Bachelor of Arts

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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?

A Massey BA is your passport to discovering, questioning and understanding what it means to be human, across societies and civilisations past and present. Celebrate and learn from humanity – our ever-evolving richness and diversity, our conflicts and cataclysms, our triumphs of art and knowledge.

It meets your needs

Our refreshed 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 is designed to:

  • 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. Massey’s refreshed BA will explicitly 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. You’ll graduate ready to take on the world.

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.

Fit study into 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:

Asian Studies
Gain an understanding of Asian cultures, their differences and similarities, from different disciplinary and thematic perspectives.

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.

New Zealand Studies
Get multi-disciplinary insights into factors that have shaped and are shaping New Zealand.

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:

  • Are curious about humanity
  • Are keen to explore why we are the way that we are
  • Want to gain skills for life while studying something you are passionate about
Caleb Hulme-Moir, BA (English and Media Studies), Founder of Mana Communications
Caleb Hulme-Moir
BA (English and Media Studies)
Founder of Mana Communications

“I gained an ability to structure arguments and think critically - two essential skills that I use daily in my professional life…”

From a young age I was convinced I wanted to be a journalist. I’d dabbled in a little bit of news writing at high school and thought it would make for an interesting career. I chose to study a Bachelor of Arts because of the broad base of knowledge it provides. Despite my writing ambitions, I knew it was sensible to keep my options open and gain a degree that would act as a strong base for a range of future opportunities.

My three years at Massey were a mind-opening array of poring over great literature texts and delving into the classics, history and the media. I gained an ability to structure arguments and think critically, two essential skills that I use daily in my professional life.

Upon graduating I pursued my journalistic career and worked briefly with the Manawatu Evening Standard. From there I was News Editor for Massey’s Chaff magazine and I even spent time with Massey’s External Relations team. As my career developed I moved more towards public relations roles, working for HortResearch in New Zealand and then at one of the UK’s leading business schools, Cass Business School. During my time at Cass I put in place a strategy which saw public relations used as the primary mechanism for brand-building. Over a five year period the School went from having a little-known reputation to being the second most quoted business school by the British media today.

While at Cass I was fortunate enough to be sponsored to do a Master of Business Administration, studying part-time over two years. This experience provided the impetus for starting Mana Communications. 

These days I have teams in London and Sydney. We work with clients from all over the world, such as, the University of Oxford, American Express and the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.

One of the best things about running my own business (apart from being my own boss) is having the freedom to align my work with my values and the excitement that comes from growing a new venture. A big focus at the moment is developing and expanding our pro bono (non-paid for) offering. It’s really important for us to get behind causes that matter and to give companies the voice they need, and often can’t afford, to help them tell their story.


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.

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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