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Bachelor of Arts (History)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Not all courses available at all campuses or in any one year
  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

Learn to look at the world with a new perspective

Studying history will give you a new appreciation for the world around you.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts parent structure.

What is it like?

History is a subject as large as our recorded past. Our cultural heritages, literature, arts, religions, politics, economics, social behaviours, buildings and landscapes all derive from past influences.

Studying history gives an understanding of where we have been and how the world has changed over time. It gives an appreciation of how people have faced challenges at different times, and all with the benefit of hindsight.

Loads of choices - pick what interests you

With a history major you can shape your degree around your interests. You can make your history major specific to one particular area, like New Zealand and the Pacific, or study a particular era, like the medieval period, or the 20th century. You could focus on a specific theme, such as politics, sport or social history, or just pick what takes your fancy. The breadth of courses offered lets you explore your own particular interests and will give you a broad and well-rounded major.

Relevant to the past, present and future of New Zealand

Through history we can understand our past, explain our present and be better equipped to predict the future. At Massey, our history programme is focused on New Zealand history and New Zealand’s place in the world. We have the strongest focus on New Zealand history of any university in the world and New Zealand themes are central to our academics’ research. This combination means you will graduate ready to shape the future of New Zealand and the world.

Have access to top resources

Whether you study on campus or by distance, you will have the best resources at your fingertips. We are committed to ensuring that our reading materials are engaging and available online 24/7, and we keep our class sizes small to ensure you benefit from the wealth of knowledge that our academics have to offer.

Uncover your own historical stories

Our expertise expands across a variety of fields including medieval, military, British and European history. In addition, our undergraduate degree leads to an innovative honours programme that will set you up to carry out your own historical research. So no matter what you’re interested in, we have the tools that will allow you to tell the stories you want told.

A good fit if you:

  • Are interested in learning about how the past affects the way we live now
  • Enjoy subjects like English, history and social studies at school
  • Are keen to know more about the history of a specific area or region
Michelle Whitmore
BA (History)
Managing Director at Metro Marketing

“After starting a business degree and realising it wasn’t for me, I transitioned to a Bachelor of Arts (History) and never looked back…”

Doing a history degree taught me to think analytically and to present information in a considered and controlled way. I learnt how to research and construct an argument or point of view, and to present this with a logical introduction, body and conclusion. My ability to digest a significant amount of information and to present this in a concise manner is something I nurtured at university and it stands me in good stead even today.

Since graduating my degree has taken me all over the world and moulded a career full of interesting projects and experiences. I’ve written a history book for the centennial celebrations of a girls’ school in Marton. I’ve worked overseas writing quality manuals for a company pursuing international quality standards. And I’ve uncovered my love of marketing through my previous role as Marketing Manager at EziBuy.

Nearly 20 years on I still love what I do and have my own business, Metro Marketing based in the Bay of Plenty. To this day, skills gained during my BA resonate with my work like how to think clearly and logically, and to present information in a ‘no nonsense’ and digestible manner, to not write fluff and always give impetus to spelling and grammar.


A history major prepares you for many career options, including:

  • Archiving
  • Editing
  • Journalism
  • Policy analysis
  • Teaching
  • Research management
  • Administration

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