International Relations Major (BA) | Curtin University
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Study International Relations at Curtin

International Relations

Undergraduate Major


International Relations Major (BA)


Study the art of diplomacy and policy-making, and explore contemporary global issues.

Study International Relations at Curtin

Laurelle Neugebauer

The international relations course helps students think broadly about the world we live in and how we can take action towards ensuring a sustainable future for humanity. The course enables students to engage with and understand cultural difference, and develop strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Transferable skills

Humanities courses teach transferable skills for international careers. 


Global Education

You’ll have access to a range of international study opportunities.

High national ranking

Curtin is Australia's top research institution in diplomacy and international relations.

The Australian's Research 2020 magazine.

Curtin Early Offers for 2023

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Find out more

International relations is a dynamic, multidisciplinary field that investigates the social, economic and environmental relationships between different political bodies.

In this major you will explore contemporary global issues through various analytical frameworks of political theory, international relations theory, foreign policy, strategic studies and political history. You'll gain a comprehensive understanding of the actors, institutions, and processes of international politics and organisations. 

You'll study the art of diplomacy and policymaking, geopolitical change, and national and regional security in military, political and geo-economic contexts.

You'll explore political and regional globalisation in-depth, with an emphasis on the Indo-Pacific; and examine international trade, environmental change, resource management and human rights issues.

You'll also gain skills in critical analysis, problem-solving and written and oral communications – which underpin influential careers in international relations.

International Relations is offered as part of the Bachelor of Arts. You can enhance your studies with a second major or choose from a range of elective units that support your career goals.

When coupled with Business Law or Economics you can complete this major as part of the Bachelor of Commerce.

You can also study this major as part of a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce double degree.

See our handbook for more course information.

How to apply

This major sits within the Bachelor of Arts degree. To apply for this major, you will apply for the Bachelor of Arts. In step 3 of the application process, you will be asked to confirm the major you wish to study.

Applying as an undergraduate student is easy. For information tailored to your situation, visit our easy to follow instructions to get your application started.

Ready to apply?

Apply now

Why study

  • Curtin's award-winning team of international experts offers you a quality education with a strong applied angle.
  • This major offers a multidisciplinary approach that broadens your career options in government, business, academia and the NGO sector. 

Student profile

View our student profile table to get an indication of the likely peer cohort for new students at Curtin University. This table provides data on students that commenced undergraduate study and passed the census date in the most relevant recent intake period for which data are available. It includes those admitted through all offer rounds and international students studying in Australia.

Career information


  • Diplomat
  • Embassy / consulate / high commission official
  • Human rights advocate
  • Intelligence analyst
  • INTERPOL agent
  • Journalist
  • Research officer
  • Risk analyst
  • Strategic policy analyst
  • Political scientist
  • Public service.


  • Domestic and international law enforcement and policing
  • Government
  • Human rights
  • International aid and development NGOs
  • International business development
  • International trade
  • Military
  • Risk analysis.

What you'll learn

  • demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the social and political sciences; the ability to apply a political and international perspective to the study of social life;
  • demonstrate the ability to think and analyse critically, creatively and reflectively within politics and international relations and across disciplinary boundaries;
  • demonstrate the ability to locate relevant evidence from a wide range of sources and to make informed decisions about the significance of this information in the development of a political and international relations analysis of social life;
  • demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively through a variety of written, oral and other formats to diverse audiences in ways appropriate in international relations;
  • demonstrate the ability to use a variety of technologies and the ability to decide on their applications appropriately;
  • show sustained intellectual curiosity by taking responsibility for one's own learning and intellectual development through the recognition of a range of learning strategies;
  • demonstrate the capacity to understand socio-economic and political life in a range of local and global contexts through the recognition of international practices in political and international affairs;
  • embrace the importance of cultural diversity and of human rights in the making of knowledge in the social and political sciences;
  • provide both accountable and ethical prescriptions/solutions to the major issues and challenges involved in national, regional and world affairs.

Admission criteria

Curtin requires all applicants to demonstrate proficiency in English. Specific English requirements for this course are outlined in the IELTS table below.

IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)

You may demonstrate English proficiency using the following tests and qualifications.

I have work and life experience

Applicants with work and life experience are those who left secondary education more than two years ago (i.e. who are not classified as recent secondary education applicants) and have not undertaken vocational education training (VET) or higher education study since then.

‘Experience’ includes a combination of factors sufficient to demonstrate readiness for higher education such as mature-age entry, professional experience whether completion of the Special Tertiary Admission Test (STAT) is required or not, community involvement or work experience. Applicants may have undertaken non-formal programs that have helped prepare them for tertiary education or are relevant to the proposed higher education field of study.

I’ve studied at TAFE or done an apprenticeship

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study are those whose highest level of study since leaving secondary education is a VET course. This includes study at a public TAFE or other VET provider, whether a qualification was completed or not. Applicants with VET study may have other qualifications such as a Year 10 or Year 12 secondary school certificate.

Other requirements and notes for this course

Applicants are required to choose one of the Bachelor of Arts majors when applying. If you with to study a double major, you elect the second major once you have been accepted into the course.

In addition to the course-specific admission criteria listed above, please read our general admission criteria. Our general admission criteria apply to all courses at Curtin University.

Advanced standing

At Curtin, we understand that everyone’s study journey has been different.

You may have already studied some of the units (subjects) listed in your Curtin course, or you may have work experience that matches the degree requirements.

If this applies to you, you can apply for credit for recognised learning (CRL), which means your previous study is recognised and matched against a similar unit in your intended Curtin course.

A successful CRL application exempts you from having to complete certain units within your course and means you could finish your degree in a shorter amount of time.

CRL is also known as recognition of prior learning, advanced standing and credit transfer.

Use the CRL search to find out how much CRL you qualify for, or contact us at:

Webform: Submit here

Curtin Connect: 1300 222 888

CRL search

Fees & charges

Please view the Bachelor of Arts degree for indicative fees.

How to apply

Please review information on how to apply for the campus of your choice

Apply now

Help is at hand

See our frequently asked questions or get in touch with us below.

Opening hours:
Mon to Fri: 8.30am – 4.30pm, except Tues: 9.30am – 4.30pm (AWST). Closed public holidays.
  • Curtin course code: MJRU-INTRL
  • Last updated on: 18/08/2022