Social Policy – Graduate Diploma in Arts

Learn what influences the development, implementation, and evaluation of social policy in New Zealand with Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Arts (Social Policy).

Where you can study

Auckland campus
Distance and online

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 available in all modes any given year.

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

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

Get understanding and insight

You’ll learn what influences the development, implementation and evaluation of social policy in Aotearoa New Zealand. You’ll study law, politics and the roles of central and local government in a democratic society. You will gain insight into the relationships that help shape legislation and develop policy, such as those between the state, judiciary, legal system, political parties and the public.

Apply your skills

Learn to apply your social policy analysis skills to a number of decision-making scenarios to result in better social outcomes. This could take many forms including a policy, project plan, submission or even the strategic direction of an organisation.

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 Policy is a good fit if you:

  • want to know who makes decisions on many of the important issues
  • want to find out how to influence those decisions
  • are keen to contribute to the cause of social justice. 

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: 179202 An Introduction to Social Research for Social Work and Social Policy 15 credits

An introduction to social research and an examination of application of evidence to inform social policy and social work practice.

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Course code: 179320 Community Development 15 credits

An examination of the fundamental principles and definitions of community development. Particular emphasis is placed on the theoretical frameworks which inform community work. Individual, group and community action is examined with particular emphasis on the relationship between individual and social change.

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Course code: 179330 Māori Development and the Social Services 15 credits

Themes in contemporary Māori development (kaupapa Māori) with particular reference to the aspirations of Māori people. Emphasis will be placed on the implications of such themes for the social services as well as the development of appropriate social policies.

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Course code: 279201 Social Policy: Concepts and Theories 15 credits

An exploration of the influence of different political theories and key concepts on the development of social policy in Aotearoa New Zealand. Applications to contemporary social policy case studies are included.

Prerequisites: 279101 or 179101 or 200162; 279101 or 179101 for BSW

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Course code: 279301 Government Policy, Planning and Administration 15 credits

An examination of government policy, planning and administration. Attention will be focussed on providing the conceptual tools for analysing the policy process and then applying them to specific legislation.

Prerequisites: 279201 or 179201

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Course code: 279302 Policy Research and Evaluation 15 credits

An examination of the relationship between policy and research and the concepts, techniques and issues involved in policy and programme evaluation. The course includes practical experience in evaluation research.

Prerequisites: 179202 or 176202

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Subject courses

Course code: 179230 Tangata Moana Perspectives and Practices for Transformation 15 credits

Examining Tangata Moana (Pacific/Pasifika) perspectives and how they inform social practice and policy towards transforming individual, family and community outcomes.

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Course code: 279203 Social Policy and Government 15 credits

An exploration of government systems, policy and legislative making processes with relevance to social policy.

Prerequisites: 279101 or 179101 or 200162 (179102 to 2009)

View full course details

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 Policy) 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

Your Graduate Diploma in Arts (Social Policy) will give you the knowledge and competencies you need to start your career as a policy analyst or researcher. You’ll learn a range of intellectual and practical skills that will stand you in good stead in the job market.

This qualification opens up a world of opportunities to influence a broad number of social issue outcomes such as healthy housing, youth development, Māori wellbeing, health promotion or gender analysis of policy. This could be from a government-down position, or an individual, community or society-up perspective.

You could work in areas such as:

  • research
  • communications
  • project management
  • governance
  • charitable trusts
  • social marketing
  • journalism (critical analysis of social issues)
  • advocacy
  • teaching and lecturing
  • policy analysis - public, private and not-for-profit sector
  • youth development
  • community development
  • politics
  • government agencies - local, regional and central
  • non government organisations (NGOs).

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