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Course content

Fast-track your career with a 12-month Master of International Relations. This gives you Master’s-level expertise without needing an Honours degree. You can also do the shorter, coursework-only Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations.

As well as giving graduates a path into a career with a global scope, the programme gives professionals from around the world an opportunity to enhance their analytical skills and knowledge of international relations.

International connections

Learn from staff known worldwide for their research and expertise. The programme has close connections with internationally-focused government agencies in Wellington, and prestigious institutions around the world. These contacts give you the opportunity to learn from visiting researchers, politicians and policy makers and to build your own networks.

The programme attracts working professionals and graduates from around the world, giving you the chance to network with and learn from peers who bring a range of international perspectives.

What you’ll study

Enhance your theoretical foundation with the core course, Approaches to International Relations.

Hone your ability to think critically and creatively about pressing geopolitical issues, including war and its aftermath, international migration, China and the world, identity in world politics, global political economy and the challenges to international order.

You can complement your International Relations courses with approved Political Science and Strategic Studies courses. These include the China Field Study and the Japan Field Study, which run every second year.

Master of International Relations

The MIR is in two parts—a taught and a research component.

The taught component starts with the core course and a range of approved courses.

For the research component you can choose between a 60-point dissertation and a combination of a 30-point research project and a taught course.

You may get permission from the MIR coordinator to do a 90-point thesis, in place of the part two research component and some part one courses.

Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations

You can choose to study the taught courses only and get a PGDipIR. If you later complete the research courses, you receive your MIR in place of the PGDipIR.


If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students doing one course per trimester will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working full time.

You can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.


The MIR will usually take 12 months for full-time students and 24 months for part-time students.

The PGDipIR generally takes two trimesters full time and four trimesters part time.

Research topics

If you're thinking of doing a research project you can check suggested thesis topics and staff research areas for the Political Science and International Relations programme.

Peking double degree

You can apply for the double degree programme with Peking University in Beijing, China. This lets you combine the MIR with a one-year Master Program in Public Policy (MPP) in Beijing.




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