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Overview

Take your study of sociology to the next level

With Massey’s Master of Arts (Sociology) you can build on your undergraduate interests.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 9
  • Campus

  • Auckland, Manawatū
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

Sociology is about understanding and describing our local society and its global setting. Sociologists are interested in almost all aspects of the social world and in your MA (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 MA (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 and social change as well as individual and group interactions.

Careers and further study

Careers

Your Master of Arts (Sociology) will give you the knowledge and competencies you need to start your career as a policy analyst, researcher or community development organiser. You ‘ll learn a range of intellectual and practical skills that will stand you in good stead in the job market.

Loads of career options

This qualification opens up a world of opportunity to be involved in influencing a broad number of social issue outcomes such as healthy housing, youth development, Māori wellbeing, health promotion or gender analysis of policy. You’ll approach this not only from the perspective of government and local-body policy, but also from the perspectives of local communities and community organisations.

You’ll learn to apply your critical sociology analysis skills to a number of decision-making scenarios for better social outcomes. This could take many forms including policy development, project planning, legal submissions or strategic organisational management.

You could work in areas such as:

  • research
  • communications
  • project management
  • governance
  • charitable trusts
  • social marketing
  • journalism
  • advocacy
  • teaching and lecturing
  • policy analysis - public, private and third sector (non-government organisations, public-private partnerships, not-for-profit, voluntary and charity organisations)
  • youth development
  • community development
  • politics
  • government agencies - local, regional and central
  • non government organisations (NGOs) - housing, Māori land trusts, health service providers, disability advocacy and support, youth development.

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.

Entry requirements

University admission

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

Programme admission

Required

Master of Arts 180 credits

To enter the Master of Arts 180 credits you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Arts degree (or equivalent) with a major in the intended postgraduate subject, with at least a B grade average across the 200/300-level major courses

Master of Arts 120 credits

To enter the Master of Arts 120 credits you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with a subject in the intended postgraduate subject, or
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts with an endorsement in the intended postgraduate subject, or
  • an equivalent qualification:

Research pathway: for entry to the research pathway you need a B+ grade average across the 700-level courses

Coursework pathway: for entry to the coursework pathway you need a B grade average across the 700-level courses.

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 programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.

Courses and planning

Courses for this specialisation

Part One: Coursework Pathway (120 credits) or Research Pathway (Between 60 and 90 credits)

Compulsory courses (60 credits)

60 credits
176701 Current Issues and Theories 30
176702 Advanced Social Inquiry 30

Subject courses

176704 Working Sociologically: An Advanced Practicum 30
176718 Environmental Sociology 30
176799 Research Report (30) 30

Part Two: Coursework Pathway (60 credits)

60 credits
176873 Research Report Sociology (60) 60

Part Two: Research Pathway (Between 90 and 120 credits)

Between 90 and 120 credits
176816 Thesis 120 Credit Part 1 60
176817 Thesis 120 Credit Part 2 60
176881 Thesis 90 Credit Part 1 45
176882 Thesis 90 Credit Part 2 45
176883 Thesis 90
176899 Thesis 120

Planning your programme

Planning overview

The Master of Arts is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Not all courses are available in each semester.

Grades achieved in the first 60 credits will determine eligibility for progression to Part Two.

  • For the coursework pathway a minimum B grade average is required.
  • For the research pathway a minimum B+ grade average is required.

Master of Arts 120 credits

If you enrol in a thesis, you commence with Part One, followed by Part Two in the next enrolment period. Both parts combine to meet the thesis requirements with a single grade assigned to each part.

If the thesis cannot be submitted at the end of the initial Part Two enrolment, you must re-enrol in Part Two (and pay fees) each semester until submission is made

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

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?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

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 will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.


A good fit if you:

  • have an undergraduate degree in sociology
  • are keen to follow your intellectual curiosity and develop your research skills
  • want to investigate a particular aspect of sociology for your research report or thesis.

Meet our students

Accreditations and rankings

QS ranking sociology

Massey is ranked in the world's top 250 universities for sociology by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).


Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.

Regulations

Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

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 programme 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 programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

Scholarships related to this programme

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships