Political Science and International Relations

Make a global impact by tackling political challenges and opportunities


Political Science and International Relations at UWA offers innovative and cutting-edge undergraduate and postgraduate programs that prepare students to creatively, critically and responsibly address our most important local, national, regional and global challenges. 

As a member of the prestigious Group of Eight Australian research-intensive universities, we combine our world-class research with our passion for teaching. We infuse our classrooms with our global expertise to inspire and prepare you – the next generation of leaders in your fields. In our research and our teaching we invite you to join us in tackling the big issues of our era: environmental change, inequality, sustainable development, democracy, governance, power, racism, religion, public health, migration, human rights, conflict and more. 

Based in Perth, WA, we are uniquely placed to lead Australia’s academic engagement with the politics and diplomacy of the dynamic Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific regions – Asia, Africa and the Middle East – including the international relations of the United States, India and China. Drawing on our extensive governmental and global networks, we engage our students directly with policymakers, practitioners and diplomats both in our courses and through a range of professional work placements, internships and international collaboration opportunities, from the WA Parliament to policy thinktanks on the East Coast to the UN in New York. And you will be part of our own innovative centres, including the Centre for Muslim States and Societies, the Africa Research & Engagement Centre, the Korea Research Centre  and our affiliated Public Policy Institute, Australia India Institute, Australia Indonesia Centre, Perth USAsia Centre and Australian Institute of International Affairs. 

Our major in Political Science and International Relations provides you with knowledge, skills and training in the exciting fields of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations. Our fourth-year honours program trains you to design and write a thesis on a topic of your choice under the direct supervision of one of our academic experts, creating pathways to research careers including our PhD program. We offer flagship master’s programs in International Relations and Public Policy and affiliated programs in International Development and International Law.

These professionally and practically-oriented programs help you to link theory to practice and in doing so enhance your skills, networks and employability in a competitive global market. We prepare you for successful careers as policymakers, diplomats, politicians, policy analysts, journalists, organisational leaders, researchers and beyond – just ask our recent graduates who have taken highly sought-after positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Defence and with global NGOs. 



Our research projects

Development, diplomacy and the diaspora: Deepening engagement between African-Australians, the diplomatic corps and the African Union’s Agenda 2063
Co-funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australia Africa Universities Network (AAUN), this research and engagement project examines how African diaspora communities in Australia are utilised in Australia’s foreign and development policy towards Africa. Principal investigator: David Mickler
Taiwan and the cause of democratisation in China: Intellectual inspiration and actual support
Funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (Taiwan), this project examines whether the state and civil society in Taiwan have provided meaningful support for the pro-democracy and human rights organisations and activists ofmainland China and Hong Kong. Principal investigator: Jie Chen; with co-investigators based in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia. 
Advancing gender equality through aid: Realising women's empowerment

This ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award project evaluates the determinants of aid programming for women's empowerment in Southeast Asia.

Researcher: Kelly Gerard

The multifacted Coronavax project seeks to build dialogue between the community and government to uncover the conditions necessary for high uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Featured courses

Collaborations and scholarships

We have an active program for volunteers within the Political Sciences and International Relations discipline of learning. In particular, we welcome volunteers to speak as guests at University events. If you would like to get involved, contact us using the details below.

Centre for Muslim States and Societies

The Centre for Muslim States and Societies conducts research to provide a better understanding of the beliefs and practices of Muslim states and communities in the Indian Ocean region.


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VaxPol Lab

VaxPolLab is an interdisciplinary Lab led within Political Science that explores how and why vaccination policies are designed and implemented, details of design and operation, and implications for populations and government.


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Contact the School of Social Sciences

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Office hours

Weekdays 8am—4pm