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Study arts and social sciences with us

Why study with us?

  • #24 in the world

    Ranked 24th in the world for politics and international studies in the 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

  • Placement program

    Gain invaluable first-hand experience in real-life projects through our fourth year placement program.

Overview

This degree covers all aspects of political, cultural and economic relations at both the domestic and international levels. It explores the world-shaping political forces that extend far beyond national boundaries and impact our lives in unexpected ways.

You will engage with contemporary issues such as the Syrian War, nuclear proliferation, the global refugee crisis, the crisis in the international political economy, the implications of Brexit, and what the election of President Trump means for the world, Australia, and you.

You will graduate with a major in Politics and International Relations, which you complete in the first three years of the degree, and work with a team of leading academics and researchers to identify and evaluate current affairs and issues that shape global politics.

Fourth year focuses entirely on the practical study of Politics and International Relations. You can complete advanced coursework and a substantial project or undertake a dedicated internship program to gain first-hand experience in real-life projects with one of our partner organisations.

Subject areas

Students will graduate with a major in Politics and International Relations. 

Shared pool

Students will graduate with a major in Politics and International Relations. 

Admission, fees and how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status

My qualification is

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

English language proficiency

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

Your fee

Your funding & scholarships

How to apply

Prospective domestic students apply through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) for a Commonwealth supported place . Refer to the UAC website for key dates. Separate scholarship deadlines apply, visit the scholarships website for details.

For other useful information, visit our How to apply page.

Current University of Sydney students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the Change your course page.

Current students applying to transfer from a diploma to a bachelor's degree must apply through UAC.

Refer to the UAC website . Separate scholarship deadlines apply visit the scholarships webpage for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

Visit the How to apply page for detailed information on if you need to apply directly to the University or through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC). If you are a direct applicant, when you are ready to apply select the `Apply’ button on this course page.

Current University of Sydney students applying to transfer from one bachelor's degree to another apply directly to the University. The exact process will depend on the course you are currently in and the course to which you wish to transfer. For more information visit the Change your course page.

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 apply - visit the scholarships webpage for details.

UAC Applicants: Refer to the UAC website

Starting date

Semester 1 (March) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

For full course details see our Handbook.

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.

Sample study plan

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Politics and International Relations)

Year Sem  Unit of study 
1 1 Introduction to International Relations Popular Culture and Politics Elective Sociology major
  2 Introduction to Politics Contemporary Issues in Politics and International Relations I (Program-specific unit) Elective Sociology major
2 1 Intermediate International Relations Making Policy in Political Context Open Learning Environment unit Sociology major
  2 Political Analysis Contemporary Issues in Politics and International Relations II(Program-specific unit) Politics and International Relations elective Sociology major
3 1 Politics and International Relations elective Politics and International Relations elective Sociology major Sociology major
  2 Politics and International Relations elective Politics and International Relations advanced Sociology major Sociology major
4 1 Project unit Advanced coursework Advanced coursework Elective
  2 Project unit Advanced coursework Advanced coursework Elective

Assumed knowledge

Depends on the areas or units of study. For language studies: pathways are available for applicants with no prior language experience, as well as for those with prior experience in the respective language of study.

Admission criteria

Admission to this course is on the basis of the following criteria:

Admission pathways are open to domestic applicants on the basis of equity or other adjustment factors, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander applicants. For details, visit admission pathways.

Credit for previous study

If you’ve already completed university-level or equivalent subjects, you may be able to apply for credit for previous study.

Course opportunities

Most subject areas within the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Politics and International Relations) allow you to take part in an international exchange program. The program enables you to have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in real-life projects with one of our partner organisations through the fourth-year placement program.

Career Pathways

Our graduates can be found in a broad range of careers and roles, including:

  • Current affairs journalist
  • Diplomat
  • Government and public service administrator
  • Intelligence and risk analyst
  • Non-government or private sector administrator
  • Policy researcher and consultant 
  • Political adviser
  • Think tank participant
  • Start-up innovator

 

Future study

Eligible candidates may apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master's degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector and leading media organisations to opportunities for independent research projects. These projects prepare students for higher degrees by research.

The world is changing, and university education needs to change too

Domestic students

International students

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