BA Communication and Media

The BA in Communication & Media is a 24-course programme that combines courses from Journalism, Linguistics, Marketing and Management with a specialist subject in a field of your choice. It gets you ‘workplace-ready’ with job application training, a workplace attachment, and a range of digital, communication and research skills built in. You will be able to target jobs in communication, media, digital media, marketing, public relations and communications management. You can choose any subject that interests you for the specialist subject, but must seek advice approval from the programme coordinator before registering for these courses.


2024 Programme Orientation (Week 2)

(Click here for more details)


Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s – BA Communication & Media

Programme Planner

Programme planner (required for specialist subject approval)

Courses available for the specialist subject

Handbook & Calendar (look through the courses offered in the back half of the book)


The programme coordinators for the BA in Communication and Media are Dr Shailendra Singh (Journalism, and Dr Fiona Willans (Linguistics, Please contact either of them for any queries, or contact Mrs Antoinette Parker ( for general enquiries about studying in SPACE.

Programme requirements

The BA in Communication & Media is a prescribed programme of 24 courses, as follows:

Year 1: UU100, UU114, JN101, JN103, LN111, MG101, plus 2 courses at 100-level from an approved specialist subject

Year 2: UU200, UU204, JN201, LN216, MG206, plus 1 or 2 of JN202, JN203, LN211, plus 1 or 2 courses at 200-level from the approved specialist subject

Year 3: JN303, LN317, MG303, plus 3 or 4 of JN301, JN302, LN311, LN315, MG301, plus 1 or 2 courses at 300-level from the approved specialist subject

Students must seek advice and approval from the programme coordinator before registering for the specialist subject courses.

You can choose any subject that interests you. So think about a subject you liked at school, or a new area that you’d like to learn about (like Psychology or Linguistics or Sociology), or useful skills like learning a new language. When you graduate, you will be able to say that you have Communication & Media skills AND expertise in a specialist area. To search for a suitable subject, click the link to and download the most recent handbook & calendar, where you will see all the subjects offered at USP. If you need inspiration, look at the subjects offered as Minors. You will see about 30 Minors offered by the different Schools. and you can read through the course descriptions for each course. We can help you plan which courses will fit into your programme planner.

Planning your programme and seeking approval for your specialist subject

  1. Discuss your options via email, Zoom or in person with a programme coordinator.
  2. Download and fill the programme planner with your chosen courses. There are examples on p.2 to guide you.
  3. Use the current handbook & calendar to look for subjects that interest you for your specialist subject (you can choose any subject offered), to check which semester each course is offered, and to check any pre-requisites. (e.g. If the pre-requisite for LN213 is either LN111 or LN118, this means you must pass one of these courses before you can register for LN213.)
  4. Email the planner to for approval.
  5. Register for your courses.
  6. Use AAGO to apply for special registration for any specialist subject courses that are not listed for registration on SOLS.

Core courses (you must take all of the following):

UU100 is one of the four compulsory generic courses and is to be taken in the first year of full-time study and before enrolling in 200 and 300 level courses. The aim of this course is to ensure that all incoming students develop knowledge and competence in the use of computers and information resources. The course covers fundamental concepts of computers and their applications and addresses the broader imperative for students to develop the capacity to effectively locate, access, evaluate and use information effectively.

This is a core course for all undergraduate students, which must be completed in the first year of full-time study and before enrolling in 200 and 300 level courses. It supports the skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing through English in academic contexts, specifically at tertiary level. The course develops critical engagement with authentic materials from a content theme that will be of broad relevance to students from all programmes. These materials are then supplemented by a strand in which students apply the skills covered in the course to an independent research-based assignment that relates to a topic from their own discipline.

This course is a conceptual and a practical introduction to journalism which surveys the media in the South Pacific. It will focus on the practical skills of news writing for print and online media. It will be conducted through a combination of lectures and extensive practical workshops and assignments for the training newspaper Wansolwara and its website. Emphasis will be placed on writing news in plain and clear English.

