Programme list > Postgraduate Certificate in Arts

Postgraduate Certificate in Arts


Take the first step on your postgraduate journey

The Postgraduate Certificate in Arts offers you a pathway for advanced studies in a subject area of your choice.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 8
  • Campus

  • Auckland, Manawatū
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Credits

  • 60
  • Duration

  • 0.5 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
  • International

  • Available for international students studying in NZ

Note: The School of Psychology is facing unprecedented demand for postgraduate Psychology specialisations. The Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (No specialisation – Psychology pathway) has now been closed for the 2022 intake.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Arts is equivalent to the first half of the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts. It’s a great place to start if you’re considering postgraduate study.

Prepare for future opportunities

Studying arts is transformative. Now more than ever, the world needs people who can thrive in an ever-changing global environment. In this programme you’ll learn how to effectively challenge and critique established ways of thinking, and to generate new ideas.

Advancing your study at postgraduate level will enhance your communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You’ll be able to take on the opportunities the future holds and thrive as a leader in your field.

Open the door to new experiences

The arts – that is, the subjects of the humanities and social sciences – are your passport to all the world’s wonderful places. Studying at a higher level will open doors to new cultures, communities and opportunities. Your postgraduate certificate will help you come up with creative and innovative solutions for complex issues.

Careers and further study


Your Postgraduate Certificate in Arts will help you to contribute to a wide range of fields such as:

  • business
  • civil services and the defence forces
  • communications, public relations and marketing
  •  education and professional development
  • health, social services and community development
  • international business and development
  • policy development and analysis
  • public service
  • research and teaching.

Further study

When you’ve completed your certificate you can continue to a postgraduate diploma, and then study for a master’s degree.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


To enter the Postgraduate Certificate in Arts you will have been awarded or qualified for a Bachelor of Arts (or equivalent) with a major in the intended postgraduate subject.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University. 

English language requirements

To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

60 credits

  • Courses from a single subject – 60 credits

Courses for this programme

Subject courses

Defence and Security Studies

294701 New Zealand National Security 30
294704 Command, Leadership and Management 30
294709 Terrorism 30
294711 Theories in Defence and Security 30
294712 Economic and Environmental Security 30
294713 Counter-Terrorism 30
294715 Asia-Pacific Security Environment 30
294716 Securing Mobility in an Uncertain World 30
294717 Human Security in Application 30
294741 Intelligence in the International Security Environment 30
294744 Intelligence Operations 30
294790 Research Methods in Defence and Security Studies 30
294798 Research Report (30) 30


134710 Philosophical Research 30
134740 Advanced Study of Philosophical Topics 30
134750 Advanced Study of Philosophical Texts 30
134760 Advanced Philosophical Inquiry 30

Politics and International Relations

150701 Tino Rangatiratanga: Strategic Māori Development 30
176702 Advanced Social Inquiry 30
200701 Advanced Political Thought 30
200702 Comparative Politics 30
200761 International Relations: Theory and Practice 30


175718 Postmodernism and Psychology 15
175719 Applied Criminal Psychology 15
175720 Advanced Psychology of Women 15
175721 Child and Family Therapy 15
175722 Principles of Clinical Neuropsychology 15
175725 Advanced Social Psychology 30
175729 Psychology and Culture 15
175730 Professional Practice in Psychology 15
175732 Psychological Well-being in Organisations 15
175733 Sustainable Livelihood 15
175734 Child Clinical Neuropsychology 15
175737 Occupational Psychology 15
175738 Psychological Research: Principles of Design 15
175739 Health Psychology: Understanding Health and Illness 15
175740 Occupational Health Psychology 15
175741 Psychological Assessment in Organisations 15
175743 Health Psychology: The Social Context 15
175744 Health Psychology: Promoting Health 15
175746 Psychological Research: Quantitative Data Analysis 15
175747 The Psychology of Sport and Exercise 15
175748 The Psychology of Organisational Change 15
175750 Qualitative Methods in Psychology 15
175751 Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 15
175761 Theory and Practice of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 15
175781 Understanding Mental Distress 15
175782 Clinical Psychology Assessment 15
175783 Clinical Psychology Interventions 15

