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Communication PD

21 September 2023

Communication and the new developments in how we communicate are at the heart of modern workplaces. UC Arts offers beginner and advanced communication courses in professional development communication. Find out about studying Professional Development Communication with UC Arts.



Communication and the new developments in how we communicate are at the heart of the modern workplace. These courses have been categorised into beginner and advanced. Beginner courses are for those with no prior experience with the topic. Advanced courses are best taken when you have work experience or previous study in the topic. If you are unsure about the best fit for you, our friendly student advisors or the course co-ordinator can help you choose the right option.

Beginner courses
  • COMS101 - Media and Society

    Explore the relationship between society and media - including social media, print, broadcasting, and all kinds of online spaces.

    This course asks how our understandings of the world and people around us are mediated, how media have shaped society, and how society is reflected and produced through media. We will explore topics like media audiences, technologies, ownership and work; the frames of representation, power, and identity; and analytical tools like semiotics, discourse, and narrative. COMS101 is a stage one course that does not require any prior media study, but it builds on everything you have ever watched, listened to, interacted with, and produced.

  • COMS204 - Advertising and Cultural Consumption

    This course explores the increasingly strained relationship between advertising, consumerism, identity, the environment and citizenship. It takes a critical approach to the most ubiquitous form of media messaging that exists: the advertisement.

    Advertising has become a central component of our contemporary cultural environment that finances all of the communication industries. However, the effects of advertising may lie far outside only the funding of media systems. 

  • COMS225 - Politics and New Media

    A course that studies the latest developments on how public life and politics are being shaped by web-based communication.

    A Facebook profile is required to take part in this course. This course is being offered at two universities at once in Finland and Aotearoa New Zealand. Students will take part in discussions with students from the other university and will be taught by academics from each university, with a tutor and lecturer at Canterbury coordinating the local version of the course. You will be asked to think critically about the globalisation of politics online, about the divisions between haves and have nots and about the ways different groups pursue their agendas online.

  • HSRV201 - Communication in the Human Services

    Build foundation knowledge and skills in interpersonal communication, and enhance communication effectiveness in different organisational contexts.

    The purpose of HSRV201 is to provide a foundation of generic communications skills necessary for practice in social work and the human services. Consideration will be given to theoretical and contextual frameworks that impact on communication in the human services. Emphasis will be placed on cross-cultural communication and tikanga Maori. 

Advanced courses
  • COMS320 - Strategic Campaign Development

    This course covers theoretical and professional strategies in advertising and public relations. Students will learn ways to create different types of campaign messages.

    This advanced course in strategic communication will start with a broad introduction of the process of strategic planning strategic communication. After that, a significant portion of the course will be devoted to different situations that a campaign creator may come across.

  • COMS408 - Communication Ethics

    Looks at a range of ethical frameworks by which to study the responsibilities of media producers, the tenor of the relationships enabled by their textual practices, the quality of public spaces opened up in public communication and the social impact of mediated communication.

  • COMS425 - Campaign Planning with Social Data Analysis

    Gain understanding in how social data is analysed and utilised in campaign planning. You will learn the role of data mining, how to research and interpret social data, and how to create and develop a media campaign plan.

    The course will introduce what campaigns are, their purposes and effects, their importance in the society, and the strategies of developing a media advocacy plan. A significant portion of the course will be about the use of social data analysis, including big data and social network analysis, in informing and evaluating campaigns. Students will be given opportunities to manage social data and develop their campaign plans according to their interests based on the data. Such plans can be related to social policies, public health and safety, human rights, etc., and can be delivered through different communication channels including traditional mass media and social media. Controversies around the ethical uses of social data for campaign planning will be discussed, and students will need to identify ethical practices of using the data.

  • LING615 - World Englishes

    (Distance option available)

    Explore some of the historical, political and social issues associated with the development of different World Englishes, and discuss key structural differences between varieties of English.

    For the language professional attempting to operate in this environment (e.g. teacher, writer, editor, policy maker), there are a number of practical challenges: e.g. what type of English should we teach (and endorse)? How do learners' attitudes towards their target variety affect their eventual proficiency? How do we codify new and emerging varieties? These and many more real-world issues associated with policy, planning and pedagogy are tackled in this course.

Make it a complete qualification

Find out more about how to study for professional development at UC Arts

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