Master of International Relations

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The discipline of international relations is dedicated to the study of relations among states and between states and non-state actors. The field covers the history, current nature, and possible evolution of the international system. International relations applies a diverse set of theories to help understand and address the world’s most pressing challenges: war and peace; social and economic justice; poverty, development, and environmental sustainability. It brings together political, economic, social, security, and cultural dimensions in the study of international affairs.

The Master of International Relations is an intellectually rigorous master’s program that is embedded within the discipline of international relations while enabling students to select areas of specialisation based upon their interests and professional goals.

The course encourages you to relate theoretical concepts to specific, relevant world issues and challenges in international affairs today. You will graduate with specialist knowledge and an understanding of major developments and issues in specific fields in international relations, particularly in the areas of international security, international organisations, foreign policy, international economy, and globalisation. Graduates will be trained to conduct independent scholarly research in international relations through a combination of in-class study and personal research projects under the supervision of an academic staff member. The course features a strong emphasis on teaching students core concepts of international relations theory, reaching back into classical philosophy while employing cutting-edge approaches in critical theory.

You will also draw on a range of electives, including an opportunity to learn a language to enhance your cultural skills, and study areas such as Asian Studies, History, Philosophy, Law, Economics, Political Economy and Sociology.

Course outline

For an up-to-date list of units of study for this degree, please refer to the online postgraduate handbook.

Study plan


Candidates for the Master of International Relations are required to complete 96 credit points, including: (a) a minimum of 30 credit points of core units of study; and (b) a minimum of 24 credit points of core elective units of study; and (c) a maximum of 30 credit points of elective units of study, which can include an optional minor as listed in the unit of study table. With the permission of the Degree Coordinator a maximum of 6 credit points of elective units can be taken from units of study outside those listed in the International Relations subject area of the Postgraduate Unit of Study Table, including units of study offered by other faculties and; (d) a minimum of 6 credit points of capstone units of study.

Embedded courses

Further course information

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

The Master of International Relations is designed to provide a pathway to professional employment in a wide array of professions, including international business, consulting, government agencies, international organisations such as the United Nations or European Union, and journalism. This course also provides an opportunity for professionals in these sectors to gain advanced training that supports career advancement.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to candidature for the Master of International Relations requires:

(a) a bachelor’s degree with a credit (65 percent) average calculated over the whole degree, from the University of Sydney, or an equivalent qualification or

(b) completion of the requirements for the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in International Relations with a minimum credit (65 percent) average, or an equivalent qualification.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Australian citizens, permanent residents, New Zealand citizens, and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa, apply through the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - click on the 'Apply now' icon on this page to proceed with your application. 

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply:

(i) directly to the University, via the International Office. For information about closing dates and application procedures, visit the International Office website; or

(ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount

This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2013 your student contribution may differ.

Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

This 2014, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2013 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents

Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.

International students

International tuition fees for postgraduate students

This 2014, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.

Annual review

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.