Politics and International Relations


The study of Politics and International Relations is the study of power. Politics is not just what politicians do. Politics expands beyond the activities of government to include those of groups, corporations, armies, international organisations, leaders and activists, in contests over ideas, ideals and resources. One of the fundamental questions of politics is ‘who gets what, when, and how?’

Areas of study

There are five main topic areas in Politics and International Relations. A course may focus on just one, or cover a number of different topics. Comparative politics often examines the politics of one country closely and involves topics such as electoral systems, political parties and legislature. Public policy focuses on how policies are designed and implemented, while international relations looks at how nations relate with each other, as well as with international organisations such as the United Nations. Politics and the media looks at the representation of politics and political actors in media, film, television and on the Internet. Political theory studies political thought and issues such as what is a right and why do we have laws?

You can study Politics and International Relations in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Our staff offer a range of undergraduate courses with expertise that covers a wide range of areas, including international relations, foreign policy, environmental and comparative politics, political theory, public policy, media politics and New Zealand and regional politics. We are ranked number one in New Zealand for Politics and International Relations as well as in the top 100 globally.

Career opportunities

There is a wide range of career options for Politics and International Relations graduates. Our undergraduate degrees can equip you with the tools for success in public, private and community sectors. 

Many of our graduates go on to secure careers both in New Zealand and around the world. Others obtain scholarships to undertake further study at the University of Auckland or at other research universities abroad.

More information

For more information see Politics and International Relations.