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Study Communication Studies at Otago

Make sense of your world.

Communication Studies focuses on the social, technological, political and cultural implications of current and changing communicative practices and networks.

With an emphasis on social and media-based communication, courses initiate a critical and creative understanding of digital, broadcast, print and mobile communication, and develop written and screens-based skills. These are central to comprehending the role of media and communication industries and practices in the wider context of society and culture.

Challenge your mind and broaden your views in a diverse, stimulating learning environment that demands you be critical, creative and innovative.

Apply for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) through the Dunedin campus in 2022

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Communication studies is one of two majors offered by the Media, Film and Communication Studies Programme. The other major is Film and Media Studies.

Why study Media, Film and Communication?

Our courses will challenge your mind, broaden your views, and help you develop an increased awareness of transformations in society and culture.

Our goal is to prepare students to take their place as responsible and engaged citizens, who are critical, creative and innovative, equipped to connect with a diverse and fast-changing media world and to productively contribute to their communities and chosen professions. To serve this goal, our scholarship and teaching is interdisciplinary, inventive, and practical.

But that is not all that we do. Almost all employers look for fundamental life-long skills – literacy, numeracy, communication skills, the ability to lead and contribute to teams, as well as the ability to solve problems through dependable research. All of these skills are taught in our programme; they underlie most of what we do. We also value and develop an understanding of cultural diversity and differing perspectives, so it is not surprising that our graduates are to be found in many walks of life.

We have a well-established record of teaching and research, and staff who are internationally recognised in their disciplines.

Career opportunities

Our graduates work in a variety of fields,including media production, journalism, education, advertising, administration, archival and curatorial work, media policy analysis, public relations, tourism, and some go on to postgraduate study in our Honours, Masters and PhD programmes. A degree from our Programme prepares you for a wide range of career options, including career pathways that might not yet exist.

Background required

No prior background is required.

Teaching style

Our academic staff are experts in their fields (you can read about their areas of interest on our staff page on our website.)  You will learn from the people who are doing the research. Our papers are designed to help you engage with cutting edge research and ideas through a range of coursework and assessment that will help you develop your written, oral and visual communication skills and critical competencies.

Qualifications

Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Communication Studies

Level Papers Points
100-level

MFCO 102  Understanding Contemporary Media

MFCO 103  Introduction to Communication Studies

18

18

200-level

MFCO 202  Theory of Communication Studies

Two further papers from 200-level MFCO papers, GEND 205  Gender and the Media

18

36

300-level

MFCO 303   Critical Problems in Communication Studies

Three further papers from 300-level MFCO papers, GEND 305  Gender and the Media

18

54

Plus

198 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts

198
Total   360

Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) majoring in Communication Studies

Papers

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Communication Studies

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) programme in Communication Studies is the same as the programme for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)).

Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) in Communications Studies

Papers

GEND 401 or SCOM 409 may be substituted for one 400-level MFCO paper

Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in Communication Studies

Thesis
  • Thesis: COMS 5

Note: Students who have not completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA(Hons)) in Communication Studies or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Communication Studies must complete the required papers for the BA(Hons) in Communication Studies prior to undertaking the thesis.

Minor subject requirements

Communication Studies as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree

Level Papers Points
100-level

MFCO 102  Understanding Contemporary Media

MFCO 103  Introduction to Communication Studies

18

18

Above 100-level

MFCO 202  Theory of Communication Studies

Two further MFCO papers, of which one must be above 200-level

Note: GEND 205 or 305 may be substituted for one MFCO paper at the same level.

18

36

Total   90

Papers

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
MFCO101 2022 Screen Form and Culture 18 points Semester 1
MFCO102 2022 Media, Power, Society 18 points Semester 2
MFCO103 2022 Introduction to Communication Studies 18 points Semester 1
MFCO201 2022 The History of Film 18 points Semester 1
MFCO202 2022 Theory of Communication Studies 18 points Semester 2
MFCO203 2022 Media History 18 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO205 2022 Communication Research Methods 18 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO210 2022 Theory of Film and Media 18 points Semester 1
MFCO212 2022 Media and Intercultural Communication 18 points Semester 1
MFCO213 2022 Media Genres 18 points Semester 2
MFCO216 2022 New Zealand Cinema 18 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO217 2022 Television Studies 18 points Semester 2
MFCO220 2022 Writing for the Media 18 points Semester 1
MFCO222 2022 Science, Technology, and Society 18 points Semester 2
MFCO223 2022 Documentary and Reality Media 18 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO224 2022 Studying Selfies: Celebrity, Surveillance and Cyberspace 18 points Summer School
MFCO231 2022 Special Topic: Journalism Now: Seeking the Truth in a World of Disinformation and Fake News 18 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO242 2022 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO251 2022 Television Studio Production 18 points Semester 2
MFCO301 2022 Critical Problems in Film and Media 18 points Semester 2
MFCO303 2022 Critical Problems in Communication Studies 18 points Semester 1
MFCO312 2022 Communication and the City 18 points Semester 2
MFCO313 2022 Culture, Politics, Policy and Global Media 18 points Semester 2
MFCO314 2022 French Cinema 18 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO315 2022 Digital Media and Society 18 points Semester 1
MFCO316 2022 German Cinema 18 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO317 2022 Digital Culture 18 points Semester 2
MFCO318 2022 Indigenous Media 18 points Semester 1
MFCO319 2022 Contemporary American Cinema 18 points Semester 1
MFCO330 2022 Special Topic 18 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO333 2022 Film Festivals 18 points Semester 2
MFCO401 2022 Advanced Media, Film and Communication Theory 20 points Full Year
MFCO406 2022 Audience Studies 20 points Semester 1
MFCO408 2022 A Topic in Cinema, Gender and Sexuality 20 points Semester 2
MFCO409 2022 Advanced Media History 20 points Semester 2
MFCO410 2022 Documentary Film and Media 20 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO412 2022 Communicating the Self 20 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO414 2022 Discourse Theory and Practice 20 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO441 2022 Special Topic: Digital Asia 20 points Not offered in 2022
MFCO490 2022 Dissertation 60 points Full Year, 1st Non standard period
MFCO590 2022 Research Dissertation 60 points 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period

Key information for future students

Contact us

Media, Film and Communication Programme
School of Social Sciences
Web otago.ac.nz/mfco