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Course content

Learning Outcomes

‌•You gain a deep understanding of issues, theories and debates in international affairs
‌•You develop a critical awareness of the strengths and limitations of each international affairs subfield, and learn to make sense of its complexities
‌•You learn to apply key theories and analytical tools to devise solutions for complex problems
‌•You learn cross-cultural and decision making skills so as to make practical judgements that are balanced by theoretical, analytical and ethical considerations
‌•You gain the confidence to effect positive transformation in the world, solving problems in ways that are constructive, analytically sound, practically feasible and culturally sensible
‌•You acquire a deep understanding of Asia’s nuances and its place in the world
‌•You will be seated with 30 highly motivated and young professionals with a keen interest in global affairs and contemporary developments in Asia. Exchange ideas with the future leaders passionate about bringing transformation in the international arena.


The MIA programme is a two-year full-time programme, comprising four semesters and nine core modules. The immersive format and rigorous curriculum will give you the skills, analytical tools and experience you need to thrive in your career, be it in diplomacy, government, international development, non-governmental organisations, policy analysis or business.During the second semester, you will have the option of specialising to build in-depth knowledge in an area aligned to your professional interest.

In addition to coursework, you must complete a Master’s Thesis or a Capstone Project in your second year. The Master’s Thesis may be carried out in cooperation with a practice partner, under the supervision of a faculty member.

‌•Politics and International Relations
‌•International Economics and International Political Economy
‌•Social, Environmental, and Urban Policy
‌•Public Management and Leadership

Modules Description

Core 1: International Relations – Theory and Practice
This module will introduce students to the predominant ways in which scholars of world politics go about making sense of the contemporary world. Three main approaches will be emphasised: realism, liberalism, and constructivism.

Core 2: International Security
This module is an overview of international security. It begins by asking “What is security?” and what are the causes of war and the use of coercion. The module then goes on to deal with “non-traditional” security: terrorism, climate change, water security, health security, and gender and violence.

Core 3: International Political Economy
This module brings together politics, economics and international relations on issues relevant to the global economy. It aims to give students a critical understanding of how politics and economics, and domestic and international forces, interact to shape modern policy.

Core 4: Research Methods in International Affairs
This module provides an introduction to the principal research methods in international affairs. Students will assess the strengths and weaknesses of alternative approaches, learn how and when to use different lines of attack, and gain experience in critically evaluating published research.

Core 5: Foreign Policy Analysis
This module explores these questions by examining, and where appropriate, by comparing, the foreign policy challenges and decision-making of a group of Asian Pacific countries, including China, Japan, India, the United States, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Core 6: International Economic Development
This module provides the essentials of modern understanding on the subject, ranging from programme evaluation and randomised controlled trials through the Middle-Income Trap, financial crises, the resource curse, the Lewis Turning Point, and the boundary between state and market.

Core 7: International Conflict Analysis and Resolution
This module offers the opportunity to develop analytical skills to understand today’s armed conflict and to learn key tools of conflict resolution. Not only it aims to equip students with a better understanding of how to address and solve contemporary armed conflicts and disputes, but also to develop assessment techniques that can be useful throughout their professional career.

Core 8: Global Governance
This module explores the theoretical foundations of global governance and international law, its elements, and then provides a hands-on and in-depth analysis of the actors, norms, and challenges in the supply of some of today’s critical global public goods, including peace and stability, development, climate change mitigation, trade, food security, global health and a secure internet.

Core 9: Geopolitics of the Asia Pacific
The rise of China has irrevocably changed the geopolitical landscape in Asia-Pacific. This has not only resulted in the shift of the centre of economic, political and diplomatic gravities into Asia-Pacific, but also led to a trend of development from unipolar to multipolar world, especially in the region. Thus, the geopolitical scene in Asia-Pacific involves a fast transition in major power relations, while regional architectures for both security and economic development remain insufficient. This module examines the opportunities as well as challenges to regional peace and stability amidst fast geopolitical changes in Asia-Pacific.

Academic Calendar

Year 1
Semester 1 (August – December)
‌•Core 1: International Relations: Theory and Practice
‌•Core 2: International Security
‌•Core 3: International Political Economy
‌•Core 4: Research Methods in International Affairs

Semester 2 (January – May)
‌•Core 5: Foreign Policy Analysis
‌•Core 6: International Economic Development
‌•Specialisation Elective 1
‌•Specialisation Elective 2

Year 2
Semester 1 (August – December)
‌•Core 7: International Conflict Analysis and Resolution
‌•Core 8: Global Governance
‌•Specialisation Elective 3

Semester 2 (January – May)
‌•Core 9: Geopolitics of the Asia Pacific
‌•Specialisation Elective 4
‌•Specialisation Elective 5

Master’s Thesis or Capstone Project (based on a two-month internship experience)

Application Process

You are required to submit the following documents:

1. Online application form
2. Personal statement in no more than 500 words, stating your motivation for applying for the MIA programme and its relevance to your future career development.
3. A writing sample of not more than 2000 words. You may choose a writing sample submitted previously for a degree programme, work of fiction, newspaper article or an analytical piece of work.
4. Three referee’s reports. If you have graduated less than five years at the time of application, we require at least one report to be from your university lecturer/faculty to attest your academic abilities.
5. Degree scrolls and academic transcripts.
6. A valid GRE, GMAT or LSAT score.

‌•The application period starts from 1 August annually to 15 January of the following year.
‌•Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an online application. To access the online application system, you will be required to enter your email address and a six-character password.
‌•Applicants will be notified of the results of successful admission to the MIA programme, as well as the results of scholarships awarded from early April.




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Recipient: National University of Singapore

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