This course examines the rights, responsibilities and moral obligations of journalists. Students will be familiarised with the laws of defamation, contempt of Parliament and the courts, conventions of court reporting, privacy, breach of confidentiality, and human rights. The course will also examine media ethical concepts, including the role of ethical codes, and fairness and balance in the media. The course will be delivered through formal lectures, group discussion and weekly reading.

This course introduces the key foundations of Linguistics – the scientific study of language and languages. We all use language every day, and yet many people know far less about language and languages than they think they do. This course helps students appreciate the almost infinite variety in language and shows them how the languages they speak fit into their society and culture.

This course aims to help students understand important management concepts and theories, covering the basic management functions and other important issues from a practical perspective. It provides a comprehensive and integrated introduction to the process of management in both functional and behavioural aspects. In particular, the course targets the development of human skills, personal, interpersonal and group skills by using a wide range of teaching methods that encourage student participation during tutorials.

This generic course offers an exploratory and interdisciplinary insight into ethics and the ethics of governance. It introduces students to ethical theories and philosophies (in terms of virtues, consequences and duties) and links these to structures of governance, in particular, self, political, corporate, and global governance. The theoretical framework is then used to delve into the fascinating and controversial field of applied ethics, ranging through the law, corporate and workplace ethics, social justice issues and controversial ethical dilemmas. Students will be encouraged to think critically, develop self-awareness and make responsible ethical decisions in personal, professional and applied contexts.

In this course you will be introduced to the places, histories, cultures, arts and politics of Oceania. Our interdisciplinary approach weaves together first-hand information from people of the area, supplemented with historical writings, contemporary documents and visual representations as they relate to the region. To draw upon such a range of diverse knowledge requires a navigational concept and in this class we engage the model of the waka or canoe to steer our course through five thematic areas of learning and knowing.

This course will teach skills in page making and layout, photo editing and captioning, and Internet publishing. Classes will include lectures, workshops, and current affairs news forums. Lecture topics will include texts and images, the history and development of press photography, cropping the photograph, image processing, computing, and online journalism. Students will also be assigned subediting work on the training newspaper Wansolwara.

This course examines the way language is used in the Pacific region in the current, globalised era. In the first half of the course, we introduce different frameworks through which to understand multilingualism, and we use these to examine a range of linguistic data from speech, writing, music, street signs, graffiti, text messages and social media. In the second half, we consider how best to communicate messages of contemporary importance to a target audience, learning how to design multilingual posters, webpages, video clips and other resources.

This course is an in-depth survey of the principles of marketing. The course is based on an understanding of the importance of marketing to the success of any business endeavour. While strategy and planning considerations are covered, the emphasis is on buyer behaviour and the use of the marketing mix to reach that buyer successfully. Students will receive a working understanding of the concepts and procedures of marketing in today’s environment, and its inter-relationship with other business functions. Students whose primary interests lie in other fields will go away with the foundation to understand how marketing relates to their primary area of interest.

In this course students will learn to demonstrate their ability to take responsibility as journalists and to professionally put into practice their journalism skills developed during the programme.

This course uses different frameworks, tools and techniques to analyse written, spoken and multimodal texts. We use qualitative analysis to identify the ‘stories-we-live-by’ and the ways these are constructed through different linguistic devices. This type of analysis illustrates the impact of language on the world around us and demonstrates the power of the words we choose to use whenever we communicate.

The course introduces the multiple dimensions, environments, and strategies of international marketing. General topics include the changing character of the world economy, the globalisation of markets, regional regulatory agencies, the international financial system, and the variable impacts of politics and culture on contracts and trade agreements. Strategic topics include foreign market assessment, foreign market entry, responding to competition, product modification, pricing decisions, channel selection, and cross-cultural promotion. Case studies and the preparation of a product/service export plan integrate the general understanding with concrete and practical experience.

Take either 1 or 2 of the following courses:

This course will teach skills in radio broadcast equipment use, interviewing, writing scripts, writing news bulletins, programming and presentations. Classes will include lectures, workshops, and current affairs news forums. Lecture topics will include the impact of radio on society, broadcasting in the South Pacific and internationally, propaganda versus news, new technologies, press freedom, and ethics. Students will also be assigned reporting and production work on Radio Pasifik.

