• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest International Relations
  • Major code IREL-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate
International Relations Major


The study of International Relations has traditionally focused upon the (often hostile) engagements between nation-states and/or their diplomatic elites seeking to advance the national interest by war or other means. These are still important themes in the contemporary IR agenda. However, at the beginning of the 21st century analysts and policymakers require a more comprehensive body of knowledge and deeper understanding of the world and how it operates. This major is designed to provide students with such knowledge and understanding in regard to both traditional and more recent agendas.



Due to structural changes in the undergraduate program rules in 2012, the courses that make up the new 2012 majors may be different to the pre-2012 majors, and therefore some courses cannot be counted between majors.  Students are advised to contact the CASS Student Office if they are unsure about their Majors.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this major will have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Identify the core concepts and theories that dominate global politics in the 21st century
  • Have a thorough understanding of the historical development of the global system
  • Examine the contemporary challenges facing the global system and evaluate the policies implemented to address them
  • Identify the role that people, states, ideas, and institutions play in shaping the international political economy
  • Understand Australia’s role in global politics
  • Reflect critically on the knowledge and skills developed in their study of International Relations
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

30 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
POLS1005 Introduction to International Relations: Foundations and Concepts 6
POLS1006 Introduction to International Relations: Contemporary Global Issues 6
POLS2094 Issues in International Political Economy 6
POLS3001 Australian Foreign Policy: Australia's Foreign Wars 6
POLS3017 International Relations Theory 6

18 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
EURO2003 European Union: Policies, Institutions and Challenges 6
HIST2136 World at War, 1939-1945 6
HIST2140 Europe in the 20th Century 6
HIST2141 The Cold War: 1945-1989 6
INTR2010 International Relations in the Asia-Pacific 6
MEAS2001 New States of Eurasia: Emerging Issues in Politics and Security 6
MEAS2105 The Political Economy of the Middle East 6
POLS2011 Development and Change 6
POLS2031 Politics in the Middle East 6
POLS2064 Global Social Movements 6
POLS2075 Globalism and the Politics of Identity 6
POLS2085 Gendered Politics of War 6
POLS2095 Development in Latin America 6
POLS2099 Cartographies of Security: Critical Security Studies and International Politics 6
POLS2101 Refugee Politics: Displacement and Exclusion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries 6
POLS2102 The Political Philosophy of Deception 6
POLS2109 The Politics of Empire 6
POLS2113 Human Rights in International Relations 6
POLS2117 The International Relations of Latin America 6
POLS2123 Peace and Conflict Studies 6
POLS2124 Politics of Nuclear Weapons 6
SOCY2030 Sociology of Third World Development 6
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