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Master of Policy and Governance

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Jul 2023


University of Canterbury


Drawing on UC's teaching and research strengths in Political Science and International Relations, graduates can obtain a professional capstone qualification in policy analysis and strategic decision making.

This Master's programme will provide advanced interdisciplinary training in just one year for those wishing to progress in local, regional, national, and third sector/not-for-profit roles in policy and governance.

Why study a Master of Policy and Governance at UC?

  • Advanced academic principles are investigated through applied tasks such as case studies and field trips.
  • In collaboration with strategic partners, a panel of experts from outside the university will provide real-world informed mentoring of participants. Mentors will come from organisations such as the New Zealand Parliament and Business Trust, Local Government New Zealand, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, NZ Treasury, and the McGuinness Institute NZ.
  • UC's Department of Political Science and International Relations has attained national and international visibility for the strength of its teaching and academic research.
  • UC has particular expertise in policy processes and community leadership in New Zealand-Pacific contexts, in East and Southeast Asia and in environment and technology policy.

How do I plan my degree?

The Master of Policy and Governance (MPAG) comprises 180 points. Students can decide on the level of research that makes up their programme, choosing one of two options:

  • 120 points of coursework plus a 60-point dissertation, or
  • 90 points of coursework plus a 90-point thesis (Note: this is normally only open to students with a GPA of 7.5 or with the approval of the Head of Programme).

Further study

Students can study a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science and International Relations.

Career opportunities

The MPAG caters perfectly for students interested in policy and governance careers in local, regional and national government, and not-for-profit/volunteer sectors.

Graduates will leave UC having:

  • built their knowledge in a chosen area
  • engaged with senior staff and leading professional mentors
  • conducted field-based learning
  • conducted independent specialist policy research.

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Entry criteria

To enrol, you will need 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 other equivalent qualifications. All students also need approval to enrol.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

Application deadline: At least 6 months before the planned start date.

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