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Graduate Certificate in Communication (Local Government) - SIT2LRN Distance Learning

Qualification: Graduate Certificate
Level: 7
Dates:

Intake 1: 11 February 2019 to 07 June 2019 - Applications Close 21 January 2019

Intake 2: 01 April 2019 to 26 July 2019 - Applications Close 11 March 2019

Intake 3: 17 June 2019 to 11 October 2019 - Applications Close 27 May 2019

Intake 4: 05 August 2019 to 29 November 2019 - Applications Close 15 July 2019

Duration:

17 weeks fulltime

Up to three years part-time

Intakes are 17 weeks long

Location: SIT2LRN Distance Learning
Credits: 60

Graduates will be able to guide local authorities through the key areas relating to change and crises, both internally and externally.  Current and future reliance on the Internet is recognised with graduates able to meet the three-year local government cycle, or a natural disaster/emergency, with skills to plan for, manage and disseminate information using a variety of methods.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Understand the political environment they work in
  • Understand the dynamics of the organisation they are working for
  • Plan for change, crises or community concern
  • Utilise a variety of communication methods including the internet and social media
  • Understand the need for good forward planning

Compulsory paper:

BPC230 Working in a Political Environment (Level 6) 15 credits

Students will understand the political framework of local and central government in New Zealand, including election processes, roles and responsibilities. Students will also be able to explain the difference between representative, deliberative and participative democracy and the concept of management versus governance.

On successful completion of this paper students will be able to: Explain the New Zealand political framework and election processes especially MMP; explain the obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi as they relate to both local and central government; characterise the roles and responsibilities of elected and list representatives; discuss the relationship between local and central government; differentiate between representative, deliberative and participative democracy; compare and contrast management and governance. 

Elective papers – students are required to complete three of the following:

BPC300 Change Communication (Level 7) 15 credits

Students will be able to analyse and explain the components and risks of organisational change. They will understand the importance of understanding the culture of an organisation and how to identify and collaborate with partners and establish relationships with stakeholders to effect successful internal change.

On successful completion of this paper students will be able to: Discuss organisational culture and its components; assess organisational vision and values and their relationship to its culture; discuss risks and risk management in organisational change; evaluate the impact of internal and external change factors to an organisation; formulate collaboration strategies for relationship establishment; assess the success of the decision making process.

BPC310 Crisis and Emergency Communication (Level 7) 15 credits

Students will be able to identify potential crises for organisations, and transfer the threat into an opportunity with pro-active crisis planning and the use of PR practices. They will be able to manage crises for various organisations and develop the necessary knowledge to evaluate the results, assessing ethical issues and social responsibilities.

On successful completion of this paper students will be able to: Identify potential organisational crises; evaluate the threat to good reputation in a crisis; manage issues before they become crises; explain how to transfer a potential threat into an opportunity; carry out pro-active crisis planning; establish critical rules in a crisis; practise communication skills to manage crises; access and work with the media to manage a crisis; critically evaluate the result and assess for improvement; identify the essential tasks of the Public Information Manager; apply crisis and emergency communication management techniques to an emergency event; utilise any accessible media to aid communications; evaluate and critique the results.

BPC330 Relationships, Influence and Leadership
(Level 7) 15 credits

Students will be able to recognise and maximise their role in influencing decision makers and understand how to use influential tactics. They will understand some of the theories attached to influencing decision-making and know when to apply these to situations. Leadership and its qualities as opposed to management, will be examined as will the relationship between leaders and those who seek to influence them.

On successful completion of this paper students will be able to: Understand the theory/ies behind influence in the corporate and governmental sense; examine their professional role in a sphere of influence; identify and critique tactics for effective influence in their workplace; understand the key theories relating to leadership; understand the difference between management and leadership; research and apply appropriate influential arguments in a given situation; analyse own leadership style for further development; evaluate interactions between different agencies and sectors including boundaries; understand the hierarchies in relationships in corporate and government settings and how much impact certain relationships can have on decision making.

BPC351 e-Government (Level 7) 15 credits

Students will be able to critically analyse the role of social/digital media in government communication and its influences/impacts. Students will also be able to assess concepts such as e-engagement, e-consultation, etc. in the development of e-Government in NZ.

On successful completion of this paper students will be able to: Summarise legislation surrounding e-Government (e.g. Electronic Transaction Act, Privacy Act, Copyright Act, etc.); assess the legislative implications on the development of e-Government sites; evaluate the difference between guidelines and requirements; consider the role of guidelines in web development for government agencies; evaluate different social media sites for effectiveness; analyse the role of social media in the communication process.

