Social Anthropology – Graduate Diploma in Arts

Get a better understanding of the world with Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Arts (Social Anthropology). Gain the equivalent of an undergraduate major in social anthropology 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 outside New Zealand
Note: Not all courses are available at all campuses

Specialise in Social Anthropology for your Graduate Diploma in Arts at Massey

A Massey Graduate Diploma in Arts (Social Anthropology) is a bridging tool for graduates in other subjects to get the equivalent of a major in social anthropology.

Develop your understanding of world cultures

Studying social anthropology will give you a different perspective on world affairs. It develops your understanding of other cultures and ethnic groups and shows you how your way of life is just one of many possible ways of being human. You’ll learn to challenge your existing beliefs and put yourself in others’ shoes.

Study a wide range of subjects

You’ll study topics such as:

  • politics
  • globalisation
  • inequality
  • human-environmental relations
  • human rights
  • indigenous peoples
  • racism.
  • visual culture
  • healing systems
  • food
  • gender
  • ritual and religion.

Learn how anthropologists work in the field

Discover how anthropologists study cultural differences through fieldwork that examines societies across the globe, from hunter-gatherers to industrial nation-states. Massey staff and students research in Asia, the Pacific, Europe, Africa and New Zealand.

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 Social Anthropology is a good fit if you:

  • want to further your understanding of our society 
  • are interested in cultural variation and cultural change
  • want to better understand other cultures and ethnic groups. 

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.

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.

Compulsory courses

Course code: 146300 Anthropological Enquiry 15 credits

A critical exploration of the role of theory in anthropology, key theoretical frameworks and the practice of theorising ethnography.

Restrictions: 146213

View full course details
Course code: 146301 Practicing Fieldwork 15 credits

An experiential course including practical exercises, designed to provide students with knowledge and skills to conduct anthropological fieldwork in a local context using a range of ethnographic methods.

Prerequisites: 146101, and 15 credits at 200-level from the 146 course prefix series Restrictions: 146303

View full course details

Subject courses

Choose at least 30 credits from
Course code: 146201 Making the Self 15 credits

An exploration of how concepts of the self, person, and individual vary across cultures.

View full course details
Course code: 146202 Migration and Belonging 15 credits

An anthropological study of how increasingly rapid mobility impacts socially and culturally on communities and individuals.

View full course details
Course code: 146203 Religion, Nature and Sustainability 15 credits

An anthropological study of a range of religions, understandings of nature, and practices of sustainability.

View full course details
Course code: 146204 Following the Monsoon 15 credits

An introduction to the contemporary anthropology of Monsoon Asia, with an emphasis on environmental factors

Restrictions: 146302

View full course details
Course code: 146205 Environmental Anthropology 15 credits

An exploration of contemporary approaches in environmental anthropology.

Restrictions: 146318

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Course code: 146209 Food and Eating 15 credits

This course explores the food chain, from production, through consumption, to exchange. It considers the ways in which food is implicated in the reproduction of identities and inequalities.

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Course code: 146210 Anthropology of Ritual, Religion, and Witchcraft 15 credits

A cross-cultural study of selected topics in the anthropology of ritual and religion including rites of passage, witchcraft, sorcery, myth, magic, spirits, death, symbols, ancestors, altered states of consciousness, and shamanism.

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Course code: 146211 Systems of Healing 15 credits

A study of the variety of ways that people throughout the world address the problems of illness.

View full course details
Choose at least 30 credits from
Course code: 146308 Taking Anthropology to the World 15 credits

This course aims to workshop and assemble a professional portfolio applying anthropological knowledge and skills to respond to real world/topical issues, local and global.

Prerequisites: 146101, and 15 credits at 200-level from the 146 course prefix series

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Course code: 146309 The Ethnography of Aotearoa New Zealand 15 credits

This course critically explores the ethnography of Aotearoa New Zealand. It considers ethnography as a way of “knowing” Aotearoa New Zealand and what that means for how Aotearoa New Zealand is analysed and represented.

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Course code: 146310 Science, Culture, and Politics 15 credits

Cross cultural understandings of how scientific ways of ‘knowing’ operate [politically] in the world.

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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 (Social Anthropology) 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.

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.

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

The knowledge of human behaviour and interactions you’ll gain from the Massey Graduate Diploma in Arts (Social Anthropology) will be useful in almost any career path, anywhere in the world. Popular career destinations for social anthropology graduates include:

  • human rights and social justice
  • social work
  • social and commercial research
  • education
  • business and industry
  • government, diplomacy and policy
  • foreign affairs
  • overseas aid and development agencies
  • family court
  • health care
  • non-profit management
  • marketing
  • publishing
  • environmental issues
  • museum curation
  • art and heritage work
  • tourism.

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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