Communication and Public Relations programmes at BERJAYA University College
KUALA LUMPUR: Despite starting out as a boutique institution of higher learning focusing on programmes in culinary arts and hospitality management, BERJAYA University College (BERJAYA UC) is rolling out its brand new Bachelor of Communication (Hons) with four areas of specialisation, namely Public Relations & Persuasion, Advertising & Brand Management, Organisational & Corporate Communication as well as Integrated Marketing Communication.
This is in line with the BERJAYA UC’s plans to expand by diversifying educational offerings in other related disciplines, after having made its edge in the services industry. The services sector is expected to make up almost 60 percent of the Malaysian gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020. And the demand for professional communication services will continue to rise in tandem with advancements made in information and communication technologies. Accordingly, it is no surprise communication and media studies are among some of the more popular tertiary programmes in Malaysia as they promise graduates a host of jobs that include advertising, brand management, corporate communication, journalism, business, public relations, marketing, intercultural communication, counselling, public administration, to name a few. In this day and age, effective communication is pivotal to almost every facet of life and a professional who understands the dynamics of human communication—such as persuasion, negotiation, conciliation, etc.—is very much sought after by a host of organisations both domestically and globally. Good communication-trained graduates will have no problems finding a job because they can seek out jobs not only in the communication and media fields but also just about any employment that requires good communication skills.
BERJAYA Bachelor of Communication (Hons)
According to Dr Wong Kok Keong, Head of BERJAYA School of Communication & Media Arts (BSCMA), communication studies deals with processes of human communication. It encompasses a range of topics, from face-to-face conversation, group communication, mass communication through print and broadcast media, and social media communication via the Internet. The four specialisations in this new Communication degree cover a broad range of thought provoking and hands-on subjects, from communication theory and communicating in different cultures to advertising, public relations, managing corporate communication, and persuasive communication in politics. Students will also be trained to choose and use the most effective communication tools and strategies to promote messages, products and programmes. This includes creatively applying and managing the use of social media that is part of every culture today.
Professor Dr Lee Eileen, Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts (FLA), genuinely believes that the new Bachelor of Communication (Hons) offers students, interesting specialisations that are highly relevant not only to the communication and media industries but to all employers. “The new Berjaya Communication programme is a perfect example of symbiosis: it brings together the best in the three vital curricular areas—the academic, industry and creative. In our Communication degree programme, we prepare our graduates to be productive contributors to the communication profession, imaginative thinkers, and life-long learners and problem solvers pertaining to communication at work, home and at play.” Further to this, Prof Lee highlights, “A vital pillar that supports a good programme is the quality of the teaching staff and our Liberal Arts faculty comprises not only qualified and experienced staff, some of whom were industry practitioners, but also staff from different disciplines. The aim here is to enhance students’ global outlook by providing students with exposure to and knowledge of different disciplines.”
Head of the Berjaya School of Communication & Media Arts, Dr Wong Kok Keong is trained in communication and media studies in the U.S. from his BA degree in Journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to his PhD in International Communication and Culture at the University of Massachusetts. To date, Dr Wong has more than 30 years of teaching and research experience in communication and media studies in the U.S. and Malaysia. Another faculty member is Ms Alicia Loo Yin Hui who holds a Master of Publishing Studies from University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, and a B.A. in Mass Communication from Liverpool John Moores University, U.K. where she was the Graduation Prize Winner for excellent performance in her programme. As for industry experience, Alicia worked for an online marketing company as a copywriter prior to reading for her Master’s degree. Complementing the communication and media studies teaching staff is Ms Saravanamalar Surarajah, a computer science graduate, who brings with her 20 years of academic experience and teaches multimedia skills to help students in the programme communicate successfully through exciting graphics or visual designs in their assignments. Outside the School are faculty members from the disciplines of English language teaching (Applied Linguistics), History, Social Sciences and Humanities.
Find out more about the programme here.
BERJAYA Diploma in Public Relations
To date, students who are currently reading for the Diploma in Public Relations are confident that the teaching staff will give students of the new Bachelor of Communication programme as much academic and pastoral experience as they have received.
A second year, third semester student, Nico Wong Ying Wan said, “The thing I liked is the caring lecturers who deliver quality lectures and moderate interesting tutorials day in and day out. Without them, I doubt I would be enjoying the programme as much as I did. Their classes are interesting and engaging. In addition to textbook knowledge, we are also taught practical industry skills like interviewing techniques, news writing and campaign management. For instance, we had first-hand experience in organising public relations campaigns and producing a newspaper. I have gained a lot of experience by just being involved in the class assignments.” When Nico finishes her diploma programme in May 2019, she plans to move on to the degree programme and specialize in Public Relations and Persuasion here at BERJAYA UC.
Nico’s classmate, Connor Chu, admits that “The deeper I get into the study of public relations, the more I fell in love with it. Not only are the subject matters interesting, they are also the skills everyone would require in their future careers. Communication skills are vital, if not critical, in the century that we live in – where access to accurate information is top priority for businesses in their decision-making process. Professionals who understand how to craft a message and deliver it to the right audience will be much sought after in this day and age. As such, I have no regrets pursuing the Diploma in Public Relations.” Connor has intentions to pursue the Bachelor of Communication (Hon) in the future, specialising in Organisational and Corporate Communication.
First year third semester DPR student, Ng Jun Chang shares, “Like many Form 5 school leavers, I had no idea what I wanted as a career. I chose to study the Diploma in Public Relations at BERJAYA University College because it was the most logical option for me then since I considered myself a people person. The DPR provided me with broad-based education while at the same time giving me a better understanding of human communication, which I believe, will equip me with the essential skills to be effective at work in the future. Since our classes are small, the atmosphere has always been interactive between students and lecturers. …A big plus for me is that our lecturers are highly experienced and former industry practitioners. As such, the classroom is a nice blend of theory and real-life professional experiences. My student experience here has been great and I look forward to pursuing a Bachelor of Communication (Hons) specializing in Advertising & Brand Management at the BERJAYA School of Communication & Media Arts after my diploma programme.”
First year first semester student, Law Li Sin, chose “…to study the Diploma in Public Relations at BERJAYA UC primarily because of the location of the campus. It is very convenient and everything is within my reach because its city campus is smacked in the middle of Kuala Lumpur’s business district. As the classes are small, lecturers always give extra attention to us individually. They are patient with us and will always ensure that we understand the lessons. This really helps build our interest in the course. In addition, my seniors are also very helpful and friendly as they always guide me with my lessons and assignments. In this programme, I am given the opportunity to learn new skills such as writing reviews and giving presentations which really helps strengthen my communication skills and self-esteem. I also get the opportunity to be involved in organising events and campaigns. Overall, I’m happy with my choice to pursue this public relations programme at BERJAYA UC.”
“These student experiences with the DPR speak volumes about the programme, the delivery and the care given to our students. We assure students and parents that the same amount of quality and support will be given to students who come onto our Bachelor of Communication (Hons) programme. Prospective students and their parents should check us out on this exciting new Communication degree. We are offering a special promotion for our 2019 inaugural intakes starting in January 2019”, Prof Lee, Dean of FLA, shares.
Find out more about the programme here.