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Politics

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Why study Politics?

Politics is a practical field of study that empowers you to better understand the world and take part in informed decision-making. It is also an intellectually stimulating field.


Whether we like it or not, politics affects all of our lives. No matter where in the world you venture, politics is always a popular and sometimes delicate topic of conversation. Whether you want to forge a career in politics, or simply understand the world a little better, everyone would benefit from learning about politics.

Politics at Otago

Otago Politics lecturers are all experts in their fields, and all are actively engaged in research that enriches their teaching.


Our approach to the study of politics is a blend of traditional and modern analysis. The breadth of the discipline of politics is reflected in the wide range of papers on offer at Otago. At Otago, politics is arranged into four fields:

  • International Relations – study international conflicts and co-operation between states
  • New Zealand Politics – understand the politics of Aotearoa
  • Political Theory – ask important theoretical questions about the nature of power and justice
  • Comparative Politics – compare the politics of a range of countries and regions

Detailed information about Politics papers.

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Background required

Studying Politics at Otago assumes no prior knowledge. If you have an interest in national and international affairs, you should consider including some politics in your degree.

Career opportunities

Politics graduates have the ability to analyse issues logically, to challenge conventional assumptions, to consider different options and viewpoints, make informed decisions, and act with flexibility, adaptability and creativity.

A politics degree has helped many graduates secure jobs such as policy analysts, diplomats, working with refugees, journalists, business leaders, lawyers, public servants, consultants, and even politicians!