Postgraduate study

A range of postgraduate qualifications are offered by the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations.


Our School has a thriving research culture and our postgraduate community is valued and supported. Collegiality is encouraged through strong interaction between staff and students. Practical support is offered by way of seminars, discussion groups and conferences. There is also a retreat run for and by Philosophy Postgraduate students and an annual History Postgraduate Conference run by History postgraduate students. Postgraduate students are actively encouraged to present their research at academic conferences. Financial assistance may be available from the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (WFHSS) Research Grant.

To find out about what our current postgraduate students are researching see our History, Philosophy and Political Science and International Relations student pages.

All prospective postgraduate students should contact the relevant programme Postgradute Coordinator. These details can be found below. For general enquiries, contact the Postgraduate Administrator.



Join an internationally recognised postgraduate history programme that combines a lively culture with access to the best archives in New Zealand.

International Relations

Expand your horizons and enhance your understanding of global challenges and events with advanced study in International Relations.

Migration Studies

Take an in-depth look at the causes and effects of migration with postgraduate study, and boost your career opportunities.

Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Combine philosophy, politics and economics in this unique Master's degree and prepare for a career making change in politics, government or related fields.


Delve into the big questions of human existence and discover how philosophy is relevant to the questions and problems we face every day.

Political Science

Study politics where it happens. Combine in-depth understanding of the political process with advanced research skills and take your career to the next level.

Strategic Studies

Build a career with global reach. Develop in-depth insights into the world’s strategic and security issues with an internationally recognised one-year degree.


Graduate Diploma in Arts—GDipArts

Expand your Bachelor's degree with advanced undergraduate study—gain skills and knowledge in a new subject area.

Postgraduate Diploma in Arts—PGDipArts

Enhance your Bachelor's degree with further study at postgraduate level in your major subject area.

We also offer 120-point Postgraduate Diplomas in:

Bachelor of Arts with Honours—BA(Hons)

Enhance your Bachelor's degree with advanced study and research in your major subject area.

Master of International Relations—MIR

Enhance your ability to analyse complex geopolitical issues. Study a one-year specialist International Relations programme and take your career global.

Master of Migration Studies—MMigS

Drawing on several disciplines, including political science, geography and history, you'll discover why and how migration happens and gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges and opportunities it creates. You can choose to examine topics such as the refugee crisis in Europe, labour migration, multiculturalism and immigration as an election issue.

Master of Philosophy, Politics and Economics—MPPE

The one-year 180-point Master of Philosophy, Politics and Economics (MPPE) combines three complementary disciplines to give you a broad understanding of the world and social decision-making. Study the only postgraduate programme of its kind in New Zealand, and get a head start in your career in politics, government or the public service.

Master of Political Science—MPols

Dig deeper into the discipline of political science and advance your career in the wider world of politics and public affairs.

Master of Strategic Studies—MSS

Build a career with global reach. Develop in-depth insights into the world’s strategic and security issues with an internationally recognised one-year degree.

Master of Arts by thesis—MA

Build on your Honours degree with advanced study and research at Master's level and become a leader in your field.

The Master of Arts requires the completion of a supervised thesis based on a programme of independent research. Students proposing to enrol in an MA are expected to have a BA(Hons) with at least second class (first division) Honours, although applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The thesis is normally completed in 12 months for full-time students, or 24 months for half-time students.

Prospective History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations MA applicants should contact the relevant Postgraduate Coordinator to discuss their proposal. All projects must have an appropriate supervisor within the discipline and be approved by the School Research Committee. It is helpful to the Postgraduate Coordinator if prospective applicants have researched potential supervisors, or are at least aware of academic staff with similar research interests to their own. The list of current staff with links to their bios is available on the School Staff page.

See the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Master’s page for more information

Doctor of Philosophy—PhD

A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is normally the highest academic qualification available within a university. It involves original and sustained research under academic supervision and demands considerable intellectual ability, academic rigour, self-discipline and dedication.

The Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research (WFGR) provides the first port of call for all students interested in enrolling in a PhD at Victoria University of Wellington. Prospective PhD candidates should refer to the WFGR website and also contact the relevant postgraduate coordinator. Further information can be found from WFHSS.

Postgraduate Degrees in Logic

The Philosophy programme also offers BA(Hons), MA and PhD degrees in Logic. If interested, contact the programme coordinator Edwin Mares

General enquiries