Radio Major - Bachelor of Communication Studies

RNZ National

Student documentaries on RNZ National

Early 2017, RNZ will be featuring documentaries made by Bachelor of Communication Studies radio majors.

As part of the Radio Performance paper, students each produce a ten-minute radio documentary. The project gives students creative licence, while making targeted content and applying a range of radio skills.

Those selected by RNZ are show-cased on New Zealand’s most listened-to radio station, RNZ National - reaching 535,000 people each week.

Documentaries selected:
* ‘Mid-Love Crisis’- a 40-something woman looks for love - Shae Osborne
* Demi Arbuckle talks to forestry workers in ‘Life of a Bushman’
* ‘Is this Just Fantasy?’ - Tim Belin looks at cosplay
* In ‘Tapu’, Liam Edkins explores the power of his taonga
* ‘My Muddled Mind’ - grandad begins his recovery from stroke - Hayley Colquhoun
* ‘What a Time to be Tinted’ - Nayte Matai’a-Davidson with stories from 70’s Grey Lynn
* ‘The Road to a Ribbon’ - Molly Dagger goes to a calf show

AUT documentaries start on ‘Nights’ shortly after Christmas. They’ll also feature on the RNZ website.

Radio is a fast-paced, dynamic medium that has the power of immediacy. It’s often the first medium to break the news and it’s a primary source of entertainment and information. Radio is also at the forefront of popular culture – delivering music, opinion and information to ever more savvy and demanding audiences. The internet has only extended radio’s reach and influence, as radio stations have now developed sophisticated online presences that offer audiences numerous exciting ways to interact with them. These new opportunities create many new ways for radio to reach and interact with audiences hungry for music, news, information and entertainment.

The Radio major in the Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) places equal emphasis on creativity, performance skills, theory, radio station operations and management, and the critical thinking needed to place those skills within the broader context of the medium.

You have many practical opportunities to work in FM and online broadcasting, and will plan, create and deliver content that engages your audiences. You also interact with top industry representatives from organisations such as Radio New Zealand, RadioWorks, NZME and The Radio Bureau.

Key features

  • Only university-based qualification in radio in New Zealand
  • Access to our state-of-the-art radio and audio studios
  • Real experience in our student radio station, Static 88.1fm

More information about the Bachelor of Communication Studies

Career opportunities

  • Announcer
  • Copywriter
  • Account executive
  • Media planner
  • Music director
  • Music programmer
  • Producer
  • Production engineer
  • Programme director
  • Promotions manager
  • Radio journalist
  • Record company representative
  • Station manager
  • Studio engineer
  • Website content manager


Most papers last one semester and are worth 15 points. Students must complete 120 points each year (360 points for the entire degree). In each year students study core (compulsory) papers, and select other papers from a range of options.

Year 1
Level 5:
COMM502 Interpersonal Communication (15 points)
COMM505 Image and Sound (15 points)
COMM506 Media Production Workshop (30 points)
COMM509 Media Communication I (15 points)
PHIL580 Applied Media Ethics (15 points)

SELECT a further 30 points from optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies.

Years 2 and 3
You get to know the business of radio and how both public and private broadcasters operate behind the scenes. You’ll be engaged in a range of professional tasks: announcing, writing and selling commercials, writing features, recording and producing items for broadcast, researching and presenting documentaries, compiling and presenting news and organising station and client promotions.

During these years you run an FM and online radio station with other radio students. You’ll be on-air and involved with the day-to-day management of the station. This involves creating the format, managing the playlists, selling advertising, writing features and commercials, promoting and marketing the station and its clients and learning how to work as a team in a fast paced and highly creative media enterprise.

Year 2 papers
Level 6:
COMM601 Media Communication II (15 points)
COMM603 Intercultural Communication (15 points)
RADC601 Radio Production I (15 points)
RADC602 Radio Production II (15 points)

SELECT a further 60 points from optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies. Students are recommended to take prerequisite papers from another major. If you wish to take a minor, 30 points of these papers at level 6 may be in your minor subject area.

Year 3 papers
Level 7:
COMM707 Media Communication III (15 points)
RADC701 Research Project Radio (15 points)
RADC702 Radio Performance (30 points)
RADC703 Applied Radio Techniques (15 points)

SELECT a further 45 points from optional papers listed below or any other paper in the Bachelor of Communication Studies. If you wish to take a minor, 30 points of these papers at level 7 may be in your minor subject area.

Level 5:
COMM507 Performance Communication (15 points)
COMM511 Introduction to Popular Culture (15 points)
MUSC500 Technology and Composition (15 points)
RADC501 Audio Production Techniques (15 points)
TVSP501 Screen Production Fiction I (15 points)

Level 6:
MARS603 Communications in Marketing, Advertising, Retailing, Sales (15 points)
MUSC600 Technology and Creative Expression (15 points)
TVSP600 Screen Production Fiction II (15 points)

Level 7:
ADVT773 Advanced Copywriting (15 points)
ADVT774 Selected Topics in Advertising Creativity (15 points)
ADVT775 Advanced Advertising Art Direction (15 points)
CIND703 Selected Topics in Creative Industries (15 points)
CIND706 Creative Marketplace (15 points)
CIND707 The Film Industries (15 points)
COMM703 Media and Politics (15 points)
COMM704 Promotional Culture (15 points)
COMM705 The Music Industries (15 points)
COMM710 Performance for Camera (15 points)
DIGM705 Selected Topics in Digital Media (15 points)
HIST770 Popular Monsters (15 points)
JOUR703 Data Journalism (15 points)
JOUR704 News Editing and Design (15 points)
JOUR705 Magazine Journalism (15 points)
JOUR706 Radio Journalism (15 points)
JOUR707 Photo Journalism (15 points)
JOUR708 Television Journalism (15 points)
JOUR709 Selected Topics in Journalism (15 points)
JOUR711 Reporting the Pacific Region (15 points)
JOUR712 Maori and Pasifika Media Industry (15 points)
MARS705 Trends and Innovations (15 points)
PUBL700 Communication in a Business Environment (15 points)
PUBL703 Selected Topics in Public Relations (15 points)
PUBL706 Sponsorship and Promotion (15 points)
RADC704 Radio and Society (15 points)
RADC705 Selected Topics in Radio (15 points)
TVSP702 Screenwriting: Drama (15 points)
TVSP703 Screenwriting: Documentary (15 points)
TVSP704 Advanced Studio Production (15 points)
TVSP705 Screen Interviews and Production (15 points)
TVSP707 Screen Production Management (15 points)
TVSP708 Selected Topics in Television and Screen Production (15 points)

Click here to view programme structure and paper outlines.

Additional course information can also be found here.

Enrolment in papers is subject to meeting all requirements and availability of papers.

Last updated: 26-Jan-2018 7.28am

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