Bachelor of Arts (PNG Studies and International Relations)

The Bachelor of Arts (PNG Studies and International Relations) program creates global citizens who think creatively about the challenges facing Papua New Guinea in the 21st century. The students, in close collaboration with faculty staff, develop specialized knowledge in their chosen disciplines, rigorous critical thinking, clear and effective writing, the habits of life-long learning, sensitivity to ethical and aesthetic issues, and the ability to understand and interpret the cultures of PNG and the world, past and present. The graduates will be able to participate in the political, socio-cultural and economic field of developments.


Program Code: BA (PGIR) 


Credit Points Required

Achievement total of 320 credit points to graduate with a Bachelors Degree in PNG Studies and International Relations.

Duration of Study

The main program of the Department is the four-year Bachelor of Arts (PNG Studies and International Relations).

Study mode and Location

Four years degree program - Full time study. Program offered at DWU Madang Campus

Pre - requisites

Applicants are required to have a minimum ‘B’ grade and above in all Grade 12 level subjects is required, especially in the social sciences, arts and language subjects.


Program Units

First Year

Semester One

PG115 Academic Study Skills
PG151 Cultural Anthropology
IS117 End-User Computing and Word Processing
RS234 Christian Ethics


Semester two

PG116 Sociolinguistic
PG133 Politics: Theories and Concepts
PG135 Environmental Sustainability
PG136 Gender and Development Studies


Second Year

Semester One

PG216 Legal and Constitutional Studies
PG217 Contemporary Pacific History
IR202 Theories & Concepts of International Relations
IR203 International Organizations


Semester two

PG218 Influence of Foreign Powers in the Pacific
PG219 Political Economy: Theories and Concepts
IR204 PNG Foreign Policy
IR205 Fundamentalism and Global Politics


Third Year

Semester One

PG315 Peace and Conflict Studies
PG330 Theories of Development and Change
IR302 International Law and Practice
IR333 Foreign Policy Analysis


Semester two

PG309 Social Policies of Community Development
PG314 Gender and Equity Issues
IR304 Diplomacy and Negotiations
CA319 Social Science Research Methods


Fourth Year

Semester One

PG458 Globalization in the Pacific
PG453 Leading and Managing a Project
IR431 International and Regional Security
IR408 International and Public Administration


Semester two

PG416 Major Research Project
PG417 PNG Studies and International Relations Seminars
IR403 International Political Economy
IR432 Geopolitics in Asia Pacific


Reserve Units

PG134 PNG languages
PG252 Interpreting cultures
PG303 Community development and practices
PG313 Indigenous knowledges
PG353 Classical ethnographics
PG354 Contemporary PNG ethnographics
PG407 Film studies for development
PG408 Community project analysis
PG418 PNG economy and Vision 2050
PG455 Case studies resource project and conflict
PG454 Scientific Report Writing
IR305 Case studies in north-south relations
IR307 Disaster and risk management
IR406 Transnational issues
IR407 Human rights and international development



Unit Descriptions

Year 1


PG115 Academic Study Skills - 10 Credit Points

Study skills at tertiary level differs significantly to that of previous experiences in lower levels of education. This unit aims to provide the student with knowledge of vital tertiary level study skills to help the student learn how to be an effective learner and to enhance student academic effectiveness in the first semester of their transition to tertiary study.



PG151 Cultural Anthropology - 10 Credit Points

This course covers the similarities and differences in human societies, from hunting and gathering to industrialized societies. It compares and contrasts Papua New Guinean beliefs and practices with those of other societies. Students are introduced to related cultural concepts and principles including holism and cultural relativism.


IS117 End-User Computing & Word Processing - 10 Credit Points

Technology, computers and the Internet, are indispensable tools in almost all kind of activities in professional and private life. End-User Computing and Word unit provides students with necessary knowledge and skills to function confidently and efficiently in computer-based environment. The unit familiarizes students with the Windows environment, file management and Internet skills. Since the word processing is the most fundamental application, the unit also provides comprehensive introduction to the basics of document formatting using word-processing.


RS234 Christian Ethics - 10 Credit Points

Ethics is a systematic, critical study concerned with the evaluation of human conduct to help male decisions about the future. It is concerned about what is right, fair, just or good; about what we ought to do, not just what is the case or what is most acceptable or expedient. Christian ethics is the critical evaluation of human conduct from a Christian perspective. In this course, students will explore the understanding, sources and importance of ethics in everybody’s personal and professional life.


