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Politics & Government×

Massey University Masters Degrees in Public Policy

We have 2 Massey University Masters Degrees in Public Policy

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Join this unique qualification to become a leading, sought-after analyst, able to understand and communicate big data in social policy-related contexts. Read more

Join this unique qualification to become a leading, sought-after analyst, able to understand and communicate big data in social policy-related contexts.

Find out more about the Master of Analytics parent structure.

The Master of Analytics with a major in public policy is for public servants who want to be able to better understand, interpret and analyse large data sets. 

The degree equips you with the technical ability and critical thinking needed to transform complex data into information that can be used as evidence for making policy.

Massey University is the only New Zealand university that offers the Master of Analytics (Public Policy).

What will you learn?

The MAnalyt teaches fundamental data analysis tools, including data mining, statistics and econometrics in the core courses. You will then learn how these tools are applied in the public sector.

The Master of Analytics (Public Policy) teaches a critical appreciation of the complexity of data analytics including an examination of cross-cultural data analysis; methodology; ethics; systems mapping; attribution and data management.

It also introduces case studies examining the roles and possibilities of geospatial data and the use of outputs from the integrated data infrastructure (IDI). The IDI is the New Zealand cross-agency data set used by government agencies and policy makers.

Real-world learning

At Massey University we ensure your learning is firmly based in a real-world context. To help you identify the most appropriate technique and data to address a problem, you need to understand the real challenges and context that policy makers face. 

The Master of Analytics will help you understand all these things, as well as give you training in communicating your findings in a compelling way. 

You will work in conjunction with an external agency on a real-world problem using the skills and knowledge you have already gained.

Based in Wellington

Block courses are held in Wellington.

Complete in a year

The qualification can be completed in 12 months of full-time study, or over a longer period of part-time study. The programme starts in semester one of each calendar year.

You need to complete three core statistics and analytics courses and three public policy specialisation courses. The programme ends with the applied or capstone project.

In demand by employers

The skills you will learn in the Master of Analytics meet the growing demand for graduates capable of processing, analysing and presenting data in ways that encourage informed and effective decision making. You will learn how to extract useful information from big data sets, while maintaining data security and privacy.

In 2011, Statistics New Zealand launched the IDI. It combines information from a range of organisations to provide the insights government needs to improve social and economic outcomes for New Zealanders. There are very few people skilled at using the IDI.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Analytics (Public Policy) will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just more of the same undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

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Take your social policy study to the next level. Prepare for a meaningful career with Massey’s MA in social policy. What Is It Like?. Read more

Take your social policy study to the next level

Prepare for a meaningful career with Massey’s MA in social policy.

What Is It Like?

If you are fascinated by how and why power, resources and opportunities are distributed within society, then Massey’s MA Social Policy (MA(SocPol)) is for you.

You will gain an understanding of the political, economic, social and cultural factors that influence the development, implementation and evaluation of social policy in Aotearoa New Zealand.

You will study law, politics, and the roles of central and local government in a democratic society. This will lead to insights into the relationship between the state, political parties, the judiciary, the legal system, and the public in shaping legislation and developing policy.


Your MA (SocPol) will give you the knowledge and competencies you need in your career as a policy analyst and researcher. You will learn a range of intellectual and practical skills that will stand you in good stead in the job market.

This qualification opens up a world of opportunity to be involved in influencing a broad number of social issue outcomes (e.g healthy housing, youth development, Maori wellbeing, health promotion, gender analysis of policy), not only from a Government-down position, but also from an individual-, community- and society-up perspective.

You will learn to apply your critical social policy analysis skills to a number of decision-making scenarios to result in better social outcomes. This decision-making can take many forms including a policy, a project plan, submission, or even the strategic direction of an organisation.

You could work in areas such as:

  • Research
  • Communications
  • Project management
  • Governance
  • Charitable trusts
  • Social marketing
  • Journalism (critical analysis of social issues)
  • Advocacy
  • Teaching and lecturing
  • Policy analysis - public, private and third sector (NGOs, PPPs, not-for-profit, voluntary and charity organisations)
  • Youth development
  • Community development
  • Politics
  • Government agencies - local, regional and central
  • NGOs - trusts etc (housing, Maori land trusts, health service providers, disability advocacy and support, youth development).

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