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Master of International Relations and Diplomacy

Key information

Level of study:
Master's Degree
Tuition fees:
1 year
Start date: Expected February-2022
University of Canterbury
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Course details


Drawing on UC's teaching and research strengths, graduates can now obtain a master's-level capstone qualification in the popular area of international relations and diplomacy. This degree will offer students an innovative, interdisciplinary programme of taught courses with a strong professional emphasis.

Why study a Master of International Relations and Diplomacy at UC?

  • Advanced academic principles are investigated through applied tasks such as case studies and field trips.
  • The core course will feature a professional seminar series.
  • Graduates will carry out a substantial piece of independent research.
  • Utilises UC's teaching and research strengths across various departments
  • Students benefit from on-campus research resources, for example the National Research Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE) and the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies.

How do I plan my degree?

The Master of International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRAD) comprises 180 points as follows:

  • 30 point compulsory course
  • 90 points of elective courses, chosen from a variety of options
  • 60 point research dissertation.

Subjects and courses

All students must complete:

  • the compulsory 30-point course POLS441 Principles and Practice of International Relations and Diplomacy.
  • the 60-point research dissertation POLS 688 Dissertation (15–20,000 words)

And another 90 points of elective courses:

  • 60 points chosen from Schedule E Group 1 (400-level Political Science and International Relations courses)
  • 30 points chosen from Schedule E Group 2 (400-level courses from different disciplines such as European and European Union Studies, History, Professional and Community Engagement, and Pacific Studies, and 600-level courses from International Relations and Politics)

Further study

Students can go onto a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science and International Relations.

Career opportunities

The MIRAD caters perfectly for students interested in careers in foreign affairs or inter-state coordination.

While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not require specific tertiary pathways, applicants can find it advantageous to have a postgraduate degree in an analytical subject.

Graduates will leave UC having:

  • advanced knowledge of current research in international relations
  • advanced knowledge of current professional practice in diplomacy and related fields
  • the ability to understand theoretical and practical problems in international relations and diplomacy
  • proven expertise in research processes (eg, formulating a research question, data collection and analysis, case study analysis and hypothesis testing)
  • engaged with senior university staff and senior figures in politics and policy.

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Entry criteria

To qualify to enrol, you will need either:

  • a bachelor's degree in any subject, normally with at least a B Grade Point Average in 60 points of 300-level courses in the majoring subject; or
  • a bachelor's degree and a qualifying course, with at least a B Grade Point Average in 60 points of 300-level courses; or
  • a bachelor's degree, and evidence of relevant professional or other work experience; or
  • admission Ad Eundem Statum (with equivalent standing) as fulfilling these requirements.

All students will also need approval from the Programme Director and the Dean of Arts (Academic).

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 90, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 58 and no communicative skills score below 50.

Application deadline: At least 6 months before the planned start date.


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