Master of Bicultural Co-Governance of Natural Resources
Around the world, there is a growing recognition of the rights of indigenous people to access and govern their natural resources. In many countries, this recognition has led to development of co-governance approaches, where differing groups seek to govern together in a collaborative manner.
To support the growing use of co-governance approaches, we need to prepare culturally aware graduates with strong analytical and interpersonal skills, who can identify the limitation in our current ways of working, and then work in a collaborative manner to break down barriers in process and to enact change.
Students of the Master of Bicultural Co-Governance of Natural Resources (MBCNR) will develop a deep understanding of the complex relationships between the multiple stakeholders in natural resources. This course will also develop consultation skills, bicultural awareness, project management, and knowledge of conservation and co-governance policy.
This taught Master’s programme has a particular focus on Aotearoa New Zealand, reflecting the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi the Treaty of Waitangi. It will also draw on material from a selection of Pacific Island nations. Students will critically examine external treaty responsibilities and relevant cultural relationships globally.
- UC is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world for Geography (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2018).
- The MBCNR is the only master’s degree in Aotearoa New Zealand that addresses bicultural law along with co-governance of environmental resource.
- The programme maintains strong connections with iwi partners and practitioners, and with government bodies in the Pacific, such as the Kingdom of Tonga.
- Students will have access to UC’s extensive collection of Aotearoa New Zealand and Pacific literature within the Macmillan Brown Library, containing original historical artefacts from the arrival of European settlers in the region.
Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from an Aotearoa New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.
You are also required to meet UC's English language requirements.
Specific entry requirements
Students should have achieved at least a B grade average in 300-level courses in their undergraduate degree, or have three years of professional experience in resource management or the governance sector, with approval from the Head of Geography.
For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Bicultural Co-Governance of Natural Resources or use the admission requirements checker.
How to apply
You can apply online at MyUC. Find out more about how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.
The MBCNR includes 180 points of coursework, including one 60-point dissertation.
This can be completed in 12–18 months of full-time study, or up to 3 years part-time.
The MBCNR includes compulsory courses and an optional course, and a dissertation. Students can choose one of three courses on either the policy making process, governance in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, or environmental science policies.
- GEOG 460 Bicultural Co-Governance
- MAOR 431 Comparative Indigenous Models and Theories of Development
- BIOL 426 Biological Conservation
- GEOG 404 Resources and Environmental Management in New Zealand
Plus one of the following courses (dependant on Semester 1 offering):
- POLS 440 Principles and Practice of Policy and Governance
- POLS 442 Policy and Governance for New Zealand and Small Pacific States
- POLS 443 Science, Technology and Environmental Policy
- BCNR 691 Co-governance Research Project (60 points)
UC offers a variety of postgraduate options to further study in cultural, environmental, and international policy through the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Graduates’ knowledge of bicultural policies and land ownership, as well as their facilitation and communication skills, will assist government and professional organisations in their efforts to negotiate the complex social and political issues around resource use.
MBCNR graduates can find employment within government ministries, not-for-profit organisations, as well as business and sectors utilising natural resources such as the renewable energy, fishery, forestry, agriculture, mining, and land development industries. Research and innovation centres also need ongoing support building relationships with local iwi and other indigenous groups for access to field data.
They may also find their skills useful within international governance bodies that are continuously renegotiating indigenous and minority resource rights, such as in Australia, Canada, and the USA.
- Read what other UC postgraduate students have gone on to achieve in their studies and careers in our student and graduate profiles.
- Our Careers, Internships & Employment team can help you to achieve the career you want, connect with employers or find a job.
- For research into career destinations by qualification, visit the Universities New Zealand website.
- Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
- Come along to an upcoming information event for prospective postgraduate students.
For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Bicultural Co-Governance of Natural Resources.
For study planning help contact the Department of Geography | Te Tari Mātai Matawhenua or the College of Science:
College of Science | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800