Studies & Degrees in New Zealand Studies

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Are you a graduate student with an interest in the beautiful country of New Zealand and would like to learn more about its people, culture and society?  Have you considered pursuing an advanced degree in the field of New Zealand Studies?  The Master of Arts degree in New Zealand Studies is a course of study that explores many subfields with regard to New Zealand, including its history, literature, politics, economy and culture, and is ideal for anyone with an interest in this fantastic country, regardless of whether that interest is personal or professional.  To help you learn more about what this popular degree track entails, below we have compiled some of the specifics of the Master of Arts degree program in New Zealand Studies, including a brief course description, a sample of some of the information the program covers and the eligibility requirements for admission.
Master of Arts Degree in New Zealand Studies:  Course Description
The Master of Arts Degree in New Zealand Studies is an advanced graduate-level course of study that is currently being offered by hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the world.  The program, which generally spans eighteen months to two years in duration, focuses not only on the country of New Zealand, but on its people, society, culture and traditions.  Students will study the various ethnic groups in the country, including the indigenous Polynesian group known as the Maori, along with the various languages and regional dialects that are spoken within its borders.  Another module in the course focuses on the diverse culture of New Zealand, and introduces students to some of the most famous artistic works, musical pieces and literature that have originated from the country.  Economics, politics and social policy is also an emphasis, as are some of the traditions and customs that make New Zealand so unique.  Upon graduation, students will have increased their knowledge base and gained a strong appreciation of the New Zealand people—knowledge and skills that will broaden their horizons and perhaps even enhance their employment prospects.
Master of Arts Degree in New Zealand Studies:  Course Content and Requirements
Like most graduate programs, the Master of Arts Degree in New Zealand Studies features both core and elective courses, the latter of which enables students to pursue courses that are of particular interest to them.  Some of these courses include:
  • History of New Zealand.  This course covers the history of New Zealand, dating back at least 700 years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians, who developed a distinct Maori culture centered on kinship links and land. The first European explorer to discover New Zealand was Abel Janszoon Tasman on 13 December 1642. Captain James Cook, who reached New Zealand in October 1769 on the first of his three voyages, was the first European explorer to circumnavigate and map New Zealand.
  • New Zealand and Literature.  In this course students will learn about the early roots of New Zealand’s literature, which was basically story-telling converted to written form.  New Zealand poetry will also be covered, including the Māori sung poems called waiata, and students will be introduced to some of the most famous novelists of the region, including Patricia Grace, Albert Wendt and Maurice Gee.
  • Culture of New Zealand.  This course features studies in many of the subfields of New Zealand culture, including its languages, religion, arts, attitudes, political views and cuisine.
To qualify for admission into the Master of Arts degree program in New Zealand Studies, students must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a language or social science field, with a grade point average of 2.5 or better in all required coursework.  Some institutions may also require a passing score on a graduate entrance examination, letters of recommendation and/or a personal interview with the program faculty.