Where you can study
International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.
Specialise in Philosophy for your Bachelor of Arts at Massey
Think deeply about the big questions
If you are fascinated by the big questions of what kind of beings we are and how we interact with the world in which we live, then Massey’s Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) is the degree for you.
Make your point and influence people
Philosophy isn’t just about abstract thinking. Massey’s BA (Philosophy) offers you the chance to learn highly applicable and useful skills. Studying philosophy develops your critical thinking skills: your ability to assess whether arguments are rationally compelling and to make your arguments compelling to others.
You will learn how to:
- express your thoughts concisely and clearly
- how to engage constructively in debate
- how to deal with unusual and difficult ideas
- how to look at problems in new ways.
Benefit at work and at home
The intellectual skill of critical thinking is important in the workplace. It is consistently ranked by employers amongst the most desirable attributes in an employee. It helps you in your day-to-day life too, such as when watching the news or reading stories on the internet. Through your study of philosophy you will learn how to understand and evaluate what you read rather than just remembering it. You’ll become more aware of the reasons why you hold the views you do. A major in philosophy will challenge your thinking and encourage you to continue asking questions.
A Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy is a good fit if you:
- like to ponder the big questions
- love to discuss and debate
- want a relevant and useful degree that will provide you with transferable skills relevant to a wide range of different occupations
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 Philosophy major consists of 120 credits (eight courses).
Not all courses will be offered in all modes or across all campuses in any given year.
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 (Philosophy) 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 philosophy minor (for students who are studying a different degree)
If you are not studying towards a BA (Philosophy) and wish to complete a minor in philosophy 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: 134101 Knowledge and Reality credits 15
An introduction to questions about existence, perception and the mind.View full course details
Course code: 134102 Great Thinkers credits 15
This course examines the ideas of some of the 'greats' in Western philosophy, including Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Mill and many others.View full course details
Course code: 134104 Practical Ethics credits 15
An examination of ethical issues that arise in everyday life.View full course details
Course code: 134105 Philosophy of Religion: God, Freedom and Evil credits 15
An introduction to selected topics from philosophy of religion.View full course details
Course code: 134106 Justice and Equality credits 15
An introduction to central issues in political and social philosophy with a focus on theories of justice and equality.View full course details
Course code: 134201 Philosophy of Mind, Consciousness and Cognition credits 15
An investigation of many philosophical questions concerning minds, consciousness and language.View full course details
Course code: 134203 Ethics credits 15
This course examines the theories that underpin our ethical thinking, developing an understanding of the nature of ethical thinking in general, and the advantages and disadvantages of major ethical theories.View full course details
Course code: 134204 Philosophy of Art and Music credits 15
An examination of topics in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and ethics which arise in aesthetics and the philosophy of art.View full course details
Course code: 134205 Logic credits 15
An introduction to modern formal logic using propositional logic and first-order predicate logic. Formal logic provides an important link between the humanities and maths and sciences, particularly computer and information sciences.View full course details
Course code: 134207 Rights and Reconciliation credits 15
A study of themes from international political and social philosophy with a focus on the moral status of state boundaries and the moral status of war.View full course details
Course code: 134213 Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution credits 15
A philosophical examination of when disagreement with, and opposition to, governmental authority is justified. Using the tools of political philosophy and assessing real-world cases, we discuss the nature, demands, and limits of various types of insubordinate political activity, including (but not limited to) conscientious objection, civil disobedience, secession, and revolution.View full course details
Course code: 134214 Knowledge as a Social Phenomenon credits 15
A philosophical examination of the way our social environment influences how we can come to know about the world.View full course details
Course code: 134216 Modern Philosophy credits 15
This course will investigate metaphysical and epistemological views of the 17th - 18th centuries, focussing on Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley and Hume. It will pay particular attention to early modern notions of causation.View full course details
Course code: 134218 Environmental Philosophy credits 15
This course uses philosophy to explore contemporary environmental issues, such as whether our concern for environmental well-being can be adequately grounded in a concern for human well-being, and responses to global conversations around sustainability and ‘the rights of nature'.View full course details
Course code: 134220 Business and Professional Ethics credits 15
An examination of the practice of ethical reasoning with special concern for issues that arise in business and professions.View full course details
Course code: 134221 Great Asian Thinkers credits 15
A detailed investigation and analysis of the major philosophical systems which have developed within East Asia since the first millennium Before Common Era.View full course details
Course code: 134305 Advanced Ethics credits 15
The course will investigate issues to do with moral psychology, practical reason, moral language, and moral ontology.View full course details
Course code: 134308 Philosophy of Science credits 15
An investigation of fact and theory, explanation and discovery, and of modern attempts to improve on naïve empiricist accounts of science.View full course details
Course code: 134309 Ancient Philosophy credits 15
An examination of ancient philosophies, particularly those of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.View full course details
Course code: 134311 Global Justice credits 15
Exploring contemporary philosophical issues of justice as they arise within and between communities globally, including indigenous philosophies and communities.View full course details
Course code: 134317 Philosophical Investigations credits 15
A consideration of some of the most influential philosophers from Kant to the present.View full course details
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 (Philosophy) outside of university admission regulations.
English language requirements
To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
If you have already completed a bachelor degree
If you have already completed a bachelor degree you may replace 230111 Tū Kupu: Writing and Inquiry or 230112 Tū Arohae: Critical Thinking with courses of your choice. You will need to apply for replacement courses via a Special permission request in your portal and you will need to attach evidence of your completed degree with the request.
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.
Scholarship and award opportunitiesSearch our scholarships and awards
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
A Massey BA (Philosophy) gives you experience in handling unusual and difficult ideas and communicating your thinking with clarity. You’ll be aware of the reasons for your views, while being flexible and adaptive. You will cope with new challenges as the needs of your work change. That adaptability and the ability to think on your feet will be a big advantage in careers in advertising, journalism, management, policy analysis, research and many more.
These skills are highly prized by employers and this means you can explore a wide range of career options. Recent graduates in philosophy have gone into job areas as diverse as:
- policy analysis
New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five 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.