School of Government

Postgraduate Study

Honours Programme

Please note that from 2015, the School of Government will no longer be accepting new enrolments for the Honour's degree in Public Policy.

An Honours degree demonstrates that you have intellectual ability and can work well under pressure. The Honours course of study provides an understanding of theoretical approaches to policy analysis and develops a student’s ability to apply this knowledge in addressing particular policy problems. Our Honours graduates have well developed research skills, are effective written communicators, and have an awareness of the workings of government, including its relationship with the private sector.

Public Policy Honours graduates have gone on to careers in fields such as policy analysis, academic research, market research, public relations, journalism and politics.

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Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Commerce

The Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma in Commerce are flexible qualifications designed for commerce graduates who want to move into a new area of specialisation, and for graduates in other areas, such as art and science, who want to gain a commerce qualification.

The Certificate is equivalent to one trimester of full-time study. The Diploma is equivalent to two trimesters of full-time study, although it may take longer depending on the sequencing of the courses or the specialisation chosen.

Graduate Diploma in Arts

The Graduate Diploma in Arts is a qualification enabling students to specialise at an advanced level in areas not included in their BA. It may be used as a transitional qualification providing a pathway from a BA to the BA(Hons) degree in a specific area.

The Diploma is a one-year full-time or up to four-year part-time programme of study.

Post-Experience Programmes

Post-Experience courses in the School of Government are delivered in Wellington in weekly, modular (three separate days separated by a four to six week period) and intensive (four consecutive days) formats. The variety of teaching formats allows participation by individuals from all parts of the country and overseas. What is important, irrespective of the mode of teaching and delivery, is that students experience a meaningful engagement with the School and the wider University on an on-going basis.

The Master of Public Policy and Master of Public Management qualifications have a one-year part-time certificate programme or a two-year diploma option.

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Master of Commerce (MCom) / Master of Arts (MA) Programmes

The School of Government has two Master's by thesis degrees in Public Policy: a Master of Commerce (MCom) and a Master of Arts (MA). Students may select between the MCom and MA programmes on the basis of their prior study at Honours level.

The MCom or MA can be undertaken as a one-year full-time Master's thesis programme, and should be completed within a maximum of 18 months (MCom) or 30 months (MA). Part-time students can take the programme over two years, with a maximum completion time of three years (MCom) or five years (MA). The thesis is a 120-point thesis, equivalent to four full-year papers.

PhD Programme

The PhD thesis is a major piece of original and independent research that provides an opportunity to make a significant contribution to a particular discipline, which is then evaluated on international standards.

The Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR) provides the first port of call for all students interested in enrolling in a PhD at Victoria University. The Faculty website provides application forms, details of available funding, application dates and answers to a host of questions. The FGR continues to provide support to PhD students throughout their studies at Victoria University.

Doctor of Government (DGov)

Beginning in 2011, the School of Government offers an innovative professional part-time doctorate, the Doctor of Government (DGov), specifically designed for working public-sector practitioners.

The DGov is an alternative to the PhD with strong potential to integrate employment research into degree research. It has a course component followed by a research thesis.

Enquiries and applications are welcome at any time.  Expressions of interest and applications are invited now for the 2015 DGov cohort (first course beginning in March).

Find out more about the DGov here or contact:

Dr Amanda Wolf
Director, Graduate Research Programmes
Phone: (04) 463 5712
Email: address

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For more information

School of Government
Ph: +64-4-463-6599
Fax: +64-4-463-5454
Email: address

Physical Location:
Level 8, Rutherford House
23 Lambton Quay
Wellington
New Zealand

Mailing Address:
Victoria University of Wellington
P.O. Box 600
Wellington
New Zealand


For enrolment questions and information, contact:

Commerce Faculty Student and Academic Services
Level 1, Railway West Wing
Pipitea Campus
Wellington
Phone: (04) 463 5376
Email: fcom-sas@vuw.ac.nz