Bachelor of Arts/Master of International Relations

Undergraduate degree

The Bachelor / Master of International Relations aims to produce graduates who demonstrate high levels of theoretical and empirical analysis.

Key facts

English language requirements

IELTS overall score of 6 (with no band score less than 6) or equivalent


4.5 years full-time or part-time equivalent

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course information

Studying Deakin’s Bachelor of Arts/Master of International Relations develops your understanding of the key political dynamics of our time. International relations encompasses the study of policy-related dynamics such as diplomacy, foreign policy and global governance, as well as dynamics relating to questions of order, justice and resistance in world politics. 

Do you want to know more about Australia’s position in the world of international relations? 

Challenge perceptions, test theories and pose solutions to the relationships between countries throughout the world.

Choose to major in international relations (IR) as part of your Bachelor of Arts degree, then enhance your career options by advancing into a Master of International Relations. You’ll also be able to pair your international relations major with other majors or minors, creating unique combinations, which let you study electives that complement your IR major.

When completing your masters degree, choose a specialisation within IR and complete a research project that puts into practice all you’ve learnt throughout your studies. Your specialisation will mean you have the opportunity to delve into any aspect of IR and acquire advanced knowledge. Choose to specialise in:

  • Asia-Pacific regional dynamics
  • conflict and security
  • human rights and international law
  • international political economy and global governance
  • transnational activism and civil society.

There is no better way to learn about IR than taking your studies overseas to different cultures and political climates, with opportunities to join study abroad and internship programs. Find yourself in China or South Korea, the UK or US and further develop your understanding of the changing nature of international relations.

You can even apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios by gaining professional experience through our work-integrated learning opportunities. Spend time immersing yourself in organisations including NGOs, agencies and private sector corporations and arm yourself with skills to take into the workplace.

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Course structure

To qualify for the award of  Bachelor of Arts/Master of International Relations, students must complete 36 credit points as follows:

Bachelor of Arts component (24 credit points):

  • AAI018 Academic Integrity (0-credit-point compulsory unit)
  • An approved Bachelor of Arts major sequence in International Relations
  • An approved Bachelor of Arts minor sequence of at least 4 credit points, or a second approved Bachelor of Arts major sequence of at least 8 credit points
  • No more than 10 credit points of units at level 1
  • At least 6 credit points of units at level 3 

Students must have completed 24 credit points of study successfully and achieved a WAM of 60 to continue through to the Master of International Relations. Students not having fulfilled this requirement are eligible to graduate with the Bachelor of Arts as an alternative exit.

Master of International Relations component (12 credit points):

  • 5 core units
  • 7 credit points of study combining research and course elective^ units (selected from Option 1, 2 or 3*)

^Course elective units may be used to form up to 2 specialisations

*Options 2 and 3 will meet the thesis requirements for a PhD pathway

The Faculty offers 2 units AIX160 Introduction to University Study and AIX117 Professional Writing for Work, that are specifically designed to ease the transition into university study. New students are encouraged to enrol in one or both of these units in their first year.

Core units

  • The United Nations and International Organisation AIR707
  • International Relations Theory AIR742
  • Contemporary International Politics AIR747
  • Security and Strategy AIR748
  • Research Design AIX706
  • Course Electives and Specialisations

    Students who complete a specialisation of 4 or 5 credit points will have the specialisation indicated on their academic transcript.

    Specialisations are available in the following areas:

    Conflict and Security 

    Diplomacy and Activism

    Human Rights and International Law

    Course Electives are available from the following:

    Course Electives

    Research Options 1, 2 & 3

    Option 1 

  • Research Paper AIX701
  • Plus, 6 electives chosen from the specialisations or course electives

    Option 2 

  • Minor Thesis A AIX704
  • Minor Thesis B AIX705
  • Plus, 5 credit points of electives chosen from the course electives

    Option 3 

  • Major Thesis A AIX702 (2 credit points)
  • Major Thesis B AIX703 (2 Credit Points)
  • Plus, 3 credit points of electives chosen from the course electives

    Major sequences

    Refer to the details of each major sequence for availability.



    Children's Literature





    Film and Television

    Gender and Sexuality Studies

    Geography, Minor study only




    Language and Culture Studies

    Literary Studies

    Media Studies

    Middle East Studies



    Politics and Policy Studies

    Professional and Creative Writing

    Public Relations


    Sport and Society, Minor study only


    Studies of Religions

    Sustainability and Society, Minor study only

    Visual Arts

    Visual Communication Design


    Refer to the details of each specialisation for availability.

