For the people who want to stand out and fit in

For the people who want to stand out and fit in

Why study Social Sciences?

The social sciences provide you with the tools to add value to society and to confront the more challenging topics of the modern world.

We are an intellectually diverse community of scholars and our curriculum covers subjects that will enable you to think critically about how individuals and groups in society relate to each other.

Get extra support with our broad range of scholarships

With our flexible teaching options you can study on-campus (Hamilton, Tauranga) or online

Learn from award winning professors

Explore a wide range of programmes

Our students can work alongside top-rated teachers and internationally respected scholars, across eight majors in the School of Social Sciences:

Offered by the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA)

Student sitting down at the library

Choose from a variety of degrees

These majors can be taken towards a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Social Sciences. The School of Social Sciences also offers two professional four year degrees: The Bachelor of Environmental Planning and the Bachelor of Social Work.

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Environmental Planning
Bachelor of Social Sciences

Advocate for social justice

A degree in social work allows you to develop skills to understand complex social processes and human behaviour, and work with a wide range of individuals and community groups. The Bachelor of Social Work covers critical social work theory, and draws on knowledge from a wide range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, te ao Māori, human development, social policy, and involves work integrated learning in a range of social service agencies under the supervision of qualified social workers in the third and fourth year of study.

Bachelor of Social Work
Hands together

Make a change in your community

Social workers are qualified registered professionals who advocate for structural change through seeking to address inequality and improve social wellbeing.

They have a strong sense of social justice and are committed to human rights at an individual, societal, policy and legislative level. University of Waikato Social Work graduates are sought after and are successful in gaining employment in a wide range of fields of practice such as - health, community development, iwi social services, alcohol and addictions, child protection, youth work, policy development, mental health, family work.

Student looking up

Ready for the next level?

Enrolling in one of our postgraduate qualifications gives you the opportunity to engage in independent (but supervised) research in one or more of a wide range of subjects. Our subjects include: Anthropology, Geography, Environment & Society, Environmental Planning, History, International Relations & Security Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Policy, Sociology, Social Policy, Population Studies and Demography (National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis)

Master of Arts

Master of Environment and Society

Master of Environmental Planning

Master of Social Sciences


Social atlas provides valuable insights into changing population

A social atlas developed at the University of Waikato is the first of its kind in New Zealand – and researchers say it paints a unique picture of our changing demographics.

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University of Waikato partners with six international universities to launch Cyber Diplomacy Network

Dr Joe Burton from the University of Waikato is participating this week in the launch of an international cyber diplomacy network involving seven universities from around the world.

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Scholarship winner looking to the future of the environment

This year’s Artemis Scholarship recipient is keen to use her degree to help iwi mitigate negative impacts on the environment as a result of increased development.

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University of Waikato joins international Climate Alliance

The University of Waikato has joined an international coalition of around 50 of the world’s top climate research universities with a shared vision to be a global source of trusted communication of climate research.

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