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Master of International Relations

Postgraduate coursework

Gain skills in theoretical and empirical analysis to better understand global issues, current responses and how they can be improved.

Domestic International

Domestic student information

Key facts

Duration

The time and cost could be reduced based on your previous qualifications and professional experience. This means you can fast track the masters degree from 1.5 years down to 1 year duration. See entry requirements below for more information. 

Key dates

Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 2 2024 close 23 June 2024

Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 3 2024 close 27 October 2024

Current Deakin Students

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

Course overview

If you’re interested in understanding, investigating and responding to global issues, the Master of International Relations will give you the high-level skills in theoretical and empirical analysis to do so.

Are you ready to create practical responses to global issues?

Geo-political tensions, climate change, poverty, pandemics, human insecurity, and human rights abuses. These overarching concerns are just some of the pressing issues currently impacting our global community.

By studying the Master of International Relations, you will better understand the nature of these problems, what the current responses to these problems are, and how these responses can be improved.

You’ll develop skills in policy analysis, get a systematic understanding of the threats to peace and security, and global forces shaping political, social and economic life.

As you gain knowledge and perspective, you will be able to demonstrate high-level skills of theoretical and empirical analysis. Not only will you gain a thorough understanding of the complexities of contemporary international relations but be able to interpret these global issues and events to form a hopeful, positive solution for all parties.

You’ll complete the following core units:

  • The United Nations and International Organisation
  • Security and Strategy
  • Research Design.

You can also complete study that combines research and certain course elective units that may be used to form a specialisation in one of the following areas:

  • Conflict and Security
  • Diplomacy and Activism
  • Human Rights and International Law.

Specific research options meet the thesis requirements for admission to a PhD pathway so you can start focusing on the area of international relations you’re truly passionate about from the moment you start the course.

The masters degree also offers postgraduate internship opportunities, giving you the chance to gain valuable international experience and begin building your industry networks and connections.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of International Relations
Year

2024 course information

Deakin code
A703
Level
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9

Course structure

To be awarded a Master of International Relations a student must successfully complete 12 or 8 credit points (depending upon entry point) as follows:

  • 2 core units
  • DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit)
  • 6 or 10 credit points of study from one of the Minor Thesis, Research Paper or Professional Experience Pathways^.

^Course Elective units may be used to form a specialisation

Core Units

  • The United Nations and International Organisation
  • Security and Strategy
  • Pathways

    Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway

  • Research Design
  • Plus 2 credit points of research units:

  • Minor Thesis A
  • Minor Thesis B
  • Plus 3 or 7 credit points (depending upon entry point) chosen from the specialisations and/or course electives

    Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^

  • Research Paper
  • Plus 5 or 9 credit points (depending upon entry point) chosen from the specialisations and/or course electives

    Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^

  • Internship Capstone (2 credit points)
  • Plus 4 or 8 credit points (depending upon entry point) chosen from the specialisations and/or course electives

    ^The Research Paper and Professional Experience options are not PhD Pathways.

    Course Electives and Specialisations

    To qualify for a specialisation within the Master of International Relations, a student must successfully complete 4-5 credit points of study from within that specialisation.

    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 **

    *Trimester 3 study is required, Professional experience Trimester 1 intake part-time study only

    ** Available as a part-time study option for Research Option 2 in Trimester 1 & 2 only

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Trimester 3 - November

    • Start date: November
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    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. More information available at Disability support services.

    Work experience

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

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    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Depending on your professional experience and previous qualifications, you may commence this course with admission credit and complete your course in 1 year full-time (or part-time equivalent).

    Academic requirements

    1 year full-time (or part-time equivalent) – 8 credit points

    To be considered for admission to this degree (with 4 credit points of admission credit applied^*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)
    • completion of a bachelor honours degree in a related discipline
    • completion of a graduate certificate or graduate diploma or higher in a related discipline

    1.5 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) - 12 credit points

    To be considered for admission to this degree (without admission credit applied*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline
    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in any discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)

    ^Recognition of prior learning into the Master of International Relations may be granted to students who have successfully completed appropriate Postgraduate level studies.