PG116 Sociolinguistics - 10 Credit Points

The unit explores the essentially social nature of language in the PNG context. Topics involving social factors like ‘Language change’ the question of ‘language’ and ‘dialects’, ‘social variation in language use’ speech style and register, code-switching, bilingualism, language loss. Students will be expected to examine the ways in which language reflects the attitudes of society to what extent language determine these attitudes. This unit will provide a general awareness of the essentially social nature of language. Students will also be expected to examine the ways in which language reflects the attitudes of society and to what extent language determines these attitudes. These social issues will be articulated from the PNG perspectives or contexts with appropriate links to global contexts.


PG133 Politics: Theories and Concepts - 10 Credit Points

This unit introduces students to the study of politics by outlining the major theories and concepts that define this field of knowledge. Politics is the process by which groups representing divergent interest and values make collective decisions. Students are to analyse the theories and concepts and apply them to the PNG context in order to understand functions of the 3 arms of government, interest groups, unions, non-governmental organizations and other groups in society.


PG135 Environmental Sustainability - 10 Credit Points

This unit develops students’ professional and ethical attitudes towards the environment and sustainability approaches. Students develop an appreciation on the core development and the way government, business and environmental groups respond to it. The political ecology and the moral and ethical attitudes towards developmental issues like the environmental resources development, sustainability, protections of ecology and best practices of resources and conservations.


PG136 Gender and Development Studies - 10 Credit Points

This unit seeks to mainstream gender in development activities. It will include theories and concepts in gender studies and development. It will critically analyse how cultural definitions of sex and gender; womanhood and manhood, cultural and environmental constructs of gender, gender socialization and how gender is used as a major organizing principle. It will also discuss the cultural and modern interface of gender in development activities. The content will be delivered by lectures, tutorials, discussions and seminar presentations of relevant articles on the subtopics.


Year 2


PG216 Legal and Constitutional Studies - 10 Credit Points

This unit provides an overview of legal and constitutional processes in the independent state of Papua New Guinea. Topics covered include the nature and classification of law, sources of law and the levels of courts, jurisdiction constitutional frae work, international law and national judicial system in Papua New Guinea. It will cover specific areas like nature of law, legislation, and jurisdiction, levels of courts, constitution law, and international law.


PG217 Contemporary Pacific History - 10 Credit Points

This unit aims to provide the student with knowledge about the coming of the Europeans and how they changed the ancient people of the Pacific and their way of life. It explores evidence from archaeology (Lapita pottery complex), languages and cultures about the ways in which the Pacific islands were peopled. The historical understanding of migration routes and colonization in the Pacific is significant to understanding its impacts and influence in society today.


IR202 Theories and Concepts of International Relations - 10 Credit Points

This unit introduces various theories and concepts that explain international relations. Students will study how state and non-state actors build their power and use it to pursue their national interest through their foreign policies. These theories include; positivist and post-positivist theories such as power and security, realism, liberalism, interdependence, transnational relations, dependency theory and idealist theory, among others. Students will study the importance of the role of state and non-state actors in the conduct of international relations and explore concepts such as power, state, sovereignty, national interest, unilateralism, bilateralism, multilateralism and foreign policy.


IR203 International Organizations - 10 Credit Points

This unit covers the implementation of major international and regional treaties and conventions and agreements that bind nations together. It enables students to have a better understanding of how the International Court of Justice plays a major role in dealing with human rights issues, war crimes, and genocide. Students comprehend the nature of treaties, conventions and agreements that operate as templates to assist nations to work together in their bilateral or multilateral relations.


PG218 Influence of Foreign Powers in the Pacific - 10 Credit Points

This unit aims to provide the student with the knowledge and skills to analyse the current trend known as the ‘Rise of Asia’ from an international relations context as well as how other power politics in the region try to counter-balance the rise of Asia. The ‘Rise of Asia’ has led to the increase in Asian influence not only in the Pacific but all over the world and how other majors powers in the region such as Australia and United States have tried to balance the power of rising China, India and others. Specific case studies will be analysed to identify and debate the issues and challenges brought by power politics by foreign powers.


PG219 Political Economy: Theories and Concepts - 10 Credit Points

This unit focuses on economic conditions of countries with specific reference to PNG. Students explore the historical development of the economy in PNG, and the role and operations of government in setting economic goals, controlling the financial sector, and setting monetary and fiscal policies. Students evaluate the current political and economic situation and living standards in relation to the region, using critical drawn from the consumer price index, inflation, balance of payments, exchange rates, gross domestic product, and income and employment statistics. They explore PNG’s foreign trade and international relations, with attention to the main export commodities, and the volume of exports and imports.


