New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Bachelor of Arts (Sociology)

Key facts

  • Available at Auckland
  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Note: Not all courses are available at all campuses
  • Available for international students studying in NZ or via distance learning

Use your social knowledge for a meaningful career

With a Massey BA (Sociology), you will get an understanding of some of the biggest issues facing the world today.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts parent structure.

What is it like?

Massey is ranked in the world’s top 250 universities for sociology by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking.

Sociology is about understanding and describing our local society and its global setting. Sociologists are interested in almost all aspects of the social world and on your BA (Sociology) you will consider questions such as:

  • How is society structured?
  • How is society changing?
  • What divides or unites social groups?
  • What causes the inequalities we see in society?
  • How does power operate?

With a Massey BA (Sociology) you will ask challenging questions about how things really are in the social world. Culture, ethnicity, class, inequality, gender, mass media, politics, environment, social change and individual and group interactions are important areas that you will study. This is a broad subject that will teach to you think critically about the world and investigate social issues.

A good fit if you:

Are interested in exploring and understanding:

  • How everyday life is influenced by local, national and global processes
  • Social inequality and social justice
  • Culture and identity
  • Environmental, technical and economic changes
  • Conflict, power and social movements
Peter Chrisp
BA (Sociology) MA (Sociology)
Chief Executive - New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)

“Everything started with my Bachelor and Master of Arts at Massey University…”

As the Chief Executive for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) my role is to grow New Zealand companies internationally - bigger, better, faster - for the benefit of NZ. We work with people all over the world and participate in the growth of the New Zealand economy.

Aotearoa is full of courageous, inspiring and cause-driven people and one of the best things about my job is being able to work with these ambitious and aspirational leaders every day. Helping them to achieve their goals makes me feel like we are doing something that will really make a difference.

For me, everything started with my Bachelor and Master of Arts at Massey University. Upon graduating there was a part of me that felt like I should have done a professional degree and become a lawyer or an accountant, but in hindsight my BA/MA has been one of the most valuable parts of my journey. It gave me a solid foundation to build on throughout the rest of my life and my knowledge of sociology and epistemology has allowed me to understand the various social, political and cultural contexts that I have been in. However, over time it has also been necessary to continue to build new skills, so I have also added strategy, finance, operations, logistics, marketing and law to the mix. It has been a lifelong journey.

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time working at Silicon Valley. The business leaders there often talk about creating T-shaped people; a concept that describes someone with both specialist skills (the stalk of the T) as well as broader skills (the line at the top), for example having agility, the breadth to try new things, the ability to question paradigms and the nous to do things differently. It is this generalist/specialist combination that can add the most value.


The understanding of our local society and its global setting that you'll gain from a BA (Sociology) opens up a wide range of career paths:

  • Research and policy analysis for central/local government and non-governmental organisations
  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Community and social services work
  • Political advocacy
  • Running a business
  • Planning and consultancy
  • Advertising and marketing
  • TV/film production

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