Type of qualification
Level of study
Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equal experience – you can study at the postgraduate level. Doctoral qualifications require additional entry requirements.
Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.
Time to complete
International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.
Study a Master of International Security – MIntlSy
The Master of International Security is a multidisciplinary qualification. It draws on strategic studies, international relations, military studies, political science, area studies, political and human geography and complementary fields of study.
Fast-track your qualification and your career
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. It has a direct benefit to economic security and social wellbeing, so your skills will be in demand.
Follow your own interests
You will learn the principles, theory and practice of international security. You’ll gain understanding of interagency perspectives. You’ll also develop analytical and communications skills appropriate to the security context.
You will carry out independent research in a security context. This will enable you to 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 state building work?
- What are the new emerging threats to international security?
Admission to Massey
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
To enter the Master of International Security you will have been awarded or qualified for:
- a relevant bachelor's degree with a grade average of at least B-, or
- a completed Postgraduate Certificate in International Security, with at least a B- grade average, or
- a completed Postgraduate Diploma in International Security, with at least a B- Grade average,
or you will:
- be able to demonstrate scholarly work in conjunction with extensive relevant professional experience and standing in leadership, managerial and planning positions in government or non-government security agencies appropriate for admission with equivalent status.
If you have a Postgraduate Certificate in International Security or Postgraduate Diploma in International Security as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification in accordance with the limits specified in the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations.
You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.
If you are applying on the basis of scholarly work in conjunction with extensive relevant professional experience you must also provide a copy of your current curriculum vitae (CV).
English language requirements
To study this qualification 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 Get advice button on this page.
English language skills
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.
Maximum time limits for completion
There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications. If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the qualification if you wish to continue your studies.
Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit
Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit.
- Look for information under ‘Student Progression’ in the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.
- Contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.
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.
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.
Structure of the Master of International Security
If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.
The Master of International Security is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.
You must achieve a minimum B- grade average in the first 90 credits of courses taken in order to progress to Part Two.
Courses and specialisations
- Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
- Course code
- Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
- Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
- Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.
- Part One compulsory course – 30 credits
- Part One subject courses – 60 credits
- Part One elective from the Schedule – 30 credits
- Part Two research report – 60 credits
A specialisation (subject) is optional, requiring at least 120 credits from the subject (including a research project).
Advanced entry: Those who have already completed specified qualifications in advance of the minimum entry requirements and have been granted credit for it, may be able to complete this degree in 60 - 120 credits.
This is a parts-based qualification. This means there are regulations around your completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two, etc.
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.
Part One (Choose 120 credits from)
Course code: 294720 Security Concepts and Structures credits 30
This course develops core conceptual and structural understandings of the study of security. It outlines the philosophical frameworks underpinning the international security environment with particular attention given to foundational challenges in defence, terrorism, intelligence, regional security and border and biosecurity. Exploring these challenges provides a basis for examining a diverse range of international security factors, and evaluating the major ethical implications of security issues and responses.View full course details
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.
You may enrol in this qualification with or without a specialisation.
Elective courses (Choose 30 credits from)
Course code: 294701 New Zealand National Security credits 30
A study of security theory and the domestic and international factors affecting New Zealand's strategic environment.View full course details
Course code: 294715 Asia-Pacific Security Environment credits 30
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 regionView full course details
Course code: 294717 Human Security in Application credits 30
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.View full course details
Course code: 294790 Research Methods in Defence and Security Studies credits 30
Theory, practice and application of research for scholarly and professional works in defence and security studies including: qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, data collection and analysis, and interpretation to be applied to historical, contemporary or future-focused research.View full course details
Part Two (Choose 60 credits from)
Course code: 294820 Applied Security Research Project credits 60
Students undertake a research project that is relevant to and builds on their professional experience in international security.View full course details
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.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
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.
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
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:
- analysing regional politics
- border security
- conflict resolution
- customs work
- police work
- defence forces
- policy analysis
- truce monitoring
- risk management.