part-time

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.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

The Bachelor of Communication with Honours is for you if you already have an undergraduate qualification in communication and seek more in-depth knowledge and skills. 

An honours degree is a prestigious qualification which shows your in-depth understanding of communication. You may wish to use this qualification as a stepping stone to a PhD (if eligible) or as extra leverage for a higher career level.

You need a B grade point average in your undergraduate qualification to be accepted onto the honours programme.


Massey’s communication programmes are only the seventh outside of the US to be recognised by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).

This accreditation recognises Massey's "good connections with industry, its commitment to constant improvement, its strong leadership, and large research output". Accreditation means your degree is internationally recognised, making it easier to arrange a student exchange and find employment overseas.

Massey Business School is ranked in the top 2% of business schools globally, and its business and management programmes rank in the top 200 (QS rankings). We are ranked No.1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 in the world for our business administration and communication programmes by ShanghaiRanking.

Academic bootcamp

The honours programme for full-time students involves one intensive year of study - a bit like an 'academic bootcamp'! You can also study part-time over two years, enabling you to balance study with work.  The honours programme doesn’t just build upon your undergraduate study, but extends you into new areas such as presenting to industry, 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.

Specialise in what you love

Whether your passion is for public relations, expressive arts, communication management, marketing communication, linguistics, media studies or journalism studies, the Bachelor of Communication (Honours) gives you the opportunity to dig deeper.

A well-established communication programme

The communication and media programme at Massey University has been ranked in the world’s top 150. Our lecturers come from both academic and industry backgrounds, giving you the best of both worlds.

We have the longest-running communication programme in New Zealand, the largest number of students in any university communication programme and the most options for areas of communication-related study. Massey University’s graduates have a long-standing reputation for excellence in both theory and practice.

Applied and relevant

You will graduate with an excellent grasp of research, analysis, and evaluation and know how to apply your knowledge to make a difference in your workplaces and community.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding, empowering you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas.

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking in-depth and independent research.


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.
Victoria Faris
Bachelor of Communication (Hons)
Graduated in 2013

“In addition to a salary increase for obtaining a post-graduate qualification, I have been able to put the skills I learnt in my BC (Hons) to use in both paid work and continued study…”

I completed my Bachelor of Communication with Honours via distance learning over two years, which meant I was able to continue paid work while I studied. I was teaching French at high school level and I not only improved my academic writing, textual analysis and public speaking skills during this time, but I was also able to pass these skills on to my students.

The thing I enjoyed most about the degree was how the assignments involved us researching any topic that interested us. I did assignments analysing online public reaction to the Ghost Chips advertisements, political impoliteness in radio interviews, what YouTubers say about CrossFitters, and the way language is used as a means of control in signs at my CrossFit gym. My lecturers were so supportive in the way they guided me to become an independent researcher in whatever captured my interest in the world around me.

By completing this programme, I was able to go directly into a PhD. I’m currently analysing YouTube comments written below videos on the Marriage Amendment Bill for same-sex marriage, and I’ll be presenting some of my research in Spain later this year. I’ve been well equipped with qualitative research skills, and my CV has been enhanced with a number of fantastic opportunities, such as presenting at conferences and publishing some of my honours work.


Stand out from the rest

An honours qualification helps you stand out in the employment market. But postgraduate qualifications are becoming more common - a Public Relations Institute of New Zealand study showed that over 40% of PR practitioners now have a postgraduate degree.

Now is the time to undertake this qualification!

Communication roles have grown hugely in the last few years. Most companies now recognise them as vital to the running of a successful business. This rapidly expanding area of professional work features a wide variety of jobs and exciting opportunities. 

The world is your oyster

The Bachelor of Communication with Honours (BC(Hons))prepares you for numerous emerging and current occupations, across a huge array of industries - the world is truly your oyster!

An honours degree gives you broader options and depending on your major and interests you could move into areas such as:

  • Writer, editor, publisher or researcher (for social media, literature, theatre, film and television, corporate, government or non-profit organisations)
  • 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

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed.

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s communication staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with recognised communication specialists, for example:

Associate Professor Elspeth Tilley

Dr Tilley’s career and study path is a perfect representation of the cross-disciplinary principles behind Massey’s communication qualifications. She began her studies with a BA that spanned theatre, literature, communication, film and journalism. She went on to do honours and PhD research in theatre and performance, but also worked in journalism and public relations for a period totalling 13 years.

At Massey Dr Tilley specialises in conducting and supervising communication research that breaks down disciplinary silos. For example, she is an associate with Massey’s Joint Centre for Disaster Research, supervising students who are looking at new and creative ways of disaster communication.  As a member of Massey’s Adult Literacy and Communication research team, she has investigated responses to the immunisation communication materials received by pregnant women.

Dr Tilley has won multiple awards, including a Massey University Innovation and Excellence Award, a Literati Network Award for Excellence, and the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Christopher Newell Prize for the best paper dealing with matters relating to equity, diversity and social justice in communication.

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