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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.

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.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations: Hamilton; Online
Faculty:

Career opportunities

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

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.

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.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ARTSC110Old Worlds - New Worlds18A (Hamilton)
This multi-disciplinary paper offers students a rich context in which to develop arts-based reading, writing and research skills. It is structured around stories of cultural encounter and journeys through place and time, and focuses on a variety of printed and electronic texts, moving and still images, and sound. The paper is deliv...
ARTSC111Social Science Theory and Action18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper introduces University of Waikato social scientists as researchers. Each presenter's research will be discussed to demonstrate how it illustrates key themes of the social sciences and their specific disciplines.
IRSST103Introduction to International Relations18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Online)
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.
IRSST104Introduction to International Security18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Online)
This course is an introduction to the study of international security. It examines a variety of contemporary security issues and explores how and why conflict emerges in the international system.
POLS100Playing Politics: Conflict, Co-operation and ChoiceThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS103Introduction to International RelationsThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS104Conflicts and Crises in the Middle East and AsiaThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS105People and PolicyThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS108Political Life in the Ancient World: Citizens, Slaves and EmperorsThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLSC100Playing Politics: Conflict, Co-operation and Choice18T (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to some of the basic concepts used in thinking about politics: conflict, cooperation, collective choice, and power.
POLSC101Politics in the Ancient World18A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to politics at the dawn of Western civilization. Topics include Athenian democracy, the Roman republic, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, political idealism and political realism.
POLSC102New Zealand Politics and Policy18B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a foundation for the study of public policy, with a particular focus on the New Zealand government context and the "politics" of policy making.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
FASS296Work PlacementThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
IRSST206International Relations: The Security Agenda18B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to International Relations' dynamic and evolving security agenda and covers some of the most urgent contemporary security concerns.
IRSST229The US and the World18T (Hamilton)
In the post-Cold War era the United States has assumed a prominent role in world politics. This paper explores the domestic and international political dimensions of that role.
MAORI250Maori Politics18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper examines Maori and Indigenous politics in a broad sense, from key ideas such as sovereignty, tino rangatiratanga, and autonomy, through to crucial forms of resistance via various political structures including local, Iwi, national and global Indigenous movements.
PHIL215Moral and Political Philosophy: A Historical IntroductionThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
PHILO215Moral and Political Philosophy: A Historical Introduction18B (Hamilton)
This paper uses Plato's Republic to introduce students to central issues in moral and political philosophy, including questions about virtue, happiness, justice, liberty, democracy, tyranny, feminism, art, censorship, and moral education.
POLCY212Public Policy: International Perspectives18B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the theory and practice of public policy and comparative policy analysis.
POLS200Politics and the MediaThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS201Major Political ThinkersThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS202Surveillance and Accountability: A History of New Zealand's Security and Intelligence Agencies from 1845 to the PresentThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS206International Relations: The Security AgendaThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS211Political Systems Around the WorldThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS212Public Policy: International PerspectivesThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS224Terrorism, Violence and the StateThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS229The US and the WorldThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLSC200Politics and the Media18B (Hamilton)
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.
POLSC201Modern Political Thinkers18A (Online)
This course examines the ideas of a number of modern political thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx.
POLSC211Political Systems around the World18A (Hamilton)
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 toauthoritarian regimes.
POLSC224Terrorism, Violence and the State18A (Hamilton)
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.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
FASS396Work Placement18D (Block)
This paper enables students to undertake work placement in an area related to their major as part of their degree. Students work in a chosen field for a period of time in order to gain valuable work experience and learn from experts in their chosen field.
IRSS331Cyber Security and the Global Politics of the Internet18B (Hamilton)
This paper 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.
LBST301Globalisation and International Development18A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the impact of globalisation on labour across both developed and developing countries. Assignments focus on the application of comparative methods.
PHIL315Democracy, Justice and EqualityThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS300Religion and Political Violence18A (Online), 18S (Online) & 18T (Online)
This paper in the history of political ideas examines Christian attitudes to political violence over the past 2000 years. It gives students knowledge and understanding of both Christian pacifism and Christian 'just war' thought. It does this by examining writings of major Christian thinkers, including Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and...
POLS301International Relations: The Context, Theory and Practice of New Zealand Foreign Policy18B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a comprehensive examination of NZ foreign policy, its evolution and practice since WWI. It considers NZ's foreign policy fundamentals, the role of major political parties, and NZ's involvement in major foreign conflicts and controversies.
POLS314European IntegrationThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS315International Politics of India and Pakistan18B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a narrative political and military history of India and Pakistan's bilateral and international relations from Partition in 1947 up to the end of the Cold War and an analysis of more recent developments.
POLS316Latin American PoliticsThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS318Global Environmental Politics and Policy18A (Hamilton)
The aim of this paper is to understand and critically evaluate the development of environmental policy and the politics of environmental policy processes in the international arena.
POLS327Political Ideas18T (Hamilton)
An introduction to a range of issues in contemporary political philosophy, in particular issues relating to questions of justice. The focus is on the examination of arguments and the clarification of concepts.
POLS390Directed Study18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton), 18S (Hamilton) & 18T (Hamilton)
No description available.
WGST303Gender, State and Public Policy18B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to feminist political theory concerned with issues of state, policy, equality/equity, social justice, rights and representation.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ANTH514Ethnic and Indigenous MinoritiesThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
ANTH520Tribes, Empires, Nations18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines tribes, empires, and nations as historically distinct types of political systems, and the ongoing influence of tribal and imperial cultures and institutions in diverse contemporary nation-states.
ANTHY520Tribes, Empires, NationsThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
IRSST505International Security, Strategy and Technology18A (Hamilton)
This course offers an introduction to Strategic Studies with particular emphasis on how developments in science and technology affect warfare, conflict, and the use of force in international relations.
IRSST507Cyber Security and Cyber Warfare18B (Hamilton)
This course examines the poltical, 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.
PHIL533Moral and Political PhilosophyThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS501The Policy Process and Policy Analysis18A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to theoretical perspectives on policy analysis and the policy process providing a conceptual tool-kit for the practice of, and higher level research in, public policy.
POLS502Security Issues in South East Asia18B (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.
POLS503Democratisation, Democracy and Mass Politics18B (Hamilton)
The concepts, approaches and literature of democracy, democratisation and mass politics, including theories of elitism, authoritarianism and transition to democracy and mass political psychology, democratic socialism, and democracy and capitalism, as well as an examination of relevant case studies.
POLS504Gender, Justice and the EnvironmentThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS506International Relations and Global Security18A (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.
POLS527Strategic Issues in the Middle EastThis paper will not be taught in 2018
This paper will not be taught in 2018
POLS537Environmental Politics and Public Policy18A (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 ...
POLS590Directed Study18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton), 18C (Hamilton) & 18Y (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
POLS591Dissertation18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton), 18C (Hamilton) & 18Y (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
POLS592Dissertation18C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
POLS593Political Science Thesis18C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
POLS594Political Science Thesis18C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.

800 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
POLS800Political Science MPhil Thesis18C (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
POLS900Political Science PhD Thesis18C (Hamilton) & 18D (Hamilton)
No description available.

Graeme Mackenzie I chose Waikato as the political science and public policy department has a good reputation, and I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in Hamilton.

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Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

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Subject links

Political Science and Public Policy Programme


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.


Documents


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