Master of International Relations - 2019

Postgraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2019 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Arts.

Other commencement years for this course: 2018, 2017, 2016 and more

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.

You 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 of Arts

Graduate Diploma of 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.

You may also choose to complete advanced international relations.

This course provides you with a comprehensive knowledge of international affairs, grounded in the key debates framing global politics and driven by in-depth empirical analysis. Through this, you 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, you 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 you 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 you 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 you will be able to:

  1. Understand, apply and critique key IR themes, methods and theories through both independent and collaborative activities, presentations and written assessments
  2. Utilise advanced research skills to examine, analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of international relations policies, programs and institutions
  3. Apply theory in complex areas of practice
  4. Communicate multifaceted ideas and arguments in international relations to specialists and lay persons
  5. Develop interpersonal and intercultural skills and demonstrate a knowledge on the diversity of world views and their impact on international issues and decisions.


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.

If you are admitted to the course, and have a recognised honours degree in a cognate discipline including humanities or social sciences, you will receive credit for Part C, however, should you wish to complete a 24 point research project as part of the course you 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. If you are admitted at:

  • entry level 1 you complete 96 points, comprising Part A, Part B and Part C. You must complete A before progressing onto Part B and C.
  • entry level 2 you complete 72 points, comprising Part B and Part C Option 1 (Research pathway) or Option 2 (Discipline electives)
  • entry level 3 you complete 48 points, comprising Part B.

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

You are required to complete the requirements for your chosen specialisation.

You 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.

The course progression mapcourse progression map ( provides guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.

If you are eligible to enroll in the 1.5-year entry point, you have the option of completing this course intensively over a 12-month period by following the intensive course progression mapintensive course progression map (

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

You must 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
  • ATS3340 International security studies
  • ATS3705 Knowledge and power in world politics

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

You must 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 chosen 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 Contemporary security topics*
  • APG5337 Governance and democratisation*
International diplomacy and trade:
  • APG5324 International political economy*
  • BTF5340 Regional trade governance
  • MGF5911 Diplomacy and statecraft (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
  • APG5667Not offered in 2019 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)

If you are admitted at Entry Level 1 you complete Option 1, 2 or 3 below.

If you are admitted at Entry Level 2 you 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
  • APG5054Not offered in 2019 Research methods for development practice and change
  • APG5066 Shanghai city lab*
  • APG5067 Cultural economy and sustainable development*
  • APG5069Not offered in 2019 Australia and Asia in the Asian century: Politics, business, media
  • APG5078 Gender-based policy and planning
  • APG5081Not offered in 2019 Public health ethics
  • APG5100 Colab M: Mentoring for development practice and professional development*
  • APG5180 Policy and political communication
  • APG5181 Intergovernmental relations
  • APG5190Not offered in 2019 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)
  • APG5481Not offered in 2019 Language for professional purposes - Part 1 (6 points)
  • APG5482Not offered in 2019 Language for professional purposes - Part 2 (6 points)
  • APG5483Not offered in 2019 Language for professional purposes - Part 3 (6 points)
  • APG5590 Political Islam
  • 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 of International Relations after successful completion of 24 credit points of study including APG5060, APG5746 and APG5471 or APG5470.
  • Graduate Diploma of 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

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