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.

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students
Note: Not all courses are available in any one year.

Specialise in Geography for your Graduate Certificate in Arts at Massey

The Graduate Certificate in Arts (Geography) is a bridging tool for graduates in other subjects to gain knowledge of geography. You can then go on to a postgraduate qualification in geography if you wish.

Get a wide perspective

Geography is a diverse and dynamic subject. It covers issues such as sustainability, urban development, globalisation and people’s experiences of their environments. You’ll study how we interact with our cultural, social and physical environments.

Learn from a range of teaching methods

You can specialise in human or physical geography, or you can study a combination of both. You will benefit from interactive classroom and distance teaching, as well as field trips and training in a range of research methods.

You’ll learn about urbanisation, state restructuring, globalisation, geopolitics, agrifood, resource management and consumption.

This qualification will give you a global perspective by drawing on international case studies and examples. It also maintains a focus on New Zealand’s place in a changing world.

Get out into the field

In advanced physical geography, you’ll explore our dynamic natural landscape. You’ll focus on rivers, glaciers, coasts and past environments. These landforms are explored in depth through extensive fieldwork-based courses.

Develop important career skills

Geography will prepare you to be a thoughtful and knowledgeable local and global citizen. You’ll develop important career skills in research, spatial analysis and evidence-based examination of the pressing issues facing New Zealand and the world today.

Further study

Once you have completed your Graduate Certificate in Arts (Geography) you can go on to postgraduate study if you wish.

A Graduate Certificate in Arts in Geography is a good fit if you:

  • already have a bachelor’s degree and want to expand your horizons
  • wish to develop your interest in geography
  • are interested in progressing to postgraduate study.

Planning information

This qualification may be completed in one semester of full-time study (depending on sequencing of courses) or over a longer period of part-time study.

Not all courses will be offered in all modes or across all campuses in any given year.

100-level prerequisites

When you are granted entry to the qualification, you are not required to pass any 100-level prerequisite course/s for the specialisation. You may need to apply for 200-level courses using the Special Request function in Course Enrolment in your student portal if your previous study was not completed at Massey. If you plan to take any electives in subjects such as Languages, Economics, Mathematics or Statistics, you will need to meet the 100-level prerequisite requirements.

Official regulations

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.

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 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.

Subject courses

Course code: 121313 Applied River Management 15 credits

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.

Prerequisites: 121213 or 145222

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Course code: 145300 Cartography and Data Visualisation 15 credits

A course in geographic information systems (GIS) focusing on the use of digital geospatial information for cartographic presentation and data visualisation.

Prerequisites: 145202 or 145213 or 233214

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Course code: 145311 Geographies of Globalisation 15 credits

The course explores processes of globalisation emphasising spaces and agents of global change, and global-local connections across a variety of topics.

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Course code: 145318 Geopolitics 15 credits

An advanced study of geopolitics, emphasising geographical processes across a variety of topics.

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Course code: 233312 Natural Hazards 15 credits

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.

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Choose at least 15 credits from
Course code: 145301 Research Practice in Human Geography 15 credits

An introduction to theoretical approaches in human geography, research design and qualitative methodology and techniques. There is a compulsory fieldwork component.

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Choose no more than 15 credits from
Course code: 121213 Land and Water Science 15 credits

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.

Prerequisites: (189151 OR 145111) AND (233105 OR 117153 OR 199103) Restrictions: 145222

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Course code: 145202 Working With Geographic Data 15 credits

An exploration of techniques for the collection, interpretation, analysis and representation of social and environmental geographic data using geographic information systems (GIS).

Restrictions: 132106

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Course code: 145203 Geographies of Inequality 15 credits

This course will consider how economic and social inequality is reproduced across space.

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Course code: 145213 Resource Conservation and Sustainability 15 credits

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.

Restrictions: 145313

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Course code: 145214 Social Change and Environment 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 145216 Urban Environments 15 credits

An examination of aspects of the social, economic and political geographies of urban life, drawing upon various approaches in Human Geography.

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Course code: 233212 Earth Surface Processes 15 credits

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.

Prerequisites: 233105 or (233101 and 145121)

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Graduate Certificate in Arts (Geography) you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor's degree.

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

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

This qualification is classified as NZQF Level 7 and requires the same English language standard as most undergraduate bachelor degrees, diplomas and certificates.

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.

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 opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

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 Graduate Certificate in Arts (Geography) you can choose from a wide range of careers including:

  • conservation and environmental research
  • energy development
  • resource management
  • forestry
  • public service
  • international development and diplomacy
  • local and regional councils
  • business and market research
  • teaching
  • tourism
  • journalism.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Geography

Massey is ranked in the world's top 200 universities for geography in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

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