Master of International Relations - 2018

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2018 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Arts.

Other commencement years for this course: 2017, 2016 and 2015

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Course code


Credit points


Abbreviated title




Managing faculty



Dr Bill Flanik

Contact details

Tel: 1800 MONASH (1800 666 274) Web address:

Admission and fees


Course progression map

A6010 (pdf)

Course type

Master by coursework

Standard duration

2 years FT, 4 years PT

This course normally takes 2 years full-time to complete but if you have relevant entry qualifications you may receive credit and be able to complete the course in 1.5 years or 1 year full-time, or part-time equivalent.

Students have a maximum of 6 years to complete this course including any periods of intermission and suspension, and must be continuously enrolled throughout.

Mode and location

On-campus (Caulfield, Clayton)


Master of International Relations

Alternative exits

Graduate Certificate in Arts

Graduate Diploma in Arts

Refer to 'Alternative exits' entry below for further requirements and details.


Our world is being shaped by big questions about global justice, war, peace, social movements, and inter-state relations. These questions help define what this Master of International Relations is all about. In short, this course offers students a window into the diverse and dynamic world of politics in the 21st century.

The course offers a range of topics such as global security, economics and human rights with three specialisations, focusing on:

  • governance and security
  • international diplomacy and trade
  • political violence and counter-terrorism.

Students may also choose to complete advanced international relations.

This course provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of international affairs, grounded in the key debates framing global politics and driven by in-depth empirical analysis. Through this, students will be able to make sense of the complexity of global politics by providing the analytical perspectives and skills needed to see both the 'bigger picture' and comprehend detailed aspects of specific issues.

Subject to conditions, students have the opportunity to study abroad, and to develop research interests in a number of areas, providing them with a potential pathway into a higher degree by research. Our graduates have gone on to a broad range of occupations and have been employed by the likes of the United Nations, the Australian Government, and non-governmental organisations such as the International Red Cross.


Governance and security

This specialisation provides students with a comprehensive understanding of how power, authority, and participation is managed within and amongst states as well as challenges to this domestically and internationally. Focus is on the practical applications of governance, institutions, the rule of law, and how this works in the contemporary global environment.

International diplomacy and trade

This specialisation will advance your knowledge across international trade, diplomacy, and international law. It is designed for people at the start of their careers as well as people working in the field who want to develop their careers in international public policy, NGOs and government departments such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Political violence and counter-terrorism

This specialisation provides students with a critical engagement with manifestations of political violence, as well as the ideologies and conditions that give rise to political violence. Focus is on understanding terrorism and political extremism, the conditions associated with preventing and combating political violence, and the impacts of these activities on democratic and civil liberties.

Advanced international relations

This enables you to tailor your unit choices to suit your own interests or needs while addressing the fundamental debates framing global politics. By selecting across the range of specialisations, you will be able to examine key issues in foreign policy, international and comparative governance, world order and security, human rights, European studies, crisis management, diplomacy and trade, or terrorism.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 9, the Bologna Cycle 2 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 9, the Bologna Cycle 2 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. critically analyse the principal themes, theories and issues in international relations
  2. analyse and critically evaluate the international relations literature
  3. apply theory in complex areas of practice
  4. recognise and incorporate the diversity of world views in practice
  5. utilise independent research skills and communicate complex ideas and arguments to specialists in the field of international relations and to lay persons


The course is structured in three parts: Part A. Foundations for advanced international relations studies, Part B. Core master's study and Part C. Advanced expertise. All students complete Part B. Depending upon prior qualifications, you may receive credit for Part A or Part C or a combination of the two.

Note that if you are eligible for credit for prior studies you may elect not to receive the credit.

Part A. Foundations for advanced international relations studies

These studies will introduce you to international relations studies at advanced undergraduate or graduate level. They are intended for students whose previous qualification is not in a cognate field.

Part B. Core master's study

These studies draw on best practices within the broad realm of international relations practice and research exploring the security, ethical, and economic dimensions of international relations. You will have opportunities to examine key issues in foreign policy, world order, European studies, crisis management, and terrorism.

Part C. Advanced expertise

The focus of these studies is professional or scholarly work that can contribute to a portfolio of professional development. You have two options:

  • a program of coursework study where you select the units to suit your own interests. This option includes the opportunity to undertake an internship in the field.
  • a 24 point research thesis. Students wishing to use this master's course as a pathway to a higher degree by research should take this second option.

Students admitted to the course, who have a recognised honours degree in a cognate discipline including humanities or social sciences, will receive credit for Part C, however, should they wish to complete a 24 point research project as part of the course they should consult with the course coordinator.


The course comprises 96 points structured into three parts: Part A. Foundations for advanced international relations studies (24 points), Part B. Core master's study (48 points) and Part C. Broadening expertise (24 points).

Depending on prior qualifications you may receive entry level credit (a form of block credit) which determines your point of entry to the course. Students admitted at:

  • entry level 1 complete 96 points, comprising Part A, Part B and Part C.

