If you’re interested in communication and want the practical experience that’s going to get you industry ready, then a Bachelor of Communications at UTS could be for you!
We’ll run you through the different majors, core units, assessments, uni culture and more so you know exactly what to expect!
Now, let’s get started!
What is a Bachelor of Communication at UTS?
There’s no denying that the media plays a pretty big role in our society and in every field, communicators are needed!
A Bachelor of Communication at UTS is a degree that focuses on social sciences and the media across a diverse range of majors which all offer hands-on experiences. This degree gets you thinking critically about the world around you, encourages creativity and an awareness of current affairs and social issues.
You’ll learn by doing and that’s why there are barely any exams! Instead, you’ll be out in the real world chasing stories, making a short film or conducting research for an essay – all of which can be added to your portfolio to show future employers.
You’ll be taught by industry professionals and have access to all the tools and resources you need – editing labs, sound studios and even an equipment store with some pretty fancy camera gear!
Can you study a double degree or complete your Honours?
Yes! There’s an option to complete an Honours year and there are some great double degrees. You can combine a Bachelor of Communication with Law (5 years), International Studies (5 years) or Creative Intelligence and Innovation (4 years). Have a look here for some more info!
So, you’re wondering what you can do with a Bachelor of Communication? Since many of the skills you learn and refine are needed in most workplaces, lucky for you, there are many possibilities!
You could find yourself working in:
Core Units and Majors
What are the Majors?
A Bachelor of Communication at UTS offers six different majors which all combine practical experience with theory providing you with the skills you need to be industry ready.
You can choose from:
How do you choose your major?
If you can’t decide between two majors, don’t worry because everyone must choose a second major for the first semester anyway. Perhaps you’ll love both majors which is great because guess what? You can continue with them for the rest of your studies, providing you meet the minimum GPA.
Something to keep in mind is that the Media Arts and Production (MAPS) major can only be taken as a principal major. So, if you want to combine MAPS with any of the other majors listed above, that would have to be your second major.
Now, if you didn’t enjoy your second major after the first semester, you’re in luck because you can choose from 14 interesting electives such as Communicating Health and Science, Design Thinking for Social Innovation or even Creative Reading – you’ll definitely find something that interests you!
You can find more information on the electives here!
Is there variety in your elective options?
Now, as of the spring semester in your second year, you get to choose one of the 26 cross-disciplinary electives and there is an exciting and wide range of options! Perhaps Climate Justice and Climate Policy sparks your interest? You can even study Contemporary France or Global Cinema – the list goes on!
What’s a Journalism major like?
A journalism major at UTS gets you working and thinking like a journalist from day one! You’ll be thrown into the deep end at the start but that’s because the best way to learn is on the job.
It’s a hands-on major that prepares you for the changing landscape of the media and teaches you how to be ethical in your methods. You’ll develop your research, writing and technical skills across all forms of media including digital, print, audio and video.
Not only does the major cover how to write different types of stories but also how to interview, record audio, handle film cameras and use editing programs. Most of the tutors work in the industry so you’re learning from the best.
You’ll receive weekly emails about journalism jobs and internship opportunities. You can even volunteer for the UTS Newsroom – Central News where students cover stories and have their work published!
Now, don’t worry if you have no idea how to write a news story because the first subject, 54020 Stories from the Streets: Local Journalism, Social Media teaches you very quickly! You’ll get used to working to a deadline (yes, like in a real newsroom!) and at the end of each semester, you’ll either have a written, video or audio story that you can add to your portfolio.
You get to study Multimedia Journalism, Current Affairs and Longer-Form Journalism and of course, Investigative Journalism. By working on collaborative projects with your peers, you’ll get an idea of what it’s like to be part of a newsroom team.
In the final semester, you work on your Industry Portfolio which consists of a variety of stories for you to show future employers.
What’s a Media Arts and Production major like?
In the Media Arts and Production major, there is a lot of creative freedom to experiment with your media projects where you combine your learnt knowledge of theory with technical aspects. You’ll develop a wide range of skills across sound, film and digital media while learning about the history and practices of media arts.
The subject 54033 Aesthetics is all about experimenting with different media forms, giving you the freedom to create anything you want! Of course, there are more theory based subjects during the first year like 54030 Exploring Media Arts and 54031 Composing the Real which teach you about the foundations of media arts.
In the final semester, you create a professional project (UTS like to call it a capstone) alongside your classmates. Even here, you have the creative freedom to choose what you want – maybe you’ll create an installation or sound piece or a short film that can be submitted to a film festival!
What can you expect from the Core Units?
There’s no need to roll your eyes when you hear the words ‘Core Units’ because the three that all Communication students complete are actually interesting. If you need some convincing, they are also a great way to meet new people from other majors, participate in interesting discussions and develop critical thinking.
There is a focus on social studies which provides you with knowledge about how society functions and the structures within it. 54000 Citizenship and Communication looks at democracy and the role of the media in society while 54001 Digital Literacies explores issues such as accessibility in terms of technology and 54002 Communicating Difference like the name suggests, focuses on identity and diversity.
