Skateboard on steps

History helps us understand who we are, where we came from as individuals and communities, and how and why we came to live as we do now. If you want to know more about what happened and why, history gives you the skills and the knowledge to come to robust conclusions about the evidence and its interpretation.

Studying history also equips you to confront big questions about the relationship between the past and present: Does the past repeat itself? Whose history do we tell? Is history really only written by the victors? How does the present influence the way we see the past?

You can choose to focus on one of Massey’s areas of research speciality, such as medieval history, military history, New Zealand/iwi history, and religious history. Or, ‘pick and mix’ courses across a range of places, times and themes. Almost all courses can be studied either internally at Albany or Palmerston North or by distance and are supported by a rich digitally enabled learning environment.

Learn research skills in hands-on history laboratories 

Our innovative teaching combines lectures with interactive history laboratories, where students develop hands-on skills in how to do history. In small groups that meet weekly online or in person, you’ll learn to find, interpret, and critically assess a wide variety of historical arguments and evidence. This evidence includes written sources like documents and historical records, but also visual media, digital databases, oral histories, objects and artefacts.

History laboratories provide students with regular opportunities to workshop ideas and test historical arguments through informal discussion, collaboration and peer review. They also enable you to build proficiency in presenting history in many formats including traditional academic essays, reviews, and digital and online presentations.  


View history staff


History can be taken as a major or a minor in the Bachelor of Arts degree, or in a certificate or diploma programme


Further information about 100 Level History courses

148.105 The World Since 1900 (last offered in Summer School 2017)
148.116 Medieval World and its Legacy
148.141 A History of New Zealand's Peoples
148.142 The American Century
148.143 The Past as Entertainment: History Through Movies, Mini-series and Games

Further information about 200 Level History courses

148.217 Victoria's World
148.218 The Vikings
148.220 The Second World War
148.221 The Black Death and Other Plagues, 1300-1700
148.241 Revolution, Rights and the Atlantic World, 1763 to 1848
148.242 The Age of Jihad and Crusade
148.243 The Sixties: Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll?
148.244 The Great War 1914 - 1918: a Military and Social History
148.245 Maori and Colonisation
148.246 Iwi History
148.248 Reformers, Radicals & Revolutionaries: Protest in New Zealand

Further information about 300 Level History courses

148.308 New Zealand Military History: 1899 to 2001. A century of conflict*
148.309 The New Zealand Wars
148.310 The Tudors and the Reformation
148.316 New Zealand Between the Wars
148.317 New Zealand Religious History
148.333 The Napoleonic Wars
148.334 Sports History
148.335 The Great War and its Legacy
148.339 Court Culture in Late Medieval Europe

700 to 900-level
148.720 Advanced Historiography
148.730 Advanced Historical Methodology
148.799 Research Report (60)
148.816 Thesis 120 Credit (Part I)
148.817 Thesis 120 Credit (Part II)
148.899 MA Thesis History
148.900 PhD History

*Not offered in 2018

Student exchanges

Exchange with the University of Toulouse II Le Mirail - NEW

For Massey history/humanities students who have done French language at school or university, and would like more opportunity to use their French language, there is an exciting possibility to do an exchange with the History programme of the University of Toulouse II Le Mirail.

Read more here.

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