Coursework

Master of International Relations

  • CRICOS Code: 068096C

The experience

Overview

We will equip you with more than just an education. Learn from some of the country’s most influential teachers, access a network of innovative industry leaders and engage with our exciting internship opportunities.

Graduate profile: Isabel FitzGerald – Senior Coordinator, Policy and Research, Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies

Isabel FitzGerald

Isabel Fitzgerald was working in the arts and community engagement sector when she decided to apply for the Master of International Relations.

“My role at the time was as a senior producer at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, where I was working across both local and international programs,” she explains. “This, combined with ongoing interest in global issues and politics, stirred my appetite for international engagement and diplomacy. I wanted to engage more deeply with theories, debates and issues and extend my knowledge across various areas within international relations.”

While studying part-time, Isabel took on a senior role within the Victorian Government’s Department of Premier and Cabinet in the Community Resilience Unit, developing policies relating to preventing and countering violent extremism.

“The course aligned nicely with the practical policy work I was doing,” she says, “and because of the elective subjects I chose, I ended up having a thematic focus on security, governance and policy with a geographic focus on South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East”.

Isabel is now part of the newly established Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies, a consortium think tank which brings together academia, government and communities. “We develop research and programs and influence policy by understanding how we can build a healthy and cohesive society in order to reduce and respond to polarisation, hate and discrimination with an overall focus on preventing and countering violent extremism”, she says.

“My current role continues to build on my masters knowledge and my role in government because of the intersection between global security issues, the effect of our globalised world and connectedness, and the strengthening of localised community resilience and social cohesion responses to complex global problems.”

Graduate profile: Connor Clery

Connor Clery


After completing high school, I gained entry to the Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne through the Access Melbourne scheme. After completing an additional honours year I chose the Master of International Relations because I knew it would lead to graduate research opportunities.

I particularly enjoyed both my year-long supervision under Dr Daniel McCarthy, and Dr Sara Meger’s class on global security. Also, Dr Peter Christoff from the School of Geography delivers a wonderful subject Climate Change Politics and Policy that was equal parts confronting and fascinating.

Melbourne attracts a diverse array of domestic and international students which often made for broad and varied class discussions. This also helped to make the degree feel fulfilling, both intellectually and socially.

I enjoyed my master’s degree because I found the minor thesis both challenging and rewarding – others in my cohort participated in graduate societies or undertook internships, which can also make for a satisfying degree.

I’m excited to have just begun the Doctor of Philosophy - Arts. My research engages a novel approach to understanding security, to examine what resistance practices articulated by rebel political organisations can tell us about the politics of state sovereignty. It will involve engaging with exciting literatures and complex political issues, and the challenging task of communicating my analyses and interpretations to others.

Graduate profile: Keagan Ó Guaire

Keagan Ó Guaire


“I studied Criminology and Psychology in my undergrad, and it wasn’t until my final year that I realised I was fascinated by the politics of crime and terrorism. I decided I wanted to write a PhD about political theory and political violence, but I knew I didn’t have a solid knowledge base in the field to conduct strong research – I didn’t even have the tools to write a convincing PhD proposal – so I decided to look for a Master’s program in International Relations to bridge that knowledge gap.

“I chose the Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne because of its flexible structure and the staff who oversaw its delivery. The program is designed so that students can choose to specialise in a certain coursework area, develop their workplace experience in the internship program or undertake a year of independent research in the form of a minor thesis, which can serve as a stepping stone into a PhD program.

“I believe that there should be an ethic of care and community at the heart of International Relations. This is especially true for students at the University of Melbourne as we conduct our work and research on the unceded lands of the Boonwurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Eastern Kulin nation.

“I would encourage students thinking about studying the Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne to ask themselves how every lecture, assessment, internship or research experience might be converted into an opportunity to work towards empowering others.

“Once I graduate from the PhD program, I’d like to spend some time writing social policy before applying to post-doctoral programs. That being said, I would be equally happy to work in a vastly different field because education isn’t only about getting the ‘dream job’, it’s a broader experience of personal growth and social responsibility.”

University of Melbourne and American University Double Degree Program

Students from both institutions can undertake an additional year of study at the partner institution and be awarded the degrees from both; a Master of International Relations from the University of Melbourne and a Master of International Service from American University. More Information...