About the Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism

This Diploma is a one-year, full-time, practical, on-campus course taught in Wellington. Upon successful completion you may enter the industry as a journalist. The course runs from late February to early November. The course cannot be taken part-time and it is not possible to start the course halfway through the year.

Journalism educators in the US judged our course’s intensive module on reporting for the web as the best teaching idea “by far”, beating out more than 50 mostly US-based courses.

What will I learn?

The focus of the course is on print news reporting. This is the basic skill that all journalism workplaces expect of their new recruits. From this core skill flows all the specialist skills, such as web-based reporting, feature writing, sports reporting, radio and television reporting, which are all taught on the course. Most of our graduates start their careers as print news reporters.

What will it be like?

The typical day starts at 8:30am with lectures, followed by time to do stories and other course work. The course comprises five papers, which all students must take.

There are two essential elements to our course: the first is on-campus teaching and training, the second is on-the-job experience. The first element dominates the first half of the academic year; the second dominates the second part of the year.

On-campus teaching and training

The on-campus study includes the broad issues surrounding journalism, such as journalism history and news media ethics.

There is also plenty of time spent on the practical skills a journalist needs, such as:

  • News writing: Write a variety of news stories to publishable standard.
  • Feature writing: Write features and other specialist forms of journalism.
  • Interviewing: Practise the skills of successful and informative interviewing.
  • Photography: Learn the techniques of producing quality news photos with digital cameras.
  • Radio and TV reporting: Prepare a variety of news stories to broadcast standard.
  • Web-based journalism: Learn to prepare online news items (including text, links, audio and video).
  • Media law: Learn media law and the proper procedure for court and local authority reporting.
  • Media ethics: Consider the big ethical issues that confront journalists.
  • Shorthand: Reach industry-required speed and accuracy levels for shorthand.

On-the-job experience

You will be assigned a part of Wellington from which you must find and write, to a publishable standard, 10 stories by the end of the first semester. You will be assigned a lecturer with whom you will work closely to bring their stories up to standard. We encourage you to publish these stories in local Wellington newspapers.

In the second semester, you will spend two days a week working at a media organisation. You will then do a full-time work placement at a media organisations anywhere in New Zealand. This could be at a major daily, provincial newspaper, magazine, internet news organisation, radio or television station.

You will also be encouraged to organise your own work placements. All this can assist you to find jobs in the journalism industry.

You must produce 40 published stories by the end of the year. This gives you a strong portfolio of published material you can subsequently show to prospective employers.

Course fees

To calculate the course fees for the Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism, please note down the paper numbers of the five papers that comprise the diploma - 219.711, 219.712, 219.713, 219.714 and 219.715 - then use our fees calculator.


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