Bachelor of Social Sciences

The Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSocSc) will challenge your thinking about the world and the people who live in it. The degree focuses on contemporary social issues, the ways in which humans interact with these issues and how such actions can be monitored and modified.

Hannah Divehall

Environmental Planning
Hannah is part of a team that works with the community to develop and create long term plans and strategies that set out management directions and future aspirations for public conservation land across New Zealand.

Zoe Gerrand

Analysing crime data to provide solutions for improving communities is the job of a New Zealand Police Intelligence Analyst - a job which University of Waikato graduate Zoe Gerrand has recently landed.

Sophie Hamilton

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
Sophie Hamilton has landed a solid job as a Human Resources Administrator at large well-known Facilities Management company Morris Corporation in Perth – laying the foundations for her future career.

Claudia King

Claudia King lives by a simple piece of advice: “instead of waiting, start creating”. The University of Waikato Law school alumna is co-founder, CEO and the driving force behind legal tech company Automio – an automation platform that allows lawyers to create legal documents in seconds and serve their clients online.

Graeme Mackenzie

Political Science
Growing up in South Africa during the transition from apartheid to democracy contributed to Graeme’s fascination with government and politics and led him to want to study public policy.

Kirtsen May

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
As Human Resources Coordinator for Carter Holt Harvey Packaging, Kirsten needs a good grasp of all things HR principals and relevant legislation to ensure she can do her job effectively.

Morgan Paul

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
Based in Hamilton, DeLaval is the world’s largest developer, manufacturer and provider of dairy farming solutions, operating in 100 countries, and Waikato graduate Morgan is responsible for the overall office administration for the senior management team at DeLaval Oceania.

Simone Rust

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
Bachelor of Social Sciences graduate Simone Rust is in the people business, and loving it.

Buck Trafford


Katie Treadway

Katie Treadaway came to the University of Waikato as a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar to study a Bachelor of Social Sciences, majoring in Geography and Environmental Planning.

Bachelor of Social Sciences with the Faculty of Education

The FEDU Bachelor of Social Sciences is underpinned by a strong social justice perspective and is ideal for anyone wanting to make a difference in the lives of children and adults within family, education, community and/or workplace settings. It offers social science majors in areas such as human development, education and society and digital learning along with core papers on teaching and learning.

This degree will enable graduates to ensure that managing and promoting learning is not only the role of teachers, but parents, business people, salespeople, health professionals, and local and central government.

Bachelor of Social Sciences with the Faculty of Social Sciences

Composed largely as a research-orientated degree, the BSocSc covers contemporary and relevant areas of study such as employment relations, social policy and environmental planning.

You'll develop invaluable research capabilities and skills in information gathering, analysis, reporting and informed decision making under the expert guidance of our world-recognised researchers.

We offer a range of exciting subjects and specialisations to choose from. Two of our major subjects – Geography and Sociology – are ranked among the top 250 in the world (QS Rankings).

Bachelor of Social Sciences with the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies

This degree will help you to develop an appreciation of indigenous and global issues.  An understanding of indigenous topics such as languages, treaties, resource management, sovereignty and equality are all integral in today’s multicultural world.  Couple these learnings with an insight into tikanga Māori practices to equip you for the diverse workforce in New Zealand and abroad.

You can choose from our subject majors of Pacific and Indigenous Studies or Māori and Indigenous Studies.

 Career opportunities

  • Community Health Worker
  • Demographer
  • Diplomat
  • Economist
  • Employment Relations Advocate
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Ethics Adviser
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Iwi or Māori Resource Development Officer
  • Policy Analyst
  • Educational Software Developer
  • Youth or Family Worker
  • Industry Trainer
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Key information

Study Locations Hamilton; Tauranga
Faculty Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education
Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies
Years 3.0
Points 360
Start Dates Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Domestic Fees $5,879-$6,786 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
International Fees $23,235 - $29,470 per year
Tuition fees shown above are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.


These are all the subjects available for the Bachelor of Social Sciences

Animal Behaviour
Applied Computing
Biological Sciences
Computer Science
Creative Technologies
Design Media
Earth Sciences
Education and Society
English as a Second Language
Environmental Planning
Environmental Sciences
Health, Sport and Human Performance
Human Development
Human Resource Management
Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
International Languages and Cultures
International Relations and Security Studies
Labour Studies
Leadership Communication
Materials and Processing
Māori and Pacific Development
Māori Cultural Studies/Tikanga Māori
Māori Language/Te Reo Māori
Māori Media and Communication
Pacific Studies
Political Science
Population Studies
Public Policy
Public Relations
Screen and Media Studies
Social Policy
Strategic Management
Supply Chain Management
Theatre Studies
Tourism Management
Treaty of Waitangi Studies/Akoranga Te Tiriti o Waitangi
Women's and Gender Studies
Writing Studies

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships


The Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours (BSocSc(Hons)) involves two semesters of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study. The BSocSc(Hons) comprises 120 points at 500 level, of which 30 points must be in research, normally a 30 point disseration or an approved equivalent. The BSocSc(Hons) is awarded with classes of honours.


In general, to be admitted to the BSocSc(Hons) you must have a B grade average in the 300 level papers of your undergraduate major subject. You need to have majored in the same subject for your undergraduate degree as that in which you intend to enrol at graduate level. In some cases, a substantial undergraduate supporting subject may be a sufficient prerequisite.

A number of the graduate subjects/programmes are interdisciplinary in nature, and may accept students with appropriate undergraduate majors in other relevant subjects. Admission criteria may vary so please consult the appropriate programme Graduate Adviser for their specific admission criteria.

BSocSc(Hons) Subjects:

  • Anthropology
  • Demography
  • Economics
  • Education Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • Human Development
  • Labour Studies
  • Maori Cultural Studies/Tikanga Maori
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy
  • Resources and Environmental Planning
  • Social Policy
  • Sociology
  • Women's and Gender Studies

Notes(s): The undergraduate subject of Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management (IR & HRM) is an interdisciplinary major of related papers which at graduate level exists as a stream within Labour Studies. Similarly, Tourism Studies is a stream within


International Relations and Security Studies although not available for honours, may be taken as a subject for the postgraduate diploma.


You may take up to 60 points from other subjects, of which up to 30 points may be taken from outside the subjects listed for the degree. You should discuss your intended programme of study with the Graduate Adviser in each of the Faculties or Schools concerned. Some subjects have specific guidelines for numbers and types of papers outside the subject.

The BSocSc adopts a practical approach with subject-specific experiences and opportunities available to you. This includes environmental planning field trips, labs for studying animal behaviour and the Traffic and Road Safety (TARS) lab for studying driving behaviour.

Many of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ degrees offer work placement opportunities or projects with businesses and community groups. In most cases, these can count towards your programme of study.

Visit our work placement page to find out more.

As well as developing skills in class within the Faculty of Educations Social Science degree, all students have the opportunity to apply and extend their learning in a community work placement at 300 level.

You will be eligible to apply for this degree if you have University Entrance and meet any additional requirements for the qualification. All other applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Some first-year papers may have specific prerequisites, so please check the catalogue of papers carefully. If you do not meet the prerequisites, please contact as there may be other pathways that you can take to study in this field.


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080

Degree Structure

Within their overall programme, students must complete at least 35 points, including at least 20 points above 100 level, from a list of methodology papers.

BSocSc Degree Regulations
BSocSc Degree Planner

Degree Planners