New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Bachelor of Arts (Defence Studies)

Key facts

  • Available at Manawatū
  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Not all courses are available all campuses
  • Available for international students via distance learning

Graduate in high demand

With Massey’s Bachelor of Arts (Defence Studies), you’ll be a sought-after graduate in a field that’s integral to the safety of New Zealand.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Arts parent structure.

What is it like?

Massey’s Bachelor of Arts (Defence Studies) offers industry input, practical experience and specialised knowledge to develop the skills employers seek.

Get a powerful combination of skills

You’ll follow a unique programme that combines the study of modern defence studies and military history with broad and transferable critical-thinking skills.

The only major of its kind in New Zealand

The contemporary world of modern defence is the core of this specialised major. You’ll examine its impact on media, technology and conflict resolution at local and global levels. Massey is the only university in New Zealand where you can study defence studies and military history at undergraduate level.

Learn from the best

Massey has long delivered New Zealand’s only defence studies programme. You’ll be taught by staff with academic knowledge in the area and/or military, defence and security experience.

The BA (Defence Studies) is designed in collaboration with an advisory board of New Zealand’s top defence and security officials. Our programme partners are government agencies that contribute to national, regional and global security, as well as peace and humanitarian aid initiatives. You may have the opportunity to do an internship with one of these agencies.

You choose what to study

You can choose from a mix of military history, strategy, tactics, intelligence, command and technology courses. These courses aren’t just for people working in the defence forces, they’re for anyone interested in understanding the world of modern defence.

A good fit if you:

  • Wonder why wars start, who draws the battle-lines and why military force is used
  • Want to understand why war seems to be an unavoidable part of human existence
  • Want a career that contributes to world peace and stability
  • Seek new solutions to world problems


There’s increasing demand for defence professionals, both military and civilian. Employers are looking for people with the intelligence, initiative and determination to work in a wide range of complex defence environments.

You could work not just for the military, but also in areas such as public education, peacekeeping and intelligence. These roles are integral to the safety of New Zealand, and the demand for qualified people who can fill these is exceptionally strong.

Get ready for a great career in New Zealand or the international community, in a broad range of areas such as:

  • Civil defence and disaster relief
  • Diplomacy and conflict resolution
  • Peacekeeping and truce monitoring
  • Policy analysis
  • Education
  • Journalism and the media
  • Management and planning
  • Politics

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