Do you like watching funny commercials and dream of being the one creating them? Do you have a passion for writing and assume the title of “Grammar Nazi” among your friends? Are you always watching the latest Obama speeches?
If you appreciate these things, and have both the talent and interest to create them, then a course in mass communication could be right for you!
This guide explores everything you need to know about studying a Mass Communication course in Malaysia, from what it is and how it works, all the way to the career options that you will have.
The Basics of Mass Communication
What is Mass Communication
Mass Communication relates to information delivered to as many people as possible at virtually the same time. It involves various types of information — news, entertainment, branding, knowledge, advice — being relayed via newspapers, magazines, television, radio, advertisements and online channels.
One of the most exciting things about Mass Communication today is how it has rapidly evolved with the development of new media, namely the virtual world (“online”).
When you read the news online, watch TV and YouTube videos, or notice the latest billboards — you are being exposed to different channels and forms of Mass Communication!
What Are the Various Fields of Mass Communication?
These are the main fields usually covered with a Mass Communication degree:
|Field||What It Is All About|
|Advertising||Message to promote or sell products, services or ideas. You can see this everywhere, such as printed ads in newspapers and magazines, poster ads, billboards, and television and radio commercials.|
|Broadcasting||Distribution of audio and/or video content to a broad audience via any electronic mass communication medium (usually radio and television)|
|Journalism||Informs the general public about news, events and activities. You can see this in the form of newspapers, magazines, websites or TV.|
|Public Relations||Relates to the communication between an organisation or a person with the public and media|
|Marketing||Communicates the value of a company’s product or services to its customers, to maximise profitability while building a lasting relationship|
Generally, Mass Communication students have the opportunity to be exposed to multiple fields during the first year of a degree, before choosing a major to specialise in.
Studying a Mass Communication Degree
What Qualifications Do You Need?
In order to pursue a degree in Mass Communication, you will generally need:
(1) SPM / O-Level Qualification
- Minimum of 5 credits
(2) Pre-University Qualification
- A-Level: Minimum of 2Es or 3Ds
- STPM: Minimum CGPA of 2.0
- Australian Matriculation: Minimum ATAR of 60
- Canadian Pre-University: At least an average of 60%
Entry requirements may vary depending on university, so make sure you do your research!
You could also choose to do a Diploma right after SPM instead of taking a Pre-University programme. Entry requirements for a Diploma is typically 3 credits at SPM level.
How Long Is a Mass Communication Degree?
Mass Communication degrees are generally 3 years long.
If you decide to do a Diploma instead, it is usually 2 to 2.5 years long. Upon successful completion of your Diploma, you can choose to either start working, or enter directly into Year 2 of a Degree in Mass Communication.
What Will You Study in a Mass Communication Degree?
As part of a Mass Communication degree, you will take a variety of courses, usually including those that touch on advertising, journalism, communication skills, public relations, media literacy and types of mass media. It provides you with a wide range of industry-related knowledge, while allowing you to specialise in a focused area.
In your first year, you will typically learn about the basics of the industry. Some examples of subjects that are commonly taught in first year Mass Communication degrees are:
- Introduction to Mass Communication
- Intercultural Communication
- Critical & Creative Thinking
- Communication Theory
- Media Writing
In your second and third year, you will usually be required to pick a field to major in (e.g. Advertising or Journalism). Some universities offer “Double Majors”, which means you get to pick more than one field to further your studies in.
For example, if you take a double major in Public Relations and Marketing, the subjects that are commonly taught are:
- Public Relations
- Professional Media
- Public Relations Consultancy
- Media Law & Ethics
- Crisis Management
- Brand Management
- Consumer Behavior
- Relationship Marketing
At some universities, a compulsory internship may be part of the university’s degree programme. This is something that you should definitely take advantage of, since hands-on experience could lead you to a potential future employer!
Why Should You Study Mass Communication?
(1) Gain communication and creative thinking skills
As a Mass Communication student, you will be groomed to speak up and voice your opinions to present and express your work. You will also be encouraged to challenge conventions and seek new and unexpected solutions. This is crucial in the communication industry, since you will be in a position to shape a company’s perception & image.