    Related disciplines which may be considered include: International Relations, International Studies, Middle East Studies, Asian Politics, African Studies, Latin American Studies, European Studies, Military and Defence Studies, Russian Studies, Politics, Political Science, Policy Studies, Strategic Studies, Security Studies, Conflict Analysis, Conflict Resolution, Peace Research, International Law, Political Economy.

    Relevant work experience which may be considered include: Army, Defence Services, International NGO's, Security, Emergency within Government and Commercial Organisations, International Affairs, United Nations.

    *Recognition of prior learning will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Learn more below.

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning. 

    You can refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.  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.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.  

    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.

    FEE-HELP calculator

    What is FEE-HELP?

    FEE-HELP loans cover up to 100% of tuition fees for eligible students. By taking out a FEE-HELP loan, the government pays your tuition fees directly to Deakin, and the balance is repaid from your employment income - but only once you're earning over $51,550.

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    • $* is the estimated full cost for a Master of International Relations (12 credit points), based on the 2024 fees.
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    *Disclaimer

    Deakin University (Deakin):

    • gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the currency, accuracy or the completeness of the information provided;
    • advises users that no reliance should be placed upon on the information provided, and;
    • instructs users that they should confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    This tool provides indicative information about the fees that will be payable in respect of courses and subjects offered to prospective students domiciled in Australia during the periods indicated.

    Please note that the fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and actual fees may vary. Users are advised to confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    The estimated course fee is based on the tuition fee costs applicable to a domestic full time student commencing the course in Trimester 1 and studying full time for the duration of the course but:

    • does not include non-tuition costs that may apply, such as Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF);
    • does not take into account any scholarships or bursaries awarded to the student (including the 10% Deakin alumni discount);
    • assumes the maximum number of units that need to be successfully completed actual number completed may be reduced if recognition of prior learning is granted;
    • assumes that no exceptional, or non-typical, circumstances apply to the proposed course of study;
    • assumes that the options that the user selects are appropriate for the course of study that they intend to undertake;
    • where fees are estimated for future years those fee will be subject to annual increases in accordance with increases in the cost of course delivery.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

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    Create an account in the Deakin Application Portal, start your application, enter personal details, education experience, upload supporting documents and submit. Need help? Play this video, or contact one of our friendly future student advisers on 1800 693 888 or submit an online enquiry.

    Need more information on how to apply?

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

    Research Information

    Students will complete a research pathway in 1 of the 3 following options:

    • Minor Thesis - PhD Pathway
    • Research Paper – non PhD Pathway^
    • Professional Experience – non PhD Pathway^.

    Entry pathways

    Alternative exits

    • Graduate Diploma of International Relations (A603)

    Contact information

    Our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one about your study options, support services and how we can help you further your career.

    Careers

    Career outcomes

    Graduates of Deakin’s Master of International Relations have gone on to work for organisations such as:

    • Australian Government
    • Australian Defence Force
    • United Nations
    • World Vision
    • Save the Children.

    The nature of international relations roles is changing due to the impacts of climate change, the rise of China and other forms of geopolitical change. After examining key contemporary issues and developments around the world, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, you will graduate ready to enter the industry with current and best practice knowledge to make your impact.

    Opportunities to make your impact exist in:

    • all levels of government
    • private sector corporations and small business
    • non-government organisations (NGOs)
    • the media
    • management consultancies
    • multicultural associations
    • education
    • health
    • 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

    Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities

    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.

    Communication

    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

    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

    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

    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.

    Self-management

    Demonstrate autonomy, responsibility, accountability and a continued commitment to learning and skill development personally, academically and professionally in the field of International Relations.

    Teamwork

    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

    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 May 2019