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International Relations

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.

Do you ever find yourself puzzled by how the world works? Or why it often doesn’t work? And are you curious 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 degree 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.

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Key information

Study Location:Hamilton
Area of Study:

Study International Relations in these qualifications

Study International Relations as a specialisation of

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

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
IRSST103Introduction to International Relations15.024A (Hamilton) & 24B (Tauranga)
This paper provides an introduction to the study of international relations in an era of globalisation. It covers the historical background, key concepts and theories, case studies, and contemporary developments in the study of world politics.
POLSC103Introduction to Political Psychology15.024A (Online) & 24A (Tauranga)
Politics affects every aspect of our lives. This paper is an introduction to understanding political behaviour, helping you become more critically aware of your own role as citizen.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
IRSST206International Relations: The Security Agenda15.024A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to International Relations' dynamic and evolving security agenda and covers some of the most urgent contemporary security concerns.
POLSC200Politics and the Media15.024A (Online) & 24A (Tauranga)
This course provides an introduction to the complex relationships between mass media, politics, and democratic society. It examines the power of the media in influencing political processes, policies, behaviour, and perceptions.
POLSC204Communicating Climate Change15.0No occurrences
Through a mix of theory and practical applications, students learn how to communicate climate change impacts and solutions in engaging ways.
POLSC211Political Systems around the World15.024B (Hamilton) & 24B (Online)
The paper introduces the comparative study of political institutions, the study of the politics of a number of countries, their similarities and differences, from established democracies to authoritarian regimes.
POLSC224Terrorism, Violence and the State15.0No occurrences
Terrorism is an increasingly prominent global phenomenon. We will clarify it conceptually and situate it historically with theory and case studies in situating it in comparative political and International Relations analysis.
POLSC229US Politics15.024B (Online) & 24B (Tauranga)
Students in this course explore the foundational elements of the United States, its governing institutions, the extent of public influence within the system, and major contemporary policy issues that the country faces.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
IRSST301International Relations: The Context, Theory and Practice of New Zealand Foreign Policy15.024B (Hamilton)
This course delivers a comprehensive historical overview of New Zealand foreign policy from the beginning of the 20th century, and considers the role government departments play in the creation and implementation of policy.
IRSST315International Politics of Asia15.024B (Hamilton)
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 the Korean Peninsula; the South China Sea disputes; and tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
IRSST331Cyber Security and the Global Politics of the Internet15.024B (Online)
This course explores the global politics of cyber security and the internet. It covers the major political/strategic/theoretical debates around enhancing the security of computer systems and how states and non-state actors are responding.
POLCY318Global Environmental Politics and Policy15.024A (Hamilton)
This paper explores contemporary debates on environmental politics, sustainability, justice, and environmental governance. It examines the political processes underpinning the search for cooperative solutions to environmental dilemmas, including climate change.
POLSC301Visual Communication: Politics, Propaganda, Protest15.024A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the power of visual communication. The theoretical knowledge gained is applicable to politics and beyond.

Scholarships and prizes

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School of Social Sciences
Phone: 0800 800 145
General Enquiries: [email protected]