Postgraduate Diploma in International Security – PGDipIntlSy

This multidisciplinary qualification draws on international relations, strategic studies, political science, religion, area studies, political and human geography, and military history.

Type of qualification

Postgraduate diploma

Level of study

Postgraduate 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.

More about study levels

NZQF level 8

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

1 year full-time (120 credits)
Up to 4 years part-time
Part-time available

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand

Study a Postgraduate Diploma in International Security – PGDipIntlSy

With Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in International Security, you’ll develop skills in security management. This is an increasingly important dimension of government and public policy. It has direct benefit to economic security and social wellbeing.

Get advanced knowledge of the security sector

You’ll gain:

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

Be connected and supported

You’ll also benefit from our close relationships with partner agencies in the security sector. Our supportive staff will encourage you to pursue your intellectual and professional interests. You can develop your own area of specialisation:

  • counter-terrorism
  • border and biosecurity
  • intelligence
  • defence.

Further study

Upon successful completion of this qualification you could go on to study the Master of International Security.

A PGDipIntlSy is a good fit if you:

  • have an appropriate or equivalent undergraduate degree in defence and security studies
  • have extensive professional experience in the security sector
  • want to go on to the Master of International Security.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

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

Specific requirements

To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in International Security you will have been awarded or qualified for: 

  • have been awarded or qualified for a relevant bachelor's degree, or
  • be able to demonstrate scholarly work in conjunction with extensive relevant professional experience.

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

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:

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. 

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 be 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 Postgraduate Diploma in International Security

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

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

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.

Credit summary

120 credits

Endorsement option

  • Compulsory course – 30 credits
  • Courses from one Endorsement – 60 credits
  • Courses from the Schedule – 30 credits

No endorsement option

  • Compulsory course – 30 credits
  • Courses from the Schedule – 90 credits

An endorsement is optional, requiring at least 60 credits from the endorsement.

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 course

Course code: 294720 Security Concepts and Structures 30 credits

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 (endorsement).

Elective 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.

View full course details
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

View full course details
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.

View full course details
Course code: 294790 Research Methods in Defence and Security Studies 30 credits

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

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

With the Postgraduate Diploma in 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 qualification will prepare you for roles in fields such as:

  • analysing regional politics
  • border security
  • conflict resolution
  • customs work
  • police work
  • defence forces
  • peacekeeping
  • policy analysis
  • truce monitoring
  • management
  • planning
  • politics
  • risk management.

What our students say

“The optional contact courses made this degree appealing because I could study while working full-time.”
Andrew Simpson

Electrician, B & M Electrical

Postgraduate Diploma in International Security