Social Anthropology

146701 Contemporary Approaches in Anthropological Theory 30
146703 The Practice of Anthropology 30

Social Policy

132741 Long-Term Community Planning 30
179702 Advanced Research Methods 30
179783 Māori Development and the Social Services 30
279701 Social Policy and Political Economy 30
279703 Social Policy Studies 30


176701 Current Issues and Theories 30
176702 Advanced Social Inquiry 30
176704 Working Sociologically: An Advanced Practicum 30
176718 Environmental Sociology 30


125785 Research and Analytics in Economics and Finance 30
178703 The Theory and Practice of Economics 30
178712 International Monetary Economics 30
178718 Health Economics 30
178719 Climate Change Economics and Policy 30
178732 Advanced Econometrics 30
178755 Economic Growth, International and Development Economics 30


254702 Facing Big Questions in Education 30
254744 Educational Issues Among Pacific Islands Peoples in New Zealand 30
254773 Educational Policy Analysis 30
254774 Evaluation of Educational Organisations 30
254775 Management of Human Resources in Educational Organisations 30
261765 Trends in Digital Education 30
263704 Advanced Studies in Motivation and Learning 30
265737 Young Children and Their Families 30
267782 Quantitative Research in Education 15
267783 Qualitative Research in Education 15
269733 Mana Motuhake: Contemporary Issues in Māori & Indigenous Education 30


List A courses
At least 30 credits from
139703 Critical and Creative Research 30
139710 Rhetoric, Composition and the Teaching of Writing 30
139724 Literary Revolutions: Romantic and Victorian Literature 30
139728 Early Modern Drama: Form and Performance 30
139750 Contemporary New Zealand Writers in an International Context 30
139758 Postcolonial Theory and Writing 30
List B courses
No more than 30 credits from
139763 Community Theatre 30
139765 New Directions in Creative Writing 30
154708 Modern Fiction, Popular Culture and the Media 30


145710 Consumption and Place 30
145711 Foundations in Human Geography 30
145712 Frontiers in Human Geography 30
145730 Applied Coastal Geomorphology 15
145731 Applied Fluvial Geomorphology 15
145732 Landslide Investigation and Management 15
145734 Paleoecology, Palynology and Biogeography 15
145735 Detecting Geomorphic Change 15
145736 Advanced Physical Geography Techniques 15
145739 GIS Principles and Applications 30
145740 GIS Programming and Practice 30

Geospatial Science

145739 GIS Principles and Applications 30
145740 GIS Programming and Practice 30
145799 Research Report (30) 30
158740 Location Systems: Spatial Databases, Tools and Applications 15
189761 Applied Remote Sensing 30
230705 Interpretation in Geospatial Analytics 15
233706 Environmental Geographical Information Systems 30
233707 Environmental Remote Sensing 30


148720 Advanced Historiography 30
148730 Advanced Historical Methodology 30

Māori Knowledge

150701 Tino Rangatiratanga: Strategic Māori Development 30
150702 Pae Ora: Māori Health Advancement 30
150710 Te Reo Whakawhitiwhiti: The Language of Everyday Communication 30
150711 Te Tau-Ihu o te Reo: Advanced Māori Literature 30
150714 Ta Te Māori Rangahau Korero: Māori Research Methodologies 30
150715 Taonga Tuku Iho: Heritage Aotearoa 30

Media Studies

154701 Modern and Postmodern Visual Cultures 30
154702 Advanced Film Studies 30
154704 Researching Media and Cultural Studies 30
154707 The World of Noir 30
154708 Modern Fiction, Popular Culture and the Media 30
154709 Technology and Cultural Change 30
154747 Media Practice and Global Culture 30
219705 Advanced News Media Processes 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

 If you study full-time, you’ll take 60 credits in one semester.

The PGCertArts is only available without specialisation (endorsement). 

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete some undergraduate and all postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

More information

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • have an undergraduate arts degree
  • want to develop your undergraduate interests
  • want to discover whether postgraduate study is right for you.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships