Master of International Relations and Diplomacy
Drawing on UC's teaching and research strengths, graduates can obtain a master's-level capstone qualification in the popular area of international relations and diplomacy. This degree will offer students an innovative, interdisciplinary programme of taught courses with a strong professional emphasis.
- Advanced academic principles are investigated through applied tasks such as case studies and field trips.
- The core course will feature a professional seminar series.
- Graduates will carry out a substantial piece of independent research.
- Utilises UC's teaching and research strengths across various departments, such as Mātai Tōrangapū, Hononga Tāwāhi | Department of Political Science and International Relations, Tāhuhu Kōrero | Department of History, and Te Kure Ture | School of Law.
- Students benefit from on-campus research resources, for example the National Research Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE) and the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies.
- UC is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world for Politics and International Studies (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021).
- UC is ranked first in Aotearoa New Zealand for research in Political Science, International Relations and Public Policy (Te Amorangi Mātauranga Matua | Tertiary Education Commission 2018 PBRF assessment).
To qualify to enrol, you will need either:
- a bachelor's degree in any subject, normally with at least a B Grade Point Average in 60 points of 300-level courses in the majoring subject; or
- a bachelor's degree and a qualifying course, with at least a B Grade Point Average in 60 points of 300-level courses; or
- a bachelor's degree, and evidence of relevant professional or other work experience; or
- other approved qualifications of an equivalent standard.
All students will also need approval from the Programme Director and the Dean of Arts (Academic).
If English is your additional language, you are also required to meet UC's English language requirements.
For the full entry requirements, see the Regulations for the Master of International Relations and Diplomacy or use the admission requirements checker.
How to apply
You can apply online at myUC. Find out more about how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.
The Master of International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRAD) comprises 180 points as follows:
- 30-point compulsory course
- 90 points of elective courses, chosen from a variety of options
- 60-point research dissertation
Students start their studies in February, and the normal enrolment would be full-time for 1 year. However, with approval, students can study part-time up to 3 years.
All students must complete:
- the compulsory 30-point course POLS 441 Principles and Practice of International Relations and Diplomacy
- the 60-point research dissertation POLS 688 Dissertation (15–20,000 words)
And another 90 points of elective courses:
- 60 points chosen from Schedule E Group 1 (400-level Political Science and International Relations courses)
- 30 points chosen from Schedule E Group 2 (400-level courses from different disciplines such as European and European Union Studies, History, Professional and Community Engagement, and Pacific Studies, and 600-level courses from International Relations and Politics)
Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara Wellington field trip is a two-day trip, which includes meetings with senior figures in Manatū Aorere | Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Manatū Kaupapa Waonga | Ministry of Defence, a variety of Embassies and High Commissions, and senior figures in government, including the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition.
The field trip also includes a formal networking and senior peer mentoring event with UC alumni now working in Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara Wellington. This is an effective professional networking event.
Students can go onto a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science and International Relations.
The MIRAD caters perfectly for students interested in careers in foreign affairs or inter-state coordination.
While Manatū Aorere | Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not require specific tertiary pathways, applicants can find it advantageous to have a postgraduate degree in an analytical subject such as law, political science, international relations, economics, or science.
Graduates will leave UC having:
- advanced knowledge of current research in international relations
- advanced knowledge of current professional practice in diplomacy and related fields
- the ability to understand theoretical and practical problems in international relations and diplomacy
- proven expertise in research processes (eg, formulating a research question, data collection and analysis, case study analysis, and hypothesis testing)
- engaged with senior university staff and senior figures in politics and policy.
- Read what other UC postgraduate students have gone on to achieve in their studies and careers in our student and graduate profiles.
- Te Rōpū Rapuara | UC Careers can help you to achieve the career you want, connect with employers, or find a job.
- For research into career destinations by qualification, visit Te Pōkai Tara | Universities New Zealand website.
- Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
- Come along to an upcoming information event for prospective postgraduate students.
For full requirements, see the Regulations for the Master of International Relations and Diplomacy.
For study planning help, contact Te Kura Mātāpuna Tangata | School of Language, Social and Political Sciences or the College of Arts:
Te Rāngai Toi Tangata | College of Arts
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800