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Graduate in high demand
Massey’s Diploma in Arts (Defence Studies) will prepare you for a career that’s integral to the safety of New Zealand.
- Undergraduate, NZQF Level 5
- Auckland, Manawatū
- 1 year(s) full-time. Available part-time.
- Available for international students studying in NZ
The Diploma in Arts (Defence Studies) is a unique programme that combines the study of modern defence studies and military history with broad and transferable critical-thinking skills.
Unique in New Zealand
You’ll examine the contemporary world of modern defence. This includes its impact on media, technology and conflict resolution at both local and global levels. Massey is the only university in New Zealand where you can study defence studies and military history at undergraduate level.
Learn from the best
You’ll be taught by staff with academic knowledge of defence studies and/or military, defence and security experience. The programme is designed in collaboration with an advisory board of New Zealand’s top defence and security officials. Our programme partners are government agencies that contribute to national, regional and global security, as well as peace and humanitarian aid initiatives.
You choose what to study
You can choose from a mix of military history, strategy, tactics, intelligence, command and technology courses. Defence Studies is not just for people employed in the military, it is for anyone with an interest in the various aspects of defence, for example, command, logistics, tactics, policy, or strategy.
Careers and further study
With a Diploma in Arts (Defence Studies) you’ll graduate in high demand.
There’s an increasing need for defence professionals, both military and civilian. Employers are looking for people with the intelligence, initiative and determination to work in a wide range of complex defence environments. These roles are integral to the safety of New Zealand, and the demand for qualified people who can fill these is exceptionally strong.
Our graduates are employed in a broad range of areas such as border control, law, policing, management, defence, immigration, intelligence, foreign affairs and trade, business, and international relations.
Defence studies is a great choice for a career in:
- civil defence and disaster relief
- diplomacy and conflict resolution
- peacekeeping and truce monitoring
- policy analysis
- journalism and the media
- management and planning
This diploma also offers early- to mid-career professional development in public and private organisations where security is important.
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
There are no specific entry requirements for this programme, outside of university admission regulations.
English language requirements
To study this programme you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
Prior learning, credit and exemptions
For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:
- review the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations
- contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
If you do not have the entry requirements
English language and foundation courses
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and programmes that may help.
- English Language Proficiency
- Foundation Certificate in Academic English
- Foundation Certificate in Advanced Academic English
- Full Foundation - Certificate in Foundation Studies
If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.
Courses and planning
No endorsement option
- Core courses – 30 credits
- Courses from the Schedule – 60 credits
- Electives – 30 credits
- Core courses – 30 credits
- Courses from one endorsement – 60 credits
- Elective – 30 credits
A specialisation (endorsement) is optional, requiring at least 60 credits from the endorsement, including not more than 30 credits at 100-level.
Ensure across your courses you also have:
- Not more than 75 credits at 100 level
- At least 45 credits at 200 level or above
- Not more than 15 credits above 100-level from outside of the Schedule to the Diploma
- Not more than a total of 30 credits from outside of the Schedule to the Diploma.
Courses for this specialisation
|200301||Contemporary International Conflict||15|
|294215||Global Defence Challenges||15|
|294301||Legacies of War||15|
|294304||Cyber and Information Security||15|
|294325||Contemporary Peace Operations||15|
|294350||The History of Defence and Security Intelligence||15|
Planning your programme
Full-time study comprises eight 15-credit courses for a total of 120 credits in one year. We recommend you aim for 60 credits per semester.
Regardless of whether you complete the diploma with or without an endorsement, if you later proceed to the Bachelor of Arts degree, all of the courses in your Diploma of Arts can be transferred to the Bachelor of Arts.
Fees and scholarships
Fees and finance
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students will find their National Student Number on their student homepage.
A good fit if you:
- wonder why wars start
- want to understand why war seems to be an unavoidable part of human existence
- want a career that contributes to world peace and stability.
Key information for students
Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.
Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.
Applying and enrolling
Applying for the programme
Check you are ready
If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.
Choose your programme and click on Apply now
You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.
Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.
Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place
You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.
Enrolling in courses
You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.
When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:
- prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
- corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
- restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
- location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.
Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.
More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.
You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.
We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!
If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.
What are courses and credits?
What are courses and credits?
Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).
You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.
Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.
There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.
- See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
- Courses search
Understanding course numbers
The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.
The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:
- sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
- undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
- as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study
|Subject area||Level||Course ID number|
Electives are courses that are not compulsory. Certain guidelines are usually provided on courses you may take. Elective courses contribute to the programme, but not to your major or specialisation.
Workload and time management
Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Scholarships and awards
There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.