New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Master of International Security

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning
  • 18 months full-time; up to five years part-time
  • Available for international students via distance learning

Be a force for peace in the world

Advance your security career with the Master of International Security.

What is it like?

Find out more about entry requirements, fees and courses in the planning section.

The Master of International Security is a multidisciplinary course of study drawing on international relations, strategic studies, political science, religion, area studies, political and human geography, and military history.

You can pursue your own interests by taking a subject specialisation in terrorism, border and biosecurity, intelligence or defence.

Fast-track your qualification and your career

The Master of International Security is a 180-credit course. It’s right for you if you have completed an appropriate bachelor’s degree or equivalent and have extensive professional experience in the security sector. 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, with direct benefit to economic security and social wellbeing, so your skills will be in demand.

Follow your own interests

In the Master of International Security you’ll learn the principles, theory and practice of international security. You will also carry out independent research and planning in a security context. Our committed and supportive staff will encourage you to pursue your intellectual and professional interests and develop your own area of specialisation. You’ll also benefit from our close relationships with partner agencies in the security sector.

Questions that you’ll 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 statebuilding work?
    • What are the new emerging threats to international security?

You’ll gain advanced knowledge in contemporary international security theory and practice; understanding of interagency perspectives; and analytical and communications skills appropriate to the security context.

Claire Bibby
Master of International Security
New Zealand Police

“The tutors were supportive and encouraging and provided flexible meeting times…”

I was a distance learner and studied at home while working full time on shift work, including night shifts. Halfway through the course I moved from Auckland to Wellington and was on day shifts. Although my hours of work were variable, the tutors were supportive and encouraging and provided flexible meeting times. The library service at Massey is excellent and their hours of operation are generous.

My research highlights the barriers police face and the opportunities presented, when police value the role of women as leaders in peace and security.

My topics are about “engaging with partners and building relationships to achieve success”, and “gender responsive peace and security approaches”. My research topic is of national and international interest and enabled me to be well-informed with the latest research and information. As a result, I was guest speaker at the UN Women Asia-Pacific regional symposium on Women, Peace and Security (2016), the UN Women Arab States regional workshop in Amman, Jordan (2017) and the NZ Defence International Lessons Learned Conference - in a session ‘Planning for Future Operations’ alongside representatives from The Hague, and Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, Sweden (2017).

I peer reviewed the Australian Civil-Military Centre training on Women, Peace and Security (2017). I also contributed articles and editorials to influential newsletters and journals.


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 any of the fields below:

  • Analysing regional politics
  • Border security
  • Conflict resolution
  • Customs work
  • Police work
  • Defence forces
  • Peacekeeping
  • Policy analysis
  • Truce monitoring
  • Management
  • Planning
  • Politics
  • Risk management

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