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Overview

Take your social policy study to the next level

With Massey’s Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Social Policy) you can take your undergraduate study of social policy further.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Distance learning

  • Available

With Massey’s BA (Honours) (Social Policy) you can build on your undergraduate degree. You can further investigate issues in social policy that have taken your interest. Take a topic that captures your imagination and develop it fully through independent study.

Get understanding and insight

Gain an understanding of the political, economic, social and cultural factors that influence social policy in Aotearoa New Zealand. You’ll study law, politics and the roles of central and local Government in a democratic society. Discover the relationships between the state, judiciary, legal system, political parties and public in shaping legislation and developing policy.

Apply your skills

Learn to apply your critical social policy analysis skills to a number of decision-making scenarios to result in better social outcomes. This could take many forms including:

  • a policy
  • project plan
  • submission
  • the strategic direction of an organisation.

Careers and further study

Careers

Your BA (Honours) (Social Policy) will give you the knowledge and competencies you need to start your career as a policy analyst or researcher. You’ll 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 opportunities to influence a broad number of social issue outcomes such as healthy housing, youth development, Māori wellbeing, health promotion or gender analysis of policy. This could be from a government-down position, or an individual, community or society-up perspective.

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
  • youth development
  • community development
  • politics
  • government agencies - local, regional and central
  • Non-government organisations (NGOs).

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission

Required

To enter the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Social Policy) you will have been awarded or qualified for a:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent qualification with a major in the intended postgraduate subject or close equivalent, or
  • Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in the intended postgraduate subject, followed by a Graduate Certificate in Arts endorsed in the intended postgraduate subject or close equivalent, or
  • Bachelor of Arts degree followed by a Graduate Diploma of Arts in the intended postgraduate subject or close equivalent.

You must have achieved at least a B grade average over the 200 and 300-level courses.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language and your qualifying degree was not completed at a University where English is the medium of instruction, to enter this programme you must have achieved an IELTS of 7.0 with no band less than 6.5.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Courses and planning

Courses for this specialisation

Compulsory courses

179702 Advanced Research Methods 30
279701 Social Policy and Political Economy 30
279703 Social Policy Studies 30
279796 Research Report (30) 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

Completing a subject is compulsory. A Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Social Policy) requires 120 credits.

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Not all courses are available in each semester.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.


A good fit if you:

  • want to stand out in a crowded marketplace
  • are fascinated by how and why power, resources and opportunities are distributed within society
  • want to take an issue in social policy and investigate it fully through independent supervised research.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.

Regulations

Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships