Philosophy Courses in New Zealand 

Introduction to studying a philosophy course

Philosophy is a branch of knowledge that deals with questions about existence, values, ethics, reason, and reality. A Philosophy degree teaches students to analyze arguments, evaluate evidence, and think critically about complex issues. They will also develop strong writing and communication skills essential in many professions.

Philosophy aims to provide a deeper understanding of reality's nature and explore questions that cannot be answered by empirical evidence alone. In philosophy, students will explore various topics and ideas, including metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, logic, and social and political philosophy. 

Philosophy graduates will be prepared for various careers, including law, education, business, government, and journalism. A philosophy degree can also serve as a foundation for further studying theology, psychology, and political science. A philosophy degree gives students a broad understanding of the world and the tools they need to succeed in various careers.

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Types of Degree

Philosophy programs offered by the universities in New Zealand provide detailed information on curriculum, admission requirements, and degree structure. Here are some types of philosophy degrees:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy is an undergraduate degree offering an essential exploration of fundamental philosophical principles. In this program, students learn about different branches of philosophy, like ethics, logic, and the history of philosophical ideas. Students gain valuable skills applicable to various career paths. The degree's emphasis on ethical reasoning is advantageous in fields where ethical decision-making is crucial, such as healthcare, nonprofit organizations, and government. A BA in Philosophy offers a versatile foundation, fostering skills essential for a successful and adaptable career.

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) in Philosophy

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) in Philosophy is designed to cater to students with diverse undergraduate backgrounds seeking to delve into philosophy at an advanced level. The diploma offers a unique opportunity for individuals to broaden their academic horizons and develop a deep understanding of philosophical theories, ethical frameworks, and logical reasoning. 

Whether pursuing further academic research or entering fields such as education, journalism, law, or public policy, graduates emerge with a robust foundation that enhances their capacity for critical analysis and nuanced decision-making, making them versatile contributors in various career paths.

Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy

The Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy is a postgraduate degree designed to give students a deeper understanding of philosophical theories. The program involves a combination of advanced coursework and completing a research thesis or dissertation, allowing students to delve into a specific area of interest. 

Students pursuing this degree gain a broad perspective on the history of philosophy while specializing in their chosen areas, be it ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, or other fields. The MA in Philosophy develops intellectual growth and hone communication and writing skills essential for professional growth.

The degree benefits individuals aspiring to careers in academia, research, writing, or any profession, valuing critical thinking and analytical prowess. Graduates find themselves well-equipped for roles in education, publishing, law, and various fields requiring solid analytical and argumentative skills. Moreover, the MA in Philosophy opens avenues for further academic pursuits, such as pursuing a PhD, making it a valuable investment in intellectual and professional development.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Philosophy

A PhD in Philosophy is the highest academic achievement in the field. It involves delving deep into philosophical topics, conducting original research, and completing a substantial thesis. It is ideal for those who want to enhance their analytical and research skills and become experts in their chosen study area.

This degree also benefits those aiming for careers in academia or research. It opens doors to becoming a university professor, engaging in impactful research projects, and taking on leadership roles in various sectors. 


Many scholarships are available for international students pursuing a philosophy degree in New Zealand. Here are some of the common scholarships below

Scholarship Name Provided By Awarded value
National Overseas Scholarship 2024 Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Up to NZD 17000
New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships (NZIDRS New Zealand Government Total tuition fees, a living stipend, travel allowance
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) New Zealand Government, in association with the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Total tuition fees, living allowance, and other allowances

Jobs and Careers

A philosophy degree can lead to various career paths, as it equips individuals with critical thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills that are valuable in many professional fields. While some graduates with a philosophy degree pursue careers directly related to philosophy, others succeed in diverse industries. Here are some jobs and career paths for individuals with a philosophy degree:


Salaries for individuals with a philosophy degree are based on factors such as industry, level of experience, and geographic location. Entry-level positions, such as research or administrative, may start with annual salaries ranging from $40,000 to $60,000. As professionals gain experience and specialize in law, business, or technology, their earnings can increase significantly.

Depending on the chosen career path, mid-career salaries for philosophy graduates can range from $60,000 to $100,000 or more. For those who pursue academic positions, salaries in academia can range from $60,000 for assistant professors to well over $100,000 for tenured professors or academic leaders. 

Top Universities for Philosophy in New Zealand 

To learn more about philosophy courses in New Zealand, find details on New Zealand universities that provide philosophy degrees below:

  1. The University of Auckland
  2. University of Waikato
  3. University of Otago
  4. University of Canterbury
  5. Victoria University of Wellington
  6. Massey University

Study Philosophy in New Zealand

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

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What types of philosophy courses are available in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, students can find a variety of philosophy courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Some popular philosophy courses include Ethics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Logic, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind, Aesthetics, and Philosophy of Science. 

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

Philosophy graduates in New Zealand have a wide range of career prospects available to them, both within and outside of academia. Some popular career paths for philosophy graduates include teaching, research, writing, and journalism. Graduates may also find employment opportunities in the public sector, such as in policy analysis and development or the private sector.

What is the typical duration of a philosophy course in New Zealand?

At the undergraduate level, a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy typically takes three years to complete, while an Honours program may add a year of study. At the postgraduate level, a Master's degree in Philosophy usually takes one to two years to complete, while a Doctoral program can take between three to five years or more.

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