International Relations and Security Studies (2019)

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.

International Relations and Security Studies may be taken as a minor.

To complete a Minor in International Relations and Security Studies, students must complete at least 60 points in papers listed for the minor, including at least 30 above 100 level. Students must complete both IRSST103 and IRSST206.


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  • 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 POLSC502, POLSC506 or POLSC527.

    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 POLSC502, POLSC506 or POLSC527 (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 POLSC592, at least a B+ average to be admitted to POLSC593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to POLSC594.

  • 100 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    IRSST103Introduction to International Relations19A (Hamilton), 19A (Online) & 19A (Tauranga)
    This paper provides an introduction to the study of international relations in an era of globalisation. It covers the historical background, key concepts and theories, case studies, and contemporary developments in the study of world politics.
    IRSST104Introduction to International Security19B (Hamilton), 19B (Online) & 19B (Tauranga)
    This course is an introduction to the study of international security. It examines a variety of contemporary security issues and explores how and why conflict emerges in the international system.
    POLSC100Playing Politics: Conflict, Co-operation and Choice19A (Tauranga)
    This paper introduces students to some of the basic concepts used in thinking about politics: conflict, cooperation, collective choice, and power.
  • 200 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    IRSST206International Relations: The Security Agenda19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
    This paper introduces students to International Relations' dynamic and evolving security agenda and covers some of the most urgent contemporary security concerns.
    POLSC224Terrorism, Violence and the State19A (Hamilton)
    Terrorism is an increasingly prominent global phenomenon. We will clarify it conceptually and situate it historically with theory and case studies in situating it in comparative political and International Relations analysis.
  • 300 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    IRSST301International Relations: The Context, Theory and Practice of New Zealand Foreign Policy19B (Hamilton)
    This course delivers a comprehensive historical overview of New Zealand foreign policy from the beginning of the 20th century, and considers the role government departments play in the creation and implementation of policy.
    IRSST315International Politics of Asia19B (Hamilton)
    It provides an introduction to, and analysis of, three critical issues in Asia: the Kashmir dispute; the situation on the Korean Peninsula; and rising tensions in the South China Sea
    IRSST331Cyber Security and the Global Politics of the Internet19B (Hamilton)
    This course explores the global politics of cyber security and the internet. It covers the major political/strategic/theoetcial debates around enhancing the security of computer systems and how states and non-state actors are responding.
    POLCY318Global Environmental Politics and Policy19A (Hamilton)
    This paper explores contemporary debates on environmental politics, sustainability, justice, and environmental governance. It examines the political processes underpinning the search for cooperative solutions to environmental dilemmas, including climate change.
  • 500 Level

    Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
    ANTHY520Tribes, Empires, Nations19A (Hamilton)
    This paper examines tribes, empires, and nations as historically distinct types of political systems, and the ongoing influence of tribal and imperial cultures and institutions in diverse contemporary nation-states.
    IRSST505International Security, Strategy and Technology19A (Hamilton)
    This course offers an introduction to Strategic Studies with particular emphasis on how developments in science and technology affect warfare, conflict, and the use of force in international relations.
    IRSST507Cyber Security and Cyber Warfare19B (Hamilton)
    This course examines the poltical, strategic, legal and economic debates around cyber security and cyber warfare. Particular emphasis is placed on how militaries, national security agencies, and law enforcement are adapting to online threats and incorporating cyber in their strategic planning.
    POLSC502Security Issues in South East Asia19A (Hamilton)
    After a brief conceptual and historical introduction to security in the region, the paper goes on to consider a range of contemporary security issues. These include ethnic conflict, militant Islam, maritime security, and relations with the major extra-regional powers.
    POLSC506International Relations and Global Security19B (Hamilton)
    This paper teaches and utilises major international relations theories to consider pressing global issues. This includes the causes of war and peace, globalisation, the Cold War, the widening security agenda, terrorism, the environment, inequality, new technologies, and international institutions.
    POLSC537Environmental Politics and Public Policy19A (Hamilton)
    This paper introduces students to the complexities and challenges of environmental policy processes, and develops skills in scholarly research on environmental policy making. A significant focus of the paper is on analysing and understanding the complex intersections of institutions, culture, science and technology, and systems of ...
    POLSC590Directed Study19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
    Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
    POLSC591Dissertation19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    POLSC592Dissertation19C (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    POLSC593Political Science Thesis19C (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
    POLSC594Political Science Thesis19C (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

2019 Catalogue of Papers information current as of : 15 November 2018 2:19pm

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