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12 quick facts about Politics at Otago

Allow us to introduce ourselves...

1. Excellent career prospects

Politics graduates find employment in a wide range of places, including in many New Zealand Government Departments, such as the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Ministry of Justice, Immigration New Zealand and Parliamentary Service. Our graduates also work for the United Nations and associated agencies, NGOs and the not-for-profit sector, consultancy firms, research institutes, and in health, media and education.

Meet some of our wonderful graduates!

2. A large, diverse student community

Every year, more than 360 students begin the study of politics at Otago through one of the four 100-level papers encompassing the major fields of politics:

3. Big choice of papers

The Politics Department offers more than 30 papers papers every year covering a wide range of topics such as United States Foreign Policy since 1945, Environmental Politics, Theories of Justice, and Tyranny, Terror and the Politics of the Middle East.

4. Interesting degree combinations

Over 290 students majored in Politics at Otago in 2017, with 25% completing a double major (popular subjects to combine with Politics are History, Sociology, Economics and Psychology), 20% completing a BA(Politics)/LLB double degree, and even a handful of students doing a BA/LLB double degree-double major! Otago is also the only university in New Zealand where students interested in politics can major in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

5. Smart cookies

Politics at Otago has produced a number of Rhodes Scholars who go on to study at prestigious international universities, such as Ben Abraham and Iona Mylek, both recent BA(Hons) graduates, who went on to study at the University of Oxford.

6. Excellence recognised

Politics prizes for undergrads include top 300-level student and top 300-level Māori student. There are also postgraduate prizes for best Master of Politics dissertation and best Master of Arts thesis.

7. Making the world a better place

Politics students are actively engaged in political and community initiatives beyond the lecture theatre, taking up opportunities with the organisations such as Youth Parliament, UN Youth, and Ignite Consultants, as well as standing for election themselves with OUSA, community boards and other organisations.

8. One big, happy family

The Department has a vibrant student society – POLSA, which was established in 2017 and is a great way to meet other politics students from your first day on campus.

9. Diverse postgraduate study options

Politics offers post-graduate opportunities including the Master of Politics and Master of International Studies for those that wish to take advanced papers and complete a research dissertation, and the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy for those interested in completing a longer research thesis.

10. Global expertise

Politics staff are experts in the politics of over many countries and regions, including: Africa, Canada, China, Japan, Vietnam, North Korea, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand, Samoa and the Pacific, the USA, Russia, the UK, Europe, Great Britain, Indonesia and the Global South, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey. Our staff are regularly approached by local, national and international media seeking comment on political issues.

11. Global tongues

Politics staff engage with many languages in their research, including Afrikaans, Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Māori, Russian, Samoan, Turkish, and more.

12. Even smarter cookies

Politics staff teach a range of political perspectives: German, French, British thought in the Enlightenment, contemporary Anglo-American and Continental political theory, environmentalism, realism, constructivism, institutionalism, nationalism, critical theory, and Marxism.