More Opportunities at UC

More Opportunities at UC.

Media and Communication

Media and Communication as a subject of study examines the influence and impact of the media and new information technologies. It is designed to provide students with an understanding of how communication and media work and how they work within the broader context of society. It draws on both the arts and social sciences, and the degree develops a wide range of critical thinking, writing and research skills.

From the uprisings in Ukraine and the Middle East, to your relationship with friends on Snapchat, media are changing the world. Be a part of understanding these profound societal shifts and start your studies with the Media and Communication at the University of Canterbury.

Why Study COMS at Canterbury?

The University of Canterbury’s Media and Communication programme is the most international programme of its kind in the country.  With academic staff from North America, Europe, Africa and the Asia-Pacific regions, we bring international perspectives and knowledge, which will help you succeed in the global marketplace after graduation.
As a student in the department, you will gain knowledge and skills that will last a lifetime.  Our recent graduates are employed in a variety of fields including journalism and the media, business, government and the academy. Find out more about our department and everything that our amazing students are doing by liking the COMS Facebook page.

COMS is also actively engaged in placing 2nd and 3rd year students into Arts internships where they gain practical experience in the field of media and communication. Our best students receive an integrated capstone undergraduate internship experience that brings together their academic work into a professional project, which they can draw upon to transition into the workplace.  As an example, RDU internships run in semester one and two each year. The students are now producing their radio shows from a broadcast studio on campus, established by RDU and the Media and Communication Department on the ground floor of the Locke Building. Tune in to hear more of our students’ news at RDU.

Find out more about how to build COMS into your degree.

What are the transferrable skills I will gain after obtaining a COMS undergraduate degree?

  • communication
  • collaboration
  • problem-solving
  • organisation
  • informational literacy
  • analytical thinking
  • cultural competence  
  • critical engagement
  • applying technology

News and Announcements

Recent News about UC COMS

27 March 2015

On Tuesday 31 March, COMS staff member Sue Tait will present her research in a talk titled “Bearing Witness to the Trauma of the Death Penalty via Television Drama” as part of the COMS Seminar Series held weekly in Locke 611A.

20 March 2015

Graduate Diploma in Journalism tutor Sean Scanlon has been awarded a Dart Centre Asia Pacific Fellowship. He will travel to Hong Kong in May for a week-long seminar series on journalists and the coverage of traumatic news events.  Scanlon, news editor of The Press, will join 15 other journalists from the region.
On Tuesday 24 March, COMS MA candidate Sophie Nussbaumer will present her research in a talk titled “How Christchurch's Rough Sleeping Youth Use Their Mobile Phones” as part of the COMS Seminar Series held weekly in Locke 611A.

13 March 2015

Linda Jean Kenix published a paper titled, "Culture as constitutive: An exploration of audience and journalist perceptions of journalism in Samoa," in Communication, Culture & Critique. (vol. 8, issue 2, pp. 37-54. doi: 10.1111/cccr.12076)

On Tuesday 10 March, COMS PhD candidate Semiu Bello presented his research in a talk titled “Newspaper coverage of health issues in Nigeria: A triangular approach” as part of the COMS Seminar Series held weekly in Locke 611A.

6 March 2015

Donald Matheson won a University Teaching Grant. The title of the funding is ‘Implementing and evaluating a community and work-integrated course on social media’. He has been given $3000 to employ an assistant to help create relationships with about 15 partner organisations and to monitor those relationships to ensure the course is sustainable.

The COMS Seminar Series is kicking off for 2015 with a research chat by PhD candidate Semiu Bello. Semiu will be discussing his research in a talk titled “Newspaper coverage of health issues in Nigeria: A triangular approach”. See you in Locke 611a at 12pm on Tuesday 10 March.

15 December 2014

Semiu Bello, PhD student in Media and Communication, had his paper titled "The concept of health communication, converging points and key issues: Towards a more informed populace" accepted for publication in Media and Communication Review.

21 November 2014

Dr. Zita Joyce was Guest Editor for a recently published edition of MEDIANZ: Media Studies Journal of Aotearoa New Zealand.  This was a special issue of the journal, titled "Mediatization of the Canterbury Earthquakes."  It has important work from Kris Vavasour (2011 UC COMS Honours Graduate) and our recent PhD graduate, Sean Scanlon, as well as many other New Zealand scholars.

Media and Communication Research Seminars

Media and Communication Research Seminars are held on most Tuesdays in Room 611A, Locke Building from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. Absolutely everyone is welcome.  Information about recent COMS research seminars can be found here.

Recent Publications from UC COMS faculty

  • Bahador, B., Kemp, G., McMillan, K. and Rudd, C. (Ed.) (2013) Politics and the Media. Auckland: Pearson. 285.
  • Kenix, L. J. (2015). You are either with us or with us: Constructing Samoan national identity through inclusion at the Samoa Observer. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, 16, 4, 553-570. doi: 10.1177/1464884914525557
  • Kenix, L. J. (2015). Culture as constitutive: An exploration of audience and journalist perceptions of journalism in Samoa. Communication, Culture & Critique, 8, 1, 37-54. doi: 10.1111/cccr.12076
  • Kenix, L. J. (2014). Independent websites not so different from group-owned. Newspaper Research Journal, 35, 2 (Spring), 24-39.
  • Kenix, L. J. (2013). A converging image? Commercialism and the visual identity of alternative and mainstream news websites. Journalism Studies, 14, 6 (December), 835-856.
    doi: 10.1080/1461670X.2012.754239
  • Kenix, L. J. (2013). The influence of local culture on the ideology of Samoan journalism. International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 3, 3 (May), 246-250. doi: 10.7763/IJSSH.2013.V3.2347
  • Matheson, D. (2014) History of Citizen Journalism. In Moy, P. (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Communication: [web]. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  • Xin, J. and Matheson, D. (2013) The emerging practices of Chinese web journalism during the Beijing Olympics: A textual comparison with Western news sites. Pacific Journalism Review 19(1): 221-243.
  • Matheson, D. (2013) The power of online politics. In C. Rudd, G. Kemp, K. McMillan and B. Bahador (Ed.), Politics and the media: 132-144. Auckland: Pearson. 
  • Allan, S. and Matheson, D. (2013) War reporting in a digital age. In K. Orton-Johnson and N. Prior (Ed.), Digital sociology: Critical perspectives: 151-168. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 
  • Ross, T. (2013) 'Telling the brown stories': an examination of identity in the ethnic media of multi-generational immigrant communities. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies: 1-16.
  • Ross, T. (2013) Inclusive Journalism. In G. Hannis (Ed.), Intro: A beginner's guide to journalism in 21st-century Aotearoa/New Zealand: 62-74. Wellington: New Zealand Journalists Training Organisation.