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The Master of Arts (MA) degree normally requires at least one year of full-time, or its equivalent in part-time, study and entails completion of a thesis. The normal admission requirement is a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) degree in one of at least 24 subjects, but admission on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience is possible. Some degree candidates may be required to pass approved postgraduate papers before embarking on the thesis research, but will be advised of that before enrolment.
The thesis is a major piece of supervised research on a topic of current interest.
The primary aim of the programme is to develop in a candidate skills needed to identify a significant topic, design and implement an extended piece of research, and present the findings in a form acceptable to an expert readership. It prepares candidates for employment in education, regional and national government agencies, the private sector, and industry. The degree is also an entry qualification for the Doctor of Philsophy (PhD).
The degree may be awarded in any of the following subjects:
- Art History and Theory
- Childhood and Youth Studies
- Communication Studies
- Computer Science
- Development Studies
- Film and Media Studies
- Gender Studies
- Human Services
- Indigenous Development / He Kura Matanui
- Information Science
- Māori Studies
- Peace and Conflict Studies
- Religious Studies
- Theatre Studies
The programme requirements for the Master of Arts by thesis are available from each of the subject pages listed above.
Regulations for the Degree of Master of Arts (MA)
Admission to the Programme
- Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
- Every applicant must either
- be a graduate, or
- have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
- In considering an applicant's qualifications, regard will be had to the detail of the course of study followed to gain the qualification, as well as the applicant's performance in the programme.
Structure of the Programme
- The degree may be awarded in any of the subjects listed above. With the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) the degree may be awarded in a subject not listed above.
- The programme of study shall consist of the preparation and submission of a thesis embodying the results of supervised research. A candidate who has obtained a three-year bachelor’s degree will be required to take and pass the fourth-stage papers listed in the Honours requirements for the subject concerned, in addition to completing a thesis. A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours, or the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects in the subject of the degree, will be required to complete a thesis, although in some cases the candidate may also be required to take and pass approved papers, normally at 400-level, in addition to completing a thesis.
- A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis, secure the approval of the Head of the Department concerned for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of the investigation.
- A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
- For a thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.
Duration of the Programme
A candidate achieving the degree by papers and a thesis shall normally follow a programme for the equivalent of not less than two years of full-time study and not more than three years of full-time study, and a candidate achieving the degree by thesis alone shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
Withdrawal from the Programme
Where a candidate withdraws from the programme after completing the prescribed papers the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may recommend the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects or determine which papers shall be credited towards the diploma.
Examination of the Thesis
- The thesis shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
- The candidate's supervisor shall not be an examiner but may make a report on the work of the candidate to the Head of Department concerned.
- Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis and recommend a mark and grade on the basis of the thesis as submitted, and an overall result selected from the options as specified in clause (d) below.
- The examiners may recommend that a thesis:
- be accepted without amendments;
- be accepted subject to amendments being made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction, of the Head of Department concerned;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
- does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of submission.
- Amendments (regulation 5(d)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 5(d)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Head of Department concerned.
- A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis for examination once only.
- If a revised and resubmitted thesis is finally accepted, the result shall be either 'Pass' or 'Fail' (i.e. ungraded) and without eligibility for the award of the degree with distinction or credit.
- Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Head of Department concerned should so report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) or nominee who shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee who should normally be external to the University.
Level of Award of the Degree
The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) may in exceptional circumstances approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.
Note: The due date for applications for first enrolment in the programme is 10 December. Late applications will be considered.