Master of International Studies

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

The Masters in International Studies is a broad based multidisciplinary degree that allows students a high degree of flexibility in terms of unit choice and subjects. While the Masters of International Relations is firmly embedded within the Discipline of International Relations, International Studies is more closely aligned with Comparative Politics and Area Studies. The Master of International Studies is designed to equip students with analytical and critical skills for understanding contemporary international affairs, and will prepare you for entry into a wide range of professions. Unlike the Masters of International Relations, which is firmly embedded in the Political Science sub-discipline of International Relations, the International Studies degree has no theoretical or conceptual core that students are required to complete. Students undertaking a Masters in International Studies can effectively design their own degree through unique combinations of units based on the specific interests of the students. Many students taking the Masters of International Studies have an interest in Comparative Politics or Area studies rather than a desire to understand the operation of the international political system itself. In this respect, International Studies can be considered to be much broader in focus than International Relations.

After choosing from a menu of International Studies core units to receive a grounding in the discipline that is tailored to their interests, students also have the opportunity to focus on area studies and comparative politics, with units on Australian politics and policy, development, democracies and authoritarianism, and the politics of Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Asia Pacific Region as a whole.

Why Study International Studies at Sydney?
The Department of Government and International Relations is one of the largest and most prestigious in the Southern hemisphere, with an outstanding record of teaching, research and publication. We achieved the highest rating in the 2013 Excellence in Research Assessment exercise and were recently ranked 25 of all global Politics and International Relations Departments in the 2015 QS University rankings. In addition to their high quality research, our staff distinguish themselves in various ways; by acting as media commentators, by writing textbooks used by students across the world and with involvement in practical training. In addition, our students have access to academic staff and a constant flow of distinguished visiting scholars from abroad. Our research interests are wide ranging, but we have specific areas of expertise in International Relations theory, international security, international political economy, the environment, international institutions, gender and international relations, and, political violence (including terrorism civil wars and peacekeeping). Students taking a Masters of International Studies at Sydney have the unique opportunity of being taught by the people whose books and articles they are reading. This allows those students to be at the forefront of research developments in this exciting field of study. Studying at Sydney also gives you access to its vibrant international community-at-large which includes four of the region’s most respected and well-connected academic centres and think tanks, the Centre for International Security Studies (housed within the department), the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, the United States Studies Centre (USSC) and the China Studies Centre who regularly play host to events that bring world leaders in business, media and politics to campus.

Course outline

Study plan

Candidates for the Master of International Studies are required to complete 96 credit points, including:
(a) a minimum of 12 credit points of core units of study; and
(b) a maximum of 78 credit points from elective units of study. With the permission of the Degree Coordinator a maximum of 12 credit points can be taken as elective units from units of study outside those listed in the International Studies subject area of the Postgraduate Unit of Study Table, including units of study offered by other faculties; and
(c) a minimum of 6 credit points from capstone units of study.

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

Postgraduate Table of Units of Study for International Studies Subject Area.

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Candidates must maintain a credit average result or above, normally over at least the first 4 units of study, in order to qualify for admission to the dissertation units of study. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.

Capstone experience

Eligible candidates undertaking the degree of Master of International Studies have the option of completing a dissertation on an approved topic over two units of study, normally undertaken over two semesters, with a value of 12 credit points, under the supervision of an academic staff member.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Graduates of the program have built successful careers in the private sector (international business, consulting), the non-profit sector (non-government organisations, humanitarian groups, and international organisations), journalism, and the government sector in Australia and the United States.

Further study

Graduates of the Master of International Studies who have completed a dissertation with a meritorious grade are eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in their chosen subject area.

Admission

Admission requirements

Entry in the 1, 1.5 or 2 year degree program is determined by the criteria below:

Admission to candidature for the Master of International Studies (2 years full-time) requires:

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

Admission to candidature for the Master of International Studies (1.5 years full-time) requires:

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

(b) relevant professional work experience

Admission to candidature for the Master of International Studies (1 year full-time) requires:

(a) completion of the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in International Studies with a minimum credit (65 percent) average, or an equivalent qualification or

(b) an Honours degree in a relevant discipline or

(c) relevant professional work experience and a bachelor’s degree with a minimum credit (65 percent) average or an equivalent qualification

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.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University via the Online Application portal. Visit the How to Apply page for more information.

When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply Now’ button on the right hand side of this course page.

International students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University via the Online Application portal. Visit the How to Apply page for more information.

When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply Now’ button on the right hand side of this course page.

If you would like to apply through a University approved agent, visit Agents and Representatives.

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

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

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

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 so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students

The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will 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 costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

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.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

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 so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

Student profiles