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Māori and Indigenous Studies study options

03 November 2023

Tertiary study is a journey full of new twists and growing turns, similar to those made by our tupuna who navigated across a sea of islands. Aotahi encourages you to follow the tī kōuka lined pathway to Māori and Indigenous Studies and Te Reo Māori at UC. Check out our Māori and Indigenous Studies study options.

What can you study?

Aotahi is determined to challenge the future of Māori and Indigenous Studies and reflect the ever-changing state of Te Ao Māori across its courses and through the School. We offer two programmes of study: Māori and Indigenous Studies, and Te Reo Māori.

The values of Aotahi have been modelled on the traditions of Māui-Tikitiki-a-Taranga – the Māori demigod famous for obtaining the knowledge of fire and snaring the sun.

We believe students need to be ready for a changing world and to do this we offer a broad spectrum of educational content. From traditional Māori Studies to contemporary issues we show how to be agile and adapt in the changing cultural contexts of our fast paced modern world. Aotahi also encourages you to continue your te reo journey at any stage of learning. Our language and performing arts papers are open to anyone wanting to grow their tikanga and familiarise themselves with Māori culture.

Aotahi will connect you with a dynamic staff at the forefront of Māori and Indigenous Studies research. Our lecturers are routinely nominated for teaching awards and their research has been presented at conferences around the globe. Other Māori services include mentoring, tutorial sessions and specially provided study environments like Te Whare Ākonga o Te Akatoki.

Our Māori and Indigenous Studies programme explores social, cultural and political dimensions of Māori and Indigenous peoples globally. Through our Māori and Indigenous Studies papers you can dive deep into:

  • Traditional Māori society;
  • Mātauranga Māori;
  • Māori philosophies;
  • Treaty of Waitangi;
  • Contemporary issues affecting Māori; and/or
  • Iwi and Māori development in the post-Settlement era.

You can design your study so that you get breadth across all of these areas, or particularly focus on traditional knowledge or contemporary issues.

Through our papers, you will learn more than just the content in the lectures. We have designed our programme so that you develop practical skills along the way. Some of our papers prepare you for further postgraduate study, others have a more professional focus preparing you for entering the workforce.

All of our Māori and Indigenous Studies courses will develop your abilities in the areas of:

  • Critical analysis;
  • Creative problem solving;
  • Practical writing skills; and
  • Communication and presentation skills.

All Postgraduate Māori and Indigenous Studies Courses

Viability of courses

Please note that BA honours courses will not normally be offered if there are fewer than three students wishing to enrol.

Explore the full list of courses offered in Māori and Indigenous Studies

Congratulations on gaining your BA, and welcome to the graduate programme at Aotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous Studies.


Flexible course choices

If you do not want to take four papers in one year, or have subject interests in other disciplines, you may take one or two papers in another school, provided your programme is approved by the Head of School.

'Special Topics' are unnamed courses which are organised if there are groups of students wishing to pursue an area of study not covered in the existing graduate courses.

Each paper in society or language will be taught in one two-hour class per week at times to be arranged; modern language papers may require more contact time. Contact the school to find out when.


Entry criteria

The basic entry criteria to postgraduate study is that you have a Bachelor's degree with a major in Māori and Indigenous Studies or Te Reo Maori with at least a B+ average in 60 points at 300-level. Other entry criteria apply for those entering with different qualifications. Contact the School for more information.

You have several options of study at postgraduate level. The BA(Hons) can lead into a Master of Arts if you wish. Or you can study for a Master of Māori and Indigenous Studies or a Master of Te Reo Māori.


Course details

The BA(Hons) is a one-year full-time degree, but you can also study part-time. You need to pass a total of four courses.

Māori and Indigenous Studies: Three courses from MAOR403-425 and one of MAOR480-482. With approval of the Head of School students may include two courses from other subjects. Explore our courses in more detail.

After competing your Honours degree you can continue your study at Masters level.


Masters study

Master of Arts: The MA consists of two parts. Part one is the completion of an honours year (see above). Part two is a thesis which is the equivalent of 1-2 years full time study: You can enrol full-time (MAOR690 or TREO690) or part-time (MAOR691 or TREO691). You will undertake a piece of original research under the supervison of two staff members, at least one from Aotahi.

Master of Te Reo Māori: The MTreo is similar to the Master of Arts except that the original research component is smaller and you study one or two more papers at honours level to make up for this.

Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership: The MMIL aims to equip the next generation of leaders across a wide variety of sectors with the skills, knowledge and attributes necessary to advance the aspirations of Iwi Māori and other indigenous peoples.


Doctor of Philosophy

After completing a Masters degree you are eligible to enrol for a PhD. This is three years full time study (or longer part time), undertaking a piece of original research under supervison of two staff members, at least one from Aotahi.



Graduate students will have study and computer space in the school and will have after-hours access to this. Local phone and email facilities will be available and there will be access to a photocopier.

Graduate students will be encouraged to take part in the life of the school, and especially to attend school seminars whenever possible.

Master of Maori and Indigenous Leadership

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Celebrating success

We believe that the success of our students should be celebrated. Scholarships and various awards are available each year and Aotahi recognises many recipients with its own awards ceremony. Most of all, Aotahi wants to instil confidence in students by backing them to do amazing things. After all, it is that idea of challenging the norm with the goal of making positive changes which stands at the root of Māui-Tikitiki-a-Taranga and Aotahi.

Come to Aotahi where we offer a window into the fast moving world of Te Ao Māori. Our purpose is to serve our students and to provide a journey which not only teaches but inspires, encourages and grows the next generation to be all that they can be.


More information

Aotahi Handbook

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Our staff can advise you about courses and qualifications offered by Aotahi

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