Pacific Island Studies

Pacific Island Studies is about Pacific Island countries – their history, culture, politics, literature, art, music, etc.

This includes Polynesia – Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga – as well as, usually, Melanesia and Micronesia.

Studying in this area involves learning about the historical and contemporary experiences of people in these islands.

Pacific Island Studies usually also involves learning at least some of a Pacific Island language.

NZ university majors related to this area

Though in the same subject area, they may be very different.

Examples of career opportunities

Knowledge about the Pacific Islands is useful for a variety of careers (involving other qualifications too).

  • International businessperson
  • Journalist
  • Writer
  • Diplomat
  • Foreign affairs analyst
  • Development agency analyst
  • Non-governmental organisation (NGO) worker
  • Business consultant
  • Trade advisor
  • Politician
  • Teacher
  • Academic

Income and employment prospects


129% of national
median earnings


Further study
Other or unknown

Figures based on young domestic graduates 5 years after graduation. Source: Ministry of Education.

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