Master of International Security

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Be a force for peace in the world

Advance your security career with the Master of International Security.

What is it like?

The Master of International Security is a multidisciplinary course of study drawing on international relations, strategic studies, political science, religion, area studies, political and human geography, and military history.

Fast-track your qualification and your career

The Master of International Security is a 180-credit course. It is right for you if you have completed an appropriate bachelor degree or equivalent and have extensive professional experience in the security sector If you want to develop skills in security management, this is the programme for you. Security management is an increasingly important dimension of government and public policy, with direct benefit to economic security and social wellbeing, so your skills will be in demand.

Follow your own interests

In the Master of International Security you will learn the principles, theory and practice of international security. You will also carry out independent research and planning in a security context. Our committed and supportive staff will encourage you to pursue your intellectual and professional interests and develop your own area of specialisation. You will also benefit from our close relationships with partner agencies in the security sector. Questions that you will consider on this programme include:

    • What geopolitical forces shape the international security environment?
    • What are the historical, geographical and political dynamics that have shaped New Zealand's strategic environment?
    • What are the causes, key protagonists and consequences of differing types of political violence?
    • What are the challenges to intervention, peace and stabilisation operations?
    • Does statebuilding work?
    • What are the new emerging threats to international security?

You will gain advanced knowledge in contemporary international security theory and practice; understanding of interagency perspectives; and analytical and communications skills appropriate to the security context.

Yeesan Lee
Master of International and Security Studies
Officer, Singapore Armed Forces

“I was delighted to be given the opportunity to tap into Massey faculty's breadth and depth of knowledge…”

I jumped at the chance to enrol in the Master of International and Security Studies offered by Massey University.

This postgraduate degree was an optional track offered in conjunction with the programme requirements for the 2012 Joint Command and Staff Course conducted by the New Zealand Staff College which I attended as an exchange officer from the Singapore Armed Forces.

Having spent my undergraduate and postgraduate years in the US in the field of aerospace engineering, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to tap into Massey faculty's breadth and depth of knowledge in a field different from my own specialisation. The academics and infrastructure used to deliver the modules were both world class and highly accessible. I experienced both the in-lecture teaching mode and the distant learning mode for the programme and found them to be professionally and expertly administered. This is one of many strengths of the programme, which focuses on allowing the student to focus on learning and gaining knowledge.

I found the Master of International and Security Studies enhanced my ability to appreciate the intricacies of both regional and global security dynamics. The programme provided students with essential tool sets in the form of theories and real-life examples to better appreciate international affairs and their profound impacts on security issues. Armed with this new knowledge I found myself more keenly attuned to and better equipped to make sense of contemporary security issues. Such skills will be invaluable to military officers.

I highly recommend this course for defence professionals and anyone with a strong desire to obtain a useful insight into the field of international security studies.


A rewarding and fulfilling career

With the Master of International Security you can expect to advance your career in the security sector in government and non-government agencies, and contribute to international security operations.

This programme will prepare you for a role in any of the fields below:

  • Analysing regional politics
  • Border security
  • Conflict resolution
  • Customs work
  • Police work
  • Defence forces
  • Peacekeeping
  • Policy analysis
  • Truce monitoring
  • Management
  • Planning
  • Politics
  • Risk management

Lecturer profile

Professor Rouben Azizian

Director, Centre for Defence and Security Studies

The Centre for Defence and Security Studies is both academic and practitioner-friendly, and well connected to the real world.

Our partnerships with government and security agencies ensure we are relevant and visible to potential employers of our graduates. These partnerships provide teaching fellows seconded from agencies, opportunities for student internships and research on topical issues.

I have 20 years of diplomatic experience in the Soviet and later Russian Foreign Service. This, combined with my years of teaching security studies, means I understand international relations from both academic and practitioner points of view.

Every generation has its own way of assessing issues, and students teach me a great deal, helping me refine my skills, knowledge and interests.

Security these days is so much broader than defence, police or intelligence; there is also the security of food, water and the environment and so many topics remain under-researched.

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