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Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Philosophy)

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning

Graduate in high demand

With Massey’s Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Philosophy) you can take your undergraduate study of philosophy further.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) parent structure.

What is it like?

If you’re 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 BA Honours (Philosophy) is for you. An honours degree in philosophy will challenge your thinking and encourage you to continue asking questions.

You can take a closer look at a philosophical issue that has captured your interest during your undergraduate studies.

Benefit at work and at home

Philosophy isn’t just about abstract thinking. With the BA Hons (Philosophy) you’ll develop 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. This skill is important in the workplace, and is consistently ranked by employers among 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’ll learn how to understand and evaluate what you read rather than just remembering it, and to become more aware of the reasons why you hold the views you do.

A good fit if you:

  • Were a high-achieving undergraduate
  • Are interested in going on to postgraduate study
  • Want to stand out in a crowded marketplace
  • Want to follow your intellectual curiosity and develop your analysis skills
  • Are keen to investigate an issue in philosophy through independent supervised research


A Massey BA Honours (Philosophy) gives you experience in handling unusual and difficult ideas, communicating your thinking with clarity, and being aware of the reasons for your views while being flexible and adaptive. You’ll 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 jobs as diverse as:

  • Advertising
  • Business
  • Computing
  • Journalism
  • Management
  • Policy analysis
  • Publishing
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Treasury

Lecturer profile

Bill Fish - Associate Professor in Philosophy

At Massey you’ll be taught by some of the world’s leading philosophers, such as Bill Fish.

Bill is one of the top young(ish) philosophers and is world-renowned in his particular area of philosophy.

In 2012 his first book Perception, Hallucination, and Illusion was a topic of discussion at a meeting of the biggest philosophy association in the world - the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division conference. The book is all about perception, and how it’s important to figure out how we perceive things, so we can then figure out how we know what we do!

Bill started off as a science boy. He took maths, physics and chemistry for his A-levels in the UK, and it was only as he was wandering around an electives fair at his university that he randomly chose philosophy as an extra subject.

He loved it so much he ended up majoring in the subject and going on to lecture and research, first in the UK and now in New Zealand.

Bill’s main areas of research and teaching are on disjunctivism - what it is to have a mind, how it hooks up to the world, the role of consciousness in all of this and epistemology (the theory around how we come to have knowledge).

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