International Relations and Security Studies (2018)

Like most states, New Zealand depends for its security and prosperity on regional and international stability. Its political, economic and societal well-being can be affected by, for example, major power relations; global financial crises; and the rise of violent extremist non-state actors and the responses to them. As a good international citizen, New Zealand seeks to play a role in the international institutions that try to uphold international law and order and to contribute to international stabilisation operations in various countries. Given the significance of such issues, International Relations and Security Studies provides students with the opportunity to pursue further study in various aspects of international relations and security, including aspects of international law and trade, and to focus on particular regions of concern (notably, the Middle East and South-East Asia). A wide range of different length dissertations and theses can be undertaken, allowing students to focus on areas of special interest to them.

Note: Within the BA and BSocSc Political Science majors, a specialisation in International Relations and Security Studies is available. Details of the specialisation requirements can be obtained from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.


  • Level 1

  • Level 2

  • Level 3

  • Prescriptions for the PGCert(IRSSt), PGDip(IRSSt) and MA
    To complete the Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Security Studies, students must complete at least 120 points from the following papers, including at least two of LAWS576, POLS502, POLS506 or POLS527.

    To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MA in International Relations and Security Studies, a student should have completed either:

    a) a BA or BSocSc in Political Science (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B+ average in either the best three of their 300 level Political Science papers or all of their undergraduate Political Science papers, or

    b) a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Security Studies or a bachelors degree with Honours in Political Science (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B+ average across all 500 level papers.

    Completion requirements for the MA in International Relations and Security Studies vary according to admission criteria:

    All students must take at least two of LAWS576, POLS502, POLS506 or POLS527 (unless these have already been taken as part of an earlier qualification) and complete either a dissertation or a thesis.

    Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including either a 120 point thesis, or a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

    Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

    To be considered for enrolment in a dissertation or thesis, all students must have completed at least 60 points from approved 500 level papers and have gained at least a B average to be admitted to POLS592, at least a B+ average to be admitted to POLS593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to POLS594.

2018 Catalogue of Papers information as of 20 September 2017 4:40pm

This page has been reformatted for printing.