Where you can study
International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.
Specialise in Geography for your Bachelor of Arts at Massey
With the Bachelor of Arts (Geography) you’ll study how we interact with our cultural, social and physical environments. Geography is a diverse and dynamic subject. It covers issues such as:
- urban development
- people’s lived experiences of their environments.
Geographers like to get out into the field to study the world as it really is. They use a variety of tools, including geospatial mapping technologies.
Stage one of the BA Geography includes both human and physical geography.
- Human geography looks at how social processes affect space, place and landscape.
- Physical geography looks at how natural landscapes take shape and change.
You will gain a solid foundation for understanding our world as the product of a combination of social and natural processes. More advanced courses expand on the themes established at stage one. You can specialise in human geography, or include more advanced geospatial and physical geography courses as well.
Geography is a globally oriented discipline. You’ll learn about New Zealand and its place in the world. You'll study internationally significant topics like globalisation, urban change, climate change and geopolitics. Our lecturers are deeply involved with the vibrant international geography community. You'll learn at the cutting edge, whether it’s the latest geospatial and mapping technologies, or the most recent thinking on how cities are changing in a digital world.
Good student-teacher ratio
Our students have opportunities to be actively involved in class. Enjoy high success rates, dynamic teaching environments, and great instructor support.
A geography degree can lead to postgraduate qualifications overseas in the United Kingdom, Canada or the United States.
A Bachelor of Arts in Geography is a good fit if you:
- are keen to understand the big issues
- want to make sense of how the environments we live in are changing
- would like a job that could take you around the world.
If you study full time, in the first year you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.
If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school if you wish. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.
You need to pass five courses at 300-level for your BA. One of these (230310) is in the compulsory core and three are required for your major. If you are not taking a double major or a minor, you will need to take one 300-level elective course to meet this requirement.
About this major
A Geography major consists of 120 credits (eight courses).
Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.
A minor must be in a different subject from your major.
A Bachelor of Arts (Geography) with a minor
You may choose a minor from the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business or Bachelor of Science. If the minor is from another degree the regulations of that qualification will apply.
A geography minor (for students who are studying a different degree)
If you are not studying towards a BA (Geography) and wish to complete a minor in geography see the BA regulations for requirements.
To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.
You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.
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 qualification 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 qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.
Courses you can enrol in
Course planning key
- Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
- Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
- Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.
Course code: 145111 Society, Environment and Place credits 15
An introduction to the diversity of human geography focusing on themes such as state and economy; geography of consumption; identity and exclusion; agrifood; migration; geographies of the lifecourse.View full course details
Course code: 233105 Our Dynamic Earth credits 15
An introductory course exploring the dynamics of Earth and how it changes through time, from the core to the atmosphere, plate tectonics to volcanoes, glaciers to rivers, mountains to oceans, and mass extinctions to the evolution of life. Through exploration of these processes and their interrelationships with environments and society, including natural hazards, climate change, and earth resources, students will develop their practical, problem solving, and communication skills.View full course details
Compulsory course selection
Course code: 145301 Research Practice in Human Geography credits 15
An introduction to theoretical approaches in human geography, research design and qualitative methodology and techniques. There is a compulsory fieldwork component.View full course details
Course code: 230121 Future State: New Zealand in the 21st Century credits 15
An inter-disciplinary exploration of the pressing social, political and economic issues (present and future) facing New Zealand in the 21st century such as globalisation, inequality and environmental challenges from the perspectives of the social science disciplines of geography, anthropology, sociology and politics.View full course details
Course code: 121213 Land and Water Science credits 15
How river catchments work and how they are affected by human activity. The environmental effects of land and water management practices, including land use, irrigation, drainage and nutrient loss, on river channels, flows and water quality, framed within an understanding of catchment geomorphology and hydrological processes.View full course details
Course code: 145202 Working With Geographic Data credits 15
An exploration of techniques for the collection, interpretation, analysis and representation of social and environmental geographic data using geographic information systems (GIS).View full course details
