Bachelor of International Relations

Choose International Relations at La Trobe

Go beyond theory by identifying solutions to global challenges in this degree.

  • Learn from experts in international policy development.
  • Go on exchange with over 150 overseas partner universities.
  • Undertake an internship in Australia or overseas that’s tailored to your career aspirations.
  • Graduate ready to take on roles in areas like policy and research, defence, diplomacy, international development, economics and communications.
  • We rank 9th in Australia and in the top 200 in the world for politics and international studies subjects (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016).

Career opportunities

Graduate ready to take on roles in areas like policy and research, defence, diplomacy, international development, economics and communications.

Our graduates have found work with:

  • Federal and State government departments including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Defence, the Australian Federal Police, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • international NGOs including the United Nations, Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, World Vision, Oxfam, the International Women's Development Agency, Save the Children and Amnesty International.
  • local NGOs including the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and the Brotherhood of St Lawrence.
  • private companies including major international corporations and banks.
  • media organisations including the ABC, the Age and other national and international media outlets.

What you'll learn

How to:

  • analyse relationships between countries and governments
  • think critically to find solutions to international issues
  • define Australia's position as a global player
  • reflect on the importance of countries to the global economy.

By examining power, sovereignty, security and political theory through real-world examples, you’ll gain knowledge of international trade, foreign affairs, diplomacy and conflict. You’ll also study the historical contexts and social theories behind these areas, with an emphasis on 21st century law, economics and the state.

You'll develop your critical thinking, research and communication skills, and have the chance to put these skills into practice. You’ll be encouraged to study overseas at one of our overseas partner universities, which can help you decide on your major area of study and build your career network. You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake an internship in Australia or overseas that’s tailored to your career aspirations, or take part in major international forums.

We also encourage language studies and work placements throughout your degree. These can give you a deeper understanding of a geographical region or topic that you'd like to focus on.


Students from Australia and New Zealand

2017 indicative: AUD$6,349 per 120 credit points (based on typical first year fees with a deferred HECS-HELP loan). Find out more.

International students

2017 indicative: AUD$26,000 annual tuition fee based on 120 credit points. Get more information on fees and how to pay.

International living expenses

Other than tuition fees, you should consider living and accommodation costs when planning your budget.

Course content

In your first year, you'll study foundation subjects in areas including security, globalisation, development, economics, and Australian politics, as well as participating in a unique and induction seminar program that will deepen your international relations knowledge and provide the academic and analytical skills to excel in your studies.

You can also choose two electives from anywhere within the university (prerequisites permitting).

You'll move on to more complex issues in your second and third years, such as:

  • Australian foreign policy
  • climate change
  • war and conflict resolution
  • democracy
  • European politics
  • Asian politics
  • world politics
  • the world economy
  • international law.

You will also have further elective options in second and third year.

For full details, see the International Relations entry in the Handbook. Once you've chosen your subjects, you can see your provisional timetable.

For information regarding course accreditation, registration or memberships, please refer to the course details.

How to apply


Find out how to apply direct to La Trobe.


Find out about how to apply as an international student.


There are a number of pathway options such as La Trobe Melbourne and Foundation Studies that are designed to give you the best chance of getting into your ideal course.

Check out some of our many other pathway options available.

Scholarships and financial support

You might also be eligible for other scholarships from La Trobe, external scholarships or financial support from La Trobe.

Inside look

Read what Tia Spanos said about the Bachelor of International Relations.

Tia Spanos

Tia Spanos

Graduate, International Relations

“The IRA, study abroad program and attending UN conferences allowed me to develop a global perspective.”


Tia graduated from a Bachelor of International Relations and then completed a Master of International Relations. After completing her studies, Tia moved to Canberra where she now works as an International Policy Officer at the Australian Department of Education and Training.

‘My study at La Trobe gave me a global context – it helped me see the big picture. While studying, I went on exchange to Lancaster University in the UK. I learned another way of life, experienced another culture, and got a taste for how university is experienced by students in other parts of the world.

‘I developed my critical analysis skills, my interpersonal communication skills and my ability to write in different styles and for various media. I gained a passion for the value of a good education system and sharing knowledge for the sake of social progress.

‘I also completed work experience with a not-for-profit organisation, Social Education Victoria. It gave me the opportunity to practically apply my studies and understand how my academic skills can be transferred into a vocation.’

Keep in Touch

International students, get in contact with us to start your journey to La Trobe

Connect with La Trobe

Local students, register your details to get updates on our courses and upcoming events

Register Now