How to Get into a Bachelor of Communication at UTS
The ATAR cut off for a Bachelor of Communication at UTS depends on which major you choose. You can find more about this here!
However, the minimum ATAR for a UTS Communications degree is an ATAR of 72.10 for Creative Writing.
Now if you don’t get the ATAR to study the major you want, UTS offers options to get you there! You can study a Diploma of Communication with UTS College and if you meet the required GPA (Grade Point Average), you can transfer into the second year of a Bachelor of Communication.
Check out all the details here!
Are there any prerequisites?
Lucky for you, there aren’t any prerequisites to study Communications at UTS. However, considering the core units and majors involve a lot of writing and engaging with different ideas, it would be helpful to have taken Advanced English.
For Journalism or Media Arts and Production, if you know how to film or record and have experience with editing programs like Premiere, you’ll be very thankful!
What scholarships are available?
There are many scholarships for different faculties at UTS which can be found here!
What’s the Teaching Format?
A Bachelor of Communication at UTS is taught through lectures and tutorials – and you’re in luck because UTS Communications have semesters.
However, if you’re a busy bee – perhaps working a lot, doing an internship or want to spread the subjects out across the year, Summer School could be for you! Although it’s not possible to complete UTS Communication Core units or the Major subjects, you can take Communication electives!
As a UTS Communications student, you usually do three subjects a semester.
What are the classes like?
The lectures are about one hour and focus on a new theme each week, with typically over 100 students attending. They are more theory based and focus on ideas from the readings.
Often, there will be a guest speaker who discusses either their knowledge of a certain topic or their experience in the field. For the Communication Core units, it’s important to attend the lectures so you can discuss the ideas with your classmates during the tutorials.
The tutorials run for two hours and the time usually flies by because they’re full of discussion and group work, in classes of 20 to 25 students.
Ideas from the readings and lectures are covered – yes, it’s expected that you do the readings before the tutorial. Anyway, it’s more fun because you can participate in the discussion!
Depending on your major, the style of the tutorial will be slightly different. For example, a Media Arts and Production tutorial is more hands on than a Social and Political Sciences tutorial which is more theory based.
How many hours do you have to go to university?
Something to love about UTS Communications is the minimal contact hours. If you study a comms degree full-time, you’ll do 3 subjects with 3 contact hours which totals to about 9 contact hours a week.
Sounds relaxed, right? But don’t think you’re taking the easy way out because you also have to put in the hours outside of uni.
For example, with Journalism, you do the interviews, writing, filming and editing in your own time. With the core units, there’s a weekly list of required and recommended readings that can sometimes be rather long – although interesting!
An advantage of the few contact hours means that there’s more time to complete internships and get experience in the industry before you finish your degree.
What are the assessments like?
Guess what? Most of the assessments for a Bachelor of Communications at UTS are project based rather than exams!
The assessments do depend on your major, however you can expect to have around three or four for each subject every semester. The first few are typically smaller and more theory based which help you work out your idea or argument for the final project.
So, when you can only think about the holidays and still have this final assessment left, a lot of the hard work has been done in the previous ones! You can use your end of semester projects to show future employers and even when applying for internships!
Assessments for the core units include presentations, essays and weekly blogs that engage with the readings and lectures.
What are the skills you develop?
During this degree, you’ll develop your research and communication skills (writing and speaking) which are valuable for whatever job you choose and just life in general.
You’ll become a critical thinker and develop your analytical skills to make informed judgements. You’ll also develop some more specific skills depending on your choice of major, so you’re ready to walk into the industry.
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?
Although UTS doesn’t have a big central campus like some of the other universities since it is more spread out through the city, there is a strong clubs and societies culture where you can meet heaps of cool people.
UTS has quite a chilled and laid back vibe with fairly open minded people who come from all over the place – so it’s a great mix! This makes discussions in tutorials vibrant and sometimes even challenges your own viewpoints.
The tutors for a Bachelor of Communication at UTS are friendly and professional with most of them working in the industry – it sort of feels like you’re just colleagues at work.
A great place to catch up with friends or meet new people is at The Loft – the on-campus university bar. They have trivia nights, comedy and live bands throughout the week. You can even grab a quick pizza with your drink!
UTSoC (The UTS Society of Communication) offer heaps of opportunities to meet other Comms students who are in other classes or do different majors to you. There’s a First Year Orientation Camp, workshops and panel nights with industry professionals and of course, the much loved Communications Ball!
Have a look here to see what other clubs and societies might spark your interest.
Tanna Nankivell is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is currently in Germany completing a year of study for her double degree in Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts (International Studies). She has had articles published on Central News – the UTS Journalism Lab and wrote a feature piece for Time Out Sydney during her internship. Tanna has a love for travel and the great outdoors, you’ll either find her on the snowfields or in the ocean, teaching aqua aerobics or creating short films.