Bachelor of Arts (Social Policy)

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Work for social justice with a BA (Social Policy)

At Massey you’ll get the skills you need for a meaningful career in social policy.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts parent structure

What is it like?

If you are fascinated by how and why power, resources and opportunities are distributed within society, then Massey’s BA (Social Policy) is for you.

You will gain an understanding of the political, economic, social and cultural factors that influence the development, implementation and evaluation of social policy in Aotearoa New Zealand.

You will study law, politics - and the roles of central and local government in a democratic society. This will lead to insights into the relationship between the state, political parties, the judiciary, the legal system - and the public in shaping legislation and developing policy.

A good fit if you:

  • Want to know who makes decisions on many of the important issues, such as climate change, poverty and student loans
  • Want to find out about how to influence those decisions
  • Want to contribute to the cause of social justice and better outcomes for people
  • Are interested in debates about rights, freedom, equality and justice
Donna Morgan
BA in Social Policy
Master of Applied Social Work student - Massey University

“I discovered a whole lot about myself and just how some policies have shaped my life…”

I used to spend many a day getting infuriated about events that I saw on TV, read in the news, or just saw with my own eyes as being unjust or inequitable and finally one day I just decided I needed to do more than simply rant about it. So I enrolled in the BA in Social Policy with the aim of hoping to understand what causes some groups of people to become marginalised in our society, and what I could do to help change it.

Whilst I studied a range of topics from politics, economics, the environment, and issues of development and under development, I also discovered a whole lot about myself and just how some policies have shaped my life - and I wasn't impressed with some of it!

I have also moved into areas concerning youth wellbeing, in particular issues related to their education and disengagement from mainstream and youth unemployment. I am currently working with a small community group who are hoping to develop an initiative to help transition youth into work, in particular those who are NEETS (not in education, employment or training), to support and mentor them when they are starting out in work, and to offer practical support and advice to employers who employ them.

This work has now led me back to Massey where I am enrolled in the Masters in Applied Social Work where I am now combining policy with social work practice.


Your BA (Social Policy) will give you the knowledge and competencies you need to start your career as a policy analyst and researcher. You will learn a range of intellectual and practical skills that will stand you in good stead in the job market.

This qualification opens up a world of opportunity to be involved in influencing a broad number of social issue outcomes (e.g healthy housing, youth development, Maori wellbeing, health promotion, gender analysis of policy), not only from a Government-down position, but also from an individual-, community- and society-up perspective.

You will learn to apply your critical social policy analysis skills to a number of decision-making scenarios to result in better social outcomes. This decision-making can take many forms including a policy, project plan, submission, or even the strategic direction of an organisation.

You could work in areas such as:

  • Research
  • Communications
  • Project management
  • Governance
  • Charitable trusts
  • Social marketing
  • Journalism (critical analysis of social issues)
  • Advocacy
  • Teaching and lecturing
  • Policy analysis - public, private and third sector (NGOs, PPPs, not-for-profit, voluntary and charity organisations)
  • Youth development
  • Community development
  • Politics
  • Government agencies - local, regional and central.
  • NGOs - trusts etc (housing, Maori land trusts, health service providers, disability advocacy and support, youth development)

Academic advice

Do you need help choosing your courses, or would you like to speak to an Adviser about your study? We would love to help you so please contact us.

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