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 programs that prepare you to address our most pressing global challenges creatively and responsibly.

As a member of the prestigious Group of Eight Australian research-intensive universities, we combine our world-class research with our passion for teaching. 

Drawing on our extensive networks, we engage our students directly with policymakers, practitioners and diplomats both in our courses and through a range of professional placements, from WA Parliament to the UN in New York.

You will be part of our own innovative centres, including the Centre for Muslim States and Societies and the VaxPol Lab, and our affiliated UWA Public Policy Institute, Defence and Security Institute, Australia India Institute, Australia Indonesia Centre, Perth USAsia Centre and Australian Institute of International Affairs.

Our Bachelor of International Relations and our major in Political Science and International Relations, both provide you with work-ready knowledge and skills. Our fourth-year Honours program prepares you to write a thesis on a topic of your choice under the supervision of one of our academic experts, creating pathways to research careers including our PhD program. We also offer flagship postgraduate programs in International Relations and Public Policy.

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.

The discipline chair of Political Science and International Relations is Dr Kelly Gerard.


Our research projects


This large-scale, interdisciplinary research program explores the impact of government COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Led by Associate Professor Katie Attwell and funded by $4.7 million from the Medical Research Future Fund, it aims to improve the health system by evaluating the use and removal of vaccine mandates.

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 pro-democracy and human rights organisations and activists of mainland China and Hong Kong.

This project is led by Associate Professor Jie Chen, with co-investigators based in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia.

Resourcing Australian Aid: Examining the Use of Development Consultants

This project investigates the factors that shape consultants’ and contractors’ roles within, and impacts on, Australian Aid.

It is funded through a UWA Research Collaboration Award and led by Dr Kelly Gerard, in collaboration with Annabel Dulhunty (ANU), Shahar Hameiri (UQ) and Emma Mawdsley (Cambridge).

Understanding the Incidences, Drivers and Nature of Tech-Based Abuse Against Women in WA

Against Women in WA Supported by the WA Department of Communities through its Women's Grants for a Stronger Future Program, this project is led by Associate Professor Samina Yasmeen and Dr Azim Zahir. The project will explore technology-based violence against women in WA and the nature and drivers of such violence using an intersectional approach.

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. 
Far-Right Diasporas in the Global South: Mapping Indian Hindu Nationalism in Southeast Asia
This project aims to decentre the global north in diasporic far-right movement studies, and to interrogate how transnational far-right regional ambitions exacerbate local ethnic and religious tension. Beyond this, the project will identify precisely the material and ideological ties that link the Indian far-right to Southeast Asia, so that activists, journalists and academics can more readily understand Hindu nationalist organising. This project is funded by the Australian National University and led by Dr Felix Pal.

Featured courses

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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Office hours

Weekdays 8am—4pm