Master of Philosophy

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Communication Studies

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a one year research only masters degree. It provides an opportunity for students to undertake a research topic of an applied or professional nature, under the supervision of School of Communication Studies staff.

Alternatively, the MPhil can provide a pathway to more advanced research at doctoral level.

Quick facts

Programme Code: AK3720
Level: 9
Points: 120
Duration: 1 year full-time / 2 years part-time
Venue: City Campus
Start date: Anytime

Career opportunities

It is expected that graduates with a Master of Philosophy will have gained the necessary skills and qualifications to follow an academic or research career leading to a Doctor of Philosophy. Alternatively, your research topic may lead you to a position of expertise in your chosen field.

Entry requirements

In order to be admitted to the Master of Philosophy an applicant must have completed one of the following:

(a) a four-year bachelor’s degree at level 8 or

(b) a bachelor’s honours degree with second class honours or higher or

(c) a bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate diploma or

(d) a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of experience relevant to the proposed programme of research or

(e) a recognised professional qualification or evidence of professional experience approved by the University Postgraduate Board to be equivalent to the level of competence specified in one of 1(a) to 1(c) above.

An application for admission to the Master of Philosophy and the conditions of enrolment are subject to the approval of the University Postgraduate Board.

An applicant who applies under 1(d) or 1(e) above must provide evidence to the University Postgraduate Board of their ability to undertake advanced academic study.

The University Postgraduate Board may require an applicant to complete an approved course in research methods prior to admission.

The University Postgraduate Board must be satisfied that an applicant’s proposed programme of research is viable and the arrangements for supervision are appropriate and able to be sustained prior to enrolment.

Guidelines to entry

A Postgraduate Research Proposal (PGR1 form)


The MPhil is characterised by advanced study and original research in a discipline, and as such:

  • demands knowledge of the wider subject in which the topic for intensive investigation is situated
  • requires sustained supervised research
  • includes pure or applied research, creative planning and design, practical work and original scholarship, with graduates demonstrating well developed skills of research, critical analysis and application so as to demonstrate independence of thought in their area of specialisation
  • requires excellent communication skills for creating, synthesising, evaluating and persuading
  • expects a tangible output that pushes the boundaries of knowledge in a discipline or field of study.

Students will complete an original thesis during this year of study. Staff in the School of Communication Studies are available to supervise MPhil research on a wide range of topics. The school has extensive research capabilities in the following areas:

  • 3D Communication
  • American studies
  • Anime and manga
  • Asia-Pacific media
  • Children's television
  • Community media
  • Creative identity
  • Creative industries
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Critical theory
  • Cultural history
  • Cultural, social and gender identities
  • Cultural studies
  • Digital performance
  • Digital visual information systems
  • Documentary film
  • Environmental communication
  • Ethnography of organisations
  • Film studies
  • Food studies
  • Future of journalism
  • Geosemiotics
  • Grounded theory
  • Identity construction
  • Journalism education
  • Learning communication
  • Literature and publishing
  • Multimodal interaction analysis
  • New media in the South Pacific
  • New Zealand film culture
  • Organisational identity and social media
  • Posthumanist visuality
  • Production journalism
  • Television drama and audience
  • Thematic analysis (methodology)
  • Pacific rim film cultures
  • Political economy
  • Religion and society
  • Public service broadcasting
  • Relationship between public relations and journalism
  • Social identity in the creative industries
  • Social media in journalism
  • Stereoscopic moving image
  • Strategic management of global virtue teams
  • Visual rhetoric

Please email for programme information.

Last updated: 13-Dec-2017 3.51pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.