Bachelor of Communication (Media Studies)

If you want a successful career in media, you need to understand the difference between writing for newspapers, magazines, blogs and Twitter. This course will teach you to make the distinction and write successfully for a range of mediums.

You'll also learn about globalisation, media ownership, policy and regulation and the advances in social media.

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At a glance

Study mode



Swinburne (RTO 3059)
Career Opportunities
  • Radio Producer
  • Radio Production Coordinator
  • Communication Coordinator
  • Digital Media Account Manager
  • Digital Marketing Manager

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.


Relevant academic or work experience



Course length
Set your own timetable & finish the course within 2 years (minimum) to 9 years (maximum)
Study mode



Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.


Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.


Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Reports, essays, projects & exams
Start date

3 start dates per year.

Contact us about enrolling.
Swinburne (RTO 3059)

This Swinburne University of Technology qualification is delivered by Swinburne Online.

As a Swinburne Online student you'll graduate with a nationally recognised Swinburne University qualification, and have the flexibility of studying online when it suits you.

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Swinburne (RTO 3059)

Study now pay later – HECS-HELP

Upfront payment

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To gain entry into this course, you must have:

  • Successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or equivalent, (VCE studies must have included successful completion of units 3 and 4 in English with a minimum study score of 25 in English), and meet the associated minimum ATAR; OR
  • a Certificate IV qualification or above; OR
  • at least 4 years of related work experience

If you don't meet the above requirements, you can still gain entry into this course by completing a Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT).

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • New media, including blogs, Facebook and YouTube
  • Making the distinction between new and traditional media such as newspapers, TV and radio
  • How to write for print, broadcast and digital media, and gain knowledge of current media theories

Course structure

24 units

Core units

  1. Learning & communicating online

    This unit will introduce fundamentals of communication and learning in an online environment. Students will gain increased capability in a range of skills such as online written communication, collaboration in individual and group work, and critiquing and analysing a variety of information sources. Students will be encouraged to draw on their own understanding and experience while contributing and sharing ideas with peers.

  2. Introduction to media studies

    This unit aims to introduce students to textual analysis and cultural and social theories that include semiotics, language, narrative, discourse, and ideology by considering the way information is represented in the mass media. This enables students to acquire an understanding of media's significant contribution to the formation of social and cultural attitudes. Students will also be introduced to some of the issues surrounding media ownership and production in Australia.

  3. Screen studies: movies, television & ourselves

    This unit introduces students to the major concepts in screen studies, including: form and style; industry histories; and the relationship between film, television, genre and society. Students will develop the skills to critically analyse screen texts, relate specific examples and genres to broader social contexts, and understand the relationship between theory and practice. Ultimately, students will be able to analyse screen texts informed by a developed knowledge of history, theory and style.

  4. Sports/advertising/media

    This unit explores the deep connection between sports, advertising and media. You will gain an understanding of the ways in which sport and advertising function, how they operate in the broader context of television and other media and the ways in which they impact on ideas of race, nation, audience and merchandising. The unit will also equip you with the tools necessary for media analysis together with the opportunity to analyse a media advertising campaign.

  5. Contemporary design issues

    This unit develops a strategic knowledge of how design is practised in the world today through the exploration of contemporary design and media practices. Students are challenged to consider the technological, economic, social, political, cultural and environmental impact of their work.

  6. Media/literature project A

    In this unit of study, students undertake a project, a work placement in industry, or a combination of both. Students undertaking a project are supervised in both the design and implementation of a product of their choice (for example, an electronic journal; a multimedia presentation; a research report; a radio documentary; a short film; etc). Students undertaking a work attachment must independently approach a relevant organisation and are required to report on their work experience as part of their assessment. Alternatively, students can negotiate a combination of work attachment and project with their supervisor.

  7. Fundamentals of marketing

    At the conclusion of this unit of study, the successful student will have acquired an understanding of key Marketing concepts and their application to modern business. This understanding of Marketing will also aid in the understanding of other disciplines in the Bachelor of Business/Commerce as well as providing a strong philosophical foundation for the vocational study of Marketing. In addition, students will have started the journey towards graduation and as such, this unit of study aims to provide students with opportunities to develop graduate attributes. This unit of study provides students with a series of learning opportunities designed to explore basic business and Marketing concepts from a variety of viewpoints including theoretical and applied perspectives.

