International Relations

Overview

Start a global conversation

The Master of International Relations at UNSW is an advanced specialist degree that examines the complex way that nation states and other global actors relate to one another. Our postgraduate courses are concerned with understanding the theories and issues in contemporary world politics, which is imperative in a globalised world.

When you study International Relations as a postgraduate degree you become part of the global conversation on issues such as:

  • military intervention
  • the rule of law
  • environmental degradation
  • human security
  • economic development
  • human rights
  • global poverty

You will examine the way that concepts and theories in international relations shape our view of the world, and advance your understanding of international politics.

Our Masters programs will also provide you with a strong practical grounding in a wide variety of issues of current international concern and reinforce your skills in critical analysis, reflection and evaluation.

Key teaching staff

As an International Relations student, you will learn from leading Academic staff who are recognised for their research and teaching excellence in the field. Our teaching staff have been recognised in areas including international law, political economy, security studies, foreign policy, regional studies and gender studies.

Graduate attributes

Graduates of the Master of International Relations are multi-skilled. They are proficient in understanding complex international issues with political, social, economic and legal dimensions. These attributes make them highly sought after in the private sector, public sector, international organisations and NGOs.

Structure

The Master of International Relations is structured to acknowledge and recognise the skills that individuals bring to their postgraduate education.

More experienced students will undertake a streamlined degree of 1 year (48 units of credit) while students with less professional experience will study for 1.5 years (72 units of credit).

Starting in 2017, students with no experience will study for 2 years (96 units of credit).


1 year plan or part-time equivalent (48 units of credit)

This is for students who have completed a relevant Honours degree or Graduate Diploma (or equivalent), or those who have completed a relevant Bachelor degree and one year relevant professional experience.

The 1 year plan allows suitably experienced students to fast track their postgraduate study, completing their Master of International Relations in just one year. During this period students complete 48 units of credit, usually 8 courses.

What will you study?

  • Core Research Courses (6-12 units of credit)
    • Research Methods and Design
    • Research Report OR Research Project
  • Core Disciplinary Courses (18 units of credit)
    • Global Politics
    • International Organisations
    • The International Political Economy OR International Peace and Security
  • 2-3 electives (12-18 units of credit) from the full list of Master of International Relations options

1.5 year plan or part-time equivalent (72 units of credit)

This is for students who have completed a relevant Bachelor degree (or equivalent) but have limited professional experience.

Students who have completed undergraduate studies in any discipline but have professional experience in a relevant field, or an Honours degree or Graduate Diploma in any discipline may also be eligible.

The 1.5 year plan will deepen your contextual knowledge of international relations before developing more advanced competencies and skills. During the program, students complete 72 units of credit, or 12 courses.

What will you study?

  • Core Research Courses (24-36 units of credit)
    • Research Methods and Design
    • Theory, Ethics and Research
    • Academic Writing in Social Sciences
    • Research Report OR Research Project
  • Core Disciplinary Courses (18 units of credit)
    • Global Politics
    • International Organisations
    • The International Political Economy OR International Peace and Security
  • 4-5 electives (24-30 units of credit) from the full list of Master of International Relations options

2 year plan or part-time equivalent (96 units of credit) - New for 2017 

This is for students who have completed any Bachelor degree (or equivalent) and do not have any relevant work experience.

Students who are eligible for the 1 year and/or 1.5 year stream are also permitted to study the 2 year stream.

What will you study?

  • Core Research Courses (24-36 units of credit)
    • Research Methods and Design
    • Theory, Ethics and Research
    • Academic Writing in Social Sciences
    • Research Report OR Research Project
  • Core Disciplinary Courses (24 units of credit)
    • Global Politics
    • International Organisations
    • The International Political Economy
    • International Peace and Security
  • 7-8 electives (42-48 units of credit from the full list of the Master of International Relations options

Entry requirements

Students must meet one of the relevant selection criteria to be eligible for entry in the 1 year, 1.5 year or 2 year Master of International Relations program.


1 year plan

  • Honours degree or Graduate Diploma* (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) or,
  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%), plus 1 year relevant professional experience

1.5 year plan

  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%) or,
  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in any discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%), plus 1 year relevant professional experience or,
  • Honours degree or Graduate Diploma* (or equivalent qualification) in any discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average (65%)

2 year plan 

  • Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) in any discipline with a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW credit average of 65%


Relevant disciplines and experience

Relevant disciplines include: Social Sciences, Humanities, Business, Economics, Law, Public Health and Communications

Relevant professional experience can include: either paid or volunteer work (including internships) undertaken in federal government agencies/departments, intergovernmental agencies, international agencies or institutions, non-governmental organisations or private research bodies. The work undertaken must relate directly to international issues or concerns (e.g. foreign policy, defence and national security, global policy issues, trade).

*one year full-time or part-time equivalent.


Entry score calculator

Not sure if your past academic achievements are equivalent to a UNSW credit average?

Use the UNSW postgraduate coursework Entry Score calculator to convert and scale other types of grading schemes into a percentage relatable to UNSW entry requirements.

The results will help you determine whether your undergraduate grades make you competitive for entry to postgraduate coursework programs at UNSW.

Careers

Working in international relations

Graduates of the Master of International Relations can be found in a range of challenging and high-profile roles, both in Australia and internationally, including:

  • Public sector:
    • AusAid
    • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
    • Ministry of Immigration and Border Protection (Australia)
    • Ministry of External Affairs (Mexico)
    • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norway)
    • Ministry of Defence (Singapore)
  • Private sector:
    • Media organisations
    • Trans and multi-national corporations
    • Industry
    • Financial services
  • International organisations:
    • The United Nations
    • The World Bank
  • Non-government organisations in countries including:
    • Australia
    • Indonesia
    • Malaysia
    • Canada
    • Thailand
    • Tonga

Opportunities

Internship opportunities

As a postgraduate student in the Master of International Relations you will have the opportunity to participate in an internship to further your practical training.

Research pathways

Our new straightforward research pathways are also open to our high achieving Master of International Relations students seeking further education in a Higher Degree by Research such as a PhD or Masters by Research.

UNSW handbook

Degree program structure and academic rules information:


If you are a current student, please refer to the Online Handbook in the year you commenced your degree.

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Apply nowContact Us
Domestic International
8233
1, 1.5 or 2* (*2017 onwards) FT
February, July
Master
48, 72 or 96* (*2017 onwards)
MIR
30 Nov, 31 May - Late applications will be considered
Yes
On Campus, Day and/or Night
UNSW Fees