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

Associate Professor Linda Jean Kenix won the 2014 Excellence in Research award from the College of Arts in recognition of her research examining the representation of politically marginalized organizations, individuals, and ideologies in the mainstream and alternative news media; how the marginalized use various media to build social and political capital; and the convergence of alternative and mainstream media.

Dr. Zita Joyce, Associate Professor Linda Jean Kenix, Associate Professor Donald Matheson, COMS PhD student Martina Wengenmeir and Dr. James Smithies from Digital Humanities have won a collaborative, multidisciplinary College of Arts Research Challenge grant examining social media information flow around disasters.

Tara Ross has won a UC Teaching Development grant for her project to design and implement a workplace-based assessment model for journalism internships.

PhD student Martina Wengenmeir took third prize at the College of Arts Thesis in Three competition for her presentation, "Social media use in disaster recovery." 

Two current Honours students, Monique Steele and Michael Knewstubb (Media and Communication), have just returned from their COMS Honours exchange in Aarhus, Denmark. This exchange is part of the EU and Education New Zealand-funded Inclusive Journalism Initiative and is offered every year to COMS Honours students.

Congratulations to PhD student Shao Wei who has won $3000 from InternetNZ’s Internet research funding round for her work on the management of convergence in New Zealand and Chinese newsrooms.

QS World University Rankings named the Media and Communication department, the best in New Zealand for our subject area. 

The Media and Communication Department is absolutely thrilled to welcome Professor Steven Livingston as an Erskine Visitor during July and August of 2015. Professor Livingston is Professor of Media and Public Affairs and International Affairs at The George Washington University and the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs'(SMPA) Political Communication Program. He also holds a joint appointment in the Elliott School of International Affairs, is a research professor in the Political Science Department, and is a Faculty Associate in the Space Policy Institute. Livingston's research and teaching focus on media/information technology and international affairs. He is particularly interested in the role of information technology and media in national security policymaking.

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. (In press, 2015). Culture as constitutive: An exploration of audience and journalist perceptions of journalism in Samoa. Communication, Culture & Critique, 8, 2.
  • Kenix, L. J. (2014). The influence of ownership on independent and conglomerate community newspaper websites. Newspaper Research Journal, 35, 2 (Spring), 24-39.
  • Kenix, L.J. (In press, early access) You are either with us or with us: Constructing Samoan national identity through inclusion at the Samoa Observer. Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1464884914525557
  • Kenix, L.J. (2013) A converging image? Commercialism and the visual identity of alternative and mainstream news websites. Journalism Studies 14(6): 835-856. http://dx.doi.org/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): 246-250. http://dx.doi.org/10.7763/IJSSH.2013.V3.237.
  • 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.http://www.pjreview.info/volume-19/issue-1
  • 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. 
  • Musa, M. (2013) The political economy of football viewership in Africa. In J. Scherer and D. Rowe (Ed.), Sport, Public Broadcasting, and Cultural Citizenship: Signal Lost?: 263-282. New York: Routledge.http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415886031
  • 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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2013.831547.
  • 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.