Mass Communication & Media in Malaysia

All you need to know about studying Mass Communication & Media in Malaysia
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Communication is the most crucial aspect of any industry or sector you are in. Learn how to effectively communicate and interact with everyone inside and outside the company. If you are interested in studying mass communication and media locally, you are in luck because Malaysia has a great variety of high-quality universities available for you.

Dreaming of becoming a journalist, news reporter or a Social Media manager? These are just some examples of jobs which are waiting for you after you graduate with a degree in mass communication and media. Degree programmes in these subjects will prepare you for a satisfying and fulfilling media career. Before you continue, you might want to check out our general guide on mass communication and media for a better understanding of the field.

Top 10 universities in Malaysia for mass communication and media courses

Here is a list of public and private universities we think you should definitely check out.

  1. Universiti Malaya

  2. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

  3. Universiti Sains Malaysia

  4. Universiti Teknologi MARA

  5. University of Nottingham Malaysia

  6. Monash University Malaysia

  7. UCSI University

  8. Taylor’s University

  9. SEGI University

  10. INTI International University

Let’s explore what makes these institutions some of the best study options for this field, beginning from the public universities on the list.

Public universities

If you want to study pre-university or undergraduate programmes at a public university in Malaysia, you need to submit your application to an online system called Unit Pengambilan Universiti (UPU). When you apply, make sure you meet the entry requirements - otherwise, your application will be rejected. Some public universities offer direct intakes for those who don’t want to go through the UPU system, so you might want to check if the university of your choice has this option.

1. Universiti Malaya

UM

Universiti Malaya (UM) produces well-rounded media graduates that are not only knowledgeable but also skilled for real-world projects. Students are equipped to become professional industry practitioners such as media writers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, or even scholars in the field. Apart from the major courses offered, students get to choose interesting elective subjects such as electronic publishing, documentary production, screen writing and more.

2. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

UKM

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) programme is unique because aspects of management are blended into the curriculum. UKM also places a strong emphasis on research, which gives students not only an extra avenue for learning, but also an extra edge in the workforce. Examples of courses that students will study include media entrepreneurship, management of mass media organisations, statistics and data analysis.

3. Universiti Sains Malaysia

USM

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) school of communication offers specialisations in three areas – Film & Broadcasting, Journalism and Persuasive Communication.  Students are encouraged to actively apply classroom knowledge in various projects. A few of USM’s student projects include USM TV, Berita Kampus (Campus News) and Campus Internet Radio.

4. Universiti Teknologi MARA

UiTM

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) is yet another educational option for students who are passionate about media and mass communication. The university has an in-depth communication and media studies department. The department offers Bachelor’s Degree programmes, Master’s Degree programmes and even diplomas. The courses discuss everything from electronic media to creative development and beyond.

Private universities

You may want to consider studying at private universities as well. Compared to public universities, the selection process is less strict since you don’t have to go through a centralised system like UPU. However, the fees at private universities are generally higher.

5. University of Nottingham Malaysia

University of Nottingham Malaysia

In the 2018 QS scale for this field, the University of Nottingham UK scored a place among the Top 100 worldwide for its communication and media programmes. Students can study the same internationally-acknowledged syllabus and earn the same prestigious degree at the Malaysian branch campus. Plus, they can do so at a lower price. One of the university’s highlights is that you can learn a foreign language too, as part of the programme!

6. Monash University Malaysia

Monash University Malaysia

Another foreign institution to think about is Monash University Malaysia, which is the Malaysian campus of one of the best universities in the world (Monash University Australia was crowned number 59 worldwide in the 2019 global QS scale). The university offers a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programme for this field under its School of Arts and Social Sciences. Besides communication theories, other interesting areas of study include global trends, celebrity, fashion and publicity.

7. UCSI University

UCSI University

Currently the highest-ranking private university in terms of overall global rankings, UCSI University has a mass communication degree programme that enables students to study for a three years BA (Hons) degree. During the programme, you will learn everything about mass communication and its place in today’s society where mass communication is more important than ever. Core courses include expository writing, basic photography and visual communication.

8. Taylor’s University

Taylor's University

Taylor’s University is another reputable private higher learning institution in Malaysia. Its School of Communication has strong linkages to both local and international companies in the industry, which students can intern at as part of their internship programme. Students also learn in state-of-the-art facilities, ranging from a TV broadcast studio and video editing laboratory, to a newsroom and recording studio.

9. SEGI University

SEGI University

This sizable private university has an extensive communication programme available for you. Students of communication studies can learn a lot through classes that revolve around new media and communication, mass communication and even corporate communication. Not only that, there are also broadcast media and mass communication diploma options available to students.

10. INTI International University

INTI

INTI International University focuses on individual development and innovative learning, so that students can grow holistically. The university offers Bachelor degree programmes in collaboration with world-renowned universities such as the University of Hertfordshire and Southern New Hampshire University. These programmes enable students to study fully in Malaysia and still earn a degree from advanced nations like the UK or USA.

Apart from these 10 universities, there are many other institutions that offer mass communication and media courses in Malaysia. It all depends on you – which university fits you best?

How long are studies in mass communication and media?

The duration of study depends on the type of programme you choose to take up. Here is a general guide of how long it takes to complete your programme per level of study:

  • Foundation – 1 year

  • Diploma – 2 to 2.5 years

  • Bachelor’s degree – 3 years

  • Master’s degree – 1 to 3 years

  • Doctorate – 3 to 6 years

What are the entry requirements?

