Politics, Policy and International Relations

We all know that citizens in some countries have more political freedom than citizens in others. But how do you measure freedom? If climate change is a global issue why doesn’t policy reflect that? If tomorrow’s technologies will make critical decisions autonomously, how do we develop them to think ethically? There are many questions confronting society today and only through understanding different moral, economic and political perspectives can you consider all answers: technical, ethical and practical.

Political Science is the study of human relationships that involve power, rule, or authority. It is about how societies govern themselves and how societies ought to be governed. It is about the political behaviour of individuals and groups that occurs in all societies according to the power they have access to. Specialities in the field include comparative politics and political theory, as well as a deep dive into the institutions of Australia in a globalised world.

Human Rights explores the theoretical frameworks, policy instruments, and contemporary issues in the field of international human rights. It seeks to understand the evolution of human rights in its philosophical, historical, and political contexts, various policy tools and actors for the promotion and protection of human rights, the interplay between human rights theory and practice, and important country cases around the globe.

The study and teaching of International Relations (IR) is at a crossroads within and beyond Australia. The field has traditionally focused upon the (often hostile) engagements between nation-states and/or their diplomatic elites seeking to advance the national interest by war or other means. These are still important themes in the contemporary IR agenda. However, at the beginning of the 21st century, analysts and policymakers require a more comprehensive body of knowledge and deeper understanding of the world and how it operates. As such, IR at ANU brings forward historical modes of analysis into our current era, by examining their application in contemporary scenarios.

Public Policy explores the nature and challenges of government and administration within particular nations and also takes a look at how policy approaches are expressed globally. Multidisciplinary in nature, it develops key theories, principles and approaches providing a foundation for public policy analysis, development and implementation across a range of contexts. It maintains a keen awareness of current social issues, as well as the practical limitations involved in administration of resources, and examines how professionals can best produce outcomes that benefit individuals, groups and countries as a broader whole. Additional themes underpinning this discipline include problem-solving and communication.

Check the School of Politics & International Relations website for more information on the faculty, research, projects, latest news, upcoming events and more.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023

^Times Higher Education - Global University Employability Ranking 2021

Key facts

1 in Australia
10 for Politics in World*

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

Degree programs

Bachelor of Arts

Key facts

3 in Australia
33 for Arts and Humanities in World*

3 year full-time
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 131003
CRICOS Code: 074016B
Bachelor of Political Science

Key facts

1 in Australia
10 for Politics in World*

3 years
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 131162
CRICOS Code: 086219C
Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Key facts

1 in Australia
8 for Philosophy, 10 for Politics in World* and
2 in Australia
37 for Economics in World*

3 years
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 131161
CRICOS Code: 076183D
Bachelor of Public Policy

Key facts

1 in Australia & 10 for Politics in World* and
2 in Australia & 28 for Social Policy & Administration in World*

3 years
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 131159
CRICOS Code: 097615M
Graduate Certificate of Social Research

Key facts

1 Year PT
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 830016
Graduate Certificate of Studies

Key facts

0.5 Year FT or 3 Years PT
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 830584
CRICOS Code: 082261M
Master of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies

Key facts

1.5 years full-time
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 830066
CRICOS Code: 108330G
Master of Political Science

Key facts

1 in Australia
10 for Politics in World*

1.5 years full-time
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 830954
CRICOS Code: 102925F
Master of Social Research Methods

Key facts

1 year full-time
Semester 1 & 2 intake

#1 in Australia for graduate employability^

UAC Code: 830012
CRICOS Code: 108327B

Hear from our students

Human rights is different to a lot of other arts majors because you’re able to study in various schools. I can do political science courses, gender studies courses, history courses, sociology or Asian studies – all with a human rights focus.
Maddison , Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws

My brilliant career

The most surprising thing about my course was learning about how little you knew and what fun it could be to travel down complete rabbit holes in the process of looking for answers to other questions. And how engaged and kind most of my professors and tutors were.
Martine Letts , BA '82

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View discipline flyers

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts flyer
(PDF, 1.12 MB )
Bachelor of International Relations
Bachelor of International Relations flyer
(PDF, 561.82 KB )
Bachelor of Political Science
Bachelor of Political Science flyer
(PDF, 423.07 KB )
Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy & Economics
(PDF, 718.57 KB )
Environmental Studies (major/minor)
Environment Studies flyer
(PDF, 995.34 KB )
Graduate Certificate of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies
Graduate Certificate of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies flyer
(PDF, 1.06 MB )
Graduate Certificate of Social Research
Graduate Certificate of Social Research flyer
(PDF, 707.53 KB )
Graduate Certificate of Studies
Graduate Certificate of Studies flyer
(PDF, 1.07 MB )
Human Rights (major/minor)
Human Rights flyer
(PDF, 1.25 MB )
Master of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies
Master of Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies flyer
(PDF, 936.61 KB )
Master of Political Science
Master of Political Science flyer
(PDF, 2.4 MB )
Master of Social Research Methods
Master of Social Research Methods flyer
(PDF, 639.51 KB )

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