International Relations Courses in New Zealand 

Introduction to studying an international relations degree

International relations degrees in New Zealand typically span three years for a bachelor's degree and focus on providing a comprehensive understanding of global political dynamics, diplomatic relations, and international cooperation. Core modules often include subjects such as International Politics, Global Governance, Conflict Resolution, and Regional Studies, providing students with a well-rounded perspective on global affairs.

New Zealand university's commitment to fostering a multicultural and inclusive environment makes it an appealing destination for international students seeking a truly global education. Graduates of international relations programs in New Zealand often find themselves well-equipped for various career paths, including roles in diplomacy, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector. The international exposure gained during the program, coupled with the emphasis on critical thinking and analytical skills, enhances the employability of graduates in the competitive global job market.

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Types of International Degrees in New Zealand

International relations is a wide-ranging subject with many degrees, like bachelor’s, master's, and postgraduate diplomas, where students can look for different specializations. 

Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations

A bachelor’s degree in international relations is an undergraduate program that will teach you about political principles, foreign affairs, and relationships in other countries. Depending on your area of interest, you can opt for dissertations and a thesis of different lengths. International relations in New Zealand is an ideal discipline if you want to create a better society for future generations.  Career prospects after completing a bachelor’s in international relations and social studies include diplomat, national assessment bureau, national and international NGOs, and security and intelligence officer. 

Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations

A postgraduate diploma provides the opportunity for continuing professional development and can often lead to a master’s degree. Many New Zealand universities include aspects of international law and trade and focus on particular regions for concern, like the Middle East and South Asia.

Master’s Degree in International Relations

If you want to make a career in government, public relations, or NGO, then a Master’s in International Relations will help you understand contemporary issues facing international laws, policies, and governance. The coursework comprises theory, global management and regulation, political economy, and international history. Through the course, you can meet your career-oriented goals, and you will be able to work in international organisations, government, business, media, and NGOs. 

Some career prospects after completing a master’s in politics and international organisations are advocacy coordinator, welfare officer, and project coordinator. 


New Zealand offers various scholarships and grants to support international students' education. These financial grants cover expenses such as tuition fees and travel expenses. Here are some of the top scholarships available for international relations graduates. 

Scholarship type

Offered by

Award Value

The Terence O’Brien Family Scholarship in International Relations or Strategic Studies

Victoria University of Wellington


UC International First-Year Scholarship

University of Canterbury


Vice Chancellor International Excellence Scholarship

Victoria University of Wellington


Jobs and Careers

Graduates with a degree in International Relations in New Zealand have many career opportunities in government, business, media, and NGOs that involve critical thinking and strong verbal and communication skills. They understand diplomacy, conflict, power structures, and global world politics. The first role for graduates with undergraduate degrees is to get into administrative roles before progressing to advisor roles in a policy team. 

Popular organisations include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Defence and Force, Parliamentary Services, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment. 


The average pay scale in international relations in New Zealand is $60,850 annually, which is $31.21 hourly. The entry-level positions start at $42,510 annually, while the most experienced make around $121,139 annually. Some demanding careers in international relations include political consultant, diplomat, economist, policy advisor, and international analyst.

Top Universities for International Relations in New Zealand

To learn more about the best international relations courses in New Zealand, find details on the top-ranking international relations universities in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023.



Acceptance rate


Auckland University of Technology (AUT)



University of Waikato



University of Canterbury



The University of Auckland



University of Otago



Victoria University of Wellington


Study International Relations in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying for an international relations degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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What is the typical duration of an international relations course in New Zealand?

The course duration depends on the degree you are opting for. For example, the program duration for a bachelor’s degree is three years, and a master’s is two years. 

How do I apply for international relations courses in New Zealand as an international student?

To apply for international relations courses in New Zealand, you must appear for an English proficiency test and fill out the admission form for the desired university. 

What are the career prospects for international relations graduates in New Zealand?

After completing international relations courses, career options include intelligence analyst, diplomat, economist, and policy advisor.

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