International relations

“Equipped with the skills to succeed in modern international relations, and with one of the most respected degrees in international affairs in the world, our students go on to excel in government, international organisations, non–government organisations, media groups, private industry and businesses throughout the Asia–Pacific and beyond.”

-Dr Cecilia Jacob, Director of Studies, Department of International Relations

At ANU, our unique masters programs allow you to combine the study of international relations with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region – giving you the skills to succeed in this new globalised world, where the study of international relations is more relevant than ever.

Our programs

Established in 1949, our Department of International Relations provided an intellectual home to important figures in the field, such as Professor Hedley Bull. It is not only Australia’s premier site for study in this field, but one of the leading centres for the study of global politics in the world.

The Department of IR offers two Masters programs:

Master of International Relations

The Master of International Relations equips you with the skills to succeed in modern international relations while reaching beyond the Western experience to learn from a rich array of historical and contemporary Asian institutions, processes and practices.

As our student, you will be given access to a niche network of scholars from diverse backgrounds and be taught by globally-recognised experts who are regular contributors to policy-making in Australia and the region. Their knowledge encompasses international theory, international security, international political economy, comparative politics, foreign policy analysis, human rights, and international institutions.

The Department’s world-class reputation provides you with a distinct advantage and opportunities to progress your career. Our academically rigorous and relevant program will allow you to develop strong analytical frameworks to understand how changes in foreign policies, the strategic balance of power, international norms and globalisation drive political developments in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.

Learn more about the program structure and courses.

Master of International Relations (Advanced)

The Master of International Relations (Advanced) provides a pathway to doctoral programs that have a research thesis as a prerequisite, and/or careers in International Relations, especially in the research units of organisations focused on international relations.

It comprises of two parts: a coursework component and a research thesis. You will be taught and supervised by internationally recognised research scholars, and will graduate with career options in academia, domestic and international public service, research institutes, and non–government organisations.

Learn more about the program structure and courses.

Class profile

Students are encouraged to actively participate in classes. The class sizes are usually small and intimate, which boosts the scope for discussions and debates amongst students. Classes comprise of students from diverse backgrounds, stimulating an environment of shared experiences.

Additionally, the Department has an active events schedules hosting various seminars, public lectures, book launches and networking events throughout each semester. High profile speakers and guests are often invited to present/attend these events in addition to participating in class lectures. In the past, guests have included; the former Australian Foreign Minister and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group, a Senior Protection Officer from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Head of Office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Australia.

Career scope

A Master of International Relations will equip you with skills for analytical thinking and research, having gained extensive knowledge in international affairs of the Asia-Pacific region.

With one of the most respected degrees in international affairs in the world, our students go on to excel in governments, ministries, international organisations, non-government organisations, media groups, private industry and businesses throughout the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

Our Master of International Relations will prepare you with the necessary skills to advance your career in a wide range of professions such as:

  • Consultancies
  • Diplomatic / Foreign service
  • Foreign affairs
  • Government and public service
  • Intergovernmental agencies
  • International trade and business
  • International development and aid
  • Journalism
  • Multinational corporations
  • Private not for profit
  • University teaching and research
  • Think tanks, policy institutes, and research centres

Enquire now to find out more.


Graduate profile

Meet Josie Hornung

Meet Josie Hornung

I chose the IR program at ANU because it is the top ranked in Australia. I wanted a program that would challenge me intellectually, and improve my chances of fulfilling my career goals.

» read more

Michele Acuto

Practice makes perfect

"ANU is generally well-regarded in most of the disciplines I work in. The academic staff in IR have a global reputation, and the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy has a key advantage of focusing on the practice of international relations beyond theory."

» read more

Heidi Reid

A new world view

"I was looking for something that had a good balance of history and politics and philosophy, which international affairs does. And also, ANU has such a good reputation, particularly in this area."

» read more

Shrutidhar Tripathi

Give and take

"Studying the Master of Diplomacy has helped me tremendously in building my experience and knowledge of negotiation, conflict-resolution and diplomatic practices."

» read more

Meet Riana

Meet Riana

I decided to study at ANU because the Department of International Relations in the Coral Bell School is well known as the best International Relations centre in Australia and ranks seventh in the world.

» read more

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team