New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Master of Arts

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available at Wellington
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • 18 months full-time; up to five years part-time.
  • Availability for international students varies. Refer to the major / endorsement web pages for details.
  • Some courses are offered in block mode.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

Go beyond your bachelor’s degree and delve deep into a subject that interests you.

Complete your MA in three semesters

The Master of Arts is 180 credits. This means you can complete an MA in three semesters of full-time study. If you study part-time, an MA will normally take three years to complete. (In some disciplines - geography, social anthropology, sociology and politics - you can complete in 12 months of full-time study.)

Thrive in a world of constant change

Studying arts is transformative. Employers, industries and the labour market of the future need people who can thrive in an ever-changing global marketplace, and be able to effectively challenge and critique new ideas. Advancing your study to master’s level will further enhance your communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills so you emerge and thrive as a leader in your field.

Shape future innovation

The arts are your passport to all the world’s wonderful places. Studying at a higher level will open doors to new cultures, communities and opportunities, driving your ability to champion creative and innovative solutions for complex global issues. You will have the opportunity to pursue advanced study in a humanities or social sciences subject of your choice through a research report or a thesis.

Develop your future

The arts examine the social and cultural issues that affect people and places. Your advanced understanding of these issues will take your professional development to new heights and equip you to lead New Zealand into the future.


Graduates of the MA are adaptable and versatile. You will be able to work across a broad range of sectors and roles including:

  • Advertising
  • Aid and disaster relief workers
  • Business managers
  • Communications
  • Conflict resolution
  • Customs / immigration officers
  • Defence forces
  • Disaster relief
  • Education
  • Family therapists
  • Foreign affairs
  • Human resources
  • International business
  • Media production
  • Mental health practitioners
  • Novelists
  • Peacekeeping
  • Policy developers
  • Policy development and analysis
  • Politics
  • Project management
  • Public relations
  • Research managers
  • Risk management
  • School principals
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Special education needs
  • Specialist teachers
  • Speechwriters
  • Teaching English overseas
  • Translation
  • Travel and hospitality

Earn more

A 2016 Ministry of Education report, The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 19% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

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