The Zero Fees Scheme applies to this course, so there are no tuition fees as long as you are a New Zealand citizen, resident/permanent resident (residing in NZ), BUT there is a student direct material cost per credit of study undertaken, plus a non-refundable administration cost of $50.00 for each application processed, and the required textbook/s listed below. You must maintain satisfactory academic progress to retain your Zero Fees Scheme entitlement.

Zero Fees Scheme – applies to NZ citizens and residents/permanent residents (residing in NZ). 2019 Cost (NZ$) $7.50 per credit + admin cost $50.00 per application (e.g. $750.00 for 100 credit course) - includes GST

International Students $100.00 per credit

Payments must be paid by the due date shown on the invoice.

Withdrawals & Transfers

  • Early withdrawals within the first week of the intake starting are entitled to a full refund of the Student Direct Material Costs but not the non-refundable administration cost of $50.
  • Withdrawals have to be requested within 75% of the intake, withdrawals after the early withdrawal date are not eligible for a refund.
  • Transfer requests have to be within the first two weeks of the intake starting and will incur a $50 transfer cost. Transfers can only occur to a subsequence intake within the same calendar year.

All SIT2LRN courses are approved by Studylink. Any queries regarding Studylink allowances, loans, and terms and conditions should be made directly to Studylink on 0800 88 99 00 or www.studylink.govt.nz.

The Graduate Certificate in Communication (Local Government) aims to provide those people working in middle management at territorial authorities the opportunity to formalise their practical communications skills into a qualification and to gain a sound theoretical base on which to structure regular tasks.  They may already be working in the communications field or another area within the council, (supported by an undergraduate degree) which requires recognition of higher level communication knowledge.

Entry is open to degree graduates, however those who have been able to demonstrate equivalent practical, professional or educational experience of an appropriate kind, may be granted admission.

Language Requirements 
Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate of at least 80 percent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English, are required to provide evidence of having passed an NZQA approved English Proficiency Assessment, or one of the following tests of English language competence in accordance with the NZQA rules below:

  • IELTS test – Academic score of 6, with no band score lower than 5.5
  • TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT) – Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE)
  • TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) – Score of 60 (with a writing score of 20)
  • University of Cambridge English Examinations – FCE, or FCE for schools, or CAE, or CPE with a score of 169. No less than 162 in each skill
  • NZCEL – Level 4 with the Academic endorsement
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) – PtoE (Academic) score of 50
  • City & Guilds IESOL – B2 Communicator with a score of 66

Applicants from countries with an annual student visa approval rate below 80 per cent, whose first language is not English, or who come from a country where the language of instruction in schools is not English must provide evidence that they:

  1. Have gained NCEA Level 3 and met New Zealand University Entrance requirements or
  2. Hold a bachelor’s degree of at least 3 years from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom or United States of America or
  3. Have achieved a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults, CELTA or
  4. Have achieved one of the English Language competence tests specified above

The head of faculty will determine the maximum number of students permitted to enrol in the degree programme.

All enrolments in the Graduate Certificate in Communication (Local Government) are approved at the discretion of the programme manager in consultation with the head of faculty and teaching staff, as required.

Suggested study path / combinations

Full time study

Full time study is completing 60 credits (four papers) per intake. Full time acceptance into the programme is at the Programme Manager’s discretion.

Part time study

The number of credits selected per intake should depend on work, family, and other commitments. The recommended maximum number of credits per intake compared to working hours are:

  • 37+ hours per week = maximum of 30 credits per intake
  • 20 – 37 hours per week = maximum of 45 credits per intake
  • Fewer than 20 hours per week = maximum of 60 credits per intake (full time study)

Additional information

  • As a guideline, one credit equates to approximately 10 hours study within an intake period.  Click HERE to download a Study Load Calculator (spreadsheet).
  • All papers selected within a particular intake must be completed within that intake unless a transfer is requested (conditions apply; see FAQs).
  • Online enrolments are on a year by year basis and students are welcome to apply for multiple intakes in one enrolment.  Further enrolment is the responsibility of individual students.  There is no automatic enrolment rollover. 

All SIT2LRN courses require you to have a computer and Internet access. Students are required to use their SIT webmail only for all SIT2LRN communications. All course materials and information, including assessments and due dates, are located on the online Blackboard system. Once you have been accepted into a programme you will receive an Important Information Booklet that includes information that you can use to familiarise yourself with our online Blackboard learning environment. From the intake start date you will have access to the online course materials to work through.

Facilitator Assistance: During the enrolled intake period, students have email access to Facilitators, who endeavour to respond to emails within 48 hours (week days only). All students are required, within the first two weeks of an intake, to send an email to their Facilitator confirming their start on the programme of study. Students who have not emailed their facilitator or embarked upon their course of study by the end of the 2nd week of an intake, will be Faculty Withdrawn from the programme. Such withdrawals may impact on future access to SIT Zero Fees Scheme and Student Direct Material Costs are still liable for payment.

