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Programme list > Postgraduate Diploma in Communication

Postgraduate Diploma in Communication


Get to the heart of communication

An in-depth look at communication principles and practice to help progress your career.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Credits

  • 120
  • Duration

  • 1 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.

Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Communication will deepen your understanding of communication practice. You will follow similar study and learning processes and take courses that are also part of the Master of Communication. The difference is that this programme does not have a research thesis component.

This qualification is useful if you are in a communication role and wish to broaden your skills. Or, if you’d like to expand your understanding of different approaches to communication from business or humanities traditions.


In the Postgraduate Diploma in Communication you will gain access to Massey's world-leading expertise across a broad range of specialisations. These include media, humanities, business, organisational studies, social sciences, health and social sciences.

A specialist communication university

Massey University has:

  • the longest-running communication programme in New Zealand
  • the largest numbers of students in any university communication programme
  • the most options for communication-related study.

Our communication graduates have a long-standing reputation for excellence in both theory and practice.

Careers and further study


You may be currently in a communication role or in a position that has a communication dimension. Or, you may be interested in working in communication at a senior level. Whichever of these is your situation, the Postgraduate Diploma in Communication can help you take your career to the next level.

A postgraduate diploma qualification helps you stand out in the employment market.

Sought-after by employers

International trends are for employers to reward postgraduate study well, especially in larger enterprises. The skills you learn are increasingly recognised as setting you apart from other potential employees.

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.

Entry requirements

University admission

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

Programme admission


To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Communication you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in a field related to the study of communication, and have achieved a B grade average across the 300-level courses.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language and your qualifying degree was not completed at a university where English was the medium of instruction, you must have achieved an IELTS of 7 with no band less than 6.5 within the preceding five years.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

120 credits


120 credits (at least) from the Schedule to the Diploma including:

  • 60 credits of compulsory courses from Schedule A
  • 30 – 60 credits from Schedule B
  • No more than 30 credits from Schedule C
Core courses

Communication courses from Schedule B

Elective courses from Schedule C


Attend field trips, studios, workshops, tutorials and laboratories as required.

See the Courses for this programme section for schedules of courses and the Regulations for more details.

Courses for this programme

Schedule A: Core courses

60 credits
154721 The Communication Field 30
219721 Transdisciplinary Communication Research Methods 30

Schedule B: Communication courses

No more than 60 credits from
139749 Writing Science 30
139763 Community Theatre 30
139764 Theatre for Innovation and Communication 30
139765 New Directions in Creative Writing 30
154702 Advanced Film Studies 30
154708 Modern Fiction, Popular Culture and the Media 30
154709 Technology and Cultural Change 30
154747 Media Practice and Global Culture 30
156755 Advanced Social Media and Mobile Marketing 30
156758 Marketing for Social Change 30
172712 Multimodal Discourse Analysis 30
172713 Language and Communication in Late Modernity 30
219702 Management Communication 30
219703 Perspectives in Business Communication 30
219704 International and Intercultural Communication 30
219705 Advanced News Media Processes 30
219706 Strategic Public Relations 30
219708 Political Communication 30
219709 Advanced Journalism Issues 30
219710 Persuasive Communication Practice 30

Schedule C: Elective courses

No more than 30 credits from
114702 Human Resource Management and Workplace Relations 30
130705 Emergency Management 30
150701 Tino Rangatiratanga: Strategic Mori Development 30
200761 International Relations: Theory and Practice 30
230701 Evaluation: Theory and Principles 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

For postgraduate qualifications where they are completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, or Distinction or Merit.

Look for information on ‘Student Progression’ in the:

More information

  • Read the regulations for this programme thoroughly
  • Contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

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?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

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 will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.

A good fit if you:

  • Want to move into a communication-related job or career from another field
  • Would like to deepen or formalise your understanding of communication theory and practice
  • Would like to complete a taught programme that does not have a research component.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

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 programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships

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