Study Political Science in New Zealand

Introduction to studying politics in New Zealand

Studying politics in New Zealand focuses on understanding the intricacies of political systems, governance, and public policy. Typically spanning three years for a bachelor's degree, the curriculum includes modules that comprehensively understand political theory, comparative politics, and contemporary global issues. Core learning will often include Political Philosophy, Comparative Politics, Political Economy, and Public Policy Analysis. Students may also have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as international relations, environmental politics, or indigenous politics, tailoring their studies to align with their specific interests.

New Zealand's commitment to social justice and democratic values is reflected in its education system, making it an appealing destination for those interested in political studies. Graduates with political degrees in New Zealand are well-positioned for various career paths, including roles in government, policy analysis, advocacy, and research. The global perspective gained from studying in New Zealand, coupled with the emphasis on practical skills, enhances the employability of graduates in the dynamic field of politics and public affairs.

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Types of Politics Degree in New Zealand

New Zealand universities offer bachelor’s, master’s and research degrees and certificate courses that provide a basic understanding of the subject.

BA in Politics

A bachelor’s in politics is an undergraduate degree that imparts in-depth knowledge about various political science sections, such as socio-economic practices and law and order. You will learn about historical and contemporary political structures, public policy, and foreign relations. During the coursework, you will grow your communication, analytical, writing, and research skills. 

A political science degree in New Zealand will provide you with a well-rounded perspective on political issues and a versatile range of skills and knowledge. Graduates can opt for careers like advocate, foreign affairs and trade worker, policy analyst, and local government officer. 

Master in Politics

A master's in politics is a postgraduate degree that develops core knowledge to help you understand political systems, policy processes, international relations, and government in New Zealand. Politics study in New Zealand is divided into two parts - a taught and a research component. You can also include international relations, strategic studies, public policy courses, and political degrees. 

Postgraduate Diploma in Political Science

A postgraduate diploma in politics is an advanced degree that equips you with contemporary political affairs and provides you with analytical skills. During the coursework, you will pursue research-oriented careers in government, international organisations, NGOs, and private bodies. 


New Zealand universities offer scholarships based on the needs of students and academic performance. Here are some top scholarships and financial grants in political science for international students:

Name of the Scholarship

Offered by

Award value

Robert Chapman Prize in Politics and International Relations

University of Auckland


Tongarewa Scholarship at Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington


Jonathan Hunt Postgraduate Award

University of Auckland


Jobs and Careers in Politics Courses in New Zealand

Political graduates in New Zealand have diverse career options, leveraging their understanding of international law and business, the functionality of government, and foreign relations. A degree in politics can bag into influential careers in state and local governments, NGOs, law firms, and associations. You will also gain different skills to make an outstanding political career. Some renowned career paths include political scientist, advocate, research analyst, lawyer, immigration officer, and politician. 


Graduates in political science are in high demand in New Zealand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, 700 openings for political science are expected annually. In entry-level positions, one can expect an average pay scale of AUD 60,000 to AUD 90,000 in jobs like city administrator, policy advisor, diplomat, and research analyst.

On the other hand, salaries for mid-level positions can range from AUD 70,000 to AUD 120,000 or more and highly experienced graduates can expect to earn around $120,000 or more per year. 

Top Universities for Politics Courses in New Zealand

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



Acceptance Rate


University of Auckland



University of Otago



Victoria University of Wellington



Massey University



University of Canterbury



University of Waikato



Auckland University of Technology



Lincoln University


Study Politics in New Zealand

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

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What type of politics courses are available in New Zealand?

Students willing to pursue politics courses in New Zealand can opt for diploma, bachelor’s or postgraduate programs. A political science degree in New Zealand can come in various specialisations, such as urban politics, political economy, public services, political theory, and international affairs. 

What are the entry requirements for politics courses in New Zealand?

The entry requirements for each degree in New Zealand are different. For a bachelor’s, the applicants must have completed higher education with qualifications in English proficiency tests, like IELTS/TOEFL or PTE. On the other hand, a master’s program requires a bachelor’s degree with an English proficiency test (IELTS/TOEFL/PTE). 

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