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New strategic studies degree launched at Victoria

New strategic studies degree launched at Victoria

Victoria University is setting the standard for strategic thinkers on international and national security, politics and trade with the launch of its new Master of Strategic Studies programme.

The University's School of Government launches the new programme, which also includes a certificate and diploma in strategic studies, at its Pipitea campus tomorrow (2 December 2003).

Head of School, Professor Gary Hawke, said the programme aimed to develop the capacity of strategic thinkers and leaders in New Zealand, particularly those working at the international and whole-of-government levels.

"The events of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have brought into sharp focus the need for strategists who can think outside the confines of their particular agency and see the connections between different issues, for example between internal and international politics and between security, foreign and trade policies.

"Those undertaking the programme will improve their knowledge, skills and competencies in the theories and methods needed to take New Zealand forward into the 21st century, in a world that is increasingly complex, global and interconnected."

Professor Hawke said the programme would create an enriched learning environment by combining specialist practitioners and graduates with wide-ranging disciplinary backgrounds and with experience in a range of public, private and non-government sectors and organisations.

"As the home of the Centre for Strategic Studies, part of the School of Government, and as New Zealand's Capital City University, Victoria is well placed to provide this new programme. Not only do we have the academic experts in disciplines such as foreign policy and religious terrorism, but we also have the contacts in key government agencies and overseas institutions to further enhance the programme."

The Master of Strategic Studies programme is a mixture of core and elective courses and is designed for strategic thinkers in a wide range of government agencies, including customs, defence, foreign policy and security. A strand of the programme also caters for public, private and community sector planners and strategists in local and regional government and social policy, particularly health and education.

The programme is also "stair-cased." Students completing the first year of the MSS programme can continue on towards the degree or graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate. Likewise, those completing the second year can either complete the degree or graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma. This structure provides increased flexibility to students who are unable to commit to the full three-year MSS programme.

Course members will complete an appropriate mix of research and practice as part of their study programme. The programme offers the possibility of an internship.

The Master of Strategic Studies programme will be launched at Rutherford House, Ground Floor, Lecture Theatre 3, 23 Lambton Quay, Wellington, 4.15pm-6pm. Media are welcome to attend.

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