IR204 PNG Foreign Policy - 10 Credit Points

Students will study the development of foreign policies for countries in the Asia Pacific region and how they have evolved over the years. The study will also discuss how major powers in the region design and implement their foreign policies and make comparative analysis. Students will debate and discuss on the implications of those Foreign Policy pursuits. The unit provides students with background and rationale for respective country’s policy choices basing on their national interests as well as to suit the changing international political, social economic and security situations in the region and the world at large.


IR205 Fundamentalism and Global Politics - 10 Credit Points

Students will study the comparative world religions and how the values and the belief systems influence global politics. They will do comparative studies on how people in societies perceive, interpret and portray elements of fundamentalism; how they involve aggression, violence and terrorist activities. Students will discuss inter-denominational conflicts and how those conflicts challenge states and societies in their decision-making and politics as well as economic development. The unit provides students with background on how countries’ foreign policies are influenced by factors relating to religion and how global politics is shaped by fundamentalist elements as in the case of religion violence, Jihadist movements and terrorist activities, among others.


Year 3


PG315 Peace and Conflict Studies - 10 Credit Points

This unit studies the dichotomy between peace and conflict and the impact it has on community and nation building. While peace is desirable and commendable in societal life, conflict is inescapable as part and partial of community life. The unit will study methods and approaches to intervene, negotiate, and mediate peace in conflicting situation while at the same time developing strategies and programs from maintaining peace which is a prerequisite for integral human development and progress. The unit will take into consideration the approach to peace and conflict resolution from a Human Right Based Approaches to community and institution building. (HRBA) to institution building.


PG330 Theories of Development and Change - 10 Credit Points

This unit aims to introduce students to the major theoretical debates surrounding development and change. It looks at the equally important interplay between theory and practice of development. The unit provides a comprehensive survey of development thinking from ‘classical’ development ideas to alternative and post development theories. The unit then attempts to critically review contemporary debates about development, including the link between modernity and development, participation, empowerment, gender and the role of the development practitioner. The unit also explores development and change from alternative world-views and disciplines – anthropological, economic, political and social perspectives. This is then discussed and compared with the development of both developed and developing countries.


IR302 International Law and Practice - 10 Credit Points

The International Law and Practice unit covers the implementation of major international and regional treaties and conventions and agreements that bind nations together. It enables students to have a better understanding of how the International Court of Justice (ICJ) plays a major role in dealing with Human Rights issues war crimes, genocide and how war criminals are tried in the International Court of Justice. Students comprehend the nature of treaties, conventions and agreements that operate as templates to assist nations work together in their bilateral or multilateral relations.


IR333 Foreign Policy Analysis - 10 Credit Points

The unit looks at Foreign Policy Analysis as a sub field of International Relations characterize by 3 different levels of analysis. The 3 different levels and the main actors in those levels influence foreign policies. The actors are guided by key approaches to foreign policy decision making. Specific countries like America, Australia, China and PNG are comparatively analysed in order to better understand the decision making process.


PG309 Social Policies of Community Development - 10 Credit Points

This unit highlights how community development needs to be guided and strengthened by relevant and appropriate social policies. A policies framework provides an avenue to pursue meaningful development. This unit examines some social development policies in areas such as health, education, welfare and population, and demonstrates how these are related and relevant to social and community development.


PG314 Gender and Equity Issues - 10 Credit Points

This unit explores contemporary gender and equity issues in PNG and the world with sensitivity to the cultural settings, awareness of change and recognition that equal participation of women and men is fundamental to national development. It will explore gender equity issues and use philosophical, social, political and feminist theories to explain them. The unit will study the National Constitution, the National Gender Policy, Medium Term Development Goals, Vision 2050 and evaluate gender at work at the family, community, provincial and national level. Assessment will be through written assignments and either a final exam, gender research project or a gender-related project like Gender Awareness Expo or Designing a Gender Awareness Toolkit.


IR304 Diplomacy and Negotiations - 10 Credit Points

Negotiation is the tool of diplomacy and students will learn specific diplomatic tact and skills in negotiation that are essential to their work environment and life as a whole. Students will explore the history, theory and practice of diplomacy, from the art of negotiation to the expanding modes of diplomatic interaction; bilateral, multilateral, and track two diplomacy, telecommunications, mediation, summitry, and public diplomacy. It focuses on specific methods of strategizing, participating in negotiation, handling of diplomatic cases and leading a delegation to international or regional conferences.


