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MA - International Relations and Security Studies as a main subject

The Master of Arts involves advanced study in an Arts subject and is intended for those who want to deepen their knowledge of that subject. The degree also includes a substantial component of independent research. The Master of Arts may be taken within the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, School of Arts or the School of Social Sciences.

Studying International Relations and Security Studies at Waikato includes aspects of international law and trade, and focuses 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 you to focus on an area of special interest.


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Key information

Years: 1 - 1.5
Start Dates: Trimester A (March) and Trimester B (July)
Estimated Fees* (Domestic): $7,626 - $9,137 per year
Estimated Fees* (International): $35,900 - $40,855 (120 pts)
$53,855 - $61,290 (180 pts)
Entry Requirements: Postgraduate International
Area of Study:
All amounts are in New Zealand Dollars (NZD). *Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

Career opportunities

  • Diplomat
  • Foreign Policy Analyst
  • International Defence Relations Officer
  • National Assessments Bureau
  • National and International NGOs
  • New Zealand Defence Force Officer
  • Security and Intelligence Officer

Degree Planner

Prescriptions for the PGCert(IRSSt), PGDip(IRSSt) and MA

To complete the Postgraduate Certificate in International Relations and Security Studies, students must complete at least 60 points, including one of IRSST502, IRSST506 or POLSC537.

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 IRSST502, IRSST506 or POLSC537.

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

a) a BA or BSocSc with a major in Political Science (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B average in the 300 level papers, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or

b) a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Political Science (or equivalent) with at least second class honours

(second division), or a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Security Studies (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B average, and

c) have satisfied the prerequisites for graduate study in the subject(s) being presented for the Degree, at levels considered appropriate by the Academic Board.

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

All students must take at least two of IRSST502, IRSST506 or POLSC537 (unless these have already been taken as part of an earlier qualification).

Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including ALPSS500 and at least 45 points from the papers listed for the subject in List A: Advanced Study of the regulations for the MA.

Students admitted under b) above must complete 120 points from approved 500-level papers, including at least 45 points from the papers listed for the subject in List A: Advanced Study of the regulations for the MA.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
ALPSS590Directed Study30.024X (Hamilton)
This paper allows students from the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences to undertake research on a specific topic related to their major under the guidance of academic staff.
ALPSS591Research Project30.024X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
A research report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical or practice-led investigation (up to 12,500 words maximum).
ALPSS592Dissertation60.024X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
A research report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical or practice-led investigation (up to 25,000 words maximum).
IRSST502Security Issues in South East Asia30.024A (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.
IRSST506International Relations and Global Security30.024B (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.
IRSST507Cyber Security and Cyber Warfare15.024B (Online)
This course examines the political, 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.
LEGAL576The Laws of Armed Conflict & International Humanitarian Law30.024G (Hamilton) & 24G (Tauranga)
This research seminar paper provides an advanced-level examination of critical issues in the Laws of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law. Students complete a supervised research project of up to 12,500 words.
POLSC537Environmental Politics and Public Policy30.024A (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 ...
POLSC592Dissertation60.024X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
POLSC593Political Science Thesis90.024X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

Scholarships and prizes

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Contacts

School of Social Sciences

General & Undergraduate Enquiries:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4702
Email: [email protected]