The course distinguishes the process involved in writing for television as distinct from other media. It puts stress on teaching visual language skills. Workshops will include video scripting, camera techniques, sound and lighting, location issues, editing with Final Cut Pro, and producing TV news, news features, and documentaries. The focus of the course is journalistic as well as technical. Lecture topics will include the history and development of television/cinema in the Pacific and internationally.

This course focuses on the description and analysis of the structure of English. It looks at the way sounds and words are formed (phonology and morphology), and then examines the way words are joined together as phrases, then clauses, and then sentences (syntax). It aims to reveal the patterns that underlie English, in ways that will be useful for anyone studying, using or teaching the language. LN211 will be of interest to those who use English on a daily basis but want to know more about how it actually works!

Take either 3 or 4 of the following courses:

The main theme throughout this course is international journalism with a special emphasis on the role of the media in the Pacific and the Pacific Rim. Students will learn the various theories of how media function in various countries. Topics will include press freedom, development journalism, international journalism ethics, war reporting, public diplomacy, comparative journalism, and news media ownership and control internationally and in the South Pacific.

Students are introduced to scientific methods of researching stories using statistics, archival sources and written materials. The main aim is to learn how to obtain information through the use of databases and the Internet. Students will also be introduced to more specialised areas of journalism such as government, health and the arts. They will learn to interpret data, obtain statistically valid poll data and report on it. Assignments will be published in the Wansolwara.

This course examines English specifically as it is used in the Pacific. It begins by tracing the spread of English – as a colonial language, a language of globalisation, and an international lingua franca. It considers different varieties of English and discusses what is meant by ‘Pacific English’. It examines the role that English plays throughout our region and considers the deep-rooted beliefs and attitudes that are held regarding this language. LN311 gives students from a variety of programmes a valuable opportunity to reflect critically on a language that is afforded such a high role and status in the region.

Computer-aided research of language material is increasingly popular in contemporary research. This course is an introduction to corpus linguistics, where a ‘corpus’ refers to a collection of electronic texts that represent a sample of a particular variety of use of language(s). You will explore various software applications for collecting, displaying and analysing linguistic information from corpora, examining practical examples that include large corpora such as the Australian National Corpus, smaller corpora of Pacific languages (Paradisec archive), web-based corpora, and specific app-based corpora such as Twitter. There will be a final project, which requires students to conduct research on text data and language.

This course explores the strategic, operational, marketing and financial issues related to the provision of a service that leads to a high level of customer satisfaction. It examines the ways by which human resources can be managed effectively to achieve this. The methodologies available for measuring, analysing and designing service systems are evaluated, along with the role that marketing has in attracting customers and shaping their expectations. The financial implications of providing a quality service are examined.

Take between 4 and 6 courses from your specialist subject

  • Target a particular sector you want to work in

e.g. Environment, Endangered Languages, Tourism, Economics, Nutrition

  • Pick up general skills that will help your employability

e.g. Learn a Language, Basic Accounting, Management

  • Follow your passion in any subject of interest

e.g. History, Literature, Languages and Cultures


You may design a specialist subject that works best for you, and this may include courses from different subject areas. However, you MUST seek approval for your specialist subject from the programme coordinator in advance (and seek re-approval for any later changes) to avoid any problems later on when you apply to graduate.

Number of courses

  • At 100-level, you must choose 2 courses from your specialist subject.
  • At 200-level, you must choose either 1 or 2 courses from your specialist subject, to make 8 courses in total.
  • At 300-level, you must choose either 1 or 2 courses from your specialist subject, to make 8 courses in total.


  • Check the pre-requisites for the courses you wish to take at 200-level and 300-level. You will only be allowed to take a course at a higher level, if you have already passed the pre-requisites listed in the handbook & calendar for that course.

Semester offerings

  • Check which semester all your courses are offered.
  • Note that course offerings can sometimes change from year to year. Always check the current year’s handbook & calendar online.
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