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Study a Master of Political Science at one of the world's leading institutions for political research. This intensive degree focuses on the contemporary politics of Australia and the Asia-Pacific region and equips students with cutting-edge analytical skills they need for independent research. 

If you want to understand and explain the behaviour of populists like Trump; the persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar; or why some countries are more democratic, developed, equal, or diverse than others, then this is the program for you. 

Students from a wide range of backgrounds, including those without a prior background in social science, are all encouraged to apply. Curiosity about how the political world works and a willingness to engage with different approaches to understanding it are the key characteristics for success in this program.

The Master of Political Science program investigates:

  • Democracy and its discontents
  • Political behaviour and institutions
  • Violence and political order
  • Authoritarian politics
  • Globalisation 
  • Research Methods

The Master of Political Science deals with the scientific study of political behaviour. The program provides training in political science research methods and equips students with in-depth knowledge on contemporary political events. 

It applies the latest social science research methods to advance your understanding of a wide range of political problems like pandemics, climate change, ethnic and religious conflicts, regime change, and corruption.

Students also have the option to undertake a Master of Political Science (Advanced) which combines coursework with a research thesis. If you wish to pursue or leave open the possibility of further research work or PhD study, you are strongly encouraged to complete the Master of Political Science (Advanced).


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The Department of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University is world-renowned as a centre for the study of Asian politics and society. It has expertise on the political and social dynamics of North, South, and Southeast Asia, including the highest concentration of academic staff specialising in Indonesian politics outside Indonesia itself.

This degree will prepare you with the necessary skills to advance your career in a range of professions such as:

  • Consultancies
  • Diplomatic and foreign service
  • Government and public service
  • Intergovernmental agencies
  • International trade and business
  • International development and aid
  • Journalism
  • Multinational corporations
  • Private not-for-profit organisations
  • University teaching and research
  • Think tanks, policy institutes, and research centres

The learning experience

The Master of Political Science is a 72-units program (1.5 years full-time, or part-time equivalent). Students can choose from a wide selection of topics such as Asian studies, electoral politics, political economy, and public policy. 

Faculty are leaders in the training of the next generation of scholars and known for their contributions in the areas of political party development, authoritarianism, corruption, gender, and populism among other topics.

Alternative entry pathways

Graduate Certificate of Political Science

For those who do not meet the admission requirements or unable commit to the Master program, the Graduate Certificate of Political Science is a pathway option for this degree. This 24-unit (6 months, full-time) certificate provides an introduction to the immersive Masters experience and an option for an early exit. Upon completion, students will receive credits towards the Master degree.

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Graduate Diploma of International Affairs

The Graduate Diploma of International Affairs (GDIA) is a flexible 1-year full-time (or part-time equivalent) postgraduate qualification designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills required for understanding emerging issues in international, political and strategic affairs, both globally and in Asia and the Pacific.

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The Master of Political Science (Advanced) is a 2 year full-time (96 units) program that enables students to undertake a 24 unit independent research project, with appropriate research training, to develop deep expertise in a particular dimension of Political Science.

Part-time options available.

If you have any questions or queries, please email