Students must complete A before progressing onto Part B and C.

  • entry level 2 complete 72 points, comprising Part B and Part C Option 1 (Research pathway) or Option 2 (Discipline electives)
  • entry level 3 complete 48 points, comprising Part B.

Note: Students eligible for credit for prior studies you may elect not to receive the credit and complete one of the higher credit-point options.

Students are required to complete the requirements for their chosen specialisation.

The course progression mapcourse progression map ( will assist you to plan to meet the course requirements, and guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.

Students must complete a minimum of 48 credit points at level 5 and a maximum of 24 points at level 2 or 3 for entry level 1.

Unless otherwise stated, units with codes beginning with 2 or 3 are 6 points, and units with codes beginning with a 5 are 12 points.

Part A. Foundations for advanced international relations studies (24 points)

Students complete:

a. The following units:

  • APG5060 Advanced academic skills (6 points)
  • APG5746 Reading and writing international relations

b. One unit (6 points) from the units listed below:

  • ATS2624 Global governance
  • ATS3335 International political economy
  • ATS3340Not offered in 2018 International security studies
  • ATS3705 Knowledge and power in world politics

Part B. Core master's study (48 points)

Students complete:

a. The following unit (12 points):

  • APG5668 Advanced seminar in international relations*

b. 24 points of core master's electives from those listed below under your specialisation or advanced international relations

c. Capstone unit/s (12 points) from:

  • APG5044 Professional internship
  • APG5091 Big ideas in international relations policy*
  • APG5093 International relations field unit: Governing peace and security
  • APG5856 Research project

Core master's electives

Governance and security:

  • APG5064 Gender, security and conflict
  • APG5332 Security and securitisation*
  • APG5337 Governance and democratisation*

International diplomacy and trade:

  • APG5324 Advanced seminar in international political economy*
  • BTF5340 Regional trade governance
  • MGF5722 Emerging economies in a globalising world (6 points)
  • MGF5730 International trade policy (6 points)
  • MGF5760 International institutions and organisations

Political violence and counter-terrorism:

  • APG5092 Human rights in global politics
  • APG5327 Wars of recognition: Terrorism and political violence
  • APG5667 Terrorism, fringe politics and extremist violence

Advanced international relations:

  • 24 points of units from any specialisation in Part B (b) above

Part C. Advanced expertise (24 points)

Students admitted at Entry Level 1 complete Option 1, 2 or 3 below.

Students admitted at Entry Level 2 complete either Option 1 or Option 2 below.

Option 1

Research Option

The following unit/s:

  • APG5848 Research thesis (24 points)** or APG5849 Research thesis A (12 points) and APG5850 Research thesis B (12 points)

** Students admitted to the course at entry level 3 who wish to complete the 24 point research thesis, should consult with the course coordinator.

Option 2

Discipline Electives

Elective units (24 points) from the following:

  • APG5045 Gender and development
  • APG5054 Research methods for development practice and change
  • APG5066 Shanghai city lab*
  • APG5067 Cultural economy and sustainable development*
  • APG5081 Public health ethics
  • APG5100 Colab M: Mentoring for development practice and professional development*
  • APG5180 Policy and political communication
  • APG5181 Intergovernmental relations
  • APG5190 Global journalism: Hong Kong field school*
  • APG5229 Prosperity, poverty and sustainability in a globalised world
  • APG5397 Media, technologies and social change
  • APG5400 Issues in international communications
  • APG5470 Managing multicultural teams (6 points)
  • APG5471 Leadership in intercultural environments (6 points)
  • APG5617 Human research ethics
  • APG5628 Deconstructing development
  • LAW5304 Overview of international human rights law
  • any units from any specialisation in Part B not already completed

Option 3

Complementary Electives (Entry point 1-96 points)

Up to 24 points of approved units from the following Arts Graduate coursework programs. All units are available unless marked with an asterisk(*)

These units must be selected from Part B: Core Master's study and/or Part C: Advanced expertise

  • A6001 Master of Applied Linguistics
  • A6002 Master of Bioethics
  • A6003 Master of Communications and Media Studies
  • A6004 Master of Cultural and Creative Industries
  • A6006 Master of International Development Practice
  • A6008 Master of Journalism
  • A6009 Master of Tourism
  • A6012 Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management

Alternative exits

You may exit this course early and apply to graduate with one of the following awards, provided you have satisfied the requirements for that award during your enrolment in this master's course:

  • Graduate Certificate in Arts after successful completion of 24 credit points of study with a minimum of 18 credit points at Level 4 or above
  • Graduate Diploma in Arts after successful completion of 48 credit points of study with a minimum of 36 credit points at Level 4 or above.

Progression to further studies

Students entering at entry levels 1 and 2 can complete a research thesis (24 points) that will provide a pathway to a higher degree by research. Students entering at entry level 3 will normally already have an honours degree, however, students in this group who wish to complete a research thesis in international relations should discuss the options with the course coordinator.