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Master of Arts (MA)

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Overview

The Master of Arts (MA) degree comes in two pathways, by coursework or by thesis.

The MA 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 Philosophy (PhD).

The MA by coursework

The coursework option normally requires either one year or three semesters of full-time, or the equivalent in part-time, study and entails completion of papers and a dissertation. The normal admission requirement is a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in one of at least 24 subjects but admission on the basis of alternative qualifications and experience is possible. The dissertation is a major piece of supervised research of up to 20,000 words on a topic of current interest.

The primary aim of the MA by coursework programme is to provide candidates with a grounding in their chosen discipline within a wider disciplinary frame to build the skills needed to identify a significant topic, design and implement a significant piece of research, and present the findings in a form acceptable to an expert readership.

The MA by thesis

The thesis option 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 thesis 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 of up to 40,000 words on a topic of current interest.

The primary aim of the MA by thesis 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.

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Subject areas

The degree may be awarded in any of the following subjects:

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Programme requirements

Thesis option

The programme requirements for the Master of Arts by thesis are available from each of the subject pages listed above.

Programme Requirements

Master of Arts (MA) in Anthropology - coursework option

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Art History and Visual Culture - coursework option

Papers
  • ARTV 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • Two 400-level ARTV papers
  • One additional paper in a relevant discipline approved by the Head of the Department of History and Art History

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Master of Arts (MA) in Childhood and Youth Studies - coursework option

Papers
  • CHIC 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • Two of:
    CHIC 401 Understanding Children and Childhood: Theory into Practice
    CHIC 402 Promoting Children's Participation and Protection
    CHIC 407 Child-Centred Practice

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Master of Arts (MA) in Chinese - coursework option

Papers
  • CHIN 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • Either:
    CHIN 441 Advanced Topics in Chinese
    CHIN 451 Studies in Chinese
    CHIN 452 Studies in Chinese 2
  • or
    CHIN 441 Advanced Topics in Chinese, and
    two other approved 400-level papers

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Master of Arts in Classics - coursework option

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Communication Studies - coursework option

Papers

GEND 401 or SCOM 409 may be substituted for one 400-level MFCO paper

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Master of Arts (MA) in Education - coursework option

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in English - coursework option

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Film and Media Studies - coursework option

Papers

GEND 401 Debates in Gender and Sexuality may be substituted for one 400-level MFCO paper

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Master of Arts (MA) in French - coursework option

Papers
  • FREN 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • either :
    FREN 441 Advanced Topics in French
    FREN 451 Studies in French
    FREN 452 Studies in French 2
  • Or:
    FREN 441 Advanced Topics in French, and
    two other approved 400-level papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Gender Studies - coursework option

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Geography - coursework option

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in German - coursework option

Papers
  • GERM 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • either
    GERM 441 Advanced Topics in German
    GERM 451 Studies in German
    GERM 452 Studies in German 2
  • Or
    GERM 441 Advanced Topics in German and
    two other approved 400-level papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in History - coursework option

Papers

ENGL 404, GEND 401, MAOR 407, or any 400-level ARTV paper may be substituted for one 400-level HIST paper.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Indigenous Development/He Kura Matanui - coursework option

Papers

INGS 501 may be substituted for one 400-level paper

Note: 400-level papers selected should be consistent with interdisciplinary choices at 300-level. Approved papers may be drawn from those offered by other Divisions.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Japanese - coursework option

694Papers
  • JAPA 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • either
    JAPA 441 Advanced Topics in Japanese
    JAPA 451 Studies in Japanese
    JAPA 452 Studies in Japanese 2
  • or
    JAPA 441 Advanced Topics in Japanese
    and two other approved 400-level papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Linguistics - coursework option

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Māori Studies - coursework option

Papers

INGS 501 or one 400-level INDV or PACI paper may be substituted for one 400-level MAOR paper.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Music - coursework option

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy - coursework option

Papers

CLAS 440 may be substituted for one 400-level PHIL paper.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics - coursework option

Papers

No more than 80 points may be from any one of the component disciplines.

CLAS 440 may be substituted for one 400-level PHIL paper.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Religious Studies - coursework option

Papers
  • RELS 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • Further RELS papers at either 400- or 500-level worth 60 points.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology - coursework option

Papers

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Master of Arts (MA) in Spanish - coursework option

Papers
  • SPAN 590 Research Dissertation
  • Two of:
    HUMS 501 Writing and Revision for Graduate Research
    HUMS 502 Research Methods in the Humanities
    HUMS 503 Key Debates in the Humanities

  • either
    SPAN 441 Advanced Topics in Spanish
    SPAN 451 Studies in Spanish
    SPAN 452 Studies in Spanish 2
  • or
    SPAN 441 Advanced Topics in Spanish and two other approved 400-level papers.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Theatre Studies - course work option

Papers

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Regulations for the Degree of Master of Arts (MA)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
    2. Every applicant must either
      1. be a graduate, or
      2. have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).
    3. 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. Applicants must normally have achieved an average grade of at least B+ in the papers at the highest level in the programme.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. 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.
    2. Thesis option
      1. The programme of study for this option 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 normally be required to complete only 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.
      2. 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.
    3. Coursework option
      1. The programme of study for this option shall be as prescribed for the subject concerned in Part 2 of the MA Schedule and shall in each case consist of a research dissertation or studio project (60 points), two 500-level HUMS papers (30 points each) from HUMS 501-503, and further papers worth 60 points at 400- or 500-level for the subject concerned, to a total value of 180 points.
      2. With the permission of the Heads of Departments concerned, a candidate may substitute for one required paper a paper of another subject at the same level.
    4. A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis, research dissertation, or studio option, secure the approval of the Head of the Department concerned for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of the investigation.
    5. A candidate may not present a thesis, research dissertation, or studio option, which has previously been accepted for another degree.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    1. Thesis option
      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.

    2. Coursework option
      A candidate achieving the degree by coursework shall normally follow a programme for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than eighteen months of full-time study.

    3. Exceptions to the normal duration of a programme shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities) and no programme of study shall exceed five calendar years from the date of first admission.

  4. Withdrawal from the Programme

    Where a thesis 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.

  5. Examination of the Thesis, Research Dissertation, or Studio Project

    1. The Dean or Head of Department concerned (or nominee) shall appoint a Convener of Examiners who shall oversee each thesis, dissertation, or studio project examination.
    2. The thesis, research dissertation, or studio project shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University.
    3. 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.
    4. Each examiner shall supply a written report on the thesis, research dissertation, or studio project 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.
    5. The examiners may recommend that a thesis, research dissertation, or studio project exegesis:
      1. be accepted without amendments;
      2. be accepted subject to amendments being made at the discretion, and to the satisfaction, of the Head of Department concerned;
      3. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, but may be revised and resubmitted for examination;
      4. does not meet the criteria for the award of the degree, and should be rejected without right of resubmission.
    6. Amendments (regulation 5(e)(ii)) and revisions (regulation 5(e)(iii)) shall be completed by a specified date to be determined by the Head of Department concerned.
    7. A candidate shall be permitted to revise and resubmit a thesis, research dissertation, or studio project exegesis for examination once only.
    8. If a revised and resubmitted thesis, research dissertation, or studio project exegesis 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.
    9. 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.

  6. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  7. Variations

    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.

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