In Political Science we study all aspects of political life. We ask such questions as: Why do some crises lead to conflict while others are resolved peacefully? What lessons can we draw from the policy experience of other countries? How should we deal with climate change and other environmental crises? Why does democracy survive in some countries and not in others? Can we have both freedom and security - or must we choose between them? What did the great political thinkers of the past really say? Political Science comprises four main areas of study. Comparative Politics examines the political institutions and societies of particular countries, and compares and contrasts them. International Relations focuses on the relations between states, on their foreign policies, and on international organisations like the UN and NATO. Political Theory examines theories about politics and society, and the philosophical and methodological questions that arise in studying political life. Public Policy explores the processes by which governments at national, regional and local levels develop, implement and evaluate policies. Students taking political science papers may focus on one or more of these areas, or follow a broader programme reflecting the diverse interests of political science.

Political Science is available as a first major for the Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Climate Change (BCC) and the Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSocSc). Political Science may also be taken as a second major or minor, subject to approval of the Division in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Political Science as a single major for the BA, BCC or BSocSc, students must gain 135 points from papers listed for Political Science, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level. Students must include POLSC102 and POLSC103, or 15 points from POLSC102 and POLSC103 and 15 points from IRSST103 and IRSST104; and POLSC201 and POLSC211, or 15 points from POLSC201 and POLSC211, and 15 points from IRSST206 and POLCY212.

To complete Political Science as part of a double major for the BA, BCC, BSocSc or other undergraduate degree, students must gain 120 points from papers listed for Political Science, including 90 points above 100 level, and 45 points above 200 level. Students must include POLSC102 and POLSC103, or 15 points from POLSC102 and POLSC103, and 15 points from IRSST103 and IRSST104; and POLSC201 and POLSC211, or 15 points from POLSC201 and POLSC211, and 15 points from IRSST206 and POLCY212.

To complete a minor in Political Science, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Political Science major, including at least 30 points above 100 level. Students must include at least one of POLSC102 or POLSC103, and one of POLSC201 or POLSC211; and select their remaining papers from the papers listed for the Political Science major.

Other qualifications

Prescriptions for:

Political Science papers

100 Level 200 Level 300 Level 500 Level 800 Level 900 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)
POLSC102 New Zealand Politics and Policy right arrow

This paper provides a foundation for the study of political science and public policy, with a particular focus on the study of government, politics...

15 24B (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)
PHILO215 Moral and Political Philosophy: A Historical Introduction right arrow

This paper introduces students to central issues in Moral and Political Philosophy, using texts from historical figures in philosophy to study...

15 24B (Hamilton)
POLCY212 Public Policy Analysis right arrow

This paper introduces students to public policy analysis. Students focus on the role of politics, public participation and policy in addressing...

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)
POLSC201 Modern Political Thinkers right arrow

This course examines the ideas of a number of modern political thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx.

15 24A (Online)
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
ALPSS390 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...

15 24X (Hamilton)
GNSEX303 Intersectionalities: Identities and Inequalities right arrow

This paper provides a comprehensive review of the historical context for understanding contemporary issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social...

15 24B (Hamilton)
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
ALPSS500 Academic & Professional Research & Writing right arrow

In this course, students will gain the skills and confidence to seamlessly transition from study to work. This course works to enhance the 'skills...

30 24A (Online) & 24B (Online) & 24C (Online)
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)
ALPSS591 Research Project right arrow

A research report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical or practice-led investigation (up to 12,500 words maximum).

30 24X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
ALPSS592 Dissertation right arrow

A research report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical or practice-led investigation (up to 25,000 words maximum).

60 24X (Hamilton) & 24X (Tauranga)
IRSST502 Security Issues in South East Asia right arrow

After a brief conceptual and historical introduction to security in the region, the paper goes on to consider a range of contemporary security...

30 24A (Hamilton)
IRSST506 International Relations and Global Security right arrow

This paper teaches and utilises major international relations theories to consider pressing global issues. This includes the causes of war and...

30 24B (Hamilton)
IRSST507 Cyber Security and Cyber Warfare right arrow

This course examines the political, strategic, legal and economic debates around cyber security and cyber warfare. Particular emphasis is placed on...

15 24B (Online)
POLSC501 Policy Analysis: Theory and Practice right arrow

This paper introduces students to the fundamentals of policy analysis, and develops skills for higher-level research in public policy. A key focus is...

30 24A (Hamilton)
POLSC537 Environmental Politics and Public Policy right arrow

This paper introduces students to the complexities and challenges of environmental policy processes, and develops skills in scholarly research on...

30 24A (Hamilton)
POLSC592 Dissertation right arrow

A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.

60 24X (Hamilton)
POLSC593 Political Science Thesis right arrow

An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

90 24X (Hamilton)
Code and paper title Points
POLSC800 Political Science MPhil Thesis right arrow

120 24X (Hamilton)
Code and paper title Points
POLSC900 Political Science PhD Thesis right arrow

120 24I (Hamilton) & 24J (Hamilton) & 24K (Hamilton) & 24X (Hamilton)
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2024 Catalogue of Papers information current as of 29 May 2024 01:00am