Philosophy – Graduate Diploma in Arts

The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Philosophy) will give you the equivalent of an undergraduate major in philosophy without completing a second bachelor’s degree.

Where you can study

Auckland campus
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

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand, or studying on-line out
Note: Not all courses are available in any one year.

Specialise in Philosophy for your Graduate Diploma in Arts at Massey

A Massey Graduate Diploma in Arts (Philosophy) is a bridging tool for graduates in other subjects to get the equivalent of a major in philosophy.

Think deeply about the big questions

Have you ever wondered if you have free will... if God exists... how we know what’s right and wrong... how we know anything at all... or what it means to be human? If you are fascinated by the big questions, then Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Arts (Philosophy) is the qualification for you.

Benefit at work and at home

Philosophy isn’t just about abstract thinking. Studying philosophy develops your critical thinking skills: your ability to assess whether arguments are rationally compelling and to make your arguments compelling to others. This skill is important in the workplace, and is consistently ranked by employers among 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’ll learn how to understand and evaluate what you read rather than just remembering it, and to become more aware of the reasons why you hold the views you do.

Further study

If you successfully complete your Graduate Diploma in Arts, you could go on to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts or a Master of Arts.

A Graduate Diploma in Arts in Philosophy is a good fit if you:

  • like to ponder the big questions
  • love to discuss and debate
  • want transferable skills relevant to a wide range of careers.

Planning information

Full-time study comprises eight 15-credit courses for a total of 120 credits in one year. We recommend you aim for 60 credits per semester.

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

Choose no more than 30 credits from
Course code: 134201 Philosophy of Mind, Consciousness and Cognition 15 credits

An investigation of many philosophical questions concerning minds, consciousness and language.

Restrictions: 134301

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Course code: 134203 Ethics 15 credits

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.

Restrictions: 134303

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Course code: 134204 Philosophy of Art and Music 15 credits

An examination of topics in metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and ethics which arise in aesthetics and the philosophy of art.

Restrictions: 134304

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Course code: 134205 Logic 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 134207 Rights and Reconciliation 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 134213 Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 134214 Knowledge as a Social Phenomenon 15 credits

A philosophical examination of the way our social environment influences how we can come to know about the world.

Restrictions: 134312

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Course code: 134216 Modern Philosophy 15 credits

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.

Restrictions: 134316

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Course code: 134218 Environmental Philosophy 15 credits

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'.

Restrictions: 134318

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Course code: 134220 Business and Professional Ethics 15 credits

An examination of the practice of ethical reasoning with special concern for issues that arise in business and professions.

Restrictions: 134320, 134219, 134319

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Course code: 134221 Great Asian Thinkers 15 credits

A detailed investigation and analysis of the major philosophical systems which have developed within East Asia since the first millennium Before Common Era.

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Choose at least 60 credits from
Course code: 134305 Advanced Ethics 15 credits

The course will investigate issues to do with moral psychology, practical reason, moral language, and moral ontology.

Prerequisites: Any 200-level 134-prefix course

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Course code: 134308 Philosophy of Science 15 credits

An investigation of fact and theory, explanation and discovery, and of modern attempts to improve on naïve empiricist accounts of science.

Restrictions: 134208

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Course code: 134309 Ancient Philosophy 15 credits

An examination of ancient philosophies, particularly those of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

Prerequisites: Any 200-level 134 prefix course or 201201 Restrictions: 134209

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Course code: 134311 Global Justice 15 credits

Exploring contemporary philosophical issues of justice as they arise within and between communities globally, including indigenous philosophies and communities.

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Course code: 134317 Philosophical Investigations 15 credits

A consideration of some of the most influential philosophers from Kant to the present.

Restrictions: 134217

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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 Diploma in Arts (Philosophy) you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

You will need to provide verified copies of all 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.

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.

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

A Massey Graduate Diploma in Arts (Philosophy) gives you experience in handling unusual and difficult ideas, communicating your thinking with clarity, and being aware of the reasons for your views while being flexible and adaptive.

You’ll 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 jobs as diverse as:

  • advertising
  • business
  • computing
  • journalism
  • management
  • policy analysis
  • publishing
  • research
  • teaching
  • The Treasury.

International students

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.

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