SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

MA Global Diplomacy: South Asia (Online Learning)

duration:
2 years

2018 Entry requirements

  • A minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent). We welcome applications from academically strong individuals from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds. Candidates with a lower class degree but with degree-relevant work experience may be considered.

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Employment
  • Apply

Overview

Start of programme: October 2016

Mode of Attendance: On-Line

Deepen your understanding of international affairs and contemporary diplomatic practice with a regional focus on South Asia & Afghanistan. This programme will give you a theoretically and historically informed understanding of the practice of international diplomacy, broadly conceived, and its applications in South Asia.

Research is a key component of this programme upon completion will give students the skills to:

  • think critically, with reference to theoretical and empirical (historical and/or contemporary) content about international studies, diplomacy, and political economy in South Asia
  • develop and practice the ability to see – and to comment on – the strengths and the weaknesses of others’ ideas and arguments.

The programme is delivered by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) and the SOAS South Asia Institute (SSAI), in association with the FCO's Diplomatic Academy, using a combination of multi-disciplinary teaching, cutting-edge research and public discussion of diplomacy and international politics in a globalised world.

This programme is available as a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate level. Please see the Structure tab for more information.

Who is this course for?

This course is for those engaged in or embarking on a career in diplomatic or related fields in South Asia requiring international expertise in government, not-for-profit, corporate or academic environments.

Email: glodipadmin@soas.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)20 7898 4895

Structure

Masters

There are two core modules and a range of elective modules on offer each session. There are also four research mini modules a Masters

  • 2 x core modules (30 credits each)
  • 2 x elective modules (30 credits each)
  • 4 x research mini modules
  • 1 x dissertation on a topic related to South Asia (60 credits)

Of the taught modules, one core module and one elective module must be from the South Asia list, while one core module and one elective module must be from the Diplomacy list.

PG Diploma
  • 2 x core modules (30 credits each)
  • 2 x elective modules (30 credits each)
  • 4 x research mini modules

Of the taught modules, one core module and one elective module must be from the South Asia list, while one core module and one elective module must be from the Diplomacy list.

PG Certificate
  • 1 x core module (30 credits)
  • 1 x elective module (30 credits)
  • 2 x research mini modules

South Asia modules

Diplomacy modules

Core Modules

Economy, Politics and Society in South Asia

Art of Negotiation

Elective Modules

Diplomacy in a South Asian context

Diplomatic Systems

Governance and Political Economy of South Asia

Global Citizenship and Advocacy

South Asian Development in the 21st Century

Global Public Policy

The Political Economy of India

Global Media

India’s Foreign and Security Policy

International Economics

Contemporary India: State, Society and Politics

International Organisations: UN
in the World

Afghanistan: Strategic and Geopolitical Perspectives

International Relations and International History

Pakistan: Security, State and Religion

International Security

Political Islam in South Asia

Strategic Studies

Core modules

Economy, Politics and Society in South Asia

You will gain an interdisciplinary, social science foundation to the study of the region of South Asia. By engaging with a series of key debates related to economic, political and social change, you will gain an understanding of the underlying and overarching processes which are shaping societies, polities, and economies in the region.

The Art of Negotiation

You will learn about the key concepts of diplomacy and the institutional development of diplomatic relations. You will also be introduced to the strategy and tactics of negotiation and its place in international relations between states.

Dissertation (For MA students only)

This is an opportunity for students to produce a sustained piece of individual, academic research on a topic of their choice, related to South Asia and diplomacy or International Relations, under the guidance of one of SOAS’s expert academics.

Elective modules

Diplomacy in a South Asian context

You will learn about international and national level policies and their implementation across and within national boundaries in South Asia. You will develop an understanding of the challenges involved in applying international policy in a range of South Asian contexts, where non-governmental and international organisations are also engaged with global issues and national policy. You will gain an understanding of the history of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and its constraints and limitations.

Governance and Political Economy of South Asia

You will learn about forms of governance and politics as they have evolved in relation to economic organisation and development in South Asia. You will explore the relationship between governance and economic processes thematically and gain an understanding of the changing nature of ‘the state’ and its roles and functions in a number of South Asian contexts.

South Asian Development in the 21st Century

You will engage with the key themes and debates in the field of Development Studies as it pertains to South Asia. This module provides an interdisciplinary and heterodox approach to understanding both the international ‘drivers’ of development, such as UN agencies, as well as highlighting critical analyses of policies and the outcomes of these processes through a focus on concepts of equity, distribution, and ‘rights’.

The Political Economy of India

You will develop an informed understanding of the complex structure of the Indian economy. You will learn to apply basic economic theories to the analysis of a range of economic policies and to identify and de-construct key debates and issues in the political economy of India.

India’s Foreign and Security Policy

Beginning with the creation of independent India and its borders in 1947, you will acquire the analytical tools you need to assess how India’s foreign and security policy has evolved over time. The module will highlight a number of contemporary issues which address both internal and external security policy in India, including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and India’s bi-lateral relations with its neighbours (principally Pakistan) in relation to borders, militarisation, and security. You will also evaluate India’s aspirations for global stature at the international policy level.

Contemporary India: State, Society and Politics

You will become conversant with a number of current themes which are shaping contemporary India and use a range of conceptual tools to evaluate the political shifts that have taken place in the electoral ascent of Hindu nationalism alongside emerging civil society movements. By engaging with contemporary literature and debate you will develop a deeper and broader understanding of how state, society and politics are evolving in contemporary India.

Afghanistan: Strategic and Geopolitical Perspectives

You will engage with political debates about the strategic and geopolitical significance of Afghanistan and analyse the ways in which the region became a site for the Cold War through U.S. and Soviet direct and indirect interventions. You will also develop a nuanced understanding of how the ‘war on terror’ impacts upon the region in terms of the struggle to develop sustainable local governance amidst international security interests.

Pakistan: Security, State and Religion

You will analyse the evolution of the Pakistani state since Pakistan’s creation in 1947. You will develop analytical insights into the uses of religion as a means of ideological unity across its provinces and securitisation through the prominence of the military as a means of maintaining the state’s internal and external power. The factors that influence persistent violence, political instability, wealth disparity, and low economic growth will be critically examined.

Political Islam in South Asia

You will gain an understanding of the ways in which Islamism circulates in contemporary South Asia in a range of different contexts across the region. The historical roots of political Islam in South Asia will be explored in relation to colonialism and the emergence of politicised religion while its contemporary legacy will be charted out in terms of recent regional and global developments.

Diplomatic Systems

You will learn about the conditions in which diplomacy is stimulated and the nature of different diplomatic systems that arise as a result of variations in these conditions. You will also study historical and contemporary case studies from Byzantium to Ancient Greece and from the French system to a transatlantic system of diplomacy.

Global Diplomacy: Global Citizenship and Advocacy

You will develop an understanding of how to influence policy at an international level and how to affect policy changes to meet the aims of non-governmental and international organisations. You will look at how to achieve change at a global level, networking across national boundaries and on global issues.

International Economics

You will learn about the theory of international economics and become familiar with the practice of international economic relations through the study of current policy debates about the workings of the contemporary international economy.

International History and International Relations

You will analyse the major debates in the disciplines of international history and international relations. The module is structured thematically, allowing for an interlinked analytical and narrative account of international studies to be presented.

International Security

Focusing on developments since the end of the Cold War, you will be given the analytical tools to think critically and independently about the nature of contemporary international security. You will consider a range of contemporary security issues including terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the Iraq War and the future of the Middle East, and the prospects for peace and security in the 21st century.

Strategic Studies

The area of strategic studies is increasingly relevant in light of conflicts in the past decade in Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan. You will address a range of strategic influences such as power and force, asymmetric/irregular warfare, and the role of security providers such as NATO. The relationship between strategy and policy will be explored through a series of case studies including US involvement in Vietnam and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Disclaimer

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
This programme is taught 100% online through our VLE. In the VLE you will have access to learning materials and course resources anytime so you can fit your studies around your existing commitments. For each module, students will be provided with access, through both the SOAS Library and the University of London’s Online Library, to all necessary materials from a range of appropriate sources.
A key component of the student experience will be peer to peer learning, with students enrolled in discussion forums.
Study timetable
In addition to a dedicated Associate Tutor, a Study Timetable is provided for each module and for the overall programme to help you to organise your time.
The programme is broken down into two study sessions per year. Each subject module lasts 16 weeks, followed by a research mini module lasting 8 weeks.
Sample Study Timetable

Study session example
Activity Duration
Substantive module 16 weeks
Reading week 2 weeks
Research mini module 8 weeks
Reading week 2 weeks
Research training

Research training is a key feature of this programme and all students must complete a compulsory mini research module following on from each module. Research modules 1 and 3 are formative modules only, and are not assessed.

