• Faculty of Arts And Social Sciences
  • sastera@um.edu.my
  • +603-79675500

Regardless of the student application paths (international or local students), all first-year undergraduates are introduced to major theoretical ideas and various approaches about politics and international relations, examines how states and international institutions functions in practice, and attend a series of introductory compulsory courses (see the academic porgramme structure) where they will use qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate and to observe international historical and political events or questions. 

The programme’s objective are to equip the students with the knowledge of international relations, foreign policy, security studies, defence analysis and strategic studies, particularly by examining international interactions between state and non-state actors, as well as the emerging trends and long-term effects of both global and regional issues. 

At the end of the programme, graduates will be able to achieve the following objectives 
(Programme Learning Outcome): 


Master knowledge in the field of International Relations. 


Apply knowledge from the field of International Relations to analyse the international phenomena. 


Display concerns towards the international phenomena in implementing social responsibilities. 


Practice values, ethics and professionalism in addressing issues in International Relations. 


Possess communication skills, leadership attributes and the ability to work as a team in multicultural and multiracial environments.


Possess skills to contribute ideas and resolutions in addressing international issues.


Practice knowledge from the field of International Relations in life-long learning process. 


Possess skills to undertake research and consultancy in the field of International Relations.


Career Opportunity

Many students ask “What type of job could I get with a degree in International and Strategic Studies?” The answer depends on your choice of specialisation, interests, experiences, skills. The discipline of International Relations, creating a literal world of opportunity. Your task, as a scholar, is to define your area of expertise and map out how You want to make a difference. Do you want to study the military and terrorism as they influence foreign policy, or observe factors that contribute to a credible peace process in war-torn society? Are you interested in the role international organisations play in agenda-setting and the creation of international norms? Do you think culture and society are the key drivers for current events? Do you want to work in public sector for the government or semi-governmental agency in the private sector for a multinational corporation, bank, or firm, or in the non-profit sector for a non-governmental organisation or research institute?  Whatever your personal philosophical endeavours, opportunities abound.

Since 1998, we have produced the first batch of graduates who specialised their degree programme (either at the undergraduate and postgraduate level) in International and Strategic Studies. The ability of our students to master various fundamental and soft skills with global outlooks, lateral thinking and international concerns (see the Programme Outcome) in resolving various tasks and issues has allowed them to secure a better job prospect within 6 months after graduation. The diversity and interdisciplinary nature of the discipline, namely the International and Strategic Studies have allowed students to secure a working attachment in various organisations and corporations. 

Some opted for a career path in diplomatic services and foreign affairs, attached as the civil servants in various governmental ministries (both at the federal and state governmental levels), defence and intelligence sectors, various local, regional and international branches or agencies under the United Nations system, banking and financial sectors, and private firms, especially in human resource division, marketing strategists and insurance companies.

Others opted for more challenging yet global working environments, including working with multinational corporations (MNCs), international and local non-governmental agencies, civil societies, and charity works, professional and freelance writers, volunteer services, further studies and teaching options in various local and international universities, and as well as in pursuing study or professional development enhancement upon completion of their study in UM. 

With the growing numbers of international students, the biggest ratio amongst all of the departments in Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in UM and Malaysia, many of our international students secured the job attachments and intern placements at either their respective embassies or diplomatic missions in Malaysia or major firms and banking sectors at their home countries. Our strength lies in the ability to offer a degree programme with similar international recognises universities that specialised in International Relations with a strong encouragement to master more than one language or medium of instruction.

Additionally and apart from rigorous academic training, we focus on providing the extra-curricular activities among the Department’s multinational students, including the public lecture from retired diplomats and foreign services, one-day study visit to various public, diplomatic and think-thank organizations and the diplomatic simulation games of the Model United Nations (MUN) Conference. You may find out more about this from our Department’s website.

Given the competitiveness of working market and intense competitions of labour forces from other local universities, the Department has taken a step further in having a compulsory and an additional course that provides industrial training exposure, aiming at providing students with the pre-professional degree experience before the actual graduation. The course is compulsory upon all of our final year students (undergraduates). You can find out more about the syllabus and assessment from our Department’s webpage.

During their industrial training placement, Students develop many widely transferable skills during their studies including excellent written and verbal communications skills, research skills and notably, an understanding of complex political and cultural issues. Particular skills gained include the ability to research using a variety of sources. Students can create, evaluate and assess a range of options, sift material and weigh up arguments. Students are able to critically analyse information and can assess problems and arguments, reach conclusions and discuss them clearly. You may find out more about our recent graduates and alumni testimonials from the Department Website, and check on the Alumni and Development section at http://ir.um.edu.my

Language Requirement and Medium of Instruction. 

For the English language requirements, international applicants must obtain either ONE of the following categories of the English test:

the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with total score of either 550 and above for the Paper based Test (PBT), OR 213 and above for Computer-based Test (CBT), OR 79-80 and above for Internet-based Test (IBT), OR

the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with total score of Band 6 and no lower than the said band for every each of the section of the test, OR

the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), University of Cambridge with a credit pass in either Ordinary (GCSE O) Level or Advance (GCSE A) Level.

The main medium of instruction for all courses in our department is in English, and sometimes in dual languages (English and Malay). However, we do encourage students to use mainly English. Meanwhile, some of other courses offered by other departments within and outside Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences however may use the Malay or Arabic Language as the medium instructions. For more information on the actual medium of instruction for the courses offered by other departments, you are advisable to directly contact the department that responsible in providing the courses before attending the lectures and tutorial sessions.

Last Update: 16/03/2022