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Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism

Key facts

  • Available at Wellington
  • Selected entry programme. Applications close close 24 January 2020 for new students.
  • One year of full-time study
  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Join the elite

Gain a qualification of top international-standing with strong practical industry skills. Massey’s journalism programmes are the only ones in Australia or New Zealand accredited by US organisation the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism is a one-year full-time course, focusing on practical, relevant skills. Building upon your undergraduate qualification, the skills gained will give you an edge with potential employers. Based on leading overseas journalism qualifications and will build a firm foundation for an exciting career in journalism and other media-related areas.

Practical, relevant experience, while you study

On-the-job experience is a key component of the qualification, giving you relevant experience sought after by employers.

In the second half of the year, you will spend time working at media organisations, which include newspapers, news websites, magazines, radio and television stations. You will then do a full-time work placement at a media organisation. This could be anywhere in the country, including major dailies, provincial newspapers, magazines, internet news organisations, radio and television stations.

Award-winning students

Our journalism students are regular finalists and winners of the journalism industry's prestigious Voyager Media Awards. They also regularly win major national prizes for investigative journalism.

Close connections with industry

The Massey journalism programme enjoys a close working relationship with the country’s leading newspapers, news websites, radio stations and television stations. Wellington’s Dominion Post newspaper, for instance, has hired many of our graduates, hosts our students on work experience and funds prizes, such as the Alex Veysey Memorial Prize, for our top students.

International recognition and accreditation


The Massey University course is the oldest continuously operating journalism school in New Zealand, having been training journalists since 1966. Recently, the journalism industry gave the Massey journalism course an award for outstanding contribution to the industry, declaring that “no institution can claim to have had a greater role in shaping journalists in this country than the Wellington course.”

Our journalism programme is part of a prestigious and small group of international programmes (and the only one in Australia and New Zealand) to be recognised by the US-based Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

The accreditation recognises the Massey course's top international standing, excellent connections with industry, commitment to constant improvement, strong leadership, and quality research output.

And journalism educators in the US judged our course’s intensive module on reporting for the web as the best teaching idea “by far”, beating out more than 50 mostly US-based courses.

Massey University’s business and management studies rank in the top 300 (by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings). We are ranked No.1 in New Zealand and in the top 150 in the world for our business administration and communication programmes by ShanghaiRanking.

Learn the vital skills of journalism

You will learn the vital industry skills to be a successful journalist in our modern society.

You will learn news reporting, web-based reporting, feature writing, sports reporting, radio and television reporting, shorthand, etc. These are all the skills journalism workplaces expect of their new recruits.

It is no wonder the programme boasts an effectively 100 per cent employment rate.

In this postgraduate diploma you will gain skills in:

  • News writing: Write and publish many news stories
  • Feature writing: Write features and other specialist forms of journalism
  • Interviewing: Learn the skills of successful and informative interviewing
  • Photography: Learn how to product quality news photos with digital cameras
  • Radio and TV reporting: Prepare a variety of news stories to broadcast standard
  • Web-based journalism: Produce online news items (including text, links, audio and video).
  • Media law: Learn media law and the proper procedures for court and local authority reporting
  • Media ethics: Consider the big ethical issues that confront journalists
  • Shorthand: Reach industry-required speed and accuracy levels for shorthand
  • New media: Critically reflecting on new media practices including the use of social media
  • Work experience: Gain industry experience through several weeks' work placement at media organisations

Read more about the Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism

A good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate degree (or completed one by time course starts)
  • Have excellent English language and written and oral communication skills
  • Are dedicated to accuracy
  • Have a good knowledge and interest in current affairs
Chris Bramwell
Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism
Political journalist, Radio New Zealand

“I am a political journalist for Radio New Zealand, working in its Press Gallery office at Parliament. …”

My first job was as the Taupo branch office reporter for the Rotorua Daily Post.

I then moved to RNZ after a year as a general reporter specialising in environmental and science stories. After a year in the newsroom I starting working in the Press Gallery, first on secondment and then on a permanent basis.

I chose Massey because I had met a lot of journalists who had done the course and recommended it, and some senior journalists whose work I admired were trained there.

I thought the programme provided an excellent grounding in news-gathering and writing. I especially valued having a former journalist with more than 20 years experience in the industry as a lecturer.

The Diploma was hugely effective in kick-starting my journalism career. I would have struggled to get to where I have so quickly without having completed the course. When I did the programme in 2004, students had to have 50 articles published by the end of the year.

During the year I was behind where I needed to be, so I rang the Rotorua Daily Post and asked if I could spend a week in their newsroom during the semester break to boost my story count. I realised the moment I sat down in the newsroom that I knew exactly what to do, and that I had been well-trained.

At the end of that week the editor offered me a sole-charge position starting immediately after the course finished. I have the Massey University Postgrad Diploma in Journalism to thank for that job.


Graduates of our programme have gone on to work at New Zealand's top newspapers, news websites, magazines, radio and television stations, as well as at the BBC, CNN, SBS in Australia and countless overseas newspapers and magazines. One of our graduates, Alison McCulloch, was part of the team that won a Pulitzer Prize in journalism for its coverage of the Columbine killings.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

World-leading lecturers and supervisors

Massey’s journalism staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with journalism specialists, for example:

Dr James Hollings

James heads the journalism programme at Massey.

He has worked in senior roles in newspapers and radio. His doctoral dissertation was on the decision-making processes of reluctant witnesses, and he has published on the characteristics and attitudes of New Zealand journalists, media reporting of suicide, disaster reporting, and the practice of investigative journalism. He is also interested in journalism psychology, photojournalism, and contemporary journalism practice. He is also co-founder of the New Zealand Centre for Investigative Journalism.


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