    To qualify for a specialisation within the Master of International Relations, a student must successfully complete 3 credit points of study from within that specialisation. Students who complete a specialisation of 3 credit points will have the specialisation indicated on their academic transcript.

    Specialisations are available in the following areas:

    Conflict and Security

    Diplomacy and Activism

    Human Rights and International Law

    Course Electives

    Key information

    Award granted
    Bachelor of Arts / Master of International Relations

    2020 course information

    VTAC code
    1400510413 - Burwood (Melbourne), International full-fee paying place
    Deakin code
    CRICOS code?
    Approval status
    This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
    Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition
    The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 7/9.

    Campuses by intake

    Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Cloud (online)

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Cloud (online)

    Deakin splits the academic year into three terms, known as trimesters. Most students usually undertake two trimesters each year (March-June, July-November).

    Additional course information

    Course duration - additional information

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.

    Participation requirements

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. Click here for more information.

    Work experience

    Elective units may provide the opportunity for Work Integrated Learning experiences.

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    General admission requirements for entry into undergraduate courses for international students at Deakin are summarised in the undergraduate course requirements.

    All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.

    Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.

    For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library

    Applicants should have successfully completed a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, including Units 3 and 4–a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or 20 in English other than EAL.

    The Faculty offers alternative entry options for mature age and other special categories of applicants.  Information about these is available in the VTAC guide and on the Deakin University’s website at

    Recognition of prior learning

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for credit transfer. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your credit transfer.
    Your credit transfer is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.

    The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of Prior Learning you have.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Apply now

    How to apply

    Apply through VTAC

    Applications for study for Trimester 1 must be made through the Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC). For more information refer to VTAC

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage.
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Why choose Deakin

    Career outcomes

    Graduate with a unique skill set that will set you apart from the rest. Find employment across a range of organisations including:

    • consulting agencies
    • defence forces
    • education
    • foreign affairs departments
    • immigration departments
    • media
    • multicultural associates
    • NGOs
    • private sector corporations
    • research.

    For more information go to DeakinTALENT

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes
    Bachelor of Arts

    Course Learning Outcomes
    Master of International Relations

    Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

    Demonstrate a broad and coherent body of knowledge in the Arts disciplines, with depth in the underlying principles and concepts in one or more disciplines or areas of practice. Review and analyse major theoretical, conceptual and policy debates and disputes in International Relations pertaining to foreign policy, conflict and security, international and regional politics, globalisation, and international law with reference to empirical cases.


    Demonstrate highly developed skills in oral, written and electronic communication and the ability to communicate research outcomes, and produce scholarly papers.  Effectively communicate the findings and analyses of International Relations theories, concepts and their application to real-world contexts, in a selection of written, oral and digital formats, to a range of audiences.

    Digital literacy

    Research, analyse, synthesise and disseminate information using a range of appropriate technologies and resources in a rapidly-changing global environment.  Employ a range of digital communication technologies and platforms appropriately to conduct research, engage in debate, communicate findings, and deliver reports and presentations to a diverse range of audiences.

    Critical thinking

    Use critical and analytical thinking and judgment in selecting and applying appropriate theories and methodologies to evaluate information and knowledge about society, culture and the arts.  Analyse, critically evaluate and synthesise theoretical conceptualisations of international politics and policy responses by a range of actors in the context of the changing international political system.

    Problem solving

    Apply cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate solutions to unpredictable and sometimes complex problems in the Humanities, Social Sciences and the Creative Arts, including cross-disciplinary approaches.  Employ initiative and creativity in conjunction with appropriate Social Science methods of research and analysis to investigate complex real-world problems in a systematic manner and generate and evaluate potential responses to issues in the areas of conflict and security, globalization, international crises and risks, foreign policy and international law.


    Demonstrate autonomy, responsibility and accountability for personal actions and a continued commitment to learning in personal, professional, and scholarly contexts.  Demonstrate autonomy, responsibility, accountability and a continued commitment to learning and skill development personally, academically and professionally in the field of International Relations. 


    Work and learn collaboratively with colleagues, other professionals and members of the wider community.  Work and learn collaboratively with others in the field of International Relations and from other backgrounds while still maintaining responsibility for their own learning.

    Global citizenship

    Demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues, cultural diversity, and social responsibility when engaging in scholarship and professional roles in the local, national or international community.  Analyse and respond to issues in global politics in domestic, regional and international contexts as a reflective scholar and practitioner, taking into account cultural and socio-economic diversity, social and environmental responsibility and adherence to professional and academic ethical standards.

    Approved by Faculty Board July 2019


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