Master of Indigenous Studies and Master of Māori Studies

The two master’s degrees provide a friendly and supportive learning environment for students through the (mostly) noho delivery model.

After completing a minimum of four papers either part time or full time, students opt for either a dissertation or thesis. This is the exciting time in a master’s degree where students are often completing research on a topic close to their hearts – it might be to do with their hapū or iwi; the school they teach in; or a social service, health or community problem. Alternatively, your thesis might be about a business, economic, art or environmental interest.

Every year an increasing number of our students also choose to write their thesis in te reo Māori. This is expanding the depth and breadth of Māori literature across all subjects – in te reo.

There are 8 thesis options available in the two master’s degrees (Master of Māori Studies and Master of Indigenous Studies). These enable students to study and research fields such as Māori Studies, Science, Māori Performing Arts, Business, Health, Creative Arts, Indigenous Studies and Education


The master's programme takes at least two years (and no more than six years part-time).  Students can choose between the following options:

  1. four papers (120 credits) and a thesis (120 credits)*; OR
  2. six papers (180 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits)**; OR
  3. seven papers (210 credits) and a research project (30 credits)**

including 30 credits from IHI803 and in the case of iii, a further 30 credits from IHI806.

* This option will lead to the PhD programme offered at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

** These two pathways can lead only, in the first instance, to the Professional Doctorate offered at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

Visit the Careers NZ website for more information on this qualification.

Cross credit application

If you have completed any papers at Level 8 these may be considered for cross-credit in to the programme. Only papers to the value of 60 credits can be cross-credited. When enrolling please indicate if you wish to apply for a cross-credit and an application form will be sent to you.

Online activities

Courses have an online element through eWananga LMS, so access to a laptop and internet connection is needed for postgraduate study.

Start Date
Semester 1 - 3 Feb to 20 Jun 2020, Semester 2 - 6 Jul to 21 Nov 2020. Thesis full year starting on 3 Feb or 6 July 2020.
40 weeks per year, 20 per semester. One year full-time or two years part-time
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Applications Close
Applications close
1 Feb 2020 (Sem 1), 1 Jul 2020 (Sem 2)
Campus Location
Whakatāne, Tāmaki Makaurau
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Pathway to
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Paper or Research project - $1477 each, Dissertation -$2955.50 per year, Thesis - 3590 per year. Admin fee - $93.50

Thesis (120 credits)

The thesis embodies the results obtained by a candidate in an investigation relating to some part of the subject of specialisation. The following core thesis papers  are available:

IND800 Thesis - Indigenous 

  • MAO800 Thesis - Māori

IHI802 Dissertation (60 credits)

Course Type:  Core

  • Description:  The dissertation embodies the results obtained by a candidate in an investigation relating to some part of the subject of specialisation as outlined in the student's research proposal and as supervised by the Supervisor. The dissertation contains a thorough literature review, research methodology/methods and results of an extended research investigation. it usually doesn't exceed 20,000 words.

COURSES (30 credits)

MAO811 Te Reo o ngā Tohunga

Kaiako: Prof Taiarahia Black (Semester 1 in Whakatāne, Semester 2 in Whakatāne)

Course Type:  Elective

Description: This is an advanced-level language and tikanga course which looks at classic examples of tikanga and language in waiata, karakia, pepeha, whakapapa and texts from various sources. Students are required to study the language use of experts, to explore their use of Te Reo and to examine the cultural background of the period. Belief systems, tikanga and current issues relating to tikanga are discussed in respect of relevant Māori texts.

Ko te urupounamu e whāia ai i tēnei ākoranga ko te reo o tua whakarere, ko te reo i manakonuihia ai e kui mā, e kōro ma. He wetewete he wānanga i ngā kaupapa huhua i tirohia ai e ngā tohunga o te ao Māori, puta noa i te motu. Me matatau te tauira ki te reo Māori nā te mea ka whakahaeretia tēnei kaupapa akoranga i roto i te reo Māori.

MIB810 Advanced Māori/Indigenous Economic Development

Kaiako: Mikki Roderick (Semester 2 in Whakatāne)

Course Type:  Elective

Description: This paper will focus on economic considerations, tools and scenarios that are relevant to Māori and indigenous economic development. In particular, students will gain an understanding of the complexities of balancing competing or complementary economic influences facing Māori and indigenous communities. More specifically it will examine traditional and contemporary notions of economic development, as well as relevant theory, and its application in Māori and indigenous contexts. Furthermore, this paper will provide students with theoretical frameworks and futures-oriented solutions, which will enable them to develop, apply and implement economic development models within Māori and indigenous settings. The overall aim is to challenge commonly held perceptions of Māori economic development, and to build expertise and capability in Māori and indigenous economic development at a wider level.

IHI803 Research Methods and Methodologies

Kaiako:  Dr Gary Leaf (Semester 1 in Tāmaki Makaurau) and Prof Paul Kayes (Semester 2 in Whakatane)

Course Type:  Core

Description: This paper will prepare students for the research component of their degree. Students will become aware of a range of ethical considerations informing future projects of research they may undertake and will develop familiarity with associated research jargon.

IHI805 Special Topic

Course Type:  Elective

Description:This course allows for a special area of study to be offered by a visiting lecturer or invited lecturer with a strong background in a given area of academic study. The lecturers for this course will be suitably qualified to the level of Masters. The offering of this option will depend on the availability of visiting lecturers. The visiting lecturer will develop a course outline directly related to their academic area of expertise in consultation with a designated representation of Graduate studies staff. Consideration also will be given to areas of valid demand identified among Masters students. This paper is a flexible course drawing on the experience and knowledge base of a recognised lecturer.

IHI808 Kaitiakitanga

Kaiako: Mikki Roderick (Semester 1 in Whakatāne)

Course Type:  Elective

Description: This course examines the possible definitions and issues surrounding the concept of Kaitiakitanga for Māori and how these issues are managed in the modern day. Students will be expected to present a point of view and debate the varying perspectives Māori may have about Kaitiakitanga. Individuals, committees, iwi, hapū or marae may all give varying weights to the importance of whānau; preservation or conservation of land; being economically viable; stewardship; guardianship; dividends to shareholders; reinvestment; benefiting now; these and other issues will be explored and debated through the examination of selected case studies.

IHI812 Mana Wahine Leadership

Kaiako: Prof Virginia Warriner (Semester 1 in Whakatāne, Semester 2 in Tāmaki Makaurau)

Course Type:  Elective

Description:  This course will undertake research where Māori women’s leadership contributes to Māori and Indigenous Peoples’ self-determination.
Mana Wāhine underpins Māori women’s leadership theories, principles and practices. `Herstories’ are used to examine Māori women’s discourses of mātauranga wāhine, tikanga Māori, the politics of difference and diverse realities that affirm Mana Wāhine leadership.

IHI813 Contemporary Māori/Indigenous Policy Development

Kaiako: Mikki Roderick (Semester 1 in Whakatāne)

Course Type:  Elective

Description: This paper will critically examine and critique the conceptual frameworks and applications of policy development across a range of settings and experiences as it relates to Māori/Indigenous advancement. Moreover, this paper will provide students with culturally appropriate theoretical and practical policy frameworks for successful engagement within Māori/Indigenous best practice organisational settings.

REO803 Tā Te Māori Rangahau Kōrero

Kaiako: Haturini McGarvey (Semester 2 in Whakatāne)

Course Type:  Core

Description:  Ko te ngako o te kaupapa nei he wānanga i ngā tūāhuatanga o te rangahau mō te hunga kei te tuhituhi ki te reo Māori, kei te whai hoki i te tirohanga Māori.  Ka āta tirohia te āhua o ngā putunga rangahau a te Māori, mō te Māori anō, i tuhia ki te reo Māori, i whāi rānei i ngā tikanga a te Māori hei huarahi rangahau mā rātou e mārama ai te āhua o tā te Māori tāna rangahau kōrero.  Ko te tikanga ia he āta wānanga i ngā whare kōrero, i ngā marae kōrero, i ngā pātaka kōrero o te Māori, ngā āhuatanga i kīia ai te Māori he iwi whai tikanga, he kawa anō ōna hei āhuatanga rangahau māna.  Ka mutu ko te reo Māori te tāhuhu o te kaupapa nei.  Māna e kōkiri, māna anō e hua ai te ora o te mātauranga, o te wānanga, o te rangahau ki te whai ao, ki te ao mārama.

TOI805 Te Paewhiriwhiri

Kaiako:  Annette Wehi (Semester 1 in Tāmaki Makaurau)

Course Type:  Elective

Description:  The philosophies, subtleties and nuances of the different iwi in kapa haka performance are diverse. This paper builds upon a student's knowledge of competitive performance and will reflect on their knowledge of the performance of one genre of kapa haka (Poi, haka, Mōteatea or Waiata-ā-ringa). The student will deconstruct that knowledge to be able to analyse and critique the performance to extend their insight from the perspective of a judge (Kaiwhakawā

Tomo mai ki Awanuiārangi

Experience Awanuiārangi

Tomo mai ki Awanuiārangi

Experience Awanuiārangi

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