SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

MA Global Diplomacy: South Asia (Online Learning) (2018 entry)

duration:
2 years

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: April / October

Mode of Attendance: Part-time

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.

  • 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

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

Students are ​required to ​rank three modules​ in preferred order​ from the below sample list for each ​study ​session. ​All modules are subject to availability and this list is not exhaustive​ from session to session​.

South Asia modules

Diplomacy modules

Afghanistan: Strategic and Geopolitical Perspectives

Digital Diplomacy

India’s Foreign and Security Policy

Ethnic & Religious Conflict in South East Asia in Historical Perspective

Pakistan: Security, State and Religion

Foundations of International Law

Global Citizenship and Advocacy

Global International Organisation: United Nations in the World

Global Media

International Security

Muslim Minorities and the State: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

Muslim Minorities in a Global Context

Political economy of violence, conflict and development

Strategic Studies

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.

Digital Diplomacy

This module addresses a crucial element of contemporary diplomacy and international affairs, the role of digital technologies in practices, processes and language of diplomacy. As such, it will respond to rapidly changing environments for diplomacy and international relations. The module aims to introduce students to the complexities of digital diplomacy and unpack at least some of the key issues to help them navigate their way through the digital architecture of the 21st Century.

Ethnic & Religious Conflict in South East Asia in Historical Perspective

South East Asia has been home to some of the longest continuous armed conflicts in the world. In all the modern states that emerged after World War II, the need to prevent conflictual manifestations of identity politics has been an ongoing challenge, even when conflicts have been managed through predominantly non-violent means. This course will explore these issues from both national and non-national perspectives. By the end of the course, students will have an understanding in depth and in breadth of some of the most enduring and important internal challenges facing the nations of the region, which continue to have the potential to destabilise inter-regional and global international relations.

Foundations of International Law

Foundations of International Law is an introductory module suitable for those who have not previously studied either law or international law. It aims to introduce students both to the 'building blocks' of international law and to basic legal research and writing skills. Students will also be encouraged to think critically about the rule and role of international law in international affairs.

Global Diplomacy: Global Citizenship and Advocacy

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.

Global International Organisation: United Nations in the World

Examine the context of the United Nations (UN) and the UN system within other International Organisations (IOs). You will examine the ways in which International Organisations came into being and how they evolved into the United Nations Organisation in 1945. Learn how the UN system has changed in recent years, and what the short and medium-term effect of these changes are likely to be with particular attention on peacekeeping, collective security, and human rights.

Global Media

In Global Media we will turn our critical attention to the ways in which media and communication technologies, operating amidst the complex dynamics of globalisation, can have a profound impact on our understanding and analysis of diplomacy and international relations. Throughout the course, you will develop analyses of the ways in which old political, cultural and social boundaries are challenged by the new networks of an emerging global civil society. By the end of the course you will have started to establish your own critique of how postnational cosmopolitan identifications coexist with local forms of social and cultural ‘belonging'.

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.

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.

Muslim Minorities and the State: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

This module explores the development of government policies in non-Muslim countries towards Muslim minority communities, from the colonial era to the present day. It focuses on eight countries: Britain, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, India, and Singapore, using these as case studies