Master of International Relations

Course MC-IR (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 068096C
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.
Course Overview:

The Master of International Relations (MIR) is offered collaboratively by several Schools in the Faculty of Arts. The degree is designed for graduates who are seeking careers in international affairs, in government, diplomacy, non-government organisations (NGOs), international organisations, and the media. It is a program that combines advanced study in the field of international relations, with relevant professional skills development, and an electives program that is specifically designed to promote cross-cultural understanding. The elective program is also to reflect Australia’s geographic location and the University of Melbourne’s research strengths, notably in Asian and Islamic Studies with an emphasis on Asian and Islamic politics, society and culture. The program will also offer students exchange and language study opportunities. The degree is specifically designed as a pathway to professional employment, however there is a thesis option for high achieving students who may wish to progress to a PhD.


The MIR is designed to provide students with a comprehensive, multidisciplinary and professionally-oriented degree in international relations, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. It is designed to provide students with a conceptual knowledge of key developments in international relations together with the practical skills that are relevant to a career in international affairs, including working in international organisations, government, business, media, and nongovernment organisations.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

200 point program

  • 6 compulsory subjects - 75 points
  • elective subjects - 125 points
Total 200 points

100 point program

  • 4 compulsory subjects - 50 points
  • elective subjects - 50 points

Total 100 points

For policies that govern this degree, see Academic Services Policy in the University Melbourne Policy Framework. Students also should also refer to information in the Student Policy Directory.

Subject Options:

Compulsory subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 1, Semester 2

Elective subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 2

Internship / Research Project

Note: the minor thesis requires two consecutive semesters of enrolment.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2


Students may enrol in up to 25 points of language study in the following areas:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
Entry Requirements:

The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant's ability to pursue successfully the course using the following criteria:

For the 200 point program:

  • an undergraduate degree with at least H2B (70%) average in the major or equivalent.

For the 100 point program:

  • an honours degree or equivalent in a cognate discipline;


  • an undergraduate degree in a cognate area with at least H2B (70%) average in the major, or equivalent, and at least 2 years of documented, relevant work experience.

The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports or employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Admission process
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:
Further Study: Students who complete the minor thesis may be eligible for entry into the PhD.
Graduate Attributes: MIR graduates will have a comprehensive understanding of the key ideas, actors, institutions and contemporary challenges in international relations through a core program and the opportunity for further specialisation in particular fields of study through a rich selection of electives. Graduates will have acquired the following:
  • cross-cultural experiences and understanding;
  • an ability to to apply academic knowledge to professional contexts;
  • an in-depth understanding of Australia’s region;
  • an ability to engage with topics of contemporary relevance and concern in international relations;
  • analytical tools for critical thinking and problem-solving;
  • enhanced research, writing and general communication skills.
Generic Skills:

MIR graduates will have acquired skills in the areas of:

  • leadership and communication;
  • critical analysis and creative thinking;
  • project management;
  • team work and professional networking;
  • research, writing and communication.

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