Step into the world of international politics and diplomacy. Understand how countries and organisations interact on the global stage, preparing you for a career in foreign affairs and beyond. This major explores the global challenges facing states and citizens in the 21st century. Do you wonder how the world works? Or why it often doesn’t work? And do you wonder if, and how, we can find collective responses to urgent issues such as climate change, economic inequality, and the threat of nuclear weapons? If so, then the International Relations major is the degree for you. As an International Relations student, you will learn how to look behind news headlines and understand the forces that shape today’s world. You will examine the complex relationships between states, the role of non-state actors, and how global politics affect our daily lives. The major will empower you to assess some of the most pressing challenges of our time and equip you with the skills to pursue a career in which you can help make a difference in addressing these challenges.

International Relations is available as a first major for the Bachelor of Global Studies (BGS). International Relations may also be included as a second major or minor in undergraduate degrees, subject to approval of the Division in which the student is enrolled.

To complete International Relations as a single major for the BGS, students must gain 135 points from papers listed for International Relations, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level. Students must complete both IRSST103 and POLSC103.

To complete International Relations as part of a double major for the BGS or other undergraduate degree, students must gain 120 points from papers listed for International Relations, including 90 points above 100 level, and a further 45 points above 200 level. Students must complete both IRSST103 and POLSC103.

To complete a minor in International Relations, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the International Relations major, including at least 30 points above 100 level.


The major/subject in International Relations, the Bachelor of Global Studies (BGS), the GradCert(IntRel) and GradDip(IntRel) are subject to external approval. We are in the process of completing the required approvals to offer this programme. The first proposed intakes will be from 2024.

Other qualifications

Prescriptions for:

International Relations papers

100 Level 200 Level 300 Level 500 Level
Code and paper title Points
IRSST103 Introduction to International Relations right arrow

This paper provides an introduction to the study of international relations in an era of globalisation. It covers the historical background, key...

15 24A (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
POLSC103 Introduction to Political Psychology right arrow

Politics affects every aspect of our lives. This paper is an introduction to understanding political behaviour, helping you become more critically...

15 24A (Online) & 24A (Tauranga)
Code and paper title Points
IRSST206 International Relations: The Security Agenda right arrow

This paper introduces students to International Relations' dynamic and evolving security agenda and covers some of the most urgent contemporary...

15 24A (Hamilton)
POLSC200 Politics and the Media right arrow

This course provides an introduction to the complex relationships between mass media, politics, and democratic society. It examines the power of the...

15 24A (Online) & 24A (Tauranga)
POLSC204 Communicating Climate Change right arrow

Through a mix of theory and practical applications, students learn how to communicate climate change impacts and solutions in engaging ways.

15 No occurrences
POLSC211 Political Systems around the World right arrow

The paper introduces the comparative study of political institutions, the study of the politics of a number of countries, their similarities and...

15 24B (Hamilton) & 24B (Online)
POLSC224 Terrorism, Violence and the State right arrow

Terrorism is an increasingly prominent global phenomenon. We will clarify it conceptually and situate it historically with theory and case studies in...

15 No occurrences
POLSC229 US Politics right arrow

Students in this course explore the foundational elements of the United States, its governing institutions, the extent of public influence within the...

15 24B (Online) & 24B (Tauranga)
Code and paper title Points
IRSST301 International Relations: The Context, Theory and Practice of New Zealand Foreign Policy right arrow

This course delivers a comprehensive historical overview of New Zealand foreign policy from the beginning of the 20th century, and considers the role...

15 24B (Hamilton)
IRSST315 International Politics of Asia right arrow

It provides an introduction to, and analysis of, critical issues in Asia. Issues may include some, or all, of the Kashmir dispute; the situation on...

15 24B (Hamilton)
IRSST331 Cyber Security and the Global Politics of the Internet right arrow

This course explores the global politics of cyber security and the internet. It covers the major political/strategic/theoretical debates around...

15 24B (Online)
POLCY318 Global Environmental Politics and Policy right arrow

This paper explores contemporary debates on environmental politics, sustainability, justice, and environmental governance. It examines the political...

15 24A (Hamilton)
POLSC301 Visual Communication: Politics, Propaganda, Protest right arrow

This paper introduces students to the power of visual communication. The theoretical knowledge gained is applicable to politics and beyond.

15 24A (Hamilton)
Code and paper title Points
ALPSS590 Directed Study right arrow

This paper allows students from the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences to undertake research on a specific topic related to their...

30 24X (Hamilton)

2024 Catalogue of Papers information current as of 21 May 2024 01:00am