New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Graduate Certificate in Arts (Defence Studies)

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Not available for international students

Graduate in high demand

With the Graduate Certificate in Arts (Defence Studies), you can take defence studies without completing a second bachelor’s degree.

Find out more about the Graduate Certificate in Arts parent structure.

What is it like?

The Graduate Certificate in Arts (Defence Studies) is a bridging tool for graduates in other subjects to gain knowledge of defence studies. You can then go on to a postgraduate qualification in defence studies if you wish.

Get a powerful combination of skills

You’ll follow a unique programme combining the study of modern defence and the military with broad and transferable critical-thinking skills.

Unique in New Zealand

Examining the contemporary world of modern defence - including its impact on media, technology and conflict resolution at local and global levels - is the core of this programme. 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. These courses aren’t just for people working in the defence forces, they’re for anyone interested in understanding the world of modern defence.

A good fit if you:

  • Wonder why wars start, who draws the battle-lines and why military force is used
  • Want to understand why war seems to be an unavoidable part of human existence
  • Want a career that contributes to world peace and stability
  • Seek new solutions to world problems


With a Graduate Certificate 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
  • Education
  • Journalism and the media
  • Management and planning
  • Politics

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