COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Drawing on UC's teaching and research strengths in Political Science and International Relations, graduates can obtain a professional capstone qualification in policy analysis and strategic decision making.

This Master's programme will provide advanced interdisciplinary training in just one year for those wishing to progress in local, regional, national, and third sector/not-for-profit roles in policy and governance.

Why study a Master of Policy and Governance at UC?

  • Advanced academic principles are investigated through applied tasks such as case studies and field trips.
  • In collaboration with strategic partners, a panel of experts from outside the university will provide real-world informed mentoring of participants. Mentors will come from organisations such as the New Zealand Parliament and Business Trust, Local Government New Zealand, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, NZ Treasury, and the McGuinness Institute NZ.
  • UC's Department of Political Science and International Relations has attained national and international visibility for the strength of its teaching and academic research.
  • UC has particular expertise in policy processes and community leadership in New Zealand-Pacific contexts, in East and Southeast Asia and in environment and technology policy.

How do I plan my degree?

The Master of Policy and Governance (MPAG) comprises 180 points. Students can decide on the level of research that makes up their programme, choosing one of two options:

  • 120 points of coursework plus a 60-point dissertation, or
  • 90 points of coursework plus a 90-point thesis (Note: this is normally only open to students with a GPA of 7.5 or with the approval of the Head of Programme).

Further study

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

Career opportunities

The MPAG caters perfectly for students interested in policy and governance careers in local, regional and national government, and not-for-profit/volunteer sectors.

Graduates will leave UC having:

  • built their knowledge in a chosen area
  • engaged with senior staff and leading professional mentors
  • conducted field-based learning
  • conducted independent specialist policy research.

Start date: Monthly by arrangement with supervisor

Which department am I in?

College of Arts

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
NZ$27,200.00 (US$ 19,281) per year
Full Programme Fees for 180 points: NZ $40,800

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected February, July 2022


University of Canterbury

Warehouse, 20 Kirkwood Ave,



Upper Riccarton,

8041, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For students from United States

A student for this degree needs to have either: a bachelor’s degree with a major in Linguistics, with at least a B+ Grade Point Average in 60 points in Linguistics at 300-level; or any bachelor’s degree, and a Graduate Diploma in Arts in Linguistics, with at least a B+ Grade Point Average in 60 points in Linguistics at 300-level; or a bachelor’s degree with a major in Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, Computer Science, a language, or a different major approved by the Head of Department of Linguistics, with at least a B+ Grade Point Average in 60 points of 300-level courses in the majoring subject, and achieved at least a B+ in LING 400 English Structures (a distance-learning course which runs over the summer); or been admitted Ad Eundem Statum (with equivalent standing).

For international students

To enrol, students 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
  • admission Ad Eundem Statum (with equivalent standing).

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.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About University of Canterbury

University of Canterbury’s alumni include popular personalities such as Karl Popper, one of the greatest twentieth-century science philosophers.

  • Ranked among the world’s top 250
  • Among the top 1% cent of universities worldwide
  • 5-Star QS rating for its excellent research & teaching methods
  • Based in Christchurch - New Zealand’s most affordable city