Your eligibility depends not only on the institution, but also on the current stage of your educational journey that you are in. Are you fresh out of secondary school? Or have you finished a Bachelor’s degree programme, and want to further your education in the field? Here is a brief overview of the typical entry requirements you need to meet per level of study:

Foundation

  • 5 credits including English in SPM or equivalent

Diploma

  • 3 to 5 credits including English in SPM or equivalent, or

  • At least 1 Principal Pass in STPM or equivalent, or

  • Certificate in relevant field

Bachelor’s degree

  • 5 credits in SPM or equivalent, and

  • Minimum CGPA of 2.00 or 2 Principal Passes in STPM or equivalent, or

  • Foundation or Diploma in related field (usually with minimum CGPA of 2.00)

Master’s degree

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in relevant field

  • Working experience may be required if the Bachelor’s degree is not an Honours degree

  • Some institutions may ask for a portfolio of your work (especially if you want to specialise in an area like visual communication)

Doctorate

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in related field, or

  • First Class Honours Bachelor’s degree with excellent CGPA of at least 3.70 (for direct Bachelor to PhD students)

What do you learn in mass communication and media?

Mass communication and media is such a wide field, covering advertising and journalism to broadcasting and graphic design. You may choose to study a general programme and get a basic foundation in every type of media, or you might want to specialise in a particular area.

Whichever you choose to study, make sure you have a balance of theoretical knowledge and practical, hands-on experience. The below are just a few examples of topics that you are likely to cover in a Bachelor’s degree programme:

  • Public Relations

  • Advertising Principles

  • Computer Graphics

  • Feature Writing

  • Communication and Culture

  • Event Management

  • Film and Television

  • Media Criticism

How much does it cost to study mass communication and media?

The tuition cost to study media and mass communication in Malaysia is significantly less than in other parts of the world, especially compared to the tuition fees at United States, UK and Australian institutions. To give you an idea of the costs, a Bachelor’s degree for this field in a prestigious Malaysian public university like Universiti Malaya is just RM 7,150 while it costs about RM 53,100 in a private university like UCSI University.

As prices will vary from institution to institution, you can use EasyUni to easily search for and compare mass communication courses from various universities. Take into account additional costs for your course, including course materials, access to institution facilities, and medical insurance related fees.

What are the career options?

Let’s fast-forward the future a bit, and see what you could be working as after you graduate (of course, along with how much you would be earning):

Career

Estimated monthly income

Public Relations Manager

RM 5,250

Social Media Manager

RM 4,000

Journalist

RM 3,800

Media Planner

RM 3,000

If these options sound good to you, take your first step by choosing a course to study now.

How to pursue studies in this field?

If you’re still in secondary school, or you’ve just finished your SPM or O-Levels, you might be wondering how to get from where you are to where you want to be in the exciting and engaging world of mass communication and media. Here’s what your education pathway would look like:

  • Step 1 – Finish SPM. Aim to get 5 credits including English

  • Step 2 – Study a pre-university course such as A-Levels, STPM or other equivalents. Or you can pursue a Foundation or Diploma programme in communication and/or media

  • Step 3 – Continue on with a Bachelor’s degree programme

  • Step 4 – At this point, you can already start working. Alternatively, you can opt to continue your studies

  • Step 5 – Take up a Master’s degree! Some programmes at this level allow you to work and study at the same time (we advise you to go for work and study types, only if you are very sure you can handle it. They’re not for the faint-hearted!)

  • Step 6 – Want to reach even greater heights? Go for a Doctoral programme. If you want to be a lecturer at a higher learning institution, this step is important to take

Why study in Malaysia?

Here are the top 3 reasons why you should study mass communication and media locally:

  • Malaysia is a global hub

  • Malaysia’s academic reputation

  • Fast-rising industry in Malaysia

Malaysia is a global hub

The field of mass communication and media is all about connecting and networking with people around the world. You don’t have to fly to a faraway country just to do that, though! You can do it right here in your home country, which is not only one of Southeast Asia’s most multicultural nations, but an increasingly popular study destination among international students as well.

This way, you can work on your local and global network at the same time and same place. As you do that, you’ll be an effective, culturally-insightful communicator not just in theory, but in practice too. Plus, studying locally means that you don’t have to give up your morning kopitiam and late night mamak sessions.

Malaysia’s academic reputation

In the 2018 QS World University Rankings for communication and media studies, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia were included among the 200 institutions on the list for their academic reputation, employer reputation and number of citations per paper. We covered these universities and more in the Top 10 universities section above, so if you missed it, scroll back up to check out some possible study options you might want to consider.

Mass communication and media courses are available in various levels in Malaysia. You can take a certificate, diploma, degree or even a Masters in it, depending on which stage you are currently at in your student life.

Fast-rising industry in Malaysia

According to professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, Malaysia’s Entertainment and Media (E&M) industry is projected to grow at a rate of 6.4% from 2014 to 2019, compared to the 5.1% experienced by the overall international market. In other words, the growth rate of Malaysia’s E&M market is higher than the global average – this expansion could mean more potential areas in the field that you can tap into once you graduate!

So, if you were to study mass communication and media in Malaysia now, you would be part of the local E&M boom. Additionally, there are annual award ceremonies such as the prestigious Malaysian Kancil Awards and Marketing Excellence Awards as well as the regional Festival of Media APAC Awards that recognise super talents in the field (future you, maybe?), and encourage the industry’s continuous development, accomplishments and excellence.

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