(2) Ability to work in a wide range of careers
The career opportunities for communication graduates are aplenty. Being an excellent communicator is beneficial for any future career. Your communications skills can be used for many industries, including advertising, education, management, healthcare, business, publishing and politics. The possibilities are endless!
(3) Immerse yourself in a fun and creative culture
In no industry will you find 90% of the companies allowing people to wear jeans and a T-shirt to work (yes, even in Malaysia!) and unleash the crazy ideas in their heads. Let’s be honest — this is the real reason why a creative soul like yourself is drawn to this field, because you are allowed to express yourself. It is like being a child again, but with a salary this time!
What Skills Do You Need to Study Mass Communication?
(1) A strong command of language
Language is perhaps one of the most important tools that you will need in a Mass Communication degree. In addition to presentations, many of your assignments will be in the written form as well, whether it’s an ad campaign to persuade customers or writing a script for a video shoot. This is especially key, since as a professional in the world of communication, you will be responsible for crafting and developing messages to different types of audiences.
(2) Ability to work crazy hours if needed
Want to be a radio DJ like JinnyBoy? The reality is you have to wake up at 4am everyday to do a radio show, while most people are still asleep in their warm beds. Want to design the latest commercial for McDonald’s? Be prepared to stay back late to brainstorm for new ideas with your entire creative team. Want to be a news reporter or journalist? Be prepared to travel at any time to cover a piece of breaking news that might suddenly occur at 3am in the morning. It sounds demanding but if you are truly passionate about it, all this will be exciting and challenging!
(3) Ability to adapt to ever-changing environments
In the media & creative industry, everything is always changing or evolving. For example, companies like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram did not exist a mere 10 years ago, which is why there is now a specialised field in the industry called “social media marketing”. To succeed, you will need to be able to quickly adapt to help companies stay at the top of their game by taking advantage of changing situations.
Career Options with a Mass Communication Degree
After completing your Mass Communication degree, here are some of your career options:
- Advertising & Promotion Manager
- Audio/Video Producer
- Brand Manager
- Broadcast Manager
- Campaign Manager
- Corporate Communication Manager
- Creative Director
- Media Planner
- New Media Specialist
- Print or Online Editor
- Public Relations Specialist
- Radio Announcer
- Social Media Specialist
Because you are exposed to many areas during the course of your studies, you have the flexibility to apply your skills and knowledge in many industries, regardless of which area you specialise in.
Where Can You Study Mass Communication in Malaysia
Here are some of the most popular universities for Mass Communication in Malaysia.
Bachelor of Communication (Hons)
Campus: Kampar, Perak
Intakes: Jan, May & Oct
Estimated Fees: RM39,660 to RM39,910 (depending on programme)
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
Specialisation Paths: Advertising, Journalism, Public Relations
UTAR’s communication course is one of the most affordable when compared to other institutions
UTAR has a team of external examiners who are academicians and professionals in their respective fields
Their faculty heavily engages in research and uses it to deliver better content to their students
View other colleges
Bachelor of Mass Communication (Hons)
Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Mar & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM93,000
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
Specialisation Paths: Advertising, Broadcasting, Event Management, Marketing, Public Relations
State-of-the-art facilities with broadcasting & recording studios, as well as audio & video editing labs for hands-on practical learning
Strong industrial attachments and training with leading companies, including Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather, Media Prima, Aljazeera and The Edge
Real PR consultancy work in final year via proPassion, a PR consultancy managed by students from Taylor’s School of Communication
INTI International University
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Mass Communication
Campus: Subang Jaya, Nilai & Penang
Intakes: Jan, Apr, May & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM60,100 to RM74,951 (depending on programme)
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver
4 choices of specialties: Advertising, Broadcasting, Journalism, Public Relations
Internship opportunities with organisations such as BFM 89.9, JLPW Communications, Weststar, Fleishman Hillard
Dual award degree: INTI International University & University of Hertfordshire, UK
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Media, Culture and Communication
Campus: Petaling Jaya
Intakes: Feb, Jul & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM66,000
Scholarships: Up to RM12,000 tuition fee waiver
Specialisation Paths: Advertising, Journalism, Broadcasting, Digital Media
Exposure to rich course structure that places focus on popular media culture and theory
Students receive certification from University of Sunderland upon graduation
100% Employability within 6 months of graduation