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Careers in history and culture

Where could studying history and culture take you?

Studying history and culture is excellent preparation for succeeding in our increasingly interconnected world. Massey programmes cover history, philosophy, classics, museum studies and Māori studies.

Your degree will develop your critical thinking, research skills and organisational techniques. You’ll get experience in handling difficult ideas, communicating your thinking with clarity, and being aware of the reasons for your views while staying flexible. That adaptability and the ability to think on your feet will be a big advantage in your career. You’ll cope with new challenges as the needs of your work change. These skills are highly prized by employers and this means you can explore a wide range of career options.


Discover how history and culture subjects can enhance your career skills.

Classical studies

Greek and Roman culture had a profound and lasting influence on language and thought, particularly in philosophy, law, politics, art and architecture. They also created and developed nearly every genre of literature. Classical studies investigates the way the ancient world reacted to intellectual and physical challenges. Many of today’s issues that were first raised in the classical world remain unresolved. Studying the literature, history, art and society of the ancient world involves examining the important questions that arise from this heritage.


History helps us understand who we are, where we came from as individuals and communities, and how and why we came to live as we do now. If you want to know more about what happened and why, history gives you the skills and the knowledge to come to robust conclusions about the evidence and its interpretation. Studying history also equips you to confront big questions about the relationship between the past and present: Does the past repeat itself? Whose history do we tell? Is history really only written by the victors? How does the present influence the way we see the past?

Museum studies

Museum studies is offered at postgraduate level only. It is for students with a first degree (or equivalent knowledge and experience) who want a career in museums and other heritage institutions. The programme is broad and practical, with a strong critical theory background. It explores topics such as the history of collections, collection and museum management, object display, programme evaluation and visitor studies. An emphasis of the programme is taonga Māori and museums, in the current museum context.


In philosophy we ask questions and challenge assumptions: everything is open to challenge. Philosophy develops thinking strategies to achieve greater clarity and consistency in our thinking. It emphasises the reasons for ideas. You'll learn how to engage constructively in debate, to think in new ways and how to understand what you read rather than just remember it.

Meet our graduates

Career paths

Career paths you might explore in history and society include:

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