Postgraduate study

A range of postgraduate qualifications are offered by the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations.


Our School has a thriving research culture and our postgraduate community is valued and supported. Collegiality is encouraged through strong interaction between staff and students. Practical support is offered by way of seminars, discussion groups and conferences. There is also a retreat run for and by Philosophy Postgraduate students and an annual History Postgraduate Conference run by History postgraduate students. Postgraduate students are actively encouraged to present their research at academic conferences. Financial assistance may be available from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS) Research Grant.

To learn more about our current postgraduate students see our History, Philosophy and Political Science and International Relations Student Profile pages.

Information on this page relates to the 2016 academic year unless otherwise specified.


International Relations

Expand your horizons and enhance your understanding of global challenges and events with advanced study in International Relations.


Join an internationally recognised postgraduate history programme that combines a lively culture with access to the best archives in New Zealand.

Political Science

Study politics where it happens. Combine in-depth understanding of the political process with advanced research skills and take your career to the next level.


Delve into the big questions of human existence and discover how philosophy is relevant to the questions and problems we face every day.

Strategic Studies

Build a career with global reach. Develop in-depth insights into the world’s strategic and security issues with an internationally recognised one-year degree.


Graduate Diploma in Arts (GDipArts)

A Graduate Diploma in Arts gives you the opportunity to specialise at an advanced level in areas outside your first degree.  It is a one-year full time or up to four years' part-time programme of study.

For further information on the requirements and application process, refer to the Graduate Diploma of Arts page on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences' website or contact the relevant postgraduate coordinator below.

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts)

The PGDipArts is intended for students eligible to study at 400 level, but not wishing to undertake the research component required for a BA(Hons). Entry to the PGDipArts requires the same average grade as for a Bachelor of Arts with Honours.

For further information refer to the Postgraduate Diploma of Arts.

Postgraduate Diplomas

We also offer 120-point Postgraduate Diplomas in:

For more information contact the programme coordinator below.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA(Hons))

A Bachelor of Arts with Honours is normally a one year, full-time programme of coursework undertaken after the completion of a BA degree or GDipArts in the relevant subject area. It comprises 120 400-level points.

Entry to Honours is normally based on achievement of at least a B average grade in courses relevant to the proposed Honours study for History, Political Science or International Relations

HIST 489 and PHIL 489: Research Project is compulsory for History and Philosophy Honours students. All History Honours students are required to attend the Honours work-in-progress seminars. All Philosophy Honours students are expected to attend work-in-progress postgraduate seminars.

INTP 489 and POLS 489: Research Project is optional for International Relations Honours students. Interested students should contact the Honours Coordinator for information on finding a supervisor in these courses. Students are encouraged to attend the Programme's postgraduate work-in-progress seminars.

For further information refer to the Bachelor of Arts with Honours or contact the relevant Postgraduate Coordinator.

Master of Arts by thesis (MA)

The Master of Arts requires the completion of a supervised thesis based on a programme of independent research. Students proposing to enrol in an MA are expected to have a BA(Hons) with at least second class (first division) Honours, although applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The thesis is normally completed in 12 months for full-time students, or 24 months for half-time students.

Prospective History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations MA applicants should contact the relevant Postgraduate Coordinator to discuss their proposal. All projects must have an appropriate supervisor within the discipline and be approved by the Programme Research Committee. It is helpful to the Postgraduate Coordinator if prospective applicants have researched potential supervisors, or are at least aware of academic staff with similar research interests to their own. The list of current staff with links to their bios is available on the School Staff page.

For further information on the requirements and application process, please refer to the Master of Arts 120 points.

Applications to enrol in the Master's by thesis are now made via the Online Enrolment System (OES). Information about this process can be found on the Online Enrolment System (OES) guidelines for Master's by thesis page.

Victoria University's Master's by Thesis scholarship

The application deadline for this scholarship is 1 November (every year). For more information, including application form, see the Scholarship detail page.

For more scholarships on offer see the Scholarship A to Z.

New Zealand Parliament Buildings, Wellington

Master political science where it happens

Victoria University’s location means you’ll be learning at the heart of politics and experiencing decision-making as it unfolds.

We offer three one-year taught Master’s programmes:

  • Master of International Relations
  • Master of Political Science
  • Master of Strategic Studies.

Master of International Relations

The Master of International Relations (MIR) provides students with in-depth understanding of contemporary international relations. Courses focus on the shifting geopolitics of the great powers, global political economy, environmental cooperation and conflict, and the transformation of the Asia-Pacific region. The MIR includes both taught courses and a supervised research project.

Our programme will prepare you for a career with an international focus, or can serve as a stepping-stone to higher tertiary-level studies. The programme also provides professionals with an opportunity to enhance their analytical skills and knowledge of international relations.

For more information, contact the Student Adviser in the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office.

Master of Political Science (MPols)

The Master of Political Science (MPols) will provide you with professional training in political science and methodological skills to analyse political processes, the design of institutions, and the governments of the Asia-Pacific and beyond. The MPols will be of particular relevance to students interested in comparative politics, elections, parliaments, public policy, political economy, political leadership and development issues.

The MPols offers training towards acquiring skills that are indispensible for careers in government and NGO sectors, policy analysis and regional issues. It includes both taught courses and a research project under academic supervision.

For more information, contact the Student Adviser in the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office.

Master of Strategic Studies (MSS)

The Master of Strategic Studies (MSS) investigates contemporary strategic issues in their global, regional and New Zealand contexts. Strategic Studies is a subfield of Political Science (alongside International Relations) that focuses on the responses of states and other actors to the international security environment.

The MSS includes both taught courses and a research project under academic supervision.

For more information, contact the Student Adviser in the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD is a major piece of original work. The PhD is examined after a minimum of two years full-time supervised research and a maximum of four years, or three to six years part-time.

The Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) provides the first port of call for all students interested in enrolling in a PhD at Victoria. The FGR provides:

  • application forms (online)
  • details of available funding
  • application dates
  • answers to frequently asked questions.

The FGR continues to provide support to PhD students throughout their studies at Victoria.

Prospective PhD candidates should refer to the FGR and contact the relevant postgraduate coordinator. Further information can be found from FHSS.

Postgraduate Degrees in Logic

The Philosophy programme also offers BA(Hons), MA and PhD degrees in Logic.

There is a prospectus available online or from the Maths or Computer Science offices.

Programme Postgraduate coordinators

Academic oversight of the postgraduate programmes is the responsibility of the Postgraduate Coordinators or the Coordinator of Graduate Studies (Philosophy). All students proposing to enrol in any graduate degree must discuss their plans with the relevant Coordinator.

Postgraduate coordinators

  • History—Honours Coordinator Arini Loader
  • History—Postgraduate Coordinator Catherine Abou-Nemeh (2017)
  • Philosophy—Coordinator of Graduate Studies (CGS) Cei Maslen (2017)
  • Philosophy—Logic or Logic and Computation Edwin Mares
  • Political Science and International Relations—Honours Coordinator Greta Snyder
  • Political Science and International Relations—Postgraduate Coordinator Xiaoming Huang
  • Political Science and International Relations—MIR & PGDip IR Administrator  Jason Young
  • Political Science and International Relations—MPols & PGDipPols Administrator Jack Vowles
  • Political Science and International Relations—MSS & PGDipSS Administrator Manjeet Pardesi.


Postgraduate students are expected to attend the student seminar series (time to be determined at the beginning of the year). All PhD and MA students must make a work-in-progress presentation. In addition, Philosophy students are expected to attend the staff seminar series.


Tutoring or marking work is often available for MA and PhD students in the School. Complete the expression of interest form pdf123KB if you are interested in tutoring work in 2017.

How to find out more

See our Resources and Links pages for general and School specific links and resources.