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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 minor in Public Policy, and in International Relations and Security Studies which further allows you to investigate relevant contemporary issues.

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.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga, Online
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Faculty:

Career opportunities

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

Study in Tauranga

In Tauranga, Political Science is available as a major subject in these degrees:


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 POLSC591) 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) with at least a B grade average across the 300 level, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or

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

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 IRSST502, POLSC503, or POLSC537, 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 POLSC592, at least a B+ average to be admitted to POLSC593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to POLSC594.

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
IRSST103Introduction to International Relations20A (Hamilton), 20A (Online) & 20A (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.
IRSST104Introduction to International Security20B (Hamilton), 20B (Online) & 20B (Tauranga)
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.
POLSC101Politics in the Ancient World20A (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 Policy20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper provides a foundation for the study of political science and public policy, with a particular focus on the study of government, politics and policy in New Zealand.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
IRSST206International Relations: The Security Agenda20B (Hamilton) & 20B (Tauranga)
This paper introduces students to International Relations' dynamic and evolving security agenda and covers some of the most urgent contemporary security concerns.
MAORI250Māori Politics20A (Hamilton), 20B (Online) & 20B (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.
PHILO215Moral and Political Philosophy: A Historical Introduction20A (Hamilton)
A study of the moral and political philosophy of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Hume and Mill. 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 educat...
POLCY212Power, Politics and Policy Analysis20A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to public policy analysis. Students focus on the role of politics, public participation and policy in addressing society's big problems, how they are framed and defined, and how solutions are developed and implemented within the context of the policy process.
POLSC200Politics and the Media20A (Online) & 20A (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.
POLSC201Modern Political Thinkers20A (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 World20B (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 to authoritarian regimes.
POLSC224Terrorism, Violence and the State20B (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.
POLSC229US Politics20B (Online) & 20B (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 Occurrence / Location
GNSEX303Intersectionalities: Identities and Inequalities20A (Hamilton)
This paper provides a comprehensive review of the historical context for understanding contemporary issues of race, gender, sexuality, and social class. It investigates micro and macro level experiences and the social construction of identities. In doing so, this paper looks at how power is distributed in society, the theories that...
IRSST301International Relations: The Context, Theory and Practice of New Zealand Foreign Policy20B (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 Asia20A (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 Internet20A (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 Policy20B (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.
POLSC300Religion and Political Violence20G (Online)
This paper examines religious attitudes to political authority and political violence. Students study the writings of major thinkers in the Christian tradition including Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin.
POLSC390Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20B (Hamilton), 20G (Hamilton) & 20S (Hamilton)
This course comprises a programme of individual research and assessment undertaken by a student working under supervision of an academic staff member.
SOCIO302Globalisation and International Development20B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the impact of globalisation on both developed and developing countries. Special focus is placed on the labour-capital relation. Applied methods of comparative analysis are also introduced.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ANTHY520Tribes, Empires, Nations20B (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.
IRSST502Security Issues in South East Asia20A (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.
IRSST505International Security, Strategy and Technology20A (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.
IRSST506International Relations and Global Security20B (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 Warfare20B (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.
POLSC501Policy Analysis: Theory and Practice20A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the fundamentals of policy analysis, and develops skills for higher-level research in public policy. A key focus is developing critical awareness of policy processes, of the drivers of change, and of the role of both 'evidence' and public participation in policy-making, in the pursuit of inclusive ...
POLSC503Democratisation, Democracy and Mass Politics20B (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.
POLSC537Environmental Politics and Public Policy20B (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 ...
POLSC590Directed Study20A (Hamilton), 20B (Hamilton), 20D (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
POLSC591Dissertation20A (Hamilton), 20B (Hamilton), 20D (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
POLSC592Dissertation20X (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
POLSC593Political Science Thesis20X (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
POLSC594Political Science Thesis20X (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 Thesis20X (Hamilton)
No description available.

900 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
POLS900Political Science PhD Thesis20I (Hamilton) & 20X (Hamilton)
No description available.

For more information about subject requirements please refer to the catalogue of papers for the most up to date information. If you have any questions and need more advice contact one of our friendly student advisors phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4080 or email: wfass@waikato.ac.nz

Please note: For all graduate subject requirements check the information provided in the papers section above.


Scholarships and prizes

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Subject links

Political Science and Public Policy Programme


Contacts

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4702
General and undergraduate email: pols-fass@waikato.ac.nz
Graduate and postgraduate email: pols-grad@waikato.ac.nz