Political Studies


Political Studies is about relationships that involve power, authority, influence, conflict, co-operation, selfishness and altruism.

Areas of study

You can design a course of study that is suited to your own research interests and career goals. We offer postgraduate courses across the four main strands of Political Studies:

  • Political theory
  • New Zealand and comparative politics
  • International relations
  • Public policy.

Courses emphasise topical issues, eg, human rights, international terrorism and security, diplomacy, multicultural identity, political marketing, leadership, and politics and the media.

You can take taught courses to prepare for either a career or further postgraduate study. Wherever possible, we encourage you to undertake supervised research.

You can study Political Studies in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Politics is not just what politicians do, although governments provide a large part of it. One of the basic questions we ask is "who gets what, when, and how?" Instruments of politics include discussion, propaganda, persuasion, legislation, administration, threats, bribes and the use of armed force.

Career opportunities

Political Studies can give you the tools to be successful in both the public and private sectors. Our graduates have become public servants, politicians, diplomats, entrepreneurs, business and marketing executives, consultants, policy analysts, journalists and members of international and non-governmental organisations. Some also have careers as university staff in New Zealand and abroad, not always in Political Studies.

More information