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Victoria University of Wellington
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Master of Science in Society - MScSoc

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2025


Victoria University of Wellington


Look at science in its wider social context. Explore how scientists can work with different groups and communities. Use traditional knowledge, the arts, and the humanities to respond to pressing issues facing society today.

The Master of Science in Society is a cross-disciplinary programme that considers the social context and communication of science, and its relation to matauranga M?ori and other forms of knowledge. It combines taught courses, research projects, and your choice of final project.


This degree gives you a practical understanding of the role of science in society. It is ideal if you are looking to move into a career in science communication, science management and policy, decision making, public engagement, iwi development, or non-governmental organisation advocacy. It will also equip you for further research on the social aspects of science.

Broad perspectives

Develop your understanding of contemporary scientific issues, and draw from a range of diverse fields such as philosophy, history and the creative arts to gain a broader and more nuanced perspective on science.

Gain an insight into the range of perspectives different communities have on scientific and environmental issues, and explore the important role of matauranga M?ori and other indigenous knowledge in science decision-making.

Duration and workload

The Master of Science in Society will take you three trimesters (one year) of full-time study, or up to three years if you are studying part time.

If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year.

If you're a part-time student, you can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.

How you’ll study

The Master of Science in Society is a 180-point taught Master’s degree that can be completed in one year of full-time study or up to three years of part-time study.

It includes a mix of core courses and electives, which can be chosen from any relevant discipline—including Environmental Studies, M?ori Studies, Psychology, and other sciences, by agreement with the programme coordinator.

The programme has two parts: coursework in Part 1, and predominantly project work in Part 2.

Study off-campus

You can complete your Master's remotely by arrangement with the programme coordinator. You'll need to have sufficient internet access to take part in online seminars, lectures, and workshops.

Entry criteria

To be accepted into this programme you will need to meet:

Bachelor's degree in a science (or other approved) subject

Proof of English proficiency

To be accepted into this programme you will need to meet one of the following:

IELTS: minimum overall score of 6.5 with no sub-score below 6.0

TOEFL: minimum score of 90 for the internet-based test with a minimum of 20 in writing

Pearson Test of English: minimum score of 58 (with a ‘Communicative’ score of not less than 50)

EPP: minimum final scores of 4,4,5,5

Application Deadline - Trimester 1: 10 Dec.

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