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Major: International Communication

International Communication


Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Intercultural Relations (3)
Visual Media and Communication (3)

200 level

International Television and Beyond (3)
3cp from
ICOM units at 200 level

300 level

Global Knowledge Society (3)
Social Media (3)
International Media Policy (3)
3cp from
Media Identities (3)
Network Cultures (3)
Public Relations and Social Media 1 (3)
Public Relations and Social Media 2 (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program International communication is the study of how information is conveyed, processed and disseminated on a global scale (through media, governments, policies, politics, economics, theories, and so on). This program develops in its students an ability to analyse the debates and practices related to communication in a variety of contexts that cross national, international and linguistic boundaries.

It covers issues around the international communication industry (e.g. public relations, policy and development campaigns) and global media including convergent technologies. Areas of study include transnational and intercultural communication, and communication for social change. Students will be able to reflect on their own contribution to social justice, equity and sustainability as a global citizen.

Courses are taught by international staff who bring a broad range of disciplinary and professional perspectives to their teaching. They are active researchers who draw upon diverse cultural experiences.

The BA International Communication major enables students to meet the challenges in real world contexts. The degree can be completed in three years at a full-time study mode.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. identify and communicate a coherent knowledge of theories, concepts and scholarly literature in the field of international communication (K, T, C)
2. examine the production and distribution models as well as policies and regulatory frameworks for local, regional, and international media and telecommunications industry, and their impact on audiences (K, P)
3. analyse and evaluate a variety of texts relevant to the field of international communication by drawing upon a range of theories, concepts and methodologies, and involving sustained independent enquiry (K, T, I)

4. recognise diverse cultural perspectives, and evaluate one’s own contribution to social justice, equity and sustainability as an engaged global citizen (T, E, A, L )
5. develop creative, innovative and ethical solutions which can be implemented by different actors in a world which is global, networked and informational (I, E)
6. apply research and literacy skills to communicate reasoned arguments using proper academic procedures (T, C, J)
7. evaluate the debates and actions related to communication and culture in diverse contexts and their mediation through a variety of channels that cross national, cultural and linguistic boundaries (T, E, A, C).

8. apply discipline based knowledge and skills to career pathways informed by updated knowledge of the field (K, L)
9. collaborate and interact with peers and professionals in a cross-cultural environment and evaluate cultural identity and intercultural understanding (C, E, A, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods The BA with a major in International Communication uses a range of learning and teaching methods to enable students to achieve the program level outcomes. Unit learning outcomes are constructively aligned with the program outcomes and graduate capabilities. Teaching and learning methods used in the International Communication major include:
• Lectures: lectures are delivered in face-to-face format and are also available via the Echo 360 recording system. Some units may involve pre-recorded lectures. Lectures are delivered in an array of formats and are made accessible to students throughout the semester.
• Tutorials: tutorials provide an opportunity for students to critically engage with selected topics. Tutorials provide forums for asking questions and resolving uncertainties about set materials and topics. They are also spaces whereby knowledge is generated through tutor- assisted and peer-led discussions. In addition, tutorials provide opportunities to put generated knowledge into practice through activities such as discussion, debate, group tasks and presentations. Knowledge generated in tutorials also underpins assessment structures and tasks.
• Workshops: International Communication utilises workshops in which students develop disciplinary knowledge, professional writing, and research skills.
• Teaching materials: International Communication uses a range of teaching materials to support and direct student learning including:
a. lectures
b. paper-based and electronic readings
c. audiovisual material
d. handouts/worksheets
e. industry speakers
f. student conference.
• Program structure: the International Communication major offers 100, 200 and 300 level unit. 100 level units facilitate comprehension, understanding and application. At 200 level, students develop critical and sophisticated analytical and professional skills in addition to acquiring further knowledge. The 300 level units build on knowledge and skills gained in 100 and 200 level units and encourages evaluation. Students graduate with an impressive skill set and knowledge that embeds critical reflection, professional judgement and an awareness of ethics. The global communications landscape is ever changing and to work within it mandates a commitment to life-long learning. At 300 level, students become reflective professionals who critically evaluate their own practices and experiences as reflected in the capstone unit. In this unit, students link discipline-based skills and knowledge to career paths and engage in team activities designed to discover interdisciplinary solutions to global communication problems. International Communication students are required to satisfy the People, Planet and Participation requirements of the program. Students are encouraged to experience other disciplines to benefit from a broader knowledge. Participation units enhance the student experience through community engagement. The program hosts a Participation Stream within one of the units.

The International Communication major constitutes 24 out of the 69 credit points required for a single undergraduate degree. This leaves students with 45 credit points or 15 units that can be undertaken as a minor or electives from across the university. This major provides students with the opportunity to develop core academic and internationally-oriented communication and media skills and also offers flexibility with a generous number of electives that can be used to pursue wider learning activities.
Assessment International Communication is a theory-based program that requires a thorough understanding and application of concepts governing global communication in different areas. The assessment schema comprises the following:
• Research essays: essays range from 500 words to 3500 words. Essays are used to assess a range of outcomes from demonstrating comprehension of particular issues to application of concepts to real world contexts.
• Participation: students are assessed on their meaningful contributions to a culture of learning. Participation is assessed through engagements with discussions, debates, tasks through learning and teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, workshops and online tasks.
• Projects: International Communication students are required to undertake projects throughout the program with an aim to equip them with research skills. They include:
a. interviewing cultural groups
b. undertaking audience ethnography
c. designing campaigns
d. drafting strategy documents
e. drawing up project proposals
f. analysing products
g. writing industry briefs and reports.
• Test and quizzes: used periodically to assess comprehension. They may be in-class and paper-based or conducted electronically via the learning management system.
• Presentations: assessments require presentations on a range of issues relating to the units to allow students to learn the ability to paraphrase and articulate information in number of forms and invite peer feedback. Group presentations help develop interpersonal skills and promote team work.
• Other: learning and teaching innovation is a strong feature of the program and alternative assessment methods are frequently trailed.
• International Communication uses a mixture of formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments progressively monitor the generation of knowledge and summative assessments give the students opportunities to synthesize and apply that knowledge to a range of issues.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability A degree in International Communication prepares graduates to work across a range of diverse government bodies and corporate sectors in a global environment. An internationally focused curriculum integrates diverse cultural perspectives and provides a broad knowledge of the world. Participation units offer opportunities for engagement with industry partners. Students are also encouraged to study abroad on international exchange. These knowledge and skills prepare students to enter an international workforce. The internship and participation opportunities further allow community engagement which help students' future direction.

Graduates who want to gain an advanced qualification can apply to study in the Master of International Communication coursework. The department also offers other professional postgraduate programs.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148