In addition to the research modules, those going on to do a PGDip or MA must submit a research proposal and MA students must submit a dissertation at the end of research module four

Assessment

Each module is assessed by five written online assessments (‘etivities[1]’) comprising 30% and one 5,000 word essay comprising 70% of the module mark. The etivities provide formative and summative feedback to students as a means of monitoring their progress and encouraging areas in which they can improve.

Dissertation

The Dissertation is assessed by the submission of a written dissertation of not more than 15,000 words, excluding the bibliography and appendices, which will account for 85% of the mark awarded for the module. The remaining 15% of the module mark will be based on the mark obtained for a 1,500 word research proposal.

Fees and funding

MSc PGDip* PGCert*
£10,000 £9,000 £5,000

Local exam centre fees may apply.

*Only applicable to Global Diplomacy: South Asia and Global Diplomacy: Middle East & North Africa 

Pay as you Learn

Our distance learning programmes can be paid in full at the time of enrolment or on a pay as you learn basis. Pay as you learn means you only pay for the module you are enrolling on.

Postgraduate loans

If you have been a resident in England for 3 years you may be eligible. For more information, please see Fees and Finance..

Scholarships

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

Employment

"I found it worth every working hour and every penny. What is most important for me - as a diplomat by profession and a former IR student - is that I did learn a lot. One specific area of personal gain was research methods and writing techniques. Now I feel an urge to consider a PhD sometime in the future - an idea unthinkable before - mainly because I gained confidence in my capacity for such an endeavor."

Bachir C. Azzam
Head of the Americas & the UN Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Emigrants, Lebanon
MA Global Diplomacy (2016)

A Student's Perspective

I chose SOAS to study the MA International Studies and Diplomacy because the course is truly one of a kind. When searching for Masters courses, I could not find a similar one anywhere in the UK, let alone a better one!

Marta Corti

Apply

How to Apply

You can apply using our online application form

If you have any questions please use our online enquiry form.

The deadlines for applications are as follows:

  • 30 September 2017 for a 17 October 2017 start
  • 31 March 2018 for a 17 April 2018 start

Your completed application will be reviewed by a member of academic staff. If your application is successful, we will send you an official offer within ten working days and you will be asked to submit the relevant supporting documentation. Once in receipt of our offer, we recommend submitting your documents immediately.

Supporting documentation for applications

1. Degree certificates

We require documentation confirming the award of all qualifications listed in your application, which can either be your certificate or academic transcript. This must show: the name of the university, programme studied and the grade/classification you attained. If your university cannot issue official documents in English, we will require a certified translation in English of your degree certificate/transcript.

You can send us either original or certified copies of your documents. If you send original documents and you would like these to be returned to you, please state this in your covering letter.

If you send certified copies, please ensure that each document has been stamped and verified by one of the following:

  • British Council official. (You can find the location of your nearest British Council office from www.britishcouncil.org)
  • Local British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission
  • Notary Public
  • The issuing university (in the case of academic qualifications)
2. Copy of an identification document

This must be either your passport or birth certificate. This does not need to be certified, and may be sent to us via email.

Note: If your name as stated on your academic documents does not match that given on your identification document, we will also require documentary evidence (such as a marriage certificate) that supports your change of name.

3. Copy of English language proficiency certificate

If your degree was not taught and assessed in English, you will need to submit evidence of your English language competency. This should be either an IELTS or TOEFL certificate (you will need an IELTS overall score of 7.0 OR 7 in both reading and writing). This does not need to be certified and may be received via email.

4. References

We may also request that you provide us with references in support of your application. They should be from an individual who knows you on an academic basis. However, if you graduated more than three years ago we will accept a professional reference.

Your reference should include an opinion (in English) on your academic and personal suitability for the proposed programme of study.

Please note that, if necessary, we reserve the right to verify your qualifications with the relevant awarding body and to request further information from you about your background.

Send your supporting documents to the following address:

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London, WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4050
    By email:
    study@soas.ac.uk
  • Got a question?

    If you still have questions about this programme or studying at SOAS get in touch.

    Ask a question

  • Apply

    CISD distance learning applications should be made through our online application form.

    Start your application