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 Master of International Relations at the University of Sydney is an intellectually rigorous Masters program that is embedded within the Political Science sub-discipline of International Relations. International Relations is dedicated to the study of relations among states and between states and non-state actors. The field covers the history, current workings, and possible evolution of the international system, its actors, processes and important events. As a distinct academic subject, International Relations applies a diverse set of theories to help understand and address the world’s most pressing challenges. Theory is at the core of international relations, as is an understanding of the historical development of the subject as a distinct field of study. It brings together political, economic, social, legal, security, and cultural dimensions in the study of international affairs, but the focus is always on how these factors have impacted on the conduct of global political relations. These include; theory; war and peace; international security; social and economic justice; international institutions; international political economy; international law; and, poverty, development, and environmental sustainability. The degree offers you an innovative, disciplined and intellectually challenging framework for studying issues and perspectives within International Relations. You will consider various aspects of international order and politics, including the dynamics of international social and political power relationships and conflicts, and state building.

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 all aspects of International Relations. Graduates will be trained to conduct independent scholarly research 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.

The Masters of International Relations at Sydney is unique in terms of allowing students the possibility of gaining an in-depth knowledge of International Relations but also allowing them to combine this with a range of minors/electives, including an opportunity to learn a language to enhance your cultural skills, and study areas such as International Security, Human Rights, International History, Political Philosophy, International Law, International Political Economy, and Sociology. In addition, the Department has a range of dedicated exchange programs with partner universities across the world, which enable students the opportunity to spend some of their time abroad.

Why Study International Relations 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 Relations 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 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.

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 Relations Subject Area.

Embedded courses

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

The Master of International Relations may lead to a career within international business, consulting, government, journalism, and international organisations including the United Nations or European Union. This course also provides an opportunity for professionals in these sectors to gain advanced training that supports career advancement.

Further study

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Admission

Admission requirements

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

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

(a) completion of the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in the respective program 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

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.

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

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 2016, 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 2015 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 2016, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2016, 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.

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