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Massey University
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Diploma in Arts (Social Policy)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date



Want to know who makes decisions on many of the important issues, such as climate change, poverty and student loans? Want to find out about how to influence those decisions? Interested in debates about rights, freedom, equality, justice?

The Diploma in Arts (Social Policy) will provide you with an understanding of the political, economic, social and cultural factors that influence the development, implementation, and evaluation of social policy in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Social policy explores the ways in which power, resources, and opportunities are distributed within society and what influences that distribution. It introduces you to law, politics, and the role of government in a democratic society. The programme also examines the relationship between the state, political parties, the judiciary, the legal system, and the public in shaping legislation and developing policy.

A specialisation (endorsement) is optional, requiring at least 60 credits from the endorsement, including not more than 30 credits at 100-level.

Ensure across your courses you also have:

  • Not more than 75 credits at 100 level
  • At least 45 credits at 200 level or above
  • Not more than 15 credits above 100-level from outside of the Schedule to the Diploma
  • Not more than a total of 30 credits from outside of the Schedule to the Diploma.

Attend field trips, studios, workshops, tutorials and laboratories as required.


Social Policy will equip you with the foundation knowledge and competencies required of a beginning policy analyst and researcher. It is largely a theoretical, rather than an applied programme, but you will certainly have the opportunity to learn a range of intellectual and practical skills which will stand you in good stead in the job market, assisting in positions such as:

  • administration
  • management
  • policy analysis
  • research

Entry criteria

  • Entry requirements vary from country to country.
  • Students are required to complete international academic qualification equivalent to NCEA Level 3. For more details, please visit university website.

Students from a country where English is not the first language, must obtain a minimum English Language competency level.

  • IELTS score of 6.0 (no band less than 5.5)
  • TOEFL iBT score of 80 overall (min 19 in Writing)
  • PTE Academic score of 50 Overall (min 42 in communicative skills)
  • Cambridge English score of 169 overall and all bands 162 or better

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