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Masters Degrees in International Relations, New Zealand

We have 5 Masters Degrees in International Relations, New Zealand

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Fast-track your career with a 12-month Master of International Relations. This gives you Master’s-level expertise without needing an Honours degree. Read more

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.

Workload

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.

Duration

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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Be a force for peace in the world. Advance your security career with the Master of International Security. Read more

Be a force for peace in the world

Advance your security career with the Master of International Security.

The Master of International Security is a multidisciplinary course of study drawing on international relations, strategic studies, political science, religion, area studies, political and human geography, and military history.

Fast-track your qualification and your career

The Master of International Security is a 180-credit course. It is right for you if you have completed an appropriate bachelor degree or equivalent and have extensive professional experience in the security sector If you want to develop skills in security management, this is the programme for you. Security management is an increasingly important dimension of government and public policy, with direct benefit to economic security and social wellbeing, so your skills will be in demand.

Follow your own interests

In the Master of International Security you will learn the principles, theory and practice of international security. You will also carry out independent research and planning in a security context. Our committed and supportive staff will encourage you to pursue your intellectual and professional interests and develop your own area of specialisation. You will also benefit from our close relationships with partner agencies in the security sector. Questions that you will consider on this programme include:

  • What geopolitical forces shape the international security environment?
  • What are the historical, geographical and political dynamics that have shaped New Zealand's strategic environment?
  • What are the causes, key protagonists and consequences of differing types of political violence?
  • What are the challenges to intervention, peace and stabilisation operations?
  • Does statebuilding work?
  • What are the new emerging threats to international security?

You will gain advanced knowledge in contemporary international security theory and practice; understanding of interagency perspectives; and analytical and communications skills appropriate to the security context.

Careers

With the Master of International Security you can expect to advance your career in the security sector in government and non-government agencies, and contribute to international security operations.

This programme will prepare you for a role in any of the fields below:

  • Analysing regional politics
  • Border security
  • Conflict resolution
  • Customs work
  • Police work
  • Defence forces
  • Peacekeeping
  • Policy analysis
  • Truce monitoring
  • Management
  • Planning
  • Politics
  • Risk management


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International insights and opportunities. Develop a deep practical and theoretical understanding of the ways power is exercised. Explore how conflict is managed and security maintained across the globe. Read more

International insights and opportunities

Develop a deep practical and theoretical understanding of the ways power is exercised. Explore how conflict is managed and security maintained across the globe.

You'll get insights into the pressing geopolitical issues of our age, such as the relationship between the US and China, cybersecurity, the South China Sea, and strategic responses to the problems of terrorism and civil conflict.

Enhance your policy, analytical and research skills and accelerate your career with a globally connected Strategic Studies programme.

Studying with the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, you’ll join a fully integrated Political Science and International Relations programme, giving you access to a broad range of relevant courses and expertise.

What you’ll study

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

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

As well as Strategic Studies courses, you can choose from selected International Relations and Political Science courses.

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

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

Postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Studies

You can choose to study only the taught courses and get a PGDipSS. If you later complete the research courses you’ll receive your MSS in place of the PGDipSS.

Workload

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 two courses 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.

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.

Duration

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

The PGDipSS generally takes two trimesters full time or four trimesters part time.

Capital connections

Take advantage of the programme’s location in the nation’s capital and close relationship with the policy, diplomatic and security communities. You’ll develop connections and get practical expertise through seminars, roundtables and guest lectures.

International recognition

Work with internationally recognised staff who are prominent researchers, teachers and commentators on strategic and security issues.

You’ll study alongside the Centre for Strategic Studies, ranked number two in the region by the University of Pennsylvania 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, and 39th worldwide among university think tanks.

Fast-track or fit in with work

You can complete either qualification in a year, giving you a fast-track to specialist expertise in Strategic Studies.

You can also study part time while you work, with courses commonly available in the late afternoon or early evening.

Community

Join a school with a focus on fostering its postgraduate community. Enjoy the benefits of strong relationships with staff, a thriving research culture and practical support through postgraduate seminars and events. You’ll get to hear leading speakers from overseas including the annual lecture by the Kippenberger Visiting Professor in Strategic Studies.

Careers

Gain the expertise needed to work in the wider security community, including government, research organisations and think tanks, civil society and the private sector.

You might work in policy, research, assessment or analysis jobs in organisations with a foreign affairs, defence or intelligence role.

The programme has a successful track record of getting internships in New Zealand and overseas—a good way to set up your career here or further afield.

The Postgraduate Students' Association can give you information and provides a voice for you on campus.



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The Master of Peace and Conflict Studies is an inter-disciplinary programme providing students with an advanced qualification in peace and conflict studies, development and peacebuilding. Read more

The Master of Peace and Conflict Studies is an inter-disciplinary programme providing students with an advanced qualification in peace and conflict studies, development and peacebuilding. Drawing upon national and international expertise in the field, this programme will position graduates for a wide range of career options in the public and private sectors as academic researchers and as practitioners and policy makers in fields such as conflict analysis and resolution, peace-building, and post-conflict transformation.

This programme (which replaces the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) in Peace and Conflict Studies) combines theory and practice with a solid research component and is regionally focused on Asia and the Pacific.

Programme Requirements

PEAC 501 Theories of Peace and Conflict

PEAC 502 Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution Theory

PEAC 590 Research Dissertation or PEAC 595 Practicum and Research Report

and two of



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Help solve the world’s development problems. Broaden your knowledge of the world’s key development issues to shape a positive future for those in need. Read more

Help solve the world’s development problems

Broaden your knowledge of the world’s key development issues to shape a positive future for those in need.

Development studies at Massey is ranked in the top 100 in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2017.

Advance straight from your bachelor’s degree

The Master of International Development is a 180-credit course that can follow on immediately from your bachelor’s degree.

Deepen your understanding to effect change

You will gain an advanced understanding of how global economic, social, political and environmental forces affect people and shape different parts of the world. These insights will allow you to recognise where inequalities lie and identify strategies to help overcome poverty and enhance human wellbeing.

Learn from experts in the field

Massey University was, in 1989, the first university in New Zealand to offer postgraduate qualifications in development studies. We’ve built on that reputation by developing world-class courses in international development. 

Our professors and lecturers are scholars and active researchers, but are also people with experience in development policy and practice in diverse contexts including the Pacific, Asia and Africa.

Get great career skills

Graduates of the Master of International Development will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and skills that can be applied in developing policy and strategies, and in managing and evaluating international development programmes
  • critically and rigorously evaluate contemporary international development theories, policies and approaches
  • conduct independent research and analysis of international development issues, collect relevant data, and be able to write persuasively about this
  • demonstrate mastery of social science research approaches and techniques and be able to undertake independent research in a well-planned and ethical manner
  • interpret research findings and draw out relevant implications for development theory, policy and practice

Careers

A career in international development means providing others with the tools they need to enhance their quality of life, bringing happiness to communities in poverty.

Graduates work all over the world for organisations like Red Cross, World Vision and Caritas to provide humanitarian assistance, sustainable development, and peacekeeping. You could work as a development officer, foreign diplomat, development policy analyst, advisor in tourism, health, education, or agriculture, community affairs officer, monitoring and evaluation officer, human rights advisor or advocacy officer.

Postgraduate education will give you the skills you need for a satisfying and rewarding career.

A Ministry of Education report found that:

  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after leaving study, most young domestic graduates will be earning above the national median earnings
  • Young masters graduates earn 86 per cent more than the national median
  • Good careers are associated with better health, better wellbeing and more satisfying lives


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