  8. Professional communication practice

    This unit aims to introduce the vital role communication plays in professional life. In covering ideas and skills fundamental to professional communication success, it aims to build not only competence but also your confidence in functioning as an ethical communicator able to use a range of techniques to achieve desired outcomes.

  9. Innovation cultures: perspectives on science & technology

    This unit examines the relationship between science, technology and culture with a particular emphasis on communications technology. Furthermore, it draws on key theoretical paradigms such as the Actor Network Theory, the Political Economy, and Linguistic models to interrogate and further Marshall McLuhan's contention that, "We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us". This unit also provides students with the historical context and critical perspective essential for further study and a more rounded learning experience.

  10. Digital communities

    This unit aims to help students identify the areas of social media which are central to our understanding of ourselves as part of various digital communities; critically analyse social media using contemporary media theories; and critically discuss of the impact of social media on our cultural, social, political and economic communities. Students will collaborate with peers in the production of a digital presentation on a contemporary issue in the area of social media, and develop and maintain a weekly blog for the purpose of critical social commentary.

  11. Australian media policy

    Aims and objectives:

    • Exploring, identifying and analysing several key issues of media governance, media ownership laws and convergence which have created new challenges for legislators working in a globalised world;
    • Developing an understanding of the complex laws and regulations governing media practice;
    • Understanding how media policy influences the political, economic and social media landscapes in an increasingly mediated world;
    • Taking part in a number of debates around the issues of the role the media plays in reporting of public inquiries and political campaigns.
  12. Introduction to design principles & processes

    This unit aims to provide students with an understanding of the language of design and the application of fundamental design principles and processes in practice. Students will learn how design influences society, business and people while gaining practical creative and analytical skills that will be applicable to their future employment. This unit shows how design is integrated in their specific area or discipline, introducing key principles and processes that they can apply to their own areas of study. Students will be encouraged to critically engage with design theory and use creative thinking to make decisions that solve design-related issues in their areas of specialisation.

  13. Screen franchising & innovation

    Provide students with an understanding of screen franchising production and function, historically and culturally. Equip students with the tools necessary to analyse and develop screen franchising opportunities.Develop students' understanding of the relationship between screen franchising, convergence and innovation.

  14. Researching social media publics

    Social media technologies and platforms have come to define innovation and change in media and communication practice. They have embedded multidirectional and participatory practices into our media environments. This has implications for many areas of social life and affects the kinds of 'publics' that might form out of networked communication. Social media, for instance, changes the ways commercial enterprise communicates with and develops a customer base, the way emergency services communicate with locals during times of crisis, how people come together to protest or celebrate, how health and education are experienced. Researching Social Media Publics introduces research methodologies for analysing such sites of social media practice, and works as a capstone for the Social Media major, specialisation and minor.

  15. Marketing & communication information & decision making

    This unit examines the information and decision making processes which organisations most commonly utilise to develop effective marketing and communication. The content reflects the key information areas that companies invest most of their market research budget into capturing, interpreting and utilising. Students will explore trends in marketing research, internal company market information strategies, as well as the information challenges posed by international and emerging markets.


You will need to complete 8 electives as part of this course. You can select your units from a range of other Swinburne Online courses.

Support and delivery

Studying with Swinburne Online

Support for students

Set your own timetable

Designed for maximum flexibility, this course allows you to study anytime, anywhere.

There are 3 teaching periods a year, and you can enrol in 1 to 4 units every period.

Payment options

There are 2 ways you can pay for this course:

1. Study now pay later – HECS-HELP

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP government loan scheme.

This means you don’t need to pay upfront for the course if you:

  • are an Australian citizen, OR
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa, OR
  • hold a New Zealand Special Category Visa and meet the residency requirements.

Through HECS-HELP the Australian government pays the amount of your course to the education provider on your behalf. You’ll start paying back this loan through the tax system once your earn more than the minimum threshold (which is $54,869 for the 2016-2017 financial year).

The total cost of this course is government-subsidised if you pay via a HECS-HELP loan.

This means the price you pay for the course is much cheaper – the Australian Government covers part of the course fee. Government-subsidised places in this course are called Commonwealth-supported places.

2. Upfront payment

You can pay for this course upfront via credit card or bank transfer.

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