Overview

Your inquisitive mind can make you highly employable

Develop your abilities to think and reason, to express your thoughts clearly and concisely and to critically evaluate complex ideas. These skills will make you a highly employable graduate.

  • Level

  • Undergraduate, NZQF Level 7
  • Campus

  • Auckland, Manawatū
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Duration

  • 3 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • International

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

  • Note: Not all courses are available in any one year

Think deeply about the big questions

If you are fascinated by the big questions of what kind of beings we are and how we interact with the world in which we live, then Massey’s Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) is the degree for you.

Make your point and influence people

Philosophy isn’t just about abstract thinking. Massey’s BA (Philosophy) offers you the chance to learn highly applicable and useful skills. Studying philosophy develops your critical thinking skills: your ability to assess whether arguments are rationally compelling and to make your arguments compelling to others.

You will learn how to:

  • express your thoughts concisely and clearly
  • how to engage constructively in debate
  • how to deal with unusual and difficult ideas
  • how to look at problems in new ways.

Benefit at work and at home

The intellectual skill of critical thinking is important in the workplace. It is consistently ranked by employers amongst the most desirable attributes in an employee. It helps you in your day-to-day life too, such as when watching the news or reading stories on the internet. Through your study of philosophy you will learn how to understand and evaluate what you read rather than just remembering it. You’ll become more aware of the reasons why you hold the views you do. A major in philosophy will challenge your thinking and encourage you to continue asking questions.

Careers and further study

Careers

A Massey BA (Philosophy) gives you experience in handling unusual and difficult ideas and communicating your thinking with clarity. You’ll be aware of the reasons for your views, while being flexible and adaptive. You will cope with new challenges as the needs of your work change. That adaptability and the ability to think on your feet will be a big advantage in careers in advertising, journalism, management, policy analysis, research and many more.

These skills are highly prized by employers and this means you can explore a wide range of career options. Recent graduates in philosophy have gone into job areas as diverse as:

  • advertising
  • business
  • computing
  • journalism
  • management
  • policy analysis
  • publishing
  • research
  • teaching
  • Treasury.

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

There are no specific entry requirements for the Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) outside of university admission regulations.

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.

Summer School

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

360 credits

240 credits (at least)

From the Schedule to the Degree including:

Core courses

Major courses

Elective courses

 

120 credits

 

Ensure across all your courses you also have:

  • Not more than 165 credits at 100 level
  • At least 75 credits at 300 level

Attend field trips, studios, workshops, tutorials and laboratories as required.

See ‘Courses for this programme’ below for schedules of courses.

Courses for this specialisation

Subject courses

134101 Knowledge and Reality 15
134102 Great Western Philosophy 15
134104 Practical Ethics 15
134105 Philosophy of Religion: God, Freedom and Evil 15
134106 Justice and Equality 15
134201 Philosophy of Mind 15
134203 Ethics 15
134204 Aesthetics 15
134205 Logic 15
134207 International Justice 15
134216 Modern Philosophy 15
134218 Environmental Philosophy 15
134220 Business and Professional Ethics 15
134221 East Asian Philosophy 15
134302 Metaphysics 15
134303 Ethics 15
134305 Meta-ethics 15
134308 Philosophy of Science 15
134309 Ancient Philosophy 15
134310 Philosophy of Literature 15
134312 Epistemology: Seeing and Knowing 15
134317 Recent and Contemporary Philosophy 15
134321 Indian Philosophy 15
200215 Foundations of Political Thought 15
200315 Contemporary Political Thought 15

Planning your programme

Planning overview

If you study full time, in the first year you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school if you wish. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

About this major

A Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) consists of 135 credits (nine courses).

You cannot take two courses with the same title to count towards your major, for example you cannot take both 134.208 and 134.308 Philosophy of Science.

Not all courses will be offered in all modes or across all campuses in any given year.

Minors

Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

A Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) with a minor

You may choose a minor from any University undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another undergraduate degree, the regulations of that programme will apply.

A philosophy minor (for students who are studying a different degree) 

If you are not studying towards a BA (Philosophy) and wish to complete a minor in philosophy see the BA regulations for requirements.  

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:

  • like to ponder the big questions
  • love to discuss and debate
  • want a relevant and useful degree that will provide you with transferable skills relevant to a wide range of different occupations

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.

Undergraduate programmes

General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate 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

About electives

Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.

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 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

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