Bachelor of Arts (Major: Politics & International Relations)

School of Arts & Sciences, Sydney Campus

As the world becomes more interconnected and traditional alliances shift and fragment, Australia’s political institutions come under greater pressure. The Bachelor of Arts (Politics & International Relations) will teach you about Australia’s political history, its decision making procedures and how we operate on the international stage.

  • Why study this degree?

    The study of Australian politics and international relations is a valuable training for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in politics, diplomacy, journalism and governmental policy making. Here at The University of Notre Dame Australia we believe it is extremely important to cover the wide range of issues that you might encounter in your career. This includes the exploration of issues such as terrorism, climate change, the global economy, media and politics and Australia’s foreign policy.

    This three-year degree is neatly divided into three main streams: Australian Politics, International Relations and Political Theory. While all students acquire a thorough knowledge of Australia’s political institutions in Year One, you will have the opportunity to pursue more specialist topics in Years Two and Three, with options including US Foreign Policy, The Middle East, Terrorism and Intelligence and Australian Foreign Policy.

    Upon graduation you will have a sophisticated understanding of both Australian politics and the world of international diplomacy. Furthermore the superior research, analytical and communication skills you will have accrued during the program will put you in good stead in the workplace.

  • Program summary

    Core Curriculum

    • CORE1001 Logos I
    • CORE1002 Logos II
    • CORE1003 Logos III

    Year One

    • SOCI1000 Self and Society
    • POLI1000 Introduction to World Politics
    • POLI1001 Politics, Democracy and Governance in Australia

    Years Two and Three

    • POLI3009 Australian Foreign Policy
    • POLI3015 Nationalism, Ethnicity and Race
    • POLI3003 Setting the Agenda: Politics and the Media
    • POLI3008 Politics Internship
    • POLI3002 Political Philosophy
    • POLI3006 Public Policy and Practice
    • POLI3000 Religion and World Politics
    • POLI3012 The Politics and History of Genocide
    • POLI3014 Terrorism and Intelligence
    • POLI3022 The Modern Middle East
    • POLI3024 US Foreign Policy Since 1945
    • POLI3023 Strategy, Security and Diplomacy
    • Special Topics in Philosophy: Ethics of War

    Plus 12 electives which may form another Major or Minor (undertaken during Years One, Two and/or Three).

    Full details of the program requirements are contained in the Program Regulations.

    Please note: The availability of these courses is indicative only and may be subject to change.

  • Entry requirements

    Academic requirements for this program are outlined below.  In addition, to be eligible for admission, all applicants need to satisfy minimum requirements outlined at admission requirements. These include those relating to age and English Language Proficiency.  We also consider your application more broadly – your non-academic achievements (such as any previous leadership roles, volunteering, work, church and/or community involvement) as well as personal qualities - your aspirations and interests and your capacity to complete your chosen program.

    Applicants with recent Secondary Education

    • HSC Performance Band Results with a Band 4 in English, a minimum average of Bands 4s and an overall minimum average HSC mark of 70% in HSC Category A Courses (or Interstate equivalent). Applicants must be eligible for an ATAR or OP; or
    • Minimum International Baccalaureate (IB) score of 24.

    Applicants with Higher Education Study

    • Other University Studies completed at undergraduate level or higher. A minimum number of 2 successfully completed subjects; or
    • Successful completion of the Notre Dame Tertiary Pathway Program or of another Enabling Program at a level deemed sufficient by the University.

    Applicants who have successfully completed subjects at another University, which are relevant to the selected program of study, may be eligible for Advanced Standing.

    Applicants with Vocational Education and Training (VET) study

    • Completed AQF Certificate IV or higher in a relevant discipline, from an accredited provider such as TAFE or a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

    Applicants with Work and Life Experience

    Applicants with relevant work and life experience who left secondary education more than two years ago and have not undertaken VET or higher education study since then may seek admission on the basis of:

    • Their experience. ‘Experience’ could include a combination of factors sufficient to demonstrate readiness for higher education such as Mature Age entry, relevant professional experience, community involvement or work experience. Applicants may have undertaken non-formal programs that have helped prepare them for tertiary education or are relevant to the proposed higher education field of study. Evidence must be provided as to the type and duration or employment (minimum of two years) in a relevant industry. The Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) may be required.
    • STAT – Scores of 150 in the Multiple Choice and Written English sections are required.
    • Higher School Certificate (HSC) (or equivalent) results if these have been completed within the last 5 years.
  • Fees

    This Program has the following loan scheme(s) available for eligible students:

    The FEE-HELP loan scheme assists eligible fee-paying students with the payment of all, or part, of their tuition fees, not including additional study costs such as accommodation or textbooks. Your FEE-HELP debt will be indexed each year in line with the Consumer Price Index.

  • Honours

    An Honours award is available for this program.  Further information can be found in the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) regulations, or by contacting the School of Arts & Sciences.

  • More information

    For more information on the Bachelor of Arts (Major: Politics & International Relations) or related double degrees, please contact the Prospective Students Office on +61 (2) 8204 4404 or email

    All international enquiries should contact the International Students Office on

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