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Study Indigenous Studies at Otago

Be an agent of change.

Indigenous Studies will broaden your understanding of the world as you explore humanity’s cultural diversity.

It will change your world view as you learn about indigenous cultures, histories and societies.

You will explore the dynamic living cultures of indigenous peoples and learn how indigenous knowledge systems can generate change that is sustainable, transformative and of benefit to everyone.

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Why study Indigenous Studies at Otago?

Whether you want to learn about and promote the interests of indigenous people locally, or around the world, a major in Indigenous Studies will help you achieve this.

Through this programme you will learn the value of indigenous knowledge through the critical reading and research of selected indigenous societes and cultures in both historical and contemporary contexts. You will also examine how such knowledge may help support the varied interests and needs of contemporary indigenous people and communities as they engage with and manage the issues of living in the present world in order to sustain their peoples, cultures and communities into the future.

Indigenous knowledge has its place in every aspect of society. Wherever your interests lie, Indigenous Studies complements many fields of study and work, including:

  • environmental sustainability
  • resource management
  • policy development
  • education
  • historical and cultural studies
  • language revitalisation
  • primary healthcare and preventative medicine
  • economic wellbeing
  • social and community development
  • social research

Indigenous Studies encourages you to explore the connectivity between these disciplines and how their methodologies and intellectual genealogies can further enable indigenous communities to determine their own futures.

Graduates develop a multi-disciplinary, culturally inflected understanding of indigenous concepts and issues, including the use of co-operation rather than competition, and the importance of relationality and respecting differences.

Career opportunities

Our students are equipped with an understanding of indigenous cultural philosophies that are relevant in a myriad of employment situations.

Graduates with a degree in Indigenous Studies have a broad interdisciplinary knowledge base, which can lead to careers in the  fields of:

  • Education
  • Social Work
  • Business
  • Law
  • Policy and governance
  • Waitangi Tribunal
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Health
  • Community organisations
  • Archeology


Indigenous Studies as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree


Five papers:

MAOR 102 Māori Society
MAOR 202 Māori and Tikanga

Three of ANTH 204, ANTH 205, ANTH 206, ANTH 208, GEOG 278, HIST 206, HIST 223, HIST 246, INDS 210, INDS 301, INDS 302, INDS 307, INDS 310, MAOR 110, MAOR 203, MAOR 204, MAOR 207, MAOR 208, MAOR 210, MAOR 211 or MAOR 212, MAOR 213, MFCO 212, PACI 101, PACI 103, PACI 201, PACI 210, POLS 202, POLS 207, PUBH 203, SPAN 243, including at least one of INDS 301, INDS 302, INDS 307, INDS 310.



INDS papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
INDS210 2024 Special Topic: Exploring Indigenous Studies 18 Semester 2
INDS301 2024 Māori and Indigenous Development: Governance and Ethics 18 Semester 1
INDS302 2024 Whakapapa and Marae 18 Semester 2
INDS307 2024 Ancient East Polynesian Histories 18 Semester 2
INDS310 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
INDS401 2024 Indigenous Identities 20 Semester 2
INDS402 2024 Taonga and Identity 20 Not offered in 2024
INDS410 2024 Special Topic 20 Not offered in 2024
INDS590 2024 Research Dissertation 60 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period

More information

Contact us

Dr Paerau Warbrick
Programme Co-ordinator
Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies
Tel +64 3 479 3973

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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