single degree

Bachelor of International Relations

A single three year undergraduate degree offered by the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

  • Length 3 years full-time
  • Minimum 144 Units
Admission requirements
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.

Can you see yourself jet-setting the globe with a career in trade, foreign affairs, journalism, international business or research? You have found the right degree.

ANU is a leader in the field of International Relations.

Our program will introduce you to International Relations, initially via the broad historical and intellectual framework which has framed the modern world of states since the 17th century. It will then concentrate on the 20th century, the age of World Wars and the Cold War, before addressing contemporary issues, the age of global political economy, global culture and communication, global environmental concerns and post-Cold war political conflict, including the 'War on Terror'.

With our flexible program you can extend your chosen language subject into a major, and have the opportunity to go on exchange or an international/national internship.

Career Options

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the degree graduates are expected to:

  • Identify the principal theoretical approaches to the study of international relations, and the relationships between them;
  • Have a thorough understanding of the historical development of the global system;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principal actors in contemporary global politics and the challenges they face;
  • Understand the principal factors that determine the foreign policies of major powers and of Australia;
  • Reflect critically on the knowledge and skills developed in their study of International Relations.

Admission Requirements

Admission to all programs is on a competitive basis. Admission to undergraduate degrees is based on meeting the ATAR requirement or an equivalent rank derived from the following qualifications:

• An Australian year 12 qualification or international equivalent; OR
• A completed Associate Diploma, Associate Degree, AQF Diploma, Diploma, AQF Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate or international equivalent; OR
• At least one standard full-time year (1.0 FTE) in a single program of degree level study at an Australian higher education institution or international equivalent; OR
• An approved tertiary preparation course unless subsequent study is undertaken.

Click HERE for further information about domestic admission.

The table below is a guide to the entry level required for domestic applicants. Exact entry level will be set at time of offer.

QLD Band:
International Baccalaureate:

Domestic applicant entry requirements

Queensland Band equivalents are a guide only - selection is made on a UAI equivalent that is not available to students.

International applicant entry requirements

International applicants may view further information on admissions requirements at Entry Requirements for International Undergraduate Applicants

The University reserves the right to alter or discontinue its programs as required.

Bonus Points

The National Access Scheme 2014

ANU offers bonus points for nationally strategic senior secondary subjects, and in recognition of difficult circumstances that students face in their studies. 

Bonus points are applied to all applicants with an ATAR at or above 70. Points are awarded in accordance with the approved schedule, and no more than 10 points (maximum 5 academic points and maximum 5 equity points) will be awarded.

Bonus points do not apply to programs with an ATAR cutoff of 98 or higher.

Bonus Points are only awarded to domestic applicants applying for admission through UAC who have not previously attempted tertiary study.

How to apply

Academic Bonus Points: senior secondary students do not need to apply for ANU academic bonus points. They are automatically added in accordance with the schedule.

Educational Access Scheme: senior secondary students do not need to apply if their school is part of the Priority School Funding Program or Country Areas Program. All other applicants should refer to  for more information.

Program Requirements

The Bachelor of International Relations requires completion of 144 units, of which:

A maximum of 60 units may come from completion of 1000-level courses

The 144 units must include:

36 units from completion of the following compulsory courses:

POLS1005 Intro to International Relations: Foundations and Concepts

POLS1006 Intro to International Relations: Contemporary Global Issues

POLS2094 Issues in International Political Economy

POLS2133 International Organizations in World Politics

POLS3001 Foreign Policy Analysis: Understanding Global and Australian Foreign Policy Decision-Making

POLS3017 International Relations Theory

A minimum of 6 units from the following theory courses:

PHIL2064 Theories of Ethics

PHIL2115 Political Philosophy from Hobbes to Mill

PHIL2120 Towards a Critique of Political Economy: the Young Marx on Work, Property and Emancipation

POLS2063 Contemporary Political Theory

POLS2075 Globalism and the Politics of Identity

POLS2102 The Political Philosophy of Deception

POLS3032 The Politics of Empire

POLS2119 Ideas in Politics

POLS2120 Foundations of Political Theory

A minimum of 6 units from the following methods courses:

POLS2125 Game Theory and Social Science

POLS3025 Contemporary Political Analysis

POLS3028 Researching and Writing Human Rights

SOCY2038 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods

SOCY2043 Qualitative Research Methods

A minimum of 12 units from the following areas studies courses:

