Listen to Professor Robert Patman describe why he feels the multidisciplinary University of Otago's Master of International Studies (MIntSt) is something to be excited about and you understand why this nationally unique course draws so many top-class domestic and international students.
Professor Patman, who has been the programme's director since its inception in 2000, says, “We were deliberately ambitious when we designed this course. We wanted to offer a degree that was both intellectually demanding and attractive to highly motivated domestic and international postgraduate students. The structure of the programme reflects this aspiration.”
”Students have to complete Masters level courses in four disciplines and a 20,000-word dissertation in what is an intensive one-year degree.”
The programme has lived up to expectations. Since 2000, an average of 15 students a year have graduated from the MIntSt with an even split in terms of gender balance and the mix of domestic and international students.
Professor Patman lists the countries represented in this year's MIntSt intake: Nigeria, South Africa, USA, Zambia, India, Uruguay, UK and New Zealand.
MIntSt graduates have entered a wide range of professions after completing their degree. These include diplomacy, policy advisory positions, international businesses, international organisations, national and global media organisations and teaching. Professor Patman believes there is a strong demand in the public and private sector for graduates who can multi-task.
“MIntSt students obtain an intellectual grasp of four distinct but interrelated disciplines: international law, international politics, the global economy, and – from this year – peace and conflict studies, and at the same time they produce a substantial research dissertation under academic supervision.”
He adds that the MIntSt programme also has demonstrated research-building capacity, with 22 of the 174 MIntSt graduates since 2000 having either completed or being currently enrolled in PhD programmes in New Zealand or overseas.