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Graduate Certificate of International Relations


Faculty of Arts
Graduate Certificate of International Relations (GradCertIntRel)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent
• GPA of 4.50 (out of 7.00)
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Internal, External
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 0.5 years
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
External — Session 1 (February)
External — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 0.5 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 16
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

800 level

Foundations in Politics, International Relations and Public Policy (4)
4cp from
International Security (4)
Theories of International Relations (4)
International Political Economy (4)
International Law and Institutions (4)
8cp from
The Politics of International Human Rights Law (4)
International Security (4)
Europe, the European Union, and the International System (4)
The United States, East Asia and the World: Hegemony, Conflict and Rivalry (4)
The International System (4)
Theories of International Relations (4)
International Relations of the Middle East (4)
The Asian-Pacific Region and Australia (4)
International Political Economy (4)
War and Violence in World Politics (4)
International Law and Institutions (4)


Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 8 Graduate Certificate
CRICOS Code 084524K
Overview and Aims of the Program The Graduate Certificate of International Relations is designed to develop an understanding of the political, social, economic and legal components and processes of the international system. There is an emphasis on understanding how these components and institutions operate in specific regions of the world. It is a highly flexible program, offering day and evening lectures and tutorials as well as on-line/external study options. The program is delivered by leading academics in the fields of Asian, European, American, African, Australian and Middle Eastern studies.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. Discriminate between competing theories that seek to explain current and historical conflicts in the international arena (k, t).

2. Outline the institutional growth of international and global society, showing knowledge of selected aspects of institutional change (k, t).

3. Analyse the balance of causality as between actors, institutions and ideas in explaining national and supra-national linkages in disputes and dispute resolution in international affairs (t, p, j).

4. Plan research strategies designed to answer important questions in world affairs, applying key concepts, theories and methodologies in international relations (k, p, e).

5. Explicate current and historical conflicts in the international arena using written, oral and digital means (k, c, j).

6. Research, develop and communicate policy recommendations and policy briefs on stated issues that are well argued, accurate and capable of implementation (t, c, j, p).
Learning and Teaching Methods The study of International Relations is based on critique and reflection as a basis for action. Its subject matter is inherently contested: thinkers across the ages and practitioners in the current age have conflicting views of what is possible and desirable in relations between states and peoples. Learning in the program is designed to promote a deep understanding of conflicting perspectives and abilities to espouse and, as far as possible, execute choices that are rational, ethical, and effective in a world of conflict.

The activities that students undertake in the program are always related to the thoughts and actions of others. Reading diverse materials in many different formats, interaction with faculty and peers, both digitally and face-to-face, and observation are activities that feed reflection. Active engagement with faculty and peers is equally promoted in on-line and on-campus lectures and in other interactive modes that allow questions and testing in modes that may involve two or many other people. Methods employed include discussion, both structured and spontaneous (under moderation), debate, simulations and role play, panel decision-making, journalling and peer review and feedback. In seminars and fieldwork exercises, student engagement is essential for structured discussion and the collaborative consideration of the core principles and points of contention in international relations.

Communication, in written and oral forms, is critically important to the program and students are strongly advised to make use of the diagnostic and consultancy services offered to all by the Centre for Macquarie English. Whilst students from a non-English speaking background may benefit especially from this support, all studying in the program are eligible. Graduates of the program develop skills in assessing controversies in global society and in elaborating their own intellectual and applied perspectives across such issues, but their capacities in communicating their knowledge are essential too. The development of skills in formulating and delivering persuasive arguments in appropriate ways (written, oral, visual) is a key objective of the program.

Students in the program typically come from very diverse nationalities and cross-learning is critically important when it takes place, as members of the faculty program insist that it must, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust, qualities developed over the course of the program. The program treats students as adult learners who are mastering the techniques of study, analysis and argumentative deployment through reflexivity and praxis: an individual’s sense of capacity is developed in relation to the values of others and tested in interaction with them, some as individuals directly experienced (staff, guest lecturers, peers) and others as found in the texts and debates, both historical and current, of the global arena.

Learning and teaching strategies include:

Openness to a variety of teaching and assessment formats that engage diverse learning styles and encourage student participation, discussion, and collaboration.

Timely feedback on all assignments and where necessary individual tuition to address assessed weaknesses in performance.

An emphasis on elucidating the ethical dimensions of decision making in the world of global politics, drawing conclusions as appropriate for new or differing approaches to policy making and execution in international relations.

The use of case studies drawn from historical and contemporary times that illuminate key themes in the emerging global society.

Where possible, attendance or observation of significant incidents in thinking about international relations, as in seminars off campus by visiting scholars, activists and elected officials from national governments and international organisations.
Assessment This program assesses its learning outcomes through teaching methods that include:

Lectures are delivered face to face in day and evening mode and also digitally, and may be in one or two hour format or in shorter sessions interspersed with discussion and structured analysis. Faculty members deliver most lectures but guest lecturers cover some topics where specialist expertise is required.

Seminars allow for the interactive discussion of topics at an enhanced level and may include attendance and participation in seminars beyond the formal reach of the program, as in work in progress seminars by faculty members and visiting scholars.

Small group work
Small group work may be contained within lectures and seminars as specified issues are intensely discussed or rendered in a format suitable for gaming and simulation. The equitable distribution of roles in all such work is monitored across time (typically across the semester length of a unit) so that all students have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills in inter-personal communication, if necessary through digital presentation.

Assessment of written and oral work is specified in a variety of forms, including short policy papers, longer research essays, substantive reviews of the published work of others, bibliographic essays, self assessment and peer assessment against benchmarks, and in class tests. The longer unseen paper (or examination) is not generally deployed but may be used in some units. Close attention is paid to the development of written skills in those whose first language is not English.

Internships are offered regularly to students with good records of achievement, generally in the latter half of their program, and are usually undertaken with local organisations of a relevant character, including political organisations, parliamentary committees, businesses with international links, and non-government or consultancy organisations of advocacy, aid or faith. International internships are supported wherever practicable.

Dissertations based on original (though not necessarily primary) research can be undertaken by high performing students and are designed to develop research skills under the supervision of an experienced faculty member.

Learning technologies
Throughout all activities of the program, attention is paid to the introduction of new or modified learning technologies based on the University’s strong commitment to the ongoing learning of its own faculty as reflected in the professional development programs offered on campus every year. Recent modifications include the intensification of the ‘flipped classroom’ mode and the use of video in on-line delivery.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability The program is designed to develop the capacity of students for career advancement in public policy, international organisations, international NGOs and multinational corporations with international operations.
Career destinations for our graduates may include the diplomatic service of their home countries, local government institutions, and international agencies, including the increasing number of international non-governmental organisations.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148