ASIA2109 Politics of South Asia

EURO1004 Europe in the Modern Era

EURO2003 European Union: Policies, Institutions and Challenges

INTR2010 International Relations of the Asia-Pacific

INTR2028 Southeast Asia: ASEAN and Regional Order

MEAS1001 Introduction to the Modern Middle East

MEAS2001 New States of Eurasia: Emerging Issues in Politics and Security

MEAS2105 The Political Economy of the Middle East

POLS1007 An Introduction to Latin American Studies

POLS2095 Politics in Latin America

POLS2117 The International Relations of Latin America

A minimum of 6 units from the following security courses:

INTR2012 China's New Approaches to Asia Pacific Security

INTR2014 Indian Foreign and Security Policy

INTR2016 US Security Policy in Asia

INTR2018 Japan's Security Dilemmas

INTR2020 Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula

INTR2024 Nuclear Politics in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities

POLS2099 Cartographies of Security: Critical Security Studies and International Politics

POLS2123 Peace and Conflict Studies

POLS2124 Politics of Nuclear Weapons

POLS2131 Security Communities: From War to Peace

POLS3033 Environment, Human Security and Conflict

STST1001 Introduction to International Security Studies

STST2001 International Security Issues in the Asia Pacific

STST3001 Transnational Security Issues in the Asia-Pacific

STST2003 Security in the South Pacific: Is it Australia's "Arc of Instability"?

STST3002 Australia's Security in the Asian Century

A minimum of 6 units from the following global politics courses:

HIST2136 World at War, 1939-1945

HIST2140 Europe in the 20th Century

HIST2141 The Cold War: 1945-1989

PHIL2064 Theories of Ethics

PHIL2113 Global Justice

PHIL2120 Towards a Critique of Political Economy: the Young Marx on Work, Property and Emancipation

POLS2011 Development and Change

POLS2064 Global Social Movements

POLS2096 Genocide Studies

POLS2100 Genocide Post-1945

POLS2101 Refugee Politics: Displacement and Exclusion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

POLS2113 Human Rights

SOCY2030 Sociology of Third World Development

A maximum of 12 units from the following internships and Vice Chancellors courses:

ANIP3003 Australian National Internship A

ANIP3005 Australian National Internship B

VCUG1001 The Art of Computing

VCUG2001 Creating Knowledge

VCUG2002 Leadership and Influence in a Complex World

VCUG3001 Unravelling Complexity

VCUG3002 Mobilising Research

A maximum of 24 units from courses in the following language minors

Advanced French Studies\

Advanced German Studies

Advanced Hispanic Culture

Advanced Hispanic Linguistics

Advanced Italian Studies

Advanced Spanish Studies

Ancient Greek


Chinese Language

Classical Chinese

French Language and Culture

German Language and Culture

Hindi Language

Indonesian Language

Italian Language and Culture

Japanese Language

Japanese Linguistics

Korean Language




Sanskrit Language


Thai Language

Urdu Language

Vietnamese Language

48 units from completion of elective courses offered by ANU



Elective Study

Once you have met the program requirements of your degree, you may have enough electives to complete an additional elective major,  minor or specialisation.

Study Options

Year 1 48 units POLS1005 Introduction to International Relations: Foundations and Concepts 6 units ANU Elective 6 units Areas Studies Course 6 units Language Minor Course 6 units
POLS1006 Introduction to International Relations: Contemporary Global Issues 6 units Areas Studies Course 6 units ANU Elective 6 units Language Minor Course 6 units
Year 2 48 units POLS2133 International Organisations in World Politics 6 units Theory Course 6 units Methods Course 6 units POLS3001 Foreign Policy Analysis: Understanding Global and Australian Foreign Policy Decision-Making 6 units
POLS2094 Issues in International Political Economy 6 units ANU Elective 6 units ANU Elective 6 units ANU Elective 6 units
Year 3 48 units ANIP Internship/VC courses 12 units - ANU Elective 6 units ANU Elective 6 units
POLS3017 International Relations Theory 6 units Global Politics Course 6 units ANU Elective 6 units ANU Elective 6 units


For information about honours, please see Bachelor of International Relations (Honours)

Indicative Fees

Annual indicative fee for international students


ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to students to assist with the cost of their studies.

Eligibility to apply for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

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