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Massey University
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Master of International Security (Without Specialisation)

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1.5 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


Manawatu Campus


Be a force for peace in the world

Advance your security career with the Master of International Security.

The Master of International Security is a multidisciplinary programme. It draws on strategic studies, international relations, military studies, political science, area studies, political and human geography and complementary fields of study.

Fast-track your qualification and your career

If you want to develop skills in security management, this is the programme for you. Security management is an increasingly important dimension of government and public policy. It has direct benefit to economic security and social wellbeing, so your skills will be in demand.

Follow your own interests

You will learn the principles, theory and practice of international security. You’ll gain understanding of interagency perspectives. You’ll also develop analytical and communications skills appropriate to the security context.

You will carry out independent research in a security context. This will enable you to develop your own area of specialisation. You will also benefit from our close relationships with partner agencies in the security sector.

Questions that you will consider on this programme include:

  • What geopolitical forces shape the international security environment?
  • What are the historical, geographical and political dynamics that have shaped New Zealand's strategic environment?
  • What are the causes, key protagonists and consequences of differing types of political violence?
  • What are the challenges to intervention, peace and stabilisation operations?
  • Does state building work?
  • What are the new emerging threats to international security?


With the Master of International Security you can expect to advance your career in the security sector in government and non-government agencies, and contribute to international security operations.

This programme will prepare you for a role in:

  • analysing regional politics
  • border security
  • conflict resolution
  • customs work
  • police work
  • defence forces
  • peacekeeping
  • policy analysis
  • truce monitoring
  • management
  • planning
  • politics
  • risk management.

Planning overview

The Master of International Security (Defence Studies) is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

You must achieve a minimum B- grade average in the first 90 credits of courses taken in order to progress to Part Two.

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Entry criteria

To enter the Master of International Security you will have been awarded or qualified for:

a relevant bachelor's degree with a grade average of at least B-, or

a completed Postgraduate Certificate in International Security, with at least a B- grade average, or

a completed Postgraduate Diploma in International Security, with at least a B- Grade average,

or you will:

be able to demonstrate scholarly work in conjunction with extensive relevant professional experience and standing in leadership, managerial and planning positions in government or non-government security agencies appropriate for admission with equivalent status.

If you have a Postgraduate Certificate in International Security or Postgraduate Diploma in International Security as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification in accordance with the limits specified in the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

If you are applying on the basis of scholarly work in conjunction with extensive relevant professional experience you must also provide a copy of your current curriculum vitae (CV).

Students from a country where English is not the first language, must obtain a minimum English Language competency level.

  • IELTS score of 6.5 (no band less than 6.0)
  • TOEFL iBT score of 90 overall (min 20 in Writing)
  • PTE Academic score of 58 Overall (min 50 in communicative skills)
  • Cambridge English score of 176 overall and all bands 169 or better

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