Members of the New Zealand Defence Force unloading supplies from a helicopter.
Areas of interest

Study security and defence , Te mahi whakamaru, te mahi waonga

Study security and defence at Massey to protect people, borders and information. Help tackle local and global issues impacting peace and stability.

Need help or know what you want to study?

Unique offering

Study at New Zealand's only university with specialist education in defence and security studies.

Build connections

Build connections with Massey's partners, including NZ Police, NZ Defence Force and overseas universities.

Part of the community

Wherever you are and however you learn, you join the Massey community. Connect with other students in classes, forums and events.

Make a contribution

Make sense of the world from different perspectives through Massey. Contribute to education, defence, sustainability and more.


Deeply understand contemporary trends and challenges in defence and security with unique qualifications from Massey's Centre for Defence and Security Studies.

Learn from expert lecturers and researchers, many with professional experience in government, diplomacy, intelligence, security or defence. Hone skills in analysis and critical thinking. Gain real-world knowledge shared by our partners. Graduate with insights and skills employers need.

Security and defence is a good fit if you:

  • enjoy school subjects such as English, geography, history, social science, psychology or digital technologies
  • want to contribute to world peace and sustainability
  • like thinking critically and tackling complex problems.

Security and defence courses may cover:

  • biosecurity and border security
  • cyber and information security
  • diplomacy and security cooperation
  • intelligence
  • military and peacekeeping operations
  • war and armed conflict
  • terrorism and political violence
  • the psychology of security.

We also offer shorter courses for professional development, including:

  • Pacific security dynamics
  • courses tailored to suit industry needs – contact us to explore options.

Short courses and professional development

Our partners

Our partners share knowledge and provide study exchanges. These help our graduates make meaningful contributions to New Zealand, regional and global defence and security, as well as humanitarian aid and peace initiatives.

We partner with:

How to study security and defence

Discover what we offer if you’re interested in security and defence – whether you’re coming to university for the first time, changing direction or returning to advance your study or career.

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is generally the first thing you’ll study at university.

Bachelor's degrees

Degrees are the standard qualifications you do at university – the most common is called a bachelor’s. Degrees give you enough time to explore your interests, and also focus on specific subjects.

Undergraduate certificates

If you want to study at university, but aren't sure if you want to commit to a degree, try an undergraduate certificate.

Graduate certificates

Graduate certificates let you study in a subject you're interested in without doing a second bachelor's degree. Or you can use it as a bridge to postgraduate study if you already have an undergraduate degree.

Undergraduate diplomas

Undergraduate diplomas let you try university study before you commit to a degree. They’re also useful if you need to advance your career.

Graduate diplomas

Graduate diplomas can help you advance to postgraduate study or research in a subject you haven’t majored in for your undergraduate study.

Relevant undergraduate subjects to major or specialise in

When you apply to study at Massey, for some undergraduate qualifications you can choose what subject you’d like to specialise in. You can usually change your mind after you get to university, depending on the courses you enrol in.

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equivalent experience – you’ll be ready to take on postgraduate study.

Postgraduate bachelor's degrees with honours

Go deeper into a major subject from your undergraduate bachelor's degree, graduate certificate or graduate diploma; at a higher level of study.

Postgraduate certificates

Master's degrees

A master's degree normally builds on a main subject of study from your undergraduate degree.

Postgraduate certificates

Postgraduate certificates give you an introduction to postgraduate-level study. They’re shorter than postgraduate degrees. If you’re successful, you may be able to use the credits towards a postgraduate diploma

Postgraduate diplomas

Postgraduate diplomas are postgraduate-level qualifications that are longer than a postgraduate certificate. If you’re successful, you might be able to use the credits towards the longer master’s degree.

PhD and other doctoral degrees

Doctoral degrees, including PhDs, are the highest degrees we award. They’re very demanding and their entry criteria reflect this.

What our students say

“My research has enriched my understanding and knowledge of fast-changing security issues in the policing context.”
Toni Jordan

Master of International Security

“The defence and security programme changed my perspective on how the world works.”
Megan Bockholt

BA Defence Studies with Honours

Jobs in security and defence

Careers focus on protecting people, places and information. Studying security and defence gives you skills and insights needed to help make New Zealand – and the world – a safer place.

Jobs can range from the armed forces to intelligence agencies, businesses to government agencies such as the Customs Service or Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Some of our graduates become researchers, or work for humanitarian organisations or the media.

Security and defence careers include:

  • border and biosecurity officials
  • defence personnel
  • diplomats and public servants
  • intelligence analysts
  • police officers
  • policy analysts and advisers
  • politicians in local or national government.

Defence careers

Annual salary ranges for jobs

Salary ranges disclaimer

Indicative pay rates are:

Which security and defence qualification?

Examples of where our qualifications may take you.

Table showing jobs and what you could study to enter them.
Jobs Examples of what you could study
Border security specialist Master of International Security (Border and Biosecurity)
Border security or cyber-crime analyst Bachelor of Arts (Security Studies)
Defence analyst Bachelor of Arts (Defence Studies)
Diplomat Master of Arts (Defence and Security Studies)
Intelligence officer Master of International Security (Counter-Terrorism)
Master of International Security (Intelligence)

Get an information guide

Download our guide to find out more about studying security and defence at Massey

Banner image credit: New Zealand Defence Force.

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