Postgraduate study and research in Politics and International Relations

We welcome enquiries from New Zealand and international students who wish to undertake postgraduate study.

Postgraduate study opportunities

Postgraduate study within Politics and International Relations allows you to extend your skills and pursue specialised areas of research to suit your interests.

Postgraduate courses and research opportunities reflect staff expertise in areas including:

  • Political theory
  • International relations
  • Public policy
  • New Zealand politics
  • Comparative politics
  • Politics and media

As well as programmes in Politics and International Relations, we offer a Master of Public Policy and a Master of Professional Studies in Politics and International Relations.

Find out more about postgraduate study in Politics and International Rights

Master of Conflict and Terrorism Studies

Master of Public Policy

Research and supervision

We encourage our graduate students to engage in original supervised research. In addition, our staff are encouraged to include high-performing graduate students in their research teams. The resulting scholarly interchange among staff and students makes for an energetic and exciting research environment.

For postgraduate research you will work closely with one or more academic staff. The following is a list of staff members and the postgraduate research topics they are most interested in supervising.

Dr Maria Armoudian
Maria Armoudian is interested in supervising students in the areas of conflict, peace, genocide, media, political psychology, human rights, civil rights and framing.

Professor Gerald Chan

Gerald Chan has a disciplinary interest in International Relations and an area interest in Chinese foreign policy. He enjoys exploring the relationship between international relations on the one hand and Chinese foreign policy on the other, in theoretical terms as well as in empirical study. This interest of his has led him to investigate Chinese participation in international organisations, Chinese views on international relations, China’s compliance with global norms and rules, and most recently China’s engagement with global governance.

He would like to supervise students to work on China’s contributions to the setting of global agenda; the making of rules; rule implementation, enforcing, and monitoring; and the settlement of disputes arising from conflicts of interest amongst states.

Professor Jennifer Curtin

Jennifer Curtin is interested in supervising students in policy advocacy and social change (comparative and New Zealand), feminist politics and gender equality policy (comparative and NZ), women's political representation and leadership, Australian politics, New Zealand politics, United States politics in comparative perspective, parliamentary and ministerial careers, political institutional design, and the politics of sport.

Dr Thomas Gregory

Thomas Gregory is interested in supervising students in research on contemporary conflict, the ethics of war, humanitarian intervention, civilian casualties, critical security studies, feminist theories of international relations, poststructuralist thought, emotions and affect, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Associate Professor Stephen Hoadley

Within the broad field of International Relations, Professor Hoadley is most interested in the sub-discipline of Foreign Policy Analysis. He finds most satisfying intellectually, and most feasible for graduate student research, the exploration of why particular governments pursue particular foreign policies, including not only the international but also the domestic institutions and influences shaping those policies.

Dr Geoff Kemp

Geoff Kemp is interested in supervising research projects addressing themes in media, political thought and the history of ideas, especially those relating to censorship, toleration and the relationship of media, journalism and public opinion to politics, democracy and revolutions, past and present.

He is always interested in listening to expressions of interest and the potential field is wide: recent postgraduate supervision has ranged from studies of the early modern thinkers John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes to concepts of justice, post-9/11 press coverage and political blogging.


Dr Julie MacArthur
Julie MacArthur works in the subfields of environmental politics, public policy and political economy. She is interested in supervising students interested in researching the political and economic implications of climate change, as well as other areas of environmental politics and policy, participatory governance, comparative renewable energy policy as well as research into social and solidarity economies (co-operatives, alternative currencies, local trading systems).

Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment

Jennifer Lees-Marshment will supervise research in the areas of parties, elections, parliaments, interest groups, consultation, participation, deliberative democracy, e-government, leadership and political marketing (e.g. market research, segmentation, political consumers, branding, market-oriented parties, positioning, strategy, marketing members and volunteers, government communication, public relations, e-marketing, delivery management).

Professor Raymond Miller

Raymond Miller is interested in supervising students reasearching electoral systems, government formation and execution, political parties, interest groups, political representation and leadership (both New Zealand and comparative).

Professor John Morrow

John Morrow is interested in supervisions for students looking at the history of nineteenth-century British and European political thought, with particular interests in idealism, liberalism and political romanticism; international relations in the history of political thought.

Dr Steven Noakes

Steven Noakes is interested in supervising students in the areas of Chinese politics and foreign policy, authoritarianism, democratization, NGOs/civil society, and comparative post-communism.

Associate Professor Katherine Smits

Katherine Smits’s research focuses on the general fields of contemporary political theory and the history of political thought. She has particular interests in liberalism - contemporary and historical - identity politics, multiculturalism, nationalism, deliberative democracy and feminist theory.

She is interested in working with students from the BA (Hons) dissertation level to PhDs, who have had some background in undergraduate theory courses. She welcomes students interested in working on problems or issues in either contemporary or historical theory, as well as those who wish to do theoretically informed empirical work in any of the areas listed above. Several projects she has supervised apply aspects of contemporary theory on race, ethnicity or gender to social or ethnic groups in the New Zealand or comparative contexts.

Professor Martin Wilkinson

Martin Wilkinson is interested in supervising in a wide range of topics in political philosophy and applied ethics. He is particularly interested in problems of paternalism, autonomy, rationality and irrationality, health care and scarcity, and transplantation. Some recent research projects he has supervised include addiction and autonomy, coercion and contagious disease, and equity in Maori health.

Dr Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson is interested in supervising students wanting to research comparative politics, South East Asian politics, intra-state conflict, illiberal democracy, ethnic politics, inter-state war, genocide, humanitarian intervention, conflict prevention, democratisation.

Dr Stephen Winter

Stephen Winter has a broad range of interests in theoretical work. He is interested in supervising students in political theory and philosophy, justice, transitional and historical justice, jurisprudence, rights theory, identity politics, and history of political thought.

PhD students

You will be supervised by our researchers and have access to a range of resources to assist you in your academic and professional development. These can include graduate teaching assistantships, scholarships and writing stipends, funds to cover direct research costs and access to library and computing facilities.

We look forward to your contribution to the intellectual life and research profile of Politics and International Relations.

For more information on the PhD: