New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Bachelor of Arts

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • 3 years full-time study or equivalent part-time
  • Availability for international students varies. Refer to the major / endorsement web pages for details.

Be a critical thinker. Be a problem-solver. Be employable.

With a Massey BA, you can focus on subjects that you enjoy, while learning to be a creative, critical and independent thinker. You’ll also get the valuable skills today’s employers are looking for.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

A Massey Bachelor of Arts is your passport to discovering, questioning and understanding the big issues and big ideas. Discover new ways of making sense of life in the 21st century and explore humanity’s richness and diversity, its conflicts and cataclysms, its triumphs of art and knowledge.

With 26 majors to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Massey’s BA has five core papers that will give you a solid grounding in the transferable skills you need, and you only have to select your major in your second year. This gives you plenty of time to gain an understanding of everything we have to offer before you make a choice.

It meets your needs

Massey’s BA will deliver what you – and employers – are looking for. How do we know? We asked hundreds of employers and Massey graduates about the value of a BA and designed a core curriculum based on their responses.

Our BA core curriculum will:

  • Give you the transferable skills demanded by employers
  • Position you for any career path you choose
  • Be intellectually stimulating
  • Offer you a rich diversity of subjects
  • Complement your major(s) and/or minor(s)
  • Help you make sense of and engage with the wider world

Graduate a step ahead of the rest

In the global marketplace of the future, people who thrive in ever-changing environments will be in demand. In 2016, an OECD report said that 65% of young people today will do jobs that have not yet been invented. Being a lifelong learner is the most important attribute for success. A BA will make you flexible, adaptable and nimble and equip you to make the most of the opportunities that will come your way in the future. Develop the skills you’ll need to set you up for lifelong learning and find your place in a fast moving job market.

Discover a whole new world

You’ll be introduced to new ways of making sense of the world. Your assumptions and ideas will be challenged. Your ability to make informed choices, evaluate evidence and construct reasoned arguments will be strengthened. And you will use your intellect and imagination to generate imaginative solutions to complex local and global challenges.

Massey’s BA will develop your skills in critical thinking, communication and problem-solving. Your ability to engage effectively with others, and contribute to society in positive and meaningful ways, will be more important than ever.

Shape your BA to fit your lifestyle

If studying on campus is not an option for you, Massey’s distance learning offering is a great choice. Or you could combine the two, taking some courses on campus and some by distance. Massey is a world leader in distance education. You will experience multi-modal interactive learning platforms and 24/7 library services. Your study will fit with your lifestyle and your commitments. Whatever your circumstances, we've got you covered.


All Bachelor of Arts majors are available as minors. The following minor-only subjects are also available in the BA:

Development Studies
Examine the processes that are transforming people's lives throughout the world.

Emergency Management
Get useful career skills in disaster prevention and management that can be applied in a range of fields.

Gain knowledge of French language and culture in an ever-growing multilingual global economy.

Planning Studies
Contribute to the design of better communities and sustainable use of resources.

Gain knowledge of the Portuguese language and culture.

Public and Professional Writing
Get the practical, discipline-focused writing skills you need to succeed in a variety of working environments.

Rehabilitation Studies
Get a broad general knowledge of the purpose, practice and philosophy of rehabilitation.

Te Reo Māori
Participate in a Māori language community in ways that reinforce the everyday use of te reo.

Theatre Studies
This exciting applied theatre and performing arts course combines theatre for social change with real-world communication techniques.

A good fit if you:

  • Want to make a difference in the world
  • Would like to gain skills for life while studying something you are passionate about
  • Have an interest in people, communication and creativity
  • Follow politics, media, public events, and social issues
  • Are involved in activities such as clubs, protests, social media, voluntary work
Whaiora Patrick
BA (Media Studies)
Founder of Whai's Letters of Hope
Social Media Coordinator for Find Your Fish Movement
Regional Ambassador for A-OK NZ
Youth Mentor and Social Media Coordinator for Kawerau Future Leaders

“Be a creative thinker; challenge the status quo; and if you're feeling bold, aim to become a change-maker. That's what the BA did for me.”

Be a creative thinker; challenge the status quo; and if you're feeling bold, aim to become a change-maker. That's what the BA did for me.” The BA with Massey helped me become an innovative thinker and a quick learner, and helped me gain collaborative skills. My tutors offered the readings and content to learn but they wanted us to think for ourselves - to critique existing theories. The BA even gave me the confidence to be a bit of a trailblazer.

My degree has given me the capability to create my own opportunities. At the start of 2019 I created my own enterprise, "Whai's Letters of Hope", to help tackle our mental wellbeing and suicide issues here in New Zealand.

My virtual experience with Massey was hassle-free and flexible. I was able to fit my studies around raising my daughter, and volunteer work in my community that I found relevant to my degree. I also met some amazing people from different parts of the country and even the world, who I still have contact with. For most people, university is a fundamental part of life, where you can socialise with a variety of people who have different backgrounds. The great thing about Massey is it still offers that opportunity to distance students, studying from the comfort of their own homes.


Employers say the BA is relevant to today’s business environment. Transferable skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and communication, which you will learn in your BA, ­will enable you to thrive in modern-day business.

Studying a BA at Massey will ensure you develop these skills and make you ready for the jobs of the future.

Our graduates typically work in:

  • Education and training
  • Health care and social assistance
  • Public administration and Government services
  • Information, media and telecommunications
  • Financial and insurance services
  • Arts, design and recreation
  • Defence

Employers say:

“The BA prepares people for the future and the future labour market.”
“A BA provides graduates who have the skills in information analysis, writing and thinking that are vital to business in the modern age.”
“A BA teaches broad thinking and research abilities. It leads to articulate workers who are able to think for themselves.”
“Knowledge is moving and changing so quickly, and we need people who are critical thinkers and multi-taskers. I see these attributes more readily in a BA graduate as opposed to a more specialist degree.”

Our graduates include:


As an actress wanting to study, Massey University’s distance programme was the obvious choice. I really enjoyed and appreciated my study experience with Massey. Their systems made correspondence learning as manageable as possible. I could access the impressive library services 24/7, and helpful knowledgeable advice from the staff at the contact centre was only a phone call away.

AMIRA SHOHDI - Client Relationship Manager for Qatar Financial Authority

A highlight of my time at Massey was the internship I did with the World Health Organization. During my three-month stint I was a web content editor, a journalist for WHO events, a speechwriter and a media liaison writing press releases and newsletter articles. It was a great experience that gave me the room to flex the things I was learning in university. These included writing classes (creative writing, fiction writing, travel writing and script writing), social media, how to use online presence, how to analyse images in newspapers and magazines, and how to report a story in the most honest way that I possibly can.

PETER CHRISP - Chief Executive, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

For me, everything started with my Bachelor and Master of Arts at Massey University. Upon graduating there was a part of me that felt like I should have done a professional degree and become a lawyer or an accountant. In hindsight my BA/MA has been one of the most valuable parts of my journey. It gave me a solid foundation to build on throughout the rest of my life. My knowledge of sociology and epistemology has allowed me to understand the various social, political and cultural contexts that I have been in.

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