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Political Science

Political Science at Waikato offers a broad spectrum of political knowledge on both national and international issues. You'll seek answers to some of the most difficult political issues of today and gain skills for many potential career paths.

Sam Hurley

Bachelor of Arts
Every day it's a new story for Hawke's Bay Today reporter, Sam Hurley. From appearing in a court room to being at the scene of a crime, there is never a dull moment in the life of a journalist and "that's the beauty of it", says Sam, who credits his career success on his degree from Waikato.


Graeme Mackenzie

Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours
Growing up in South Africa during the transition from apartheid to democracy contributed to Graeme’s fascination with government and politics and led him to want to study public policy.


The Political Science programme will ask you why some crises lead to armed conflict while others resolve peacefully - why democracy thrives in some countries while it dies in others. We challenge you to learn lessons from international politics and to consider political solutions to international crises. We push you to consider tough questions like those involving equality and freedom - must one be sacrificed for the other to flourish?

Political Science is a highly flexible programme and will give you job opportunities from local to national government, media, education, industry, business, labour organisations and social services. We also offer a specialisation in International Relations and Security Studies which further allows you to investigate relevant contemporary events.

Political Science at Waikato not only gives you a well-rounded perspective on political issues but also provides a versatile base of knowledge and skills to enter many fields.

 Career opportunities

  • Advocate
  • Central and Local Government Officer
  • Foreign Affairs and Trade Worker
  • Māori Development Policy Adviser
  • Media Analyst
  • Policy Analyst

100 level

200 level

300 level

Prescriptions for the GradCert(PolSc) and GradDip(PolSc)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Political Science at an advanced level in their first degree.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(PolSc), PGDip(PolSc), BA(Hons), BSocSc(Hons), MA and MSocSc

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in graduate Political Science papers, a student should normally have at least a B average in either the best three of their 300 level Political Science papers or all their undergraduate Political Science papers.

To complete a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Political Science, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally POLS591) and at least 30 points from papers listed for Political Science.

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MA or MSocSc in Political Science, a student should have completed either:

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

b) a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Political Science or Public Policy (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B+ average across all 500 level papers.

Completion requirements for the MA or MSocSc in Political Science vary according to admission criteria:

Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including at least 60 points from POLS502, POLS503, POLS527 or POLS537, and either a 120 point thesis, 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.

Prescriptions for the MPhil

The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Political Science MPhil ThesisPOLS800120.0 Points

Prescriptions for the PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Political Science PhD ThesisPOLS900120.0 Points

Political Science is available as a major for the BA and BSocSc. Political Science may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete a major in Political Science, students must gain 120 points above 100 level in Political Science, including at least two of POLS201, POLS206, POLS211, and POLS212, and at least 60 points above 200 level.

International Relations and Security Studies specialisation
Within the BA and BSocSc Political Science majors, a specialisation in International Relations and Security Studies is available. This specialisation enables students to develop a particular knowledge of international relations and security theory, and relevant contemporary events.

To complete a specialisation in International Relations and Security Studies, students must meet the requirements of the major, with at least 95 points from the following papers: POLS103, POLS104, POLS206, POLS211, POLS224, POLS229, POLS314, POLS315, and POLS318.

Please note: For all graduate subject requirements check the information provided in the papers section above.

Contacts

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: pols-fass@waikato.ac.nz
Graduate and Postgraduate Email Enquiries: pols-grad@waikato.ac.nz