CA319 Social Science Research Method - 10 Credit Points

Research is a vital part of students learning where they develop an analytical mind as they progress through the final year of their study. This unit introduces students into the basics of doing a scholarly research work. The unit provides different research methods and skills needed to write a proper research. Students develop skills required for the writing of a feasible proposal and they develop research instruments according to the approach they will choose for their major project. They have practical lessons in developing skills such as the interview and observation.


Year 4


PG458 Globalisation in the Pacific - 10 Credit Points

This unit begins with the growth of the global system of social, economic and political power stimulated by the spread of European institutions and control through the structure of imperialism. It focuses on the past impacts in the Pacific Region and the current situation it has on the lives of the people of this region in relation with the global community. Themes include: growth of resource and manufacturing industries; globalization of banking and finances; population change and mass migration, transport, communication, the media, ideologies, values, beliefs and religious movements. It also looks at island nations in a world system; development, dependency; trans-national corporations and national sovereignty.


PG453 Leading and Managing a Project - 10 Credit Points

The unit draws together the major skills learnt in the management stream. Key learning concepts will include organization types, planning, and organizing, leading and managing major change projects. Students will study organizational theories; structures; leadership and management qualities; styles, change and developments. Identification of classical organizational theories and structures, their evolution over time and various management processes will constitute the learning interaction in this unit. Field excursion and observations will complement classroom interactions.


IR431 International and Regional Security - 10 Credit Points

This unit explores security issues for Asia Pacific and the world. Students analyse issues relating to international politics, economics, business, organizations, and law (including major treaties and conventions). Sources of threats and conflict include land, minerals, environment, energy, food, income, health, migration, human trafficking, terrorism, ethnic tension, civil war, failed states, and covert and overt intervention. Students gain knowledge of the dynamics among individuals, groups, states, and governmental and non-governmental organizations.


IR408 International Public Administration - 10 Credit Points

This unit explores public administration theory and practice drawing from global and regional contexts to provide a conceptual understanding of national policy frameworks. Within this policy context, the emphasis is on critical analysis of the fundamental concepts and principles in public administration using examples of workplace settings in public and non-profit organizations. The unit also investigates relations and relevance of the conceptual and operational applications in the various settings. Specific unit topics, include, public administration and politics, administrative organization and bureaucracy, basic problems in public administration, administrative responsibility, and considerations for a pragmatic and workable approach towards modern day public administration. Case studies will be employed to provide for participants to apply their knowledge and skills in decision-making in workplace situations in the public and other service sector organizations.


PG416 Major Research Project - 10 Credit Points

This unit enables students to study a range of research methods and writing skills to produce their own creative product in the social science field. Students meet weekly with a supervisor. They design and follow a research schedule. They create their own interview questions and surveys. They practice computer, writing, and oral presentation skills. In most cases, their work results in an 8,000 to 10,000 word dissertation of publishable standard. However, other creative products (literary, dramatic, or artistic) may be negotiated.


PG417 PNG Studies and International Relations Seminars - 10 Credit Points

This unit helps to develop students’ professional and practical attitudes towards their focus on the delivery of their research and ideas through public speech. The student will get in to small groups will be engaged in advanced study and original research under a member of faculty and meeting regularly to exchange information and hold discussion. This is also to rope in well-known experts or speakers that can offer valuable tips, in order to succeed in the real estate market and avoid pitfalls that can prove to be fatal for any investor. Expect one to two intensive weeks of lectures and then opportunities to contribute to lively discussions with international colleagues.


IR403 International Political Economy - 10 Credit Points

Students gain understanding of international economics, including capital accounts, balances of trade, trade surpluses and deficits, gross domestic and national products, market activities and how globalization affects nation-states. Student research and analyse why and how international economics and trade issues affect global politics and vice versa. Students synthesize information to predict outcomes based on economic, political, security and social issues.


IR432 Geopolitics in Asia Pacific - 10 Credit Points

This unit introduces students to an in-depth understanding of Geopolitical issues in the Asia Pacific region and the world over. Students will be able to focus on specific issues in the Asia-Pacific region and other issues elsewhere on how geographical aspects influence/determine politics among countries in the region and the world. Students will get a general knowledge of and be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of issues and challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, analysing their causes and effects and to make intelligent predictions or outcomes based on sound assessment of the issues at hand.