Study Archaeology in New Zealand

Introduction to studying an archaeology degree in New Zealand

Typically spanning three years for a bachelor's degree, studying archaeology in New Zealand provides a unique opportunity to explore the region's rich cultural heritage and history. A course covers various modules aimed at understanding archaeological methods, cultural resource management, and the interpretation of artifacts and sites. Students will engage in fieldwork, laboratory analysis, and research projects to gain practical experience in archaeological excavation and preservation techniques.

New Zealand's archaeology degrees often emphasize the cultural diversity of the Pacific region, offering a distinctive focus on Māori and Polynesian archaeology. The curriculum combines academic rigour with hands-on field experience, providing students with a well-rounded education in archaeological theory and practice.

Given the transferable skills developed during the program, such as critical thinking, research, and cultural sensitivity, graduates from New Zealand's archaeology programs are well-equipped for various career paths. Typical employers include government agencies, heritage organizations, museums, consultancy firms, and research institutions. Archaeology graduates may also find roles as field archaeologists, heritage managers, museum curators, cultural resource consultants, or educators.

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Types of Archaeology Courses in New Zealand

Many New Zealand universities provide various archaeology and anthropology courses that make you an expert in delving deeper into human ancestors and fossils.

Bachelor’s of Archaeology (BA in Archaeology)

A bachelor’s of archaeology is an undergraduate humanities degree in archaeology, where you will develop specialist skills and knowledge. Through fieldwork methods, you will build practical skills, learn how to communicate and collaborate with traditional owners and local communities, and explore a wide range of scientific techniques and methods, including geophysical surveys, geographic information systems (GIS), archaeomagnetic, and ancient DNA. 

After graduation, you could work in specialist fields, such as professional archaeology, cultural heritage preservation, or research work. Career options include museum curator, heritage manager, and archaeologist. 

Bachelor of Science in Archaeology (BSc in Archaeology)

A BSc in Archaeology or Anthropology is a science-oriented degree program that dives into the historical remains and artefacts of the ancient world. During the program, you can conduct lab experiments, followed by a capstone project where you will investigate, integrate, and apply your learning to a real-world problem in your chosen field or major. 

In the coursework, you will learn to analyse archaeological data scientifically and interpret the results to understand past human history. You can also double major in your BSc in earth sciences, environmental science, psychology, and statistics. 

Master of Arts in Archaeology (MA in Archaeology)

A Master of Arts in Archaeology is a postgraduate degree that combines the study of the cultural grounding of social life with the material evidence of the human past. It covers various subjects and topics, including archaeology, anthropology, and history. 

The curriculum of a master of art archaeology degree covers courses such as research dissertation, writing and revision for graduate research, research methods in the humanities, and art and cultural studies. After a master’s, you can work in the research field to study the subject in depth or work with engineers, geotechnical specialists, and architects to understand the project's aspects. 

Master of Science in Archaeology (M.Sc in Archaeology)

The MSc in Archaeology allows students to build their knowledge from bachelor courses and specialise in a specific area. Along with the theoretical and practical knowledge, you will be told to complete a dissertation of 15,000 words on an approved topic relevant to the stream subject, chosen in consultation with the supervisor.


Here are some top scholarships offered by the New Zealand universities for archaeology degree programs:

Scholarship name

Offered by

Award value

University of Auckland India High Achievers Scholarship

University of Auckland


University of Canterbury Alumni Scholarship (postgraduate)

University of Canterbury


Tongarewa Scholarship

Victoria University of Wellington


Massey University Master’s Research Scholarship

Massey University


Jobs and Careers

Archaeology is a subject that studies the pieces of evidence of the past society to trace the evolution and cultural history of humankind. During the course, you will gain practical implementation of excavation, fieldwork, laboratory techniques, solid research skills, the ability to use and interpret data, and critical thinking. 

With an undergraduate degree, you can work in local governments, computing, chartered surveying, and marketing. If you have a master’s degree in archaeology, you can opt for jobs like heritage manager or museum education officer. 


Archaeology and humanities courses provide highly demanding and desirable specialised skills and knowledge. The average pay of an archaeologist in New Zealand is around $96,721, equivalent to $47. An entry-level Archaeologist with one to three years of experience can earn around $68,935. On the other hand, a senior-level archaeologist with eight or more years of experience can earn around $119,750 annually. 

Top Universities for Archaeology Courses in New Zealand

To learn more about archaeology courses in New Zealand, find details below of the top-ranking Archaeology universities in the QS University Rankings by Subject 2024:



Acceptance rate


The University of Auckland



University of Otago


Study Archaeology in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying for an archaeology degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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What is the typical duration of an archaeology course in New Zealand?

An archaeology degree in New Zealand usually takes three to four years. For example, a BA/B.Sc in archaeology is three years, and an MA/M.Sc in two years. 

What research opportunities for New Zealand archaeology students?

In New Zealand, research graduates are offered research topics or subjects such as ethnomusicology, social anthropology, archaeology, and anthropology. 

What are the career prospects for archaeology graduates in New Zealand?

Graduates completing their degree in archaeology can expect many career opportunities in related fields such as archaeology or anthropology. An archaeology graduate can get jobs as an archaeologist, heritage manager, and museum curator. The average salary can range from $68,935 to $119,750 annually. 

How do I apply for archaeology courses in New Zealand as an international student?

International students must fill out the application form with the required information and submit it before the due date. Also, they must meet the requirements mentioned by the university. 

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