Progress reports are sent out 6-8 weeks after the end of each intake.

We recommend students new to SIT2LRN read through the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website for further study and enrolment information.

Please use the following checklist to ensure that all relevant information and documentation has been included. Remember, your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide us with.  Processing of your application will be delayed if we need to come back to you for missing information.

  • I have read all sections of the Programme Information on this page
  • I have read the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions section
  • I have met all admission criteria for the programme (found under Application Criteria)
  • I have met all the criteria for individual papers (found under Course Content).
  • I have selected the paper(s) I wish to study
  • I have selected intake(s) (I have selected alternate intakes rather than overlapping intakes)
  • I know my intended payment method
  • If my organisation/company is paying for my studies, I have a completed and approved purchase order to attach to my online application.  I am aware that should my organisation or company not pay my fees, these will become my responsibility.
  • New students – I have provided an active NSN in the name I am enrolling in or I have verified ID and will attach it to my online application.
  • New students – I will attach academic documentation (NZQA record of achievement/academic transcripts/certificates).  These do not need to be verified. (If you do not have any academic documentation to support your application, please attach a comprehensive CV outlining your education and work experience).
  • I have computer access,  an Internet connection and access to software to create electronic documents e.g. Microsoft Word or Open Office

What is the Zero Fees Scheme?

The Zero Fees Scheme means we do not charge tuition fees. However, there is a Student Direct Material Cost that you need to pay and a non-refundable administration fee. The administration fee is for processing your application and the Student Direct Material Cost gives you secure access to Blackboard® our online learning environment and to student support services throughout your study with us.

Who qualifies for the Zero Fees Scheme?

  • A New Zealand citizen completing the full qualification or 
  • An Australian citizen/New Zealand Resident or Permanent Resident who will be residing in New Zealand for the duration of your enrolment.

Instructions to help you with your application:

  1. Read the Programme Information on this page and the SIT2LRN Frequently Asked Questions and find out if you meet the application criteria for both the programme and the unit/s you wish to study.
  2. Check your eligibility for Zero Fees. If you are not eligible to study under this scheme, please call
    0800 748 257 for further options.
  3. Complete your online enrolment checking that:

If you are a new student …

  • Provide an active NSN number in the name you are enrolling in (contact NZQA on 0800 697 296 to get your NSN number if you do not know it);
  • If you do not have an active NSN, then attach a copy of your verified ID in the name you are enrolling in.
  • If you are a Resident or Permanent resident of NZ, please provide a copy of proof of residency;
  • Attach all academic documentation to support your application including copies of any certificates of courses you have undertaken / NZQA record of achievement / transcripts / CV;

Attach supporting documents as required and outlined on the previous page.

  1. Please check that you have included all the required information and supporting documents.  Your application will be assessed based on the information that you provide.  Missing information will delay the processing of your application.
  2. Please scan and email all additional documentation to sit2lrn@sit.ac.nz.

What happens next?

  • You will receive an automatic email confirmation when we receive your online application. Processing may take up to three weeks. However, we will get in touch with you sooner if we require further documentation.
  • Once your application has been accepted you will be sent a conditional offer of acceptance with an invoice and instructions on how to make payment.
  • Once we have received your payment (or if you have opted to pay by Credit Card, Student Loan or Purchase Order) you will be sent an Enrolment Confirmation Letter and Important Information Booklet. Closer to the start of the intake you will receive a Time To Get Started Letter which will give you all the necessary information, tools and guidance to start your study with us.

For students to be considered to have satisfactorily completed this programme and be eligible for the awarding of the qualification Graduate Certificate in Communication (Local Government), they must have completed all scheduled course work requirements and assessments, successfully completed assessment requirements for all papers, and achieved a total of 60 credits as specified in the programme schedule. The timeframe for completion of this programme is three years.

Graduates will be able to guide local authorities through the key areas relating to change and crises, both internally and externally.  Current and future reliance on the Internet is recognised with graduates able to meet the three-year local government cycle, or a natural disaster/emergency with skills to plan for, manage and disseminate information using a variety of methods.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Understand the political environment they work in
  • Understand the dynamics of the organisation they are working for
  • Plan for change, crises or community concern
  • Utilise a variety of communication methods including the Internet and social media
  • Understand the need for good forward planning

Assessments for this programme may include written assessments, presentations, reports and online examinations.

For more information on required and recommended textbooks for this course please refer to the textbook list here

Please note that textbooks need to be ordered at least 3-4 weeks prior to the commencement of your study

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