International Relations

Coursework

The Master of International Relations is offered within the Department of Government and International Relations. It offers a comprehensive, intellectually rigorous Masters program embedded within the Political Science discipline.

International Relations is dedicated to the study of affairs 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, economic and social relations. These include:

  • development
  • environmental sustainability
  • international institutions
  • international law
  • international political economy
  • international security
  • poverty
  • social and economic justice
  • theory
  • war and peace

The degree offers you an innovative, disciplined and intellectually challenging framework for studying issues and perspectives within International Relations.

The course encourages you to relate theoretical concepts to specific, relevant world issues and challenges in international affairs. 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 has two pathways:

  • One is a pathway to professional employment in a wide array of professions, including international business, consulting, government, international organisations, and communications. It also provides an opportunity for professionals in these sectors to gain advanced training to support career advancement.
  • The second pathway includes research options that provide the opportunity to undertake a PhD program in international relations.

The Masters of International Relations 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 specialisations/electives.

The degree offers 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.

There are currently no research degrees offered in International Relations.

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.

Awards and Requirements

Please refer to the course rules in this Handbook for information on the specific admission requirements for different coursework award courses.

Master of International Relations
Candidates for the Master of International Relations with no prior learning in the subject area are required to complete 96 credit points including:

  • a minimum of 30 credit points of core units of study
  • a minimum of 24 credit points of core elective units of study
  • a maximum of 30 credit points of elective units of study, which can include an optional specialisation as listed in the unit of study table
  • a minimum of 6 credit points of capstone units of study


Graduate Diploma in International Relations
Candidates for the Graduate Diploma in International Relations are required to complete 48 credit points, including:

  • minimum of 12 credit points of core units of study
  • minimum of 24 credit points of core elective units of study
  • maximum of 12 credit points of elective units of study

Graduate Certificate in International Relations
Candidates for the Graduate Certificate in International Relations are required to complete 24 credit points, including:

  • minimum of 12 credit points of core units of study
  • maximum of 12 credit points of core elective units of study


Candidates who have completed previous study in a relevant discipline may be eligible for a reduction in the requirements in accordance with the table below.

Level of prior learning Full-time duration Credit points to complete Requirements for completion of degree                                                                      
No background 2 years 96

- a minimum of 30 credit points of core units
- a minimum of 24 credit points of core elective units 
- a maximum of 36 credit points of elective units
- a minimum of 6 credit points of capstone units

A specialisation may be included as per the unit of study table

AQF Level 7 eg. a bachelor's degree in the Humanities, Social Sciences or Law 1.5 years 72

- a minimum of 18 credit points of core units
- a minimum of 18 credit points of core elective units
- a maximum of 30 credit points of elective units
- a minimum of 6 credit points of capstone units

A specialisation may be included as per the unit of study table

Relevant professional experience N/A N/A

Reduction in requirements may be granted on a case by case basis by Departmental approval up to a maximum of 24 credit points

AQF Level 8 eg. Honours in the Humanities, Social Sciences or Law 1 year 48 - a minimum of 12 credit points of core units
- a minimum of 18 credit points of core elective units
- a maximum of 12 credit points of capstone units
- a minimum of 6 credit points of capstone units

 

All candidates for the Master of International Relations are required to complete a capstone designed to build independent research capacity. Students complete one of the following two capstone options:

  • a semester-long research project by enrolling in GOVT6127 Research Project; OR
  • a year-long dissertation project, including GOVT6139 Research Design, followed by GOVT6340 Dissertation Part I and GOVT6341 Dissertation Part II. Completing this dissertation would prepare students to enrol in a PhD in Government and International Relations. This path is generally suitable only for students completing 72 or 96 credit points. Note that GOVT6139 is preparation for the Dissertation. It is not itself a Dissertation unit, and can be taken by any student enrolled in Government and International Relations postgraduate coursework degrees.
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