Master of Social Sciences in
International Relations and Public Policy


The Master of Social Sciences in International Relations and Public Policy (MSSIRP) offers specialized training to postgraduate students who are pursuing a career in foreign policy or who wish to prepare themselves for advanced research in international relations. Through intensive reading assignments and small seminars, students are introduced to major debates in international relations theory as well as historical and current developments in world politics. Research and writing assignments train students in the core skills of rigorously analyzing complex social issues, engaging with diverse arguments, and communicating them clearly to audiences. The culmination of the degree is an original thesis on a topic of the student’s own choosing, researched and written under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

Alumni of the MSSIRP program have gone on to successful careers both in China and abroad, including in the government sector, international organizations, non-profits, business, education, and research.

Programme Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the main issues and challenges, key concepts, representative theories and major debates in the fields of International Relations and Public Policy.
  • Apply such knowledge to identify and analyze relevant issues and challenges in the fields of International Relations and Public Policy.
  • Obtain an adequate level of critical thinking, research skills, communication skills, and digital literacy, and be able to write essays, reports or theses and to publicly present such works with these skills.
  • Develop and apply broad and forward-looking global perspectives on public and international affairs in their specific and contingent local, national, regional, transnational and global contexts.
  • Be job-ready in relevant professions or be ready for further studies in related academic fields following the completion of the entire coursework and project report.

Course Plan



Admission to the MSSIRP program is competitive. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their academic records, work experiences, and a face-to-face interview. The following are minimum requirements for admission:

  • Applicants should have achieved an overall undergraduate grade point average of C+ or better (2.3 on the 4.0 GPA scale, 14 on the 20-point scale, or 70 out of 100).
  • Applicants who received their Bachelor or Master’s degree from an institution where the medium of instruction was not English are required to provide ONE of the following as proof of English proficiency:
    • A score of 430 or greater on the College English Test Level 6 (CET-6);
    • A TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based examination) / 213 (computer-based examination) / 80 (Internet-based examination);
    • An overall score of 6.0 or greater on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS);
    • Passed the Level 4 or Level 8 Test for English Majors (TEM)
  • Applicants with relevant undergraduate training or work experience, or with demonstrated knowledge of international relations or public administration, will be given a higher priority in admission assessment.
  • Other admission requirements are in accordance with the University Admission Regulations.

Please visit the Graduate School admission website for further details.

Medium of Instruction

The medium of instruction is English.


Students are required to attend at least 80% of total class hours. Students who do not meet this requirement will be given a failing grade in the course.

Program Mode



Each student is required to pass all compulsory courses and electives with an overall average of B- before being allowed to proceed to thesis research under the guidance of an assigned supervisor. Students may only submit and present theses with the approval of their supervisors. A panel of examiners will be appointed by the Academic Council of the Faculty of Social Sciences to examine each thesis and conduct an oral examination on the subject of that thesis.


Please visit the Graduate School website for information on graduate tuition.