Careers in politics and society

Where could studying politics and society take you?

The study of how society works can take you into almost any career path, anywhere in the world. You’ll gain a range of intellectual and practical skills and learn to apply your critical analysis skills to projects and policies to achieve better social outcomes. A qualification in geography, anthropology, politics or sociology opens up a world of opportunity to be involved in areas such as international relations, environmental management, agrifood, youth development or analysis of policy. 

Together with the understanding of our local society and its global setting that you'll gain, your skills will open up a wide range of career paths.


Discover how politics and society subjects can enhance your career skills.


Geographers study the integration of relationships between and within Earth’s physical systems and human societies to produce insight into the problems facing the world. Massey geography graduates have gone on to careers in a wide range of areas, including conservation and environmental research, teaching, local and regional councils, journalism, geographic information systems and remote sensing, natural hazards analysis, and in the public service.

Geospatial science

Geospatial science is a cross-disciplinary field that deals with the use of spatial information technologies to understand people, places and earth processes. It has application in a breadth of disciplines including urban and regional planning, agriculture, public health and policy, land management, social work, information management and business marketing. Practising geospatial science involves collecting, managing, analysing and disseminating geospatial data. Job opportunities for people with knowledge and skills in geospatial science are good as there is a shortage of workers with these skills in New Zealand.


Politics is about struggle, and how we make decisions in society—who gets what, when and how. It is also about the conflict of ideas and values, from the local community to the nation and internationally. Politics matters, and studying politics will introduce you to the concepts, theories and information you need to make sense of it. At Massey, politics is taught in an interdisciplinary programme, bringing together political scientists, economists, philosophers, historians and sociologists.

Social anthropology

Social anthropology studies the relationship between humans and their culture. There are huge variations in global culture, from hunter-gatherers to industrialised societies. Social anthropologists explore cultural differences and the ways people maintain and change their culture over time. You'll cover topics including politics, globalisation, inequality, human-environmental relations, human rights, visual culture, systems of healing, food, gender and religion. Social anthropology researchers become very involved in the lives of the people they work with, usually over an extended period of time. Massey staff and students are researching in Asia, the Pacific, Europe, Africa and New Zealand.

Social sector evaluation research

How do you know what effect a social policy is having, and whether it's the effect you intended? Evaluation research gathers and analyses information to assess the value of a policy, to guide future decision-making. Social sector evaluation research at Massey is for you if you have some experience in evaluation or policy-related work. It will increase your knowledge and understanding of evaluation theory, approaches, methodologies, methods and practice issues in professional evaluation.

Social work

A social work degree means you can work in many different areas. Social workers work across all age groups and in many fields of practice including hospitals, government, justice system, housing and education. The Bachelor of Social Work is approved by the New Zealand Social Work Registration Board. It is internationally recognised, and many of our graduates work overseas.


Sociology will help you to understand our rapidly changing social world and take an active role in shaping society. Massey sociology offers a unique suite of courses focused on challenging commonsense assumptions, analysing social problems, and developing the imagination to contribute to a hopeful future. You will learn about all aspects of the social world including culture, ethnicity, class, inequality, gender, environment, politics, work, social justice, everyday life, and individual group relationships. Sociology equips you with the skills to pursue a wide range of careers, and to live a thoughtful, purposeful life.

Meet our graduates

Our graduates work in a range of areas including academia, the NZ Defence Forces, the Ministry of Social Development, Treasury, Air New Zealand, the Reserve Bank, the United Nations, TV3 News, Amnesty International, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Career paths

Career paths you might explore with a degree in politics and society include:

•    Advocacy
•    Business and industry
•    Communications
•    Community development
•    Diplomacy
•    Education
•    Environmental issues
•    Foreign affairs
•    Government, diplomacy and policy
•    Health care
•    Human rights and social justice
•    International development and diplomacy
•    Journalism
•    Local and regional councils
•    Politics
•    Policy analysis
•    Public service
•    Research
•    Social work
•    Social and commercial research
•    Youth development