Taylorian Explains: Mass Communication Degree

Want to pursue a mass communication degree but afraid of the perceived misconceptions? We bust the myths behind the degree.

Mass communication is definitely a crowd’s favourite when choosing which programme to pursue one’s studies. However, to the typical Asian parent, the biggest and most common misconception of majoring in mass communication is that people only major in it because they’re not good at studying. 

While there may be some truth that the course itself may seem like fun, as the course tends to expose us to more assignments, presentations, and other practical work, it actually takes a lot of effort and creativity to achieve excellent grades. Trust me — completing two semesters as a first year mass communication student is definitely no easy feat!

If you’ve ever thought that mass communication students have it easier because you’d rarely catch us flipping through pages of textbooks and notes or sitting through two-hour long examinations, I’m here to give you an eye-opening journey.

Here are the myths, stereotypes, and presumptions of this degree through the eyes of a first-year mass communication student in the form of three common questions.

1. Is a Mass Communication Degree Even Hard?

This stereotype perpetuated from our high school right up to our university and college days, unfortunately. You’d even get some of them asking the same ol’ question, “Is mass communication even hard?”

Art stream students, especially those in the creative field like mass communication, are frequently associated with being ‘less smart’. Not having to do calculations or frequent memorisations, unlike science or law students, doesn’t make creative majors less difficult.

Likewise for mass communication degrees, although perceived as something less difficult, you’re required to think out of the structured box and bring fresh ideas to the table. 

A girl showing a thumbs up and thumbs down.

In a mass communication degree, you'll have to apply your creativity in many different forms, be it an assignment on creating a marketing poster so that the right target audience will purchase the product or writing an article on a specific topic and perspective.

At the end of the day, pursuing a mass communication degree takes up a lot of effort and definitely holds its own challenges regardless of the student taking it.

Thinking of pursuing a Mass Communication course in Malaysia? Find out more about what we can give you in our programme here.

2. Must I Be Good in Language and Communication Skills to Pursue Mass Communication?

“If language is my worst nightmare, I shouldn’t even bother!”

Do you hear yourself saying this when thinking of this degree? Then, it’s time to change your mindset.

I do agree that pursuing a mass communication degree requires A LOT of writing along with a great amount of presentations. So, you may find it challenging if you’re not good at English. But here is a fun fact… Students who ARE fluent in English struggle in the language just as much as those who aren’t.

Just like how some native English speakers aren’t unable to write well despite it being their native language, students who’ve a strong command in English will still have to be aware of the formal language usage or specific terms for academic writing.

Academic writing rules, including avoiding the use of pronouns in a research paper or using appropriate conjunctive adverbs, may be easy for students who’re fluent in English. However, consistency is the one of the biggest issues faced by many. Eventually, they’d have to check to make sure that there isn’t any informal language used and more appropriate terms are used in their research papers.

Although not all written work in the course uses the academic writing format, you’re still your own English teacher! Regardless of the degree you’re in, you should be proofreading and ensuring that you’re using correct grammar rules or risk getting your marks deducted instead!

A frustrated girl with her hands on her head amidst books in the library.

3. Am I Going to ONLY Learn About Mass Communication?

Before starting my first semester, I thought I was only going to learn about general communication studies and the field that I wanted to specialise in — journalism. But oh boy was I in for a treat!

With only the desire to learn about the basics of journalism in my mind, the first lecture on learning how to use Adobe Illustrator for a marketing poster assignment came as a surprise. 

In actuality, mass communication is a broad study and first-year students are required to experiment every single field before specialising in their desired field in year two. Being able to experiment gave me a chance to get to know a little bit of everything so I can see if the pathway I had intended to follow is what I actually want for myself in the future.

Coping with Learning the Different Areas of Mass Communication

However, I’d struggled in learning the things that didn’t interest me that much. One particular assignment was learning how to make a four-minute long animation from scratch in my previous semester (yes, I had to draw all the characters, backgrounds, create a storyline, do voice overs, and edit the short film all by myself in the span of ONE month). 

Like it or not, I still had to give it my best and do well in it as it’s a core module assignment. Though it was a pain to do, the vast areas you NEED to expose yourself too in the degree really did expose me to different areas which equipped me with the skills I need for the specialisation I wanted and so much.

Unsure if Mass Communication is the right programme for you? Talk to our education counsellor to answer your queries and what suits you best!

What Helped Me Get Through My First-Year in Mass Communication

“I get it, it isn’t easy. So what should I do to do well in this major?”

There are some things that I wish I could’ve known better in my past two semesters and of course one of them is being able to manage my time wisely. Take doing a feature package as an example, I’m sure it’s tough to come up with a topic, find potential interviewees, research, and write your 1000-word article at the last minute.

Not only that, it’s also essential for you to make friends as you can help each other along the way if your academic journey gets difficult (especially during online and hybrid lessons nowadays).

Lastly, as cliché as it sounds, just be yourself and express your inner creativity! In fact, some of my friends who studied in different fields during their pre-university years, such as law and engineering, are currently majoring in mass communication as they’re passionate about things like writing to pursue journalism or even filmmaking.

If you want to major in mass communication, don’t be unmotivated when somebody tells you that it’s a piece of cake. 

Three friends sitting together and discussing over their laptop and tablet.

Each major has its own difficulty and challenges but as long as you’re passionate about the things that interest you, it’s generally the right one for you.

Ready to build that foundation for your future in Mass Communication? Enquire more here.

Liew Yen Rou is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Mass Communication (Hons) at Taylor's University. She is also a member of Taylor’s Orientation Leaders and Etc. Magazine.