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Studying International Affairs: Post-Graduate Studies at Australian Universities

The decision to embark on university study at a post-graduate level is not one taken lightly, but for those who wish to make a career in international affairs, it may be an important career step. In this article for the Young Australians Careers Blog, accompanying our piece by Marcin Dadura on the merits of Master's degrees, we have asked some of Australia’s premier universities in international affairs, Deakin University, the University of Queensland and Griffith University, to provide us with information about their post-graduate offerings. This is a unique look at these programs, coming directly from the universities themselves, and we hope it will help those who are making this decision.


Master of Arts (International Relations)

Deakin University's Master of Arts (International Relations) is the primary Masters course for individuals with a passion for international affairs and global issues.

Our course is highly unique, providing students with the knowledge to examine key contemporary issues in a global context. Students gain high-level skills in policy analysis, develop a systematic understanding of the international forces that shape our environment and are given the opportunity to undertake a postgraduate internship overseas.

At Deakin, we recognise that you’ve worked hard to get to where you are. If you’ve studied a similar undergraduate course, or have significant professional experience, you may be eligible for credit towards your Masters. Deakin’s unique trimester system also provides students with an incredible amount of flexibility and the option to fast track your studies.

The sky is the limit within Deakin’s Master of Arts (International Relations). If you are wanting to up skill, increase your job prospects or pursue a career in fields such as the public service, private sector corporations, small businesses or non-government organisations, this course is for you.

Deakin also offers courses in International and Community Development, widely recognised as Australia’s premier postgraduate program. The Master of International and Community Development allows students to focus on either community or international development or a unique combination of both.

Student Profile

"Deakin University has by far been the best academic decision I have ever made. Not only was I able to learn in a welcoming and supportive environment, my courses also provided me with incredible practical opportunities to further enhance my studies. From working with Victoria's local multicultural community, to living in Washington D.C. for three months and interning in President Obama's former Senate seat, I was able to gain a wide range of real world experience before graduating. I was also able to complete my studies in record time thanks to Deakin’s trimester system."

Angela Sterjova - Bachelor of International Studies and Master of Arts (International Relations) graduate

Find out more here.


Master of Governance and Public Policy, Master of International Relations, Master of Peace and Conflict Studies

The Graduate Centre in Governance and International Affairs is the hub of graduate education in the School of Political Science and International Studies. It aims to take the student experience to a new level and improve the quality and employability of graduates as future leaders. It offers you the opportunity to study alongside a range of students from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. As part of the Graduate Centre you will be part of a growing a community of learners and researchers. You will be taught by award winning teachers and world class researchers.

The Centre also provides you with opportunities to participate in a range of activities beyond the classroom, such as masterclasses, ‘meet the practitioner’ sessions, expert roundtables about current crises, as well opportunities for student exchanges and internships that can provide you with hands-on experiences of working in the field.

Graduates from our programs have gone on to careers in diplomacy, government, journalism, NGOs and UN organizations, think-tanks, political risk analysis and regulatory associations, as well as advocacy groups, aid and development. Other have gone on to further studies and academia.

In addition to our strong Honours and PhD programs, the Graduate Centre offers a suite of Master and Graduate Certificate degrees in:

• International Relations

• Peace and Conflict Studies,

• Governance and Public Policy

Each of our Master programs is offered as 16, 24 or 32 unit programs (equivalent to two, three or four semesters of full time study), depending on your undergraduate qualifications and experience. Each also offers an eight-unit Graduate Certificate. You can also commence your studies in first or second semester of the academic year. This comprehensive suite of flexible programs allows you to tailor your degree to specific career goals, organizations and policy areas. Our programs are carefully designed to provide you with the foundations and skills you need whether you are embarking on a new career or seeking to expand and deepen your knowledge to enhance your current career.

Find out more here.


Master of International Relations

Our program is relatively broad: we require students in the coursework pathway to study international relations theory, foreign policy analysis, international security and the global economy and globalisation more broadly. For students in the dissertation pathway, research methods and a substantial dissertation are also required. We also offer a range of optional courses in various areas, including international ethics, Australian foreign policy, terrorism, international relations and the global environment, and religion and international affairs.

We make offers to students with a quite diverse set of undergraduate qualifications. Obviously, those with political science and international relations degrees or majors form the majority of those who apply. But we also get applicants with degrees from across the humanities and social sciences: history, languages, economics, sociology, anthropology, and so on, as well as law, journalism, communication, and international business.

Our students go on to a variety of careers. Some move into government, in Canberra or elsewhere, in the states or in their own countries. We have graduates in DFAT and Defence and other agencies, as well as those state government agencies involved with international trade or suchlike. Some also go into the think tank or NGO sectors. And then there are many who work in the private sector, but with an international (usually an Asian) focus.

Our program tries to balance providing students with a sound grasp of academic theories about how international relations work, with a strong focus on contemporary developments in the ways in which governments, NGOs, international organisations, multinational firms, and other actors behave.

Find out more here.

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