International relations Society, history and languages

International relations Society, history and languages

The study of international relations focuses on the global system. It explores how this system originated and functions today.

At Macquarie you’ll examine the power-political, economic, cultural, legal and institutional forces that influence strategy and policy development in the international system. You’ll graduate with a deeper understanding of how the world works as well as how you fit into it.

Careers in international relations 

  • advocate and lobbyist
  • aid and development adviser
  • communications adviser
  • consultant for NGO or multinational corporation
  • cross-cultural worker
  • diplomat
  • economic development officer
  • foreign affairs adviser
  • human rights officer
  • immigration consultant
  • international development officer
  • international trade specialist
  • policy analyst
  • political adviser
  • regional adviser
  • researcher
  • World Bank consultant
  • world food program officer

Professional experience

Connect with your future career through PACE

At Macquarie, learning doesn't just happen in the classroom. With PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) you can gain real-world experience and get ahead in the career queue.

PACE provides opportunities for undergraduate students at Macquarie University to gain practical experience by working with industry partners on mutually beneficial projects. No matter what you decide to study, PACE has an opportunity available for you. Learn more about the opportunities available through PACE.

Student experience

Tamara Fenjan 

Master of International Relations

"Macquarie University had the program which I really wanted to get into. My professors were incredibly knowledgeable and supportive, and I was very happy with facilities and the university culture. What I remember the most are my fellow students and the friendships that we made. If I ever go back to university I would consider Macquarie again."

Tamara is a journalist, author and human rights advocate. She has worked as Reporting Officer for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

Vanikala Selvarajah

Master of International Relations

"The most interesting and most beneficial part of the Master of International Relations was the coursework that was presented and the broad range of subjects."

Our expertise in international relations

Dr Lavina Lee

Dr Lavina Lee

Dr Lee is a lecturer in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations. Prior to joining Macquarie, she was a political risk consultant with Control Risks Group, and held a research position with Chatham House, London. Dr Lee’s research interests include nuclear non-proliferation regime and nuclear disarmament, Indian foreign, security and nuclear policy, international law on the use of force, legitimacy and US hegemony and international security.

Professor Stephanie Lawson

Professor Stephanie Lawson

Professor of Politics and International Relations

Professor Stephanie Lawson is the Immediate Past President of the Australian Political Studies Association. She has previously held teaching and research positions at the University of New England, the Australian National University, the University of East Anglia and the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on issues concerning culture, ethnicity, nationalism, and democracy, and combines comparative and normative approaches to the study of world politics. She is the author of many articles dealing with these issues in the Asia-Pacific region as well as globally.

See Professor Lawson's full profile

Study politics and international relations at Macquarie

Politics and International Relations at Macquarie has strong links to all the social sciences, especially history, sociology, law, anthropology and economics. We offer a comprehensive range of units and programs of study and supports a strong PhD program with candidates working under supervision on local, regional and international studies of power, conflict and peacemaking, policy-making and enduring issues of theoretical or philosophical concern.

With your choice to study on campus or online, the course includes the option of work experience through an internship, and a strong component of research study under specialised individual supervision.

Watch the video to learn more about Master of International Relations

Tamara is a graduate of Master of International Relations at Macquarie. 

What's a typical day like for you working in UNMISS?
UNMISS is an integrated mission composed of civilians, police and military personnel. Its joint operations centre is where all the information the entire country and mission components are collected, collated, analysed and disseminated.

A typical day at work involves writing reports regarding security, human rights and political developments in the country. My job also involves going to coordination meetings, recruitment of UN volunteers, training of new staff, field trips, and participating in mission crisis management meetings in times of crisis (such as when in December 2012 a UN helicopter was downed by the SPLA and the 4 crew members were killed).

What's the most challenging aspect of your role?
The environment and living conditions. South Sudan is a primitive country and lacks just about everything. We live in small individual containers and we share toilet/shower facilities. Not having access to proper food and clean water, and being in insecure environments is not always easy.

What's the most rewarding experience?
Meeting and working with people from the around the world, and sharing stories and life moments with them. I work in places where there are so much poverty, trauma and pain. It's such a rewarding experience being able to uplift a person, connect with a child, or make someone smile. Knowing that what I do makes this world a little less miserable for these people inspires me to work harder.

What was your childhood dream?
As a kid I actually dreamt of working with dolphins (which is why I was attracted to Australia in the first place), or do something with languages taken that I speak several. I have always loved expressing myself. I was only 7 years old when my first text was published!

As a young adult I came to realize that I should work with people, communications and people's rights – and that is what I have done for many years. Now I can't imagine not doing that. Journalism and human rights are my passions!

How was your experience at Macquarie?
Macquarie University had the program (Master of International Relations) which I really wanted to get into. My professors were incredibly knowledgeable and supportive, and I was very happy with facilities and the university culture. What I remember the most are my fellow students and the friendships that we made. If I ever go back to university I would consider Macquarie again.

What advice can you give to those who want to pursue a career like yours?
Try to get a focus or a more in-depth knowledge about a topic/issue, and learn as much as possible. Make a work plan as early as possible to guide you in what you want to achieve. Do some volunteer work, or engage in extracurricular activities while studying - it will look good on the resume.

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