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Study a Master of International Relations with us

Examine real world issues and challenges in international affairs today through the Master of International Relations.

Why study with us?

  • No. 22 in the world

    We're ranked 22nd in the world for Arts and Humanities in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

  • No. 1 in Australia

    Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 5th in the world for employability by the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019.

Overview

Understand and address the world’s most pressing challenges, including war and peace, social and economic justice, poverty, development and environmental sustainability. Investigate relations among states and non-state actors, including the evolution of the international system. Develop sophisticated critical thinking through this intellectually rigorous, research-intensive program.

The Master of International Relations allows you to specialise in Economics, Political Economy, Peace and Conflict Studies, Sociology, Social Policy and Development, or International Law. You will gain a deep understanding of complex problem solving in a globalised world.

The Department of Government and International Relations is one of the largest of its kind in Australia, with links to some of the major policy think tanks in Australia, such as the Australian Institute of International Affairs, and the Lowy Institute. We also house the Centre for International Security Studies and the Electoral Integrity project.

Our academics are recognised experts in international relations theory, public policy, international political economy and security, Australian and comparative politics, migration, and North and Southeast Asian politics.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 11 February of the commencing year (to be considered for CSP, you must apply by 15 January)

Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year (to be considered for CSP, you must apply by 30 June)

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year
Semester 2
- 30 June of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

To qualify for the Master of International Relations you must complete 96 credit points, including:

  • a minimum of 30 credit points of core units of study; and 
  • a minimum of 24 credit points of core elective units of study; and
  • 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. 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
  • a minimum of 6 credit points of capstone units of study.

Recognition of Prior Learning / credit for previous studies is available for this course, refer to Admission requirement below.

Completion requirement

Under normal progression, a full-time student completes prescribed units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester. Part-time students may undertake prescribed units of study up to the value of 12 credit points per semester. You are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for your units of study.

Capstone (compulsory project)

All candidates for the Master of International Relations are required to complete a capstone designed to build independent research capacity. You will 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 enroll in a PhD program in 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.

Admission requirement

Admission to candidature for the Master of International Relations (2 year full time) requires:

·        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

Candidates may apply for a Reduced Volume of Learning (RVL) if they have completed the embedded Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in International Relations or if they have an Honours degree in a relevant discipline.

Candidates may also apply for a Reduced Volume of Learning (RVL) if they have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum credit average including a major in humanities, social sciences or law. Candidates with relevant work experience may also apply for RVL . The duration and relevance of the work experience will be assessed by the department before RVL is granted.

If you do not meet the requirements listed above for direct entry to the Master’s degree, you may be able to enter via a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in the same subject area and upgrade to the Master’s after successful completion of the shorter course.

Career Pathways

This degree equips you for a career in consulting, diplomacy, development, defence, government, immigration, intelligence, international business, journalism or risk management.

You may find a role in international organisations, including the United Nations or European Union, or in humanitarian, government and non-government organisations. The course also provides an opportunity for professionals in these sectors to gain advanced training to support career advancement. 

Future study options

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences supports and pursues the University's goal of excellence in research, encouraging research of national and international standing, and identifying and enhancing fields of basic, strategic and applied research. The dissertation pathway of this course includes research options that will provide you with the opportunity to undertake a PhD program in international relations.

Domestic students

International students

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) available for eligible domestic students

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for this course for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSP places are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.