Course code: 145203 Geographies of Inequality credits 15
This course will consider how economic and social inequality is reproduced across space.View full course details
Course code: 145213 Resource Conservation and Sustainability credits 15
Various distinctly geographical approaches to resource conservation are discussed. Topics include: environmental change, human impact, renewable and non-renewable resource conservation, and the role of the state.View full course details
Course code: 145214 Social Change and Environment credits 15
Exploration of the theme of social change and environment with reference to world systems and imperialism studied from a historical geography perspective and focusing on New Zealand.View full course details
Course code: 145216 Urban Environments credits 15
An examination of aspects of the social, economic and political geographies of urban life, drawing upon various approaches in Human Geography.View full course details
Course code: 233212 Earth Surface Processes credits 15
This course explores surface processes across Earth’s dynamic landscapes. Focusing on mountain, hillslope, river and coastal environments, the course investigates how and why these landscapes change over time. The course introduces methods for analysing and predicting landform change, and provides a foundation for managing geomorphic issues impacting society and the environment.View full course details
Course code: 121313 Applied River Management credits 15
The course covers the principles and methodology of river resource management. It integrates ecology, hydrology, geomorphology and water quality to understand how river ecosystems function and how they may be managed to maximise societal and environmental benefit.View full course details
Course code: 145300 Cartography and Data Visualisation credits 15
A course in geographic information systems (GIS) focusing on the use of digital geospatial information for cartographic presentation and data visualisation.View full course details
Course code: 145311 Geographies of Globalisation credits 15
The course explores processes of globalisation emphasising spaces and agents of global change, and global-local connections across a variety of topics.View full course details
Course code: 145318 Geopolitics credits 15
An advanced study of geopolitics, emphasising geographical processes across a variety of topics.View full course details
Course code: 233312 Natural Hazards credits 15
An exploration and analysis of the nature, causes, impacts, and management of natural hazards, covering earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, weather, floods and coastal hazards. How climate change and human activity influence the hazards facing society.View full course details
or from the 300 level courses not already selected from the Compulsory course selection list.
Admission to Massey
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
There are no specific entry requirements for the Bachelor of Arts (Geography), outside of university admission regulations.
English language requirements
To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
English language skills
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.
Can't meet the entry requirements?
If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.
Fees and scholarships
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.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.
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 can find their National Student Number in the student portal.
- Student loans (StudyLink)
- Fees Free
- Student portal
This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.
Careers and job opportunities
With a BA (Geography) you can choose from a wide range of careers including:
- conservation and environmental research
- energy development
- resource management
- public service
- international development and diplomacy
- local and regional councils
- policy analyst
- business and market research
New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated 5-star plus by the QS World University Rankings.
Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.
As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.
Accreditations and rankings
QS Ranking - Geography
Massey is ranked in the world's top 150 universities for geography in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.
Related study options
Geography – Graduate Certificate in Arts
With Massey’s Graduate Certificate in Arts (Geography), you can study geography without completing a second bachelor’s degree. Learn how we interact with our cultural, social, and physical environments.
Geography – Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
With Massey’s Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Geography) you can take your study of geography further.
Geography – Diploma in Arts
With Massey's Diploma of Arts (Geography) you’ll learn how we interact with our cultural, social, and physical environments.
Geography – Postgraduate Diploma in Arts
Take your study of geography to a higher level with Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Geography). Enhance your research skills by investigating a topic in geography that interests you.
Geography – Master of Arts
Take your study of geography to a higher level with Massey’s Master of Arts (Geography). You can build on your undergraduate interest in geography and develop your critical research skills.
Geography – Graduate Diploma in Arts
The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Geography) will give you the equivalent of an undergraduate major in geography without having to complete a second bachelor’s degree.
Postgraduate Diploma in International Development – PGDipIntDev
Gain advanced knowledge and skills to help overcome poverty and enhance human wellbeing.
Useful planning information
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions. Learn more on careers.govt.nz