Breadcrumbs

Degree Structures

Degree structures (also known as degree planners) show you the papers you need to complete for a particular degree (e.g. BA) and major subject (e.g. English). Most degree structures include specific papers that you have to complete, and papers that give you you a choice.

Example degree planners


Year: A typical full-time workload is 120 points per year, usually four papers in A Semester and four in B Semester.

Major: A major is the main subject in your degree. For a typical three-year single major (above), these papers usually total 135 points. For most double majors (below), each subject adds up to 120 points. You need a certain number of points at each level (100, 200 or 300). Usually you need 60 points (or four 15-point papers) at 300 level and another 45 points at 200 level (or higher).

Compulsory papers: Compulsory papers are required for your degree regardless of your major subject. For example, it's common at Waikato to have a compulsory paper covering cultural perspectives on your area of study, and one involving work-integrated learning. In a lot of cases you can select your compulsory papers from a list of options for your degree.

Minor (optional): This is a subject studied in some depth but not as much as the major subject. If you don't take a minor, these papers become Electives instead.

Elective papers: Most degrees have room for papers outside your major or compulsory papers. These elective papers can be from almost any subject that the university teaches (so long we you meet entry criteria). This is your chance to step outside your area of study and sample something different.


Conjoint degrees and double majors

If you're interested in studying more than one subject in depth, you can combine two degrees into a single programme.

A conjoint degree is where you study two separate bachelor degrees at the same time. This enables you to complete two degrees in a shorter amount of time than if you studied them separately.

Career outcomes

Employers are increasingly on the lookout for well-rounded graduates with strengths in more than one area. Combining two complementary degrees enables you to develop skills that are transferable across disciplines. This opens up a wider range of career opportunities and means you can pursue your own unique career path, rather than being limited to a single area.

Conjoint degree vs double major

Some programmes are best completed as a double major instead of a conjoint degree. A double major is where you study one degree but focus on two different subjects in depth within that degree; for example, a Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in Psychology and Political Science.

A conjoint degree is best suited to you if you want to study two very distinct fields, eg science and management. However, if the two degrees you want to study are very similar, or if one is of more interest, you might find that a double major better suits your needs. If you start a conjoint programme and decide partway through that it’s not for you, we can adjust your programme to suit you.

How much does it cost?

Tuition fees are charged per paper that you enrol in, and often these paper costs vary between subjects. As a conjoint student, you won’t pay double the fees that a student studying for a single degree pays as you’ll only be paying for the papers you’re enrolled in.

Planning your programme

At Waikato, many of our degrees may be combined to create a conjoint programme, although some combinations are more common. Conjoint degrees can vary in length and structure depending on the two degrees you choose.

We recommend you chat to our Future Student Advisers about what you’re interested in studying. They can help you decide whether a conjoint degree or double major is better for you, assist with planning your papers, and answer any questions you have.

Our advisers and other University staff are also available throughout your degree to help you make decisions and plan your next steps. To get in touch with an adviser email info@wu.ac.nz or call 0800 WAIKATO