Defence and Security Studies – Bachelor of Arts (Honours)

With Massey’s Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Defence and Security Studies) you can take your undergraduate study of defence and security further.

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Not open to international students

Specialise in Defence and Security Studies for your Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at Massey

You’ll follow a unique programme that combines the contemporary study of defence and/or security studies with broad and transferable critical-thinking skills.

The core of this specialised programme is the contemporary world of modern defence and/or security. That includes its impact on media, technology and conflict resolution at local and global levels.

The only honours degree of its kind in New Zealand

Massey offers New Zealand’s only specialist education in defence and security studies. If you want to go on to postgraduate study, it serves as a pathway to a higher research degree.

Learn from the best

The Centre for Defence and Security Studies has educational partnerships with key government agencies in international security, including the Ministry for Primary Industries, the New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police. You may have the opportunity to do an internship with a government agency.

A Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Defence and Security Studies is a good fit if you:

  • want to contribute to protecting the nation, and to international peace and stability
  • wish to advance your interests in contemporary defence or security studies while contributing to a career
  • are keen to investigate a particular aspect of defence or security studies and progress to a higher research qualification.

Planning information

Completing a subject is compulsory. A Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Defence and Security Studies) requires 120 credits.

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Not all courses are available in each semester.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.

Returning students

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 qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Compulsory courses

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 176702 Advanced Social Inquiry 30 credits

An advanced study of methodological issues pertinent to social research. The course is designed to assist the planning of postgraduate theses and reports.

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Course code: 294711 Theories in Defence and Security 30 credits

Advanced theoretical thinking in Defence & Security Studies drawing from International Relations, Conceptualisations of Power, Ancient and Modern Conceptualisations of War, and Human Security, Ethics and Identity. Students will select and apply one of the theory sets to a case study in order to develop the analytical skills for advanced research in the field of defence and security.

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Compulsory course selection

Choose between 30 and 60 credits from
Course code: 294798 Research Report (30) 30 credits
Course code: 294799 Research Report (60) 60 credits

Subject courses

Course code: 294701 New Zealand National Security 30 credits

A study of security theory and the domestic and international factors affecting New Zealand's strategic environment.

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Course code: 294704 Command, Leadership and Management 30 credits

An advanced study of the interrelated components of command, leadership and management with an emphasis on how these are applied in the contemporary security environment.

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Course code: 294709 Terrorism 30 credits

This course is an advanced study of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation. It critically examines the various theories, concepts and typologies of these phenomena, as well as response options and the challenges they pose in the contemporary international security environment.

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Course code: 294712 Economic and Environmental Security 30 credits

This course offers an in-depth exploration and critical examination of contemporary environmental and economic security issues using theoretical analyses of case studies to propose alternative options for negotiating and/or governing wide ranging complex security issues.

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Course code: 294713 Counter-Terrorism 30 credits

The course provides an overview of international Counter-Terrorism policy, strategy and operations as context for considering the challenges around implementing Counter-Terrorism operations and policy analysis in the New Zealand.

Restrictions: 149740

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Course code: 294715 Asia-Pacific Security Environment 30 credits

An advanced study of security theory and domestic and international factors affecting the Asia-Pacific security environment with emphasis given to strategic, national security and defence policy in the region

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Course code: 294716 Securing Mobility in an Uncertain World 30 credits

This course is an advanced study of the dynamics of mobility and security in a globalised world. Mobility is central to the movement of goods, people, bio-organisms and ideas around the globe. The course will equip students with methodological tools to deconstruct the dynamics of mobility and construct solutions.

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Course code: 294717 Human Security in Application 30 credits

This course examines critical analysis and application of human security in national and international contexts. This would allow the participants to understand and engage in a wide range of theoretical studies and practical projects on human security.

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Course code: 294741 Intelligence in the International Security Environment 30 credits

An analysis of intelligence in the international security environment, focusing on key concepts and methodologies of intelligence gathering and analysis, the intelligence cycle, and analysis of applied intelligence in investigations and detection.

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Course code: 294744 Intelligence Operations 30 credits

This course provides a critical analysis of security intelligence operations, utilising research and observations from selected case studies to understand the changing nature of intelligence and critically appraise the role of intelligence in national and international security operations.

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Defence and Security Studies) you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • a Bachelor of Arts degree or equivalent qualification with a major in the intended postgraduate subject or close equivalent, or
  • a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in the intended postgraduate subject, followed by a Graduate Certificate in Arts endorsed in the intended postgraduate subject or close equivalent, or
  • a Bachelor of Arts degree followed by a Graduate Diploma of Arts in the intended postgraduate subject or close equivalent.

You must have achieved at least a B grade average over the 200 and 300-level courses.

You will need to provide copies of all official academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language and your qualifying degree was not completed at a University where English is the medium of instruction, to enter this qualification you must have achieved an IELTS of 7.0 with no band less than 6.5.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Fees and scholarships

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?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

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 can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Your BA Honours (Defence and Security Studies) will give you the knowledge, skills and experience to pursue a successful career in defence or security in New Zealand or the international community. This programme is a great choice for a career in:

  • civil defence
  • diplomacy and conflict resolution
  • disaster relief
  • peacekeeping
  • policy analysis
  • truce monitoring
  • education
  • journalism and the media
  • management
  • planning
  • politics.

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