Course outline

The Master of International Security is a multidisciplinary course of study drawing on international relations, strategic studies, political science, religion, area studies, political and human geography, and military history.

Fast-track your qualification and your career

The Master of International Security is a 180-credit course. It is right for you if you have completed an appropriate bachelor degree or equivalent and have extensive professional experience in the security sector 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, with direct benefit to economic security and social wellbeing, so your skills will be in demand.

Follow your own interests

In the Master of International Security you will learn the principles, theory and practice of international security. You will also carry out independent research and planning in a security context. Our committed and supportive staff will encourage you to pursue your intellectual and professional interests and 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 statebuilding work?
  • What are the new emerging threats to international security?

You will gain advanced knowledge in contemporary international security theory and practice; understanding of interagency perspectives; and analytical and communications skills appropriate to the security context.

Careers prospect

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 any of the fields below:

  1. Analysing regional politics
  2. Border security
  3. Conflict resolution
  4. Customs work
  5. Police work
  6. Defence forces
  7. Peacekeeping
  8. Policy analysis
  9. Truce monitoring
  10. Management
  11. Planning
  12. Politics
  13. Risk management

Planning your programme


Students who complete within 18 months of first enrolling for full-time study or within four years of first enrolling for part-time study may be eligible for Distinction or Merit.

Time Limit

All requirements must be completed within five years

Course structure

Students will successfully complete 180 credits as indicated on the schedule below A minimum B- grade average must be achieved in the first 60 credits undertaken in Part One in order to progress to Part Two. Students who do not meet the criteria for progression to Part Two may transfer to the Postgraduate Diploma in International Security.

The Master of International Security may be completed without an endorsement or with an endorsement in Intelligence.

Courses breakdown

All courses are 30 credits each unless otherwise indicated.

Part One (120 credits)
Compulsory course:
International Security

Subject courses:
The New Zealand Strategic Environment
Leadership, Management and Command
The Middle East Security Environment
Terrorism, Insurgency and Transnational Crime
The Asia-Pacific Strategic Environment
Security of China as a Great Power
International Security and Peacekeeping
Public International law for Defence and Security
Security and Crime
Intelligence in the International Security Environment
Intelligence Operations
Crime Science
Defence and Security Technology
Border Management in the Contemporary Security Environment
Research Methods in Defence and Security Studies
The Cyber Security Environment

Elective courses (no more than 30 credits permitted):
Coping with Disasters
Emergency Management
Ethics of War and Peace
International Relations: Theory and Practice
Professional Evaluation Practice
Logistics in Humanitarian Aid Projects (15 credits)
Special Topic (15 credits)

Part Two (60 credits):
Applied Security Research Project (60 credits) or
Applied Security Planning Exercise (60 credits)

Note: not all courses are available in each semester.


  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Candidates must have a Bachelor's degree or other relevant qualification (eg Diploma in Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy or Nursing) for entry and admission to Postgraduate Study. Application to this university can be very strict therefore, it is advised to contact the school directly for assistance or visit the school offiicla website.

Applicants should:

  • A relevant bachelor's degree with a grade average of at least B- plus a minimum of two years of full time professional experience. 
  • A completed Postgraduate Certificate in International Security, with at least a B- grade average.
  • A completed postgraduate Diploma in International Security, with at least a B- Grade average.
  • 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.

What documents do you need to supply to support your application?

  1. A copy of your academic transcript/s
  2. A copy of your current curriculum vitae( unless you have completed a postgraduate qualification in International Security)

English language requirements

  • IELTS - 6.5 (no band less than 6.0)
  • TOEFL iBT - 90 overall (min 20 in Writing)
  • PTE Academic - 58 Overall (min 50 in communicative skills)
  • Cambridge English - 180

Additional notes

  1. Fees are subjected to change, for international student may have to refer to latest exchange rates.
  2. Additional cost my incurred depending on situation (Accommodation, laboratories equipment/materials, etc.)
  3. Encourage to study and research laws in New Zealand, it is advisable for international students to understand the country's strict rules and culture. 
  4. English is used as a teaching medium and a widely spoken language in New Zealand, if the requirements are not stated in the university webpage, advisable to contact the university's authority for further information about English requirements or English Entry Requirements.
  5. For scholarship opportunities, please browse through our webpage to find out local and international opportunities. 
  6. Encourage to visit for deeper and more information.


  • Telephone: 0800 MASSEY (0800 627 739) 
  • Telephone (from outside NZ): +64 6 350 5701 
  • Facsimile: +64 6 350 5618 
  • Text: 5222