International Studies

Learn about the social, economic and political factors that shape the world

A major in International Studies allows you to make sense of the social, economic and political factors that shape how the world works. You’ll investigate the systems, structures and laws that shape international affairs from a range of perspectives including history, politics, economics, development studies, Asian studies and international relations.

Why study International Studies?

Every year, the countries and peoples of the world become more interconnected. Our lives, economies, politics, and societies are shaped not only by what is going on in Australia, but by what is going on in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

International Studies gives you the knowledge about how the world works that is essential to addressing the many major global challenges we face, such as climate change, war, terrorism, poverty, and inequality. It also helps us understand cultural and political differences and similarities across the world, which is crucial to working effectively internationally.

Through your core subjects, you’ll develop a keen sense of why the world faces the problems it does, how history has shaped the world we live in today, and how policies to address the greatest global challenges are developed and can be improved. You’ll learn to make sense of the world conceptually and practically, and you’ll be exposed to extensive case studies. You’ll study subjects about security, economics, slavery, human trafficking, migration, development, international law, international organisations, foreign policy and modern Asia, and you’ll gain the skills and knowledge you’ll need to establish a career dealing with international issues or working internationally.

Where can a International Studies take me?

You will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue a global career in a range of fields. Understanding how the world works will prepare you for a career in fields including international and community development, foreign affairs, policy-making, media and communications, research, and the private sector.

It will also put you in a unique position to develop a career internationally, by giving you the skills and knowledge about how other countries and societies work that are essential to working effectively across diverse cultural and political contexts.

Why La Trobe?

An International Studies major at La Trobe will give you the opportunity to be taught by world-leading academics who have extensive experience in the real world of policy-making, international development, international negotiations and more.

You will be strongly supported if you want to study a language or experience the world through our Study Abroad program, including through our study-tours to East Asia.

In addition, our academics will be able to provide you with guidance and support to help secure independent internship and work-experience opportunities in Australia and overseas. Our strong commitment to support your transition into the workforce means that we regularly invite industry and community leaders to present at seminars, workshops and within lecture programs to give you the opportunity to meet them, learn from them, and develop your networks.

Further study options

If you're an undergraduate with a strong academic record, you can do Honours in International Studies. Your Honours year will give you the chance to combine coursework and research in a specialised area of study.

Complete the Honours program with high grades to qualify for entry into the Masters by Research or PhD program.

Get to know our staff

View all the staff in International Studies.

You can study this as part of a Bachelor of Arts. View all majors

Key dates

Direct applications normally close in February for entry in Semester 1, and July for entry in Semester 2. For more details visit our apply direct page.

Apply through VTAC or UAC if you're currently in Year 12 or you're applying for more than one course or institution. If you're only applying for one La Trobe course and not considering study at another institution, you can apply direct until applications close in December.