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  • Local: n/a
  • Foreign: $ 17k / Year (International)
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English

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    The MIntSt programme was designed to be distinctive in terms of both content and structure. Unlike other comparable postgraduate degrees in New Zealand, all of the component courses of the multidisciplinary MIntSt degree are taught exclusively at the post-Honours 500-level, whilst the dissertation component allows students to research particular topics of interest and gain valuable research skills.

    The Master of International Studies (MIntSt) programme is a truly international experience. Each year nearly 50 per cent of our students come from outside New Zealand. The programme has included students from China, Japan, Norway, Germany, Chile, the USA, Thailand, the UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Brunei, Malta, France, Switzerland and India.

    Many MIntSt students graduate to excellent positions all over the world. For example, there are graduates based in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs in Chile and Japan, working for Statistics Canada, producing a BBC Radio Foreign Studies series and working in an Environmental Think Tank in Geneva.

    The Master of International Studies (MIntSt) degree requires at least twelve months of full-time, or the equivalent in part-time, study and entails an intensive programme of postgraduate coursework and research in the multi-disciplinary field of International Studies. The aim is to develop in candidates the analytical skills and knowledge essential to understanding the contemporary world. The normal admission requirement is a B- degree with an average grade of at least B+ in the 300-level papers for the degree, or an honours degree awarded at a standard of at least second class honours (Division 1).

    Degree candidates are required to master a core curriculum of four taught papers - INTS 502 International Politics, INTS 503 The Global Economy, INTS 504 International Legal Issues, and INTS 509 Global Peace and Conflict - and write a supervised research essay of 20,000 words.

    This degree may prepare candidates for leadership roles in professions that require international expertise: diplomacy, the public service, teaching, journalism or business. It can also serve as a foundation qualification for graduates interested in advancing to the PhD.

    Why International Studies?

    International Studies is a long-established and highly respected academic field of study, which has existed in leading centres of higher education internationally for more than half a century. As a multidisciplinary enterprise, transcending the conventional boundaries of either Political Science or International Relations as such, International Studies seeks to integrate research deriving from a wide range of fields, including Political Studies, History, Economics, Law, Anthropology, Sociology, Religious Studies, Environmental Studies, and Commerce. In the United States alone, there are over 500 undergraduate curricular programmes in International Studies, and an Association of Professional Schools in International Affairs has existed for the better part of thirty years, with a membership that includes Harvard, Yale, Tufts, Columbia, Denver, Georgetown, George Washington, Princeton and American University. The subject has an extensive number of dedicated, high-quality academic journals, venues for scholarly production, and prestigious professional societies such as the global International Studies Association.

    In a twenty-first-century context, the value of an integrated approach to trans-national questions ought to require little justification. In an environment so obviously characterised by the effects of globalisation, International Studies has a very great deal to contribute to understanding the major political, economic, and cultural challenges and opportunities that confront the world, and through the identification of concepts and strategies for engagement it has potential to contribute significantly to human welfare.

    Programme Structure

    The programme of MIntSt study consists of four taught papers and a supervised 20,000 word research project. This is a truly multidisciplinary programme, and involves teaching from four academic disciplines: politics, law, economics and history. Each of these disciplines is responsible for determining the content and internal assessment requirements of each course. Students have six contact hours in class per week and there is a 60-40 split between the exam and internal assessment for each taught component of the course. That is to say, 40 per cent of a student's mark is determined by internal assessment (coursework normally consisting of essays, seminar presentations and assignments) in each of the four courses that are taken as part of the MIntSt programme.

    The four taught courses account for two thirds of the overall degree while the 20,000 dissertation accounts for one third. The MIntSt programme is unique, in the New Zealand context, in that all of its teaching is conducted exclusively at the 500-post Honours Masters level. Moreover, every participating student is required to master the core curriculum of four courses before completing the dissertation component.


    Semester 1

    INTS 502 International Politics examines contending international theories, actors in the international system, security dimensions of international society and some key issues in contemporary global politics, including morality and human rights, the threat of international terrorism and the North-South divide.

    INTS 504 International Legal Issues gives a foundation in the basic principles of international law (no previous legal training required), then proceeds to examine the role of legal principles in world affairs on topics such as the use of force, law of the sea, self-determination, and human rights.

    Semester 2

    INTS 503 The Global Economy covers the microeconomics of international trade and the macroeconomics of the world economy. The focus is on recent trends in, and likely prospects for, the global economy.

    INTS 509 Global Peace and Conflict covers theoretical explanations for peace and armed conflict, alternatives to violence, conflict resolution theory and practice, post conflict development and peace-building, reconciliation and transitional justice.

    Research Dissertation (Full Year)

    The research dissertation should be started at the beginning of the programme and submitted no later than twelve months following first enrolment. A student can join the MIntSt in late February (Semester 1) or early July (Semester 2) during the academic year. The limit is 20,000 words of text, exclusive of appendices, footnotes, tabular material, bibliography or equivalent.

    All of the MIntSt teaching staff are available to provide academic supervision either on an individual basis or on a joint basis, and the research project may encompass more than one discipline. Furthermore, academic staff in the Departments of History, Politics and Economics that are not involved in the teaching of the core courses are also available to provide academic supervision for MIntSt students.


    • Dr Nicholas Khoo
    • Professor David Fielding
    • Mr Jim Guest
    • Professor Richard Jackson
    • Dr Alan King


    The normal admission requirement is a B- degree with an average grade of at least B+ in the 300-level papers for the degree, or an honours degree awarded at a standard of at least second class honours (Division 1).

    University of Otago Coursework Master's Scholarship

    The University of Otago Coursework Master's Scholarship provides funding to support course work-based Master's students studying at the University of Otago.


    Applicants must be:

    - obtaining their first Otago Coursework Master's qualification

    - domestic students or international students

    - undertaking a papers based thesis*

    * Coursework Master’s Scholarships are not available for the papers year of a two-year research Master’s degree.

    Selection is based predominantly on academic merit and the applicant’s potential for research.

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