Bachelor of Communication: one course, five careers

Not all degrees are constructed the same way. Take our Bachelor of Communication. It’s set up so you can choose a path – called a specialisation – that aligns with your specific career goals. Neat, huh?

But what exactly, you might be asking, is a specialisation? Well, it’s a suite of subjects you can elect to take in your degree that builds a skillset relevant to a particular career. In the Bachelor of Communication, you have five options.

  1. Advertising
  2. Digital Media Production
  3. Journalism
  4. Public Relations
  5. Radio

Whichever specialisation you choose, you’ll get a solid grounding in the fundamentals of communication across all industries, with a set of core subjects. Things like ethics, law, entrepreneurship. Plus, developing a portfolio to learn how to produce and present your work. Then, you can take your learning down the avenue you choose – all from within the one degree.

So, what do these specialisations look like?

Advertising

Want to create compelling ad campaigns that fascinate people? That drive a business and make a splash? Our advertising specialisation is where you can. You’ll learn the whole gamut of a campaign, from researching your target audience and planning it across channels – including social and digital – to getting it out into the world.

You will also have the chance to get creative, as Pia Priestley, who’s currently studying her Bachelor of Communication explains.

“The advertising creative class is where we learn about how to formulate a strong idea and investigate what comprises an effective advertisement.

“For instance, recently we were looking at body copy and how the writing of an advertisement helps to convey the meaning of an image. We did this by comparing an array of successful campaigns and finding the common themes between them.

“We then take these themes and apply them to an example brief provided by our teacher to create our own advertisements. It’s a fun class!”

Digital Media Production

Digital media is a part of most of our daily lives. We consume news and entertainment digitally. We communicate on social media digitally. And we can create digitally, too, telling stories in new ways. That’s why Dr Travis Holland, Course Director and lecturer and researcher in communication at Charles Sturt, is so enthusiastic about the opportunities our digital media production specialisation presents.

“This is an extraordinarily exciting time to be a media producer. There are so many storytelling options, different channels available and ways an audience can find content.

“With the social media and technological explosion (internet, laptops, tablets and smart phones), all of a sudden the boundaries and expectations for modern, professional storytelling were blown away.

“There are now no rules for engaging an audience. Rather, the creative door has been flung wide open and the challenge for communicators is set: come forth with your creativity and explore the unexplored.

“Mix and match technologies. Do what has never been done – or even thought of – to capture the attention of your audience. Engage them. Seek out new audiences, en masse or niche markets, and delve into every nook and cranny to reach them – whether they are in your own backyard or on the other side of the world.”   

In this specialisation, you develop all the skills to conceive and create digital media – planning, video and audio production, scriptwriting. What’s more, you also learn about how to use technologies to get your stories out in front of your audience’s eyes. 

Journalism

Choose the journalism specialisation in our Bachelor of Communication and you’ll learn not only the fundamentals of newsgathering and crafting compelling pieces of journalism. You’ll also learn about radio and audio journalism, using video to tell stories, and how to use multimedia and data to give your stories more impact.

It’s this range of skills that Jock Cheetham, highly experienced journalist and Charles Sturt academic, sees as key to thriving as a journalist today – and tomorrow.

“I think future journalists need to be multiskilled and multidisciplinary. So, for example, if you want to be a print journalist, you need to be well across current affairs. You must be able to fact check, have writing skills, network for contacts, know about legal requirements in your craft, apply ethics to your work, and so on. All these things are fundamental to journalism.

“But increasingly, you can’t just be a text writer. You probably need to be able to add some photographs to your stories if required (even if just on your smartphone). Plus be able to shoot video and, in a lot of cases, edit video. You also need – whatever platform you’re on – to work with social media in a skillful way. Plus, you’ll need an awareness of the digital environment to increase the reach of your work. Data visualisation is also a pretty fundamental skill for journalists today.”

Public Relations

Take the lead in how organisations communicate to their audiences – internally and externally. From managing relationships within a company, to letting the public know about an exciting event, public relations (PR) combines strategic thinking with creative flair.

It’s this combination – which you will learn in our public relations specialisation – that will, Travis Holland believes, set you up for success in your Bachelor of Communication, even if you don’t stay in PR throughout.

“The communications industry is becoming much more creative and moving beyond traditional borders of, say, ‘this is a journalistic report’ to seeing the way information is used more fluidly across forms. This will see more people moving between sectors during their careers. Perhaps you’ll go from PR into journalism and on to forms of creative writing.”

Radio

Radio is another industry where the opportunities to tell stories has grown with the advent of technology. So it’s not just the airwaves that are open to you. It’s streaming and podcasts as well. In our radio specialisation, you get to grips with production planning, audio programming and the strategies for ‘selling’ your ideas’. You can really stretch your creative muscles – aurally.

Angus French is currently pursuing the radio specialisation. He’s enjoying the creative license that comes with it.

“The final assessment for one subject is to create an episode of a podcast. I’m creating a story-based, thriller podcast. It’s about an individual trapped in an endless office building.

“The process is quite involved. I have to write, edit, record and piece together the entire thing. Even the sound effects must all be original!

“It might not be as easy as I first thought it was going to be, but it’s great fun nonetheless.”

It’s your Bachelor of Communication

These specialisations mean that you can tailor your communication degree to the career you want. If you’re not sure yet, that’s okay. You can also select subjects from across the specialisations to build a unique skill set.

Find out where our Bachelor of Communication can take you.