International studies

Flags from various countries lined up outside the United Nations

Understand the world around you   

Our world is rapidly changing, with events often moving faster than our ability to comprehend them. Today, movements of people, environmental crises, flows of capital and the development of new ideas shape our world and challenge the very nature of who we are. These flows do not respect borders and require a complex and thoughtful response.   

International studies at UNSW will challenge you to think about these complex developments and teach you to interpret what they mean for society. Using a multidisciplinary approach drawn from a variety of social science perspectives, you’ll analyse what's happening in the world and think creatively about how to solve these challenges. 

Learn from professionals with real-world experience

Our academics are professionals who work in career fields connected to international studies and will teach you invaluable skills to secure your own career. You’ll get hands-on, one-to-one career advice in seminars while also sharpening your interview and communication skills.

Enhance your lateral thinking skills

You’ll be taught the foundations of international studies and you’ll examine the way governments struggle with changes in the global economy, the flow of refugees, relations between developed and developing countries, human rights, security and environmental crises.

Each week, you’ll engage with one of these topics in a lecture and in a new and innovative tutorial format, where you’ll be asked to solve a crisis that relates to the content you’ve just heard. Your teamwork skills will be strengthened as you work in groups to understand the problem and how to effectively solve it. You’ll be debating the merits of your approach with other students and thinking about what all of this means in the real world.

Become a global citizen

Beyond lectures and tutorials, you’ll be able to participate in international crisis competitions and in student field schools that teach you how to complete research in the real world. You can also travel on a one-year student exchange to one of our 300 partner institutions worldwide. Choosing to study abroad will allow you to immerse yourself in a different culture and learn about how other people live. Before entering a career in international studies, you’ll also learn a new language.

You can also join our lively international studies society and participate in internationally-themed events. We run United Nations competitions and help you network with others who are curious about the world and are proactive in attempting to solve some of its challenges.