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Study Māori Studies at Otago

Looking to the past for your future.

Māori Studies is an entry point for students wishing to engage with knowledge about the Māori world. It is a broad programme dedicated to the study of te reo Māori (Māori language), tikanga Māori (Māori customary lore) and aspects of te ao Māori (the Māori world).

Māori society is not static. Engaging in these three areas together enables you to enter this world and provides you with the foundations to analyse how this body of knowledge can be applied in today’s ever-changing world.

Why study Māori Studies?

Māori Studies will provide you with an enhanced knowledge and understanding of the Māori language, Māori customary lore and the Māori world. This knowledge and understanding may be integrated with other studies or professional areas such as business, education, health, law, management, the media, public administration and social work.

Government ministries, businesses, social agencies and educational institutions in New Zealand recognise the need for employees with such knowledge and skills. Excellent employment prospects await graduates with knowledge of issues affecting Māori and other peoples in New Zealand.

The Māori Studies programme will equip students with a wide range of skills giving graduates:

  • A high level of fluency in the Māori language
  • An understanding of contemporary Māori issues combined with an understanding of, for example, history, cultural expression and environmental concerns
  • An awareness of ethical issues in relation to Māori in the context of past and present practices, and society and culture
  • Skills in intercultural communication
  • Research skills
  • Analytical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • Team work
  • Independent judgement
  • An ability to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds

Māori Studies encourages you to explore the connectivity between different disciplines so as to enable indigenous communities to determine their own future.

Graduates develop a multidisciplinary, culturally inflected understanding of contemporary Māori concepts and issues, including the use of cooperation rather than competition, listening as well as communicating with others, and respecting differences. 

Career opportunities

Graduates with a degree in Māori Studies have a broad interdisciplinary knowledge base.

This can lead to careers in the fields of:

  • Government ministries
  • Policy and governance
  • Teaching
  • Arts advisors, museum curators
  • Business
  • Law
  • Public health
  • Community organisations

Māori Studies graduates are needed to help find ways to address the needs and interests of the Māori community and to help to promote and implement the goals of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Having more than one major in your degree, or a major plus a minor, will make you more marketable and attractive to prospective employers. A major in Māori Studies will be your point of difference in your chosen career.

Background required

No knowledge of the Māori language or culture is required for entry to Māori Studies. Students may be placed in more advanced Maāori language papers appropriate to their level of knowledge. There is also a University-approved process where prior non-credentialed learning is recognised for credit for some papers.


Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Māori Studies

Level Papers Points

MAOR 102  Maori Society

MAOR 111  Te Kākano 1

MAOR 112  Te Kākano 2





MAOR 211  Te Pihinga 1

MAOR 212  Te Pihinga 2

One further 200-level MAOR paper or PACI 201





MAOR 311  Te Māhuri 1

MAOR 312  Te Māhuri 2

One additional 300-level MAOR paper

One further paper from 300-level MAOR or INDS papers or PACI 301






180 further points; must include at least 54 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Arts

Total   360

Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)) in Māori Studies


Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Māori Studies

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) programme in Māori Studies is the same as the programme for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons)).

Master of Arts (Coursework) (MA(Coursework)) in Māori Studies


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

Master of Arts (Thesis) (MA(Thesis)) in Māori Studies

  • Thesis: MAOR 5

Note: Students who have not completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA(Hons)) in Māori Studies or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Subjects (PGDipArts) in Māori Studies must complete the required papers for the BA(Hons) in Māori Studies prior to undertaking the thesis.

Minor subject requirements

Māori Studies as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, 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 Applied Science (BAppSc), 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

Level Papers Points
100-level Two 100-level MAOR papers


200-level One 200-level MAOR paper, and one further INDS, MAOR or PACI paper at 200-level or above


300-level One 300-level MAOR paper 18
Total   90


Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
MAOR203 2023 Ngāi Tahu Society 18 points Semester 2

Key information for future students

Contact us

Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies