Help to bring about change in the world. Global developments are determined by international politics, and studying international relations will provide you a better understanding of the global effects of historical and current world affairs. 

International relations is concerned with the way in which actors, including sovereign states, intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and multinational corporations, interact with each other. These interactions cover a variety of activities, such as diplomacy, trade, conflict, and foreign policy. Studying international relations offers insight and understanding around how both historical and current world affairs influence contemporary international society.


During the course you will develop critical analysis and thinking through papers, internships and seminars that will provide the student with an international, solutions-based outlook on world issues. The course will provide the foundations for the student to work in the multinational corporate sector as well as international aid and intelligence.



Examples of careers for graduates of studies in international relations includes:

Governmental organisations

  • Communications
  • Journalist
  • Policy
  • Political assistants
  • Researcher or advisor

Diplomacy and embassies

  • Diplomat
  • Diplomatic Service Officer


  • Governmental or international organisations advisors
  • International Affairs Officer
  • Operational Officer

Intergovernmental Organisations

  • International aid/development worker
  • Political Affairs Officer

Non-governmental organisations

  • Journalist
  • Media consultants
  • Public relations

Compulsory paper for this major.
Compulsory paper for all BCIS students.



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Through the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA), students who study International Relations at IPU New Zealand will have various opportunities to become involved in practical work and events with external stakeholders including Ambassadors and the diplomatic corps. Thereby developing critical global competencies and other transferable skills in real settings.

The NZIIA is an independent, non-governmental organisation that seeks to encourage an understanding of the importance of global affairs to the political and economic well-being of New Zealand.

NZIIA fosters a wider understanding of international issues, trading partnerships and relationships with other countries. At the Palmerston North Branch of the NZIIA, we aim to create a stronger regional voice in international affairs and support an applied approach to community engagement in the Manawatū.