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Study Global Studies at Otago

Want to make a difference? Think global, act local.

Global Studies is a multidisciplinary programme that equips students with the critical knowledge required to face the challenges of globalisation, make a difference, and contribute to an inclusive and sustainable world.

Individual mentorship, applied learning, and employability are core features of this challenging and rewarding course of studies. A good fit for highly motivated 'pragmatic idealists'.

Choose from a wide range of papers to develop an individualised course of study within a specific regional focus and career pathway.

The key components of the Global Studies major

  • core Global Studies (GLBL) papers
  • multidisciplinary papers in your focus areas (regional and career pathway)
  • language and cultural competency papers

Contact the Global Studies Director about your course of studies

To select your papers and plan your course of studies, you must contact the Global Studies Director


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Why study Global Studies?

Career opportunities

One of the most sought-after graduate attributes employers are looking for is the ability to look at the big picture and apply it to solve specific problems.

Our Global Studies graduates are ideally qualified to respond to this challenge, as they are trained to analyse issues logically, challenge assumptions, consider different viewpoints, and act with flexibility, adaptability and creativity.

Our graduates find exciting, challenging and highly rewarding careers in a broad range of jobs in New Zealand and around the world.

Communications and creative industries, environmental and human rights organisations, tourism, commerce, foreign affairs, government and public administration are just a few of the career areas open to you.

Global Studies at Otago

Global Studies is gaining importance in universities all around the world. We at Otago are proud to have pioneered its development in Aotearoa.

Make the most of:

The freedom to combine Global Studies with other areas of interest

Global Studies is a major subject that gives you the freedom to choose from a wide range of Humanities, Commerce and Science papers. You can combine it with other major subjects as part of the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Arts and Commerce, the Bachelor of Arts and Science, or with other degrees, such as the Bachelor of Laws.

For example, our students  are choosing to combine Global Studies with Communication, Computer Science, Ecology, Education, Geography, History, Indigenous Studies, International Business, Law, Marine Science, Politics, Psychology, Tourism, and many other subjects.

Individual mentorship

Looking for personal growth and community building? Each student is mentored to build their own individualised course of studies. And we provide guidance via personal, regular course advising, and collective hands-on workshops. The workshops include career advice, CV-building, and interview mock-ups.

Internships and applied learning to enhance employability

Learning takes place both in and outside the classroom.

In your third year, the applied learning culminates in the GLBL303 Applied Research Project paper. This paper gives you the opportunity to complete an internship or an applied research project – either on campus, with a governmental institution or NGO, or in the private sector.

Details about the key components of the major

To select your papers and plan your course of studies, you must contact the Global Studies Director

Global Studies papers

The four core Global Studies (GLBL) papers are required. They provide the essential skills to build the rest of your course of studies on.

The core papers are: GLBL101 Introduction to Intercultural Communication, GLBL201 or GLBL301 Cultures of the Environment, GLBL202 or GLBL302 A World of Stories: Global Storytelling in the Digital Age, GLBL303 Applied Research Project.

The full list of Global Studies (GLBL) papers is below.

Multidisciplinary papers in your focus areas

Here's your chance to focus on what you care about: explore the many approved Humanities, Commerce and Science papers on offer and choose six papers that truly excite you.

The papers have been grouped in the following regional and career pathway areas:

  • Regional areas: Asia, the Pacific, Europe
  • Career pathways: communication, creative industries, environment and sustainability, government and public administration, human security and development, teaching and learning

Multidisciplinary papers

Language and cultural competencies

Train to be culturally and linguistically literate. Choose five papers from our language and culture offerings.

Language and cultural competency papers include Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Māori, Spanish.

What to do when you enrol in Global Studies

If you are planning to enrol in Global Studies, the first thing to do is to contact the Global Studies Director | Kaituitui Mātai Ao to discuss your course of study.


What our students say

My global studies courses have taught me how to connect  my local experience with our complex, globalised  world and gave me amazing opportunities to contribute  to long-term sustainable development goals on campus.

Frankie Pastiroff, Majoring in Global Studies

I was able to complete a research paper regarding migrant discrimination with an amazing supervisor who was extremely hands on which greatly helped me obtain my intelligence job with immigration.

Bianca Malcolm, BA in Global Studies and Politics, currently working for the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment

Global Studies have allowed me personal freedom in channelling what I care about most and applying it. It has allowed me to feel more comfortable in knowing how I want to position myself for the future in this complex world we live in.

Liam Hansard, BA Global Studies and BCom in Economics and International Business

I loved the flexibility that came with the Global Studies major which allowed me to pursue my interests across such a wide variety of subjects in just three years.

Nina Brown, BA, Majoring in Global Studies, Minoring in Science Communication

Background required

No prior subject knowledge is required. The only thing you need is an open and inquisitive mind and a keen interest in issues of global importance.


GLBL papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
GLBL101 2024 Introduction to Intercultural Communication 18 Semester 1
GLBL201 2024 Cultures of the Environment 18 Semester 2
GLBL202 2024 A World of Stories: Global Storytelling in the Digital Age 18 Semester 1
GLBL211 2024 Global China 18 Not offered in 2024
GLBL301 2024 Cultures of the Environment (Advanced) 18 Semester 2
GLBL302 2024 A World of Stories: Global Storytelling in the Digital Age (Advanced) 18 Semester 1
GLBL303 2024 Applied Research Project 18 Semester 1, Semester 2
GLBL311 2024 Global China (Advanced) 18 Not offered in 2024

More information

Contact us

Professor Paola Voci, Global Studies Director | Kaituitui Mātai Ao

Studying at Otago

This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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