'Majors' and 'major subject areas' are referred to throughout No Major Drama.
What are they? Also, what are 'minors'?


The main area of specialisation in your Bachelor degree is known as your 'major'. In other words, your major is your major area of specialisation (in contrast to your 'minor' area of specialisation, which we'll discuss later below).

For example, you might choose to study a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), majoring (i.e. specialising) in Accounting; or a Bachelor of Physical Education (BPhEd), majoring in Coaching; etc. For some degrees the name of the major is, in effect, incorporated into the name of the degree itself; e.g. Bachelor of Laws (LLB).

Courses (or 'papers') in your major usually comprise about one third of all the papers in your Bachelor degree and usually include a group of papers at the most advanced level for the degree (e.g. 3rd- or 4th-year of study).

At most universities you will be asked – when you enrol or some other time before you graduate – to nominate at least one major for your degree. If you want to it's usually possible to include two majors (two areas of specialisation) in your degree – known as a 'double major' (naturally, this requires more study than for a single major).

Some universities offer what they refer to as 'specialisations' instead of majors. For specialisations requiring a similar number of papers in a subject area as majors – and so, in essence, they're equivalent to majors – we've treated them the same and included them in No Major Drama.

On the other hand, we have not included specialisations requiring fewer papers than majors, as they are more like minors (explained below) and so do not belong in No Major Drama.

Major subject areas

In No Major Drama we have clustered the 740 specific majors available at NZ's eight universities* into 181 groups. We refer to these groups as 'major subject areas'. Within each major subject area you will find the specific majors (or specialisations, if appropriate) available in NZ.

For example, under the major subject area 'Chemistry' there are links to these specific majors (at particular universities): Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Molecular Pharmacology & Medicinal Chemistry, Applied Chemistry, Natural Sciences.

(*Auckland University of Technology, Lincoln University, Massey University, University of Auckland, University of Canterbury, University of Otago, University of Waikato, Victoria University of Wellington)


In addition to having one or two majors in your degree, it's also usually possible to include a 'minor' – a less intense specialisation than a major. In other words, your minor is your minor area of specialisation (in contrast to your 'major' area of specialisation, as discussed above).

For example, you might choose to study a Bachelor of Arts (BA), majoring in Te Reo Māori/Māori Language and with a minor in Art History; or a Bachelor of Science (BSc), majoring in Electronics and with a minor in Design Studies; etc.

Depending on the university you are at, a minor usually includes at least a couple of papers in an area of specialisation at the introductory (1st-year) and intermediate (2nd-year) levels and one paper at the most advanced level for the degree (e.g. 3rd- or 4th-year of study).

It's worthwhile noting that at most universities it's usually the case that all majors are available as minors, but not necessarily vice versa; that is, there are likely to be some minors that are not available as majors.

What is covered by No Major Drama?

Consistent with the above-mentioned distinction between majors and minors, No Major Drama includes all majors (or specialisations) from across NZ's eight universities but not necessarily all minors (nor individual papers, of course).

That's fine though, as No Major Drama is intended to help you with, arguably, the most important question confronted when pursuing a university education: What should I major (specialise) in for my Bachelor degree at university?

No Major Drama

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