International relations

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“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, Department of International Relations

Our Master programs seamlessly blend together the rigorous study of issues and theories in International Relations, infusing the discussion of both with a focus on the world’s most vibrant region, the Asia Pacific. This unique approach empowers students by helping them understand key trends in this globalised world whilst also providing the skills necessary to thrive and succeed.

Our Master degrees are housed in the Department of International Relations, the oldest in Australia. The Department has an illustrious history. We have been home to discipline defining scholars such as Professor Hedley Bull. Today we honour our heritage with world-leading research, outreach to government and, through our Master programs, the education of the next generation of decision-makers both in Australia and around the world.

View our coursework guide [PDF 1.9MB]

Our programs

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. We combine advanced disciplinary training with the need to reach 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 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, which are seminar-based and interactive. Just as important as learning from the course convenor is the opportunity to engage with students from around the world, with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

The Department has an active events schedule 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: a 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

Our degrees will equip you with skills for analytical thinking and research, whilst giving you an unparalleled insight into global and Asia-Pacific affairs.

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

Our degrees 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

Contact us 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.

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Yuri Handayani

Meet Yuri Handayani

I decided to study at the Dept of IR at ANU as it is well known as the best IR centre in Australia and ranks sixth in the world. I found all the courses interesting, but the 'IR Theory' and 'Human Security' courses are among the best and most challenging ones. These courses forced me to think critically and systematically.

» read more

Meet Asuka

Meet Asuka Katsuno

I'm particularly interested in global health policy, and opportunities to contribute with NGOs and humanitarian organisations.

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Meet Avnav

I came to study International Relations at ANU to fulfill a childhood dream. I always knew that I wanted to study overseas and the first time I saw the ANU campus was such a moment of pride. The program has provided the best academic expertise and amazing opportunities for me to engage in contemporary content as a student.

» 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