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MA - Geography as a main subject

The Master of Arts involves advanced study in an Arts subject and is intended for those who want to deepen their knowledge of that subject. The degree also includes a substantial component of independent research. The Master of Arts may be taken within the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, School of Arts or the School of Social Sciences.

Geography matters because it is about basic human relationships - between people and the environment, and between people and other people. Ranked among the top geography programmes in the world, the Geography programme at Waikato is the only solely human geography programme in New Zealand.

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Key information

Years: 1.5
Start Dates: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $6,748-$8,085 per year
Fees (International): $30,695-$34,930 (120 pts) or $46,045-$52,395 (180 pts)
Entry Requirements: Postgraduate International
*Tuition fees shown 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.

Career opportunities

  • Cartographer
  • Consultant
  • Environmental Manager
  • Immigration Policy Analyst
  • Researcher
  • Urban or Regional Planner

Degree Planner

Limited 500-level papers

A limited number of papers are offered at the 500-level in the Geography Programme. Outside Geographic Information Systems (GIS) papers, we only offer GEOGY520, Human Dimensions of Environmental Change.

As such, any graduate students in geography have to be accommodated through papers offered in other programmes.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(Geog), PGDip(Geog), BA(Hons), BSocSc(Hons), MA and MSocSc

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in graduate Geography papers, a student should normally have at least a B average in either the best three of their 300 level Geography papers or all their undergraduate Geography papers. The requirements for admission to masters level study in Geography are set out in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Graduate Handbook.

To complete a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Geography, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally GEOGY591) and at least 30 points from papers listed for Geography. Within the PGCert(Geog), PGDip(Geog) and BSocSc(Hons) a specialisation in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is available. Details of the specialisation requirements can be obtained from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MA or MSocSc in Geography, a student should have completed either:

a) a BA or BSocSc with a major in Geography (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B average across the 300 level papers, or

b) a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Geography (or equivalent) and have gained at least second class honours (second division).

Completion requirements for the MA or MSocSc in Geography vary according to admission criteria:

Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including one of GEOGY500, GEOGY520, GEOGY538 or GEOGY548, and either a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis, or a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

To be considered for enrolment in a dissertation or thesis, all students must have completed at least 60 points from approved 500 level papers and have gained at least a B average.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENVPL503Planning Law20A (Hamilton)
This paper provides students with sufficient background and skills in environmental and resource management law to enable them to be effective participants in resource management processes.
ENVPL504Plan Making20B (Hamilton)
Students gain a comprehensive understanding of plan development processes and develop skills relevant to professional planning practice.
ENVPL505Māori Environmental Management20B (Hamilton)
This paper aims to extend student understanding of key concepts, principles and methods relevant to Maori environmental management. Students who complete this paper will be expected to show an understanding or Maori perspectives on environmental management and be aware of the diversity within the Maori world. The paper has a focu...
ENVPL508Plan and Consents20X (Block)
This paper is designed to provide students with skills and experience in the application of resource management plans and the resource consent process under the RMA. Students are engaged in experiential learning relevant to the practice of environmental planning and management in New Zealand.
ENVPL510Planning Theory20B (Hamilton)
This paper discusses the various theories that influence how we plan our world. It will cover issues such as power, justice, governance, politics, neoliberalism, marxism, gender, democracy and environmental racism.
GEOGY500People, Place, Power20A (Online)
This paper is a forum for debate in geographies of people and power. Key concerns are the intersections between gender, Maori, Indigeneity, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, nationality and other social divisions in relation to geographies of justice.
GEOGY520Human Dimensions of Environmental Change20B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the increasing risks imposed on human communities by global environmental change such as global warming and the occurrence of so-called natural disasters. The paper establishes a platform for the critical analysis of these processes by introducing students to important theoretical developments including the role...
GEOGY538Automated Spatial Analysis using Geographic Information Systems20X (Block)
Automated techniques are the most practical method for the spatial analysis of large data sets. In this paper, students are introduced to program scripts for automated GIS analysis, which is extremely powerful compared to the 'point and click' environment, and is an area of expertise expected of GIS experts. An important part of th...
GEOGY548Advanced Geographic Information Systems Modelling20X (Block)
This paper provides a close examination of contemporary GIS modelling. GIS is used for a range of applications and in this paper students gain practical experience and understanding of many of these. Students are given the opportunity to develop GIS models in their choice of application.
GEOGY558Applied Geographic Information Systems for Research and Planning20A (Hamilton)
This paper is designed as an introduction to GIS for graduate students. Students learn about the use of GIS for spatial analysis and cartographic visualisation. Students gain 'hand on' experience with GIS laboratory exercises and undertake a graduate-level GIS project in an application of their choice.
GEOGY589Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20B (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a research topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
GEOGY590Directed Study20A (Hamilton) & 20B (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
GEOGY591Dissertation20I (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
GEOGY592Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
GEOGY593Geography Thesis20X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
GEOGY594Geography Thesis20X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

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Subject links

Geography Programme

For more information about subject requirements please refer to the Catalogue of Papers for the most up to date information. If you have any questions and need more advice contact one of our friendly student advisors phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080 or email:


School of Social Sciences
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4046
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