• 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:

36 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
POLS2133 International Organisations in World Politics 6
POLS3001 Foreign Policy Analysis: Understanding Global and Australian Foreign Policy Decision-Making 6
POLS3017 International Relations Theory 6

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

Code Title Units
ANIP3003 Australian National Internships Program Internship A 6
ANIP3005 Australian National Internship B 12
ASIA2109 Politics of South Asia 6
EURO2003 European Union: Policies, Institutions and Challenges 6
HIST2136 World at War, 1939-1945 6
HIST2141 The Cold War: 1945-1989 6
HIST2240 Democracy and Dissent: Europe Since 1945 6
INTR2010 International Relations in the Asia-Pacific 6
INTR2012 China's New Approaches to Asia Pacific Security 6
INTR2014 Indian Foreign and Security Policy 6
INTR2016 US Security Policy in Asia 6
INTR2018 Japan's Security Dilemmas 6
INTR2020 Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula 6
INTR2024 Nuclear Politics in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities 6
INTR2028 Regionalism, Rights and Order in Southeast Asia 6
MEAS1001 Introduction to the Modern Middle East 6
MEAS2001 New States of Eurasia: Emerging Issues in Politics and Security 6
MEAS2105 The Political Economy of the Middle East 6
MEAS2004 Turkish Politics and Foreign Policy 6
  PHIL 2064: Theories of Ethics
PHIL2113 Global Justice 6
PHIL2115 Political Philosophy from Hobbes to Mill 6
PHIL2120 Towards a Critique of Political Economy: the Young Marx on Work, Property and Emancipation 6
POLS2011 Development and Change 6
POLS2063 Contemporary Political Theory 6
POLS2064 Global Social Movements 6
POLS2075 Globalism and the Politics of Identity 6
POLS2095 Politics in Latin America 6
POLS2096 Genocide Studies 6
POLS2099 Cartographies of Security: Critical Security Studies and International Politics 6
POLS2100 Genocide - Post 1945 6
POLS2101 Refugee Politics: Displacement and Exclusion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries 6
POLS2102 The Political Philosophy of Deception 6
POLS2113 Human Rights 6
POLS2117 The International Relations of Latin America 6
POLS2119 Ideas in Politics 6
POLS2120 Foundations of Political Theory 6
POLS2123 Peace and Conflict Studies 6
POLS2124 Politics of Nuclear Weapons 6
POLS2125 Game Theory and Social Sciences 6
POLS2131 Security Communities: From War to Peace 6
POLS3035 The Politics of International Law 6
POLS3025 Contemporary Political Analysis 6
POLS3033 Environment, Human Security and Conflict 6
POLS3028 Researching and Writing Human Rights 6
SOCY2030 Sociology of Third World Development 6
SOCY2038 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods 6
SOCY2043 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods 6
STST2001 International Security issues in the Asia Pacific 6
STST2003 Security in the South Pacific: Is it Australia's "Arc of Instability"? 6
STST3001 Transnational security issues in the Asia-Pacific 6
STST3002 Australia's Security in the Asian Century 6
VCUG2001 Creating Knowledge 6
VCUG2002 Leadership and Influence in a Complex World 6
VCUG3001 Unravelling Complexity 6
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