Sociology – Graduate Diploma in Arts

Use your social knowledge for a meaningful career. The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Sociology) will give you the equivalent of an undergraduate major in sociology 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

Specialise in Sociology for your Graduate Diploma in Arts at Massey

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

Follow your interest in the social world

Sociology is about understanding and describing our local society and its global setting. Sociologists are interested in almost all aspects of the social world.

In your Graduate Diploma in Arts (Sociology) you’ll consider questions such as:

  • how is society structured?
  • how is society changing?
  • what divides or unites social groups?
  • what causes the inequalities we see in society?
  • how does power operate?

With a Massey Graduate Diploma in Arts (Sociology) you’ll ask challenging questions about how power structures function in the social world. You’ll study culture, ethnicity, class, inequality, gender, mass media, politics, environment, social change, and individual and group interactions.

Develop your critical thinking skills

This is a broad subject that will teach you to think critically about the world and to investigate social issues in a meaningful manner.

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 Sociology is a good fit if you:

  • are interested in how everyday life is influenced by local, national and global processes
  • are interested in social inequality and social justice
  • are interested in conflict, power and social movements.

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.

Subject courses

Choose no more than 30 credits from
Course code: 176216 Globalisation in a digital world 15 credits

This course examines the intersecting material, social, and digital complexities of late capitalism in the context of increasing conditions of globalisation and glocalisation. Using a variety of sociological optics, the course aims to assist students to develop critical understandings that will enable them to be constructive contributors to their future worlds.

Restrictions: 176316

View full course details
Course code: 176218 Race, Nation and Modernity 15 credits

A review of the development of ideas of race and nation from the early modern era in Europe through to their world-wide crisis of the twentieth century including contemporary attempts to move beyond race via the concepts of ethnicity and indigeneity in Aotearoa New Zealand.

View full course details
Course code: 176222 Cities in the Twenty-first Century 15 credits

This course identifies and theorises the sociological issues and complexities associated with contemporary cities. It traverses the development of modern cities and city forms, examines various experiences and theorisations of city life and critically explores the concept of urban sustainability, with particular emphasis on social sustainability and urban housing.

View full course details
Course code: 176223 Social Inequality and Justice 15 credits

An examination of how social structures create inequalities with a focus on gender, class, and ethnic diversities and identities and how claims for social transformation are made.

View full course details
Course code: 176224 Gender: Bodies that Matter 15 credits

An examination of how people experience gender, how gender inequality relates to other categories of social difference and how feminist approaches reveal and disrupt gender.

View full course details
Choose at least 60 credits from
Course code: 176302 Research Design and Practice 15 credits

A practical course that introduces the principles of research design, quantitative and qualitative methods and research dissemination, and students undertake a small sociological research project under supervised conditions.

View full course details
Course code: 176308 Sociology of the Environment 15 credits

An advanced examination of the interconnections between society and the environment with a particular emphasis on the roles of science and politics in the creation of environmental knowledge and practice.

View full course details
Course code: 176322 The World of Work: Contemporary Issues 15 credits

This course provides an in-depth exploration of the changed nature of work in contemporary society. It examines the broader context of change, contemporary forms and patterns of work and occupations and issues and perspectives on global and local labour markets.

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Course code: 176324 Imagining Other Worlds 15 credits

A study of contemporary utopian sociological approaches to social change, based upon models of economy, administrative governance, and social reproduction that differ from those of colonial capitalism.

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Course code: 176325 The Politics of Truth 15 credits

An enquiry into the social contexts and power relationships that influence the production of knowledge, drawing on situations of current political significance. ‘Truth-claims’ are deconstructed in order to identify underlying ideological and political impulses.

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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 (Sociology) 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 understanding of our local society and its global setting that you'll gain from a Graduate Diploma in Arts (Sociology) opens up a wide range of career paths such as:

  • research and policy analysis for central/local government and non-governmental organisations
  • teaching
  • journalism
  • community and social services work
  • political advocacy
  • running a business
  • planning and consultancy
  • advertising and marketing
  • film and television production.

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.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Sociology

Massey is ranked in the world's top 300 universities for sociology by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

Learn more

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