The Master of Arts (International Relations) is a 72-unit program offered by The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. It requires two years of full-time study (or the equivalent part-time).

This course articulates with the 18-unit Graduate Certificate in International Relations and the 36-unit Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and the sequentially developed topics allow progression through the three awards. Candidates who have completed either of these courses are awarded credit for related topics.

Admission requirements

Applicants who do not hold the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in International Relations (or approved equivalents) must normally hold an approved degree or equivalent qualification from an approved tertiary institution. The Faculty Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature, and may take into account relevant work experience.

Course aims

The Master of Arts (International Relations) aims to:

  • provide a specialised postgraduate program in International Relations for suitably qualified graduates
  • provide appropriate professional education for current or prospective employees working in the areas of foreign affairs, defence, international trade and related areas
  • provide advanced grounding in the academic debates and research literatures in the field of International Relations and cognate subjects for students who intend to pursue doctoral studies and an academic career
  • assist students to further develop skills in comprehension, research, bibliography, analysis, verbal argument and professional writing.

Learning outcomes

Graduates from this course should be able to:

  • have a high level appreciation of the broad dimensions and content of the academic field of International Relations
  • have a high level understanding of the key theoretical concepts, major historical themes and significant current issues within International Relations
  • have an excellent appreciation of outstanding policy issues in International Relations
  • have excellent skills in academic research, verbal argument and professional writing.

Program of study

To qualify for The Master of Arts (International Relations), a student must complete 72 units with a grade of P or NGP or better in each topic, according to the following program of study.

Year 1

36 units comprising:

Core - Year 1 topics

 INTR9051  International Human Rights: Theory and Practice  (4.5 units)
 INTR9054  The Alliance and the Rise of China  (4.5 units)
 INTR9063  Debating International Relations  (9 units)
 INTR9077  Global Inequality  (4.5 units)
 INTR9078  Governing East Asia in the 21st Century  (4.5 units)
 INTR9118  From Topic to Thesis  (4.5 units)*

Option - Year 1 topics

Plus 4.5 units selected from:

 DVST8010  Development Problems, Policies and Programs  (4.5 units)
 DVST9022  Theory and Evidence in Contemporary Development  (4.5 units)
 DVST9032  Gender Mainstreaming  (4.5 units)
 INTR9055  African Politics: Global Issues  (4.5 units)
 INTR9070  Supervised Study in International Relations  (4.5 units)

*Students who come into the MAIR via the GCIR or GDPIR pathway will have taken INTR9064 in their first year of study, and will not have completed INTR9118. These students will be required to take INTR9118 and will be given an individualised study plan in order to accommodate this variation.

Year 2

36 units comprising:

Core - Year 2 topics

 DVST9038  Environment and Development in Asia  (4.5 units)
 INTR9060  The Cultural Politics of Religion, Ethnicity and Nationalism  (4.5 units)
 INTR9064  The Rise of China: Dream or Nightmare  (4.5 units)
 INTR9073  New Security Agenda  (4.5 units)

Plus either:

 INTR9918  International Relations Research Thesis (18 units) OR
 INTR9918A International Relations Research Thesis (9/18 units) AND
 INTR9918B International Relations Research Thesis (9/18 units)


 INTR9913  International Relations Research Paper (9 units), AND

9 units selected from:

 INTR9055  African Politics: Global Issues  (4.5 units)
 INTR9059  Intensive Summer School on Global Citizenship  (4.5 units)
 INTR9062  Contemporary Issues in Gender and International Development  (4.5 units)
 INTR9065A  Timor-Leste – Challenges of a New State in the Asian Century (4.5 units)
 INTR9070  Supervised Study in International Relations  (4.5 units)
 DVST9022  Theory and Evidence in Contemporary Development  (4.5 units)
 DVST9031  Gender Analysis  (4.5 units)
 DVST9032  Gender Mainstreaming  (4.5 units)