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Master of International Relations

Seek and solve problems to improve life on earth
Looking for a meaningful career without borders? With UNSW’s Master of International Relations, you’ll deepen your understanding of global politics and foreign policy and learn how concepts and theories in international relations shape our view of the world. This two-year postgraduate program opens up opportunities in government, NGOs and the private sector.
Commencing Terms
Term 1 & 3
Duration
2 Year(s)
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Campus
Kensington
Codes
Program code 8233
CRICOS code 083232G
Entry Requirements
View all admission criteria
Fees
2024 Indicative first year full fee
$31,000*
2024 Indicative full fee to complete degree
$63,500*
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Overview

The UNSW Master of International Relations recognises the complexity and the globalised nature of today’s world, and is specifically designed to advance your understanding of global politics and foreign policy.  Through this degree, you’ll critically examine theories and issues in contemporary world politics. You’ll explore international security, great-power rivalry, regional conflicts, nuclear proliferation, global environmental politics, civil conflict and terrorism, human rights, gender politics, international political economy, development and other pressing international issues.

Alongside this, you’ll learn to understand how these concepts and theories in international relations shape our view of the world. You’ll graduate with the in depth knowledge and experience to work in a variety of sectors in Australia and internationally, from NGO’s to government organisations and multinational corporations.

Key features

Learn from the best

Through the Master of International Relations, you’ll learn from leading academics who are recognised for their research and teaching excellence. Our academics bring theoretical knowledge and real-world experience into the classroom and are recognised in areas including international law, political economy, international security studies, foreign policy, regional studies, history and gender studies.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

  • Be supported by our diverse, open and inclusive Arts, Design & Architecture community.
  • Learn through research-informed teaching
  • Prioritise career success - UNSW won the Australian Financial Review's Most Employable Students Award in 2024.
  • Benefit from strong industry links and partnerships
  • Access world-class alumni connections
  • Join a global top 20 university (QS World University Rankings, 2024)
  • Join a community that’s part of the prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities
Program Code
8233
CRICOS Code
083232G
Campus
Kensington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
96
Indicative Enrolments
69

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Entry requirements

There are three different streams of the Master of International Relations. The stream you apply for will depend on the depth of your prior academic and/or professional experience, and how closely it relates to international relations

If you apply for Stream A or Stream B, you may be eligible to have your study recognised via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If your prior study is recognised, credit points can be counted towards the degree, and you would then be able to complete the coursework undertaking fewer subjects.

For all three streams, you will need to meet the following admission requirements to be considered for entry into the program:

For the 1 year stream (A)

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

For the 1.7 year stream (B)

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

For the 2 year stream (C)

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

*It is expected that a Graduate Diploma will have been completed after an undergraduate degree.

Relevant disciplines include: Social Sciences; Humanities; Business; Economics; Law; Public Health; Communications.

Applicants with a degree in a discipline not listed here but who wish to make a case for its academic relevance to these programs should enquire here: studyarts@unsw.edu.au.

 

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

There are three different streams of the Master of International Relations. The stream you apply for will depend on the depth of your prior academic and/or professional experience, and how closely it relates to international relations

If you apply for Stream A or Stream B, you may be eligible to have your study recognised via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If your prior study is recognised, credit points can be counted towards the degree, and you would then be able to complete the coursework undertaking fewer subjects.

For all three streams, you will need to meet the following admission requirements to be considered for entry into the program:

For the 1 year stream (A)

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

For the 1.7 year stream (B)

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

For the 2 year stream (C)

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

*It is expected that a Graduate Diploma will have been completed after an undergraduate degree.

^Students from a non-211 university in China are now required to have a record of academic achievement equivalent to a UNSW distinction average (75%).

Relevant disciplines include: Social Sciences; Humanities; Business; Economics; Law; Public Health; Communications.

Applicants with a degree in a discipline not listed here but who wish to make a case for its academic relevance to these programs should enquire here: studyarts@unsw.edu.au.

 

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

Program structure

This program is structured to acknowledge and recognise the unique skills and experience you bring to your postgraduate education.

If you have relevant previous experience, you may be able to undertake a streamlined degree. If you’re coming to the program with limited professional experience, you’ll undertake the full two-years study.

Full program structure

Depending on your level of experience, you can either undertake a streamlined one-year of full-time enrolment (or part-time equivalent), 1.7-years of full-time enrolment (or part-time equivalent) or two-years of full-time enrolment (or part-time equivalent).

Explore the structure of each stream below:

International Relations A – 1 year stream

International Relations B – 1.7 year stream

International Relations C – 2 year stream

Future careers

Upon completion of a UNSW Master of International Relations, you’ll be able to analyse world affairs and explore the many issues raised by the rapidly changing nature of world politics. You’ll do this through the advanced skills gained through your degree, enabling you to move into diverse careers that drive solutions to our most pressing global challenges.

Potential careers

  • Public sector: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs (Mexico), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norway) and the Ministry of Defence (Singapore)
  • Private sector: Media Organisations, Trans- and Multi-national corporations, Industry and Financial Services
  • International Organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank
  • Non-government Organisations in countries such as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Canada, Thailand and Tonga

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to start your application?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

2024 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$31,000*
2024 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree
$63,500*

*Fees are subject to annual review (or when required) by the University and may vary accordingly.

Indicative fees are a guide only and have been calculated based on the typical enrolment patterns of students undertaking the program. The indicative fees listed here is an estimate for tuition only and excludes non-tuition fees and charges. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year of enrolment, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (48 units of credit (UOC) per year).

You should not rely on indicative fees as fee increases are assessed when required and may exceed the indicative figures listed here. Actual fees are calculated on enrolment. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

2024 Indicative First Year Fee
$42,000*
2024 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$88,000*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.


Top 20
Worldwide

QS World University Rankings, 2024.

Most
Employable Graduates

AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

Leading
Innovation

#1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

“Postgraduate study at UNSW has made me a better journalist. It's given me a historical, academic, and legal understanding of the issues that I write about. It's given me opportunities to travel and work overseas, opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise.”

Ben Doherty

Journalist, The Guardian

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