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Welcome to the Division of Humanities at the University of Otago

Welcome to the Division of Humanities at the University of Otago
Haere Mai ki te Kete Aronui o te Whare Wānanga o Otago

Investigate the human world, what it is to be human, and how human beings relate to their environment. Humanities covers two main areas of learning: the Arts, and Social Sciences.

News, events, podcasts

Current research

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Research in the Division of Humanities at Otago encompasses various disciplines in humanities, social sciences and performing arts.
Read our research newsletter.

Research profiles


I believe that academics should be engaged with the community and reaching out beyond our offices on campus.
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Our people

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Undertaking a PhD in an area with few job prospects was both a help and a hindrance for Paul Roche. “On one hand there was always the question hanging over me, ‘what am I going to do next?’ At the same time, I knew this might be my only chance to spend years properly exploring something I loved. The fact there might not be a job at the end made the time all the more precious.”
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Humanities at Otago

Humanities at Otago covers the arts and the social sciences as well as professional programmes such as Law, Teaching, Social Work and Theology.

The arts and social sciences comprise subjects that explore the processes and systems of the human world, and the ways in which women and men interpret and represent their experience of it.

Visit our department websites for more information about their teaching and research.

We offer a wide range of exciting subjects and degrees

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree gives students the flexibility to major in a wide range of humanities subjects or the choice from one of our professional programmes in Law, Social Work, Teaching and Theology.

A humanities education develops the essential lifelong learning skills that employers seek such as critical thinking, communication skills, interpersonal and teamwork skills, and analytical and problem-solving skills.

Find out more about our degrees and qualifications

Research and teaching excellence

The Division of Humanities is proud of our excellence in teaching and research. All teaching is research-informed, and annual student surveys have confirmed that student satisfaction with the quality of Otago Humanities courses and teaching is very high.

Recently released results from the New Zealand Government’s Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluation confirmed the Division as one of the country’s top research institutions in the arts, social sciences, and humanities.

Find out more about our research