Arts and humanities

Be part of the vibrant and stimulating culture of arts and humanities research in the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Research is central to the work of the Faculty—our researchers are internationally recognised and many are leaders in their fields. Committed to advancing knowledge and creativity, we have strengths in traditional academic disciplines as well as in creative arts, creative writing and performance.

“It was the University’s expert teaching staff who helped me achieve my research goals.”
Tim Smith, Master of Arts in Classics

The Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences ranks 60th in the world for arts and humanities, and in the most recent round of the Performance-Based Research Fund quality evaluation all the subject areas represented in the Faculty were ranked either first or second across 10 humanities and social sciences subject areas.

Research funding

We place a high value on our research programmes and our staff and postgraduate students have access to a range of internal research grants, and support to secure external research funding. The Faculty’s record of success in attracting outside funding, including from the prestigious Marsden Fund, demonstrates the standing of our research.

Best location

Wellington is known as New Zealand’s creative capital and is the home of national archives, museums and libraries, as well as the national ballet and orchestra—providing valuable opportunities for postgraduate research and personal enrichment.

Research focus areas

Arts and humanities at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington include the subject areas Art History, Classics, Creative Writing, English, Film, History, Languages and Cultures, Māori Studies, Media Studies, Music, Pacific Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Theatre—each with their own research focus and strengths.

Discover the research focus areas in arts and humanities.

Research degrees

The Faculty offers a research Master’s degree (MA), a specialist Master’s and a PhD.

Research across disciplines

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington encourages innovation by thinking beyond traditional subject boundaries. You can take an interdisciplinary approach to your research—combining ideas or methods from other subjects within the Faculty or collaborating with another school outside the Faculty.


All research students have an academic supervisor to guide and mentor them. If you are applying for admission to a research degree, you can start your own search for a supervisor or get in touch with the relevant school's postgraduate coordinator.

Research centres

The Faculty is home to, or affiliated with, several specialised research centres that provide opportunities for research students to work with institutions of national and international standing.

Deaf Studies Research Unit

The Deaf Studies Research Unit conducts research on topics relating to Deaf people and their language in New Zealand.

New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre

Promoting knowledge and understanding of contemporary China in New Zealand through research, collaboration and knowledge sharing.

New Zealand India Research Institute

The New Zealand India Research Institute is a consortium of scholars from seven New Zealand universities who are actively engaged in research on India.

Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies

The Stout Research Centre was established to facilitate, encourage and coordinate academic learning and research into New Zealand society, history and culture.

New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation

The New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation supports research projects and activities in the theory and practices of literary translation.

Wai-te-ata Press

Wai-te-ata Press is a centre for research, lectures and demonstrations in printing history and information technology and design.

Research focus areas in arts and humanities

Discover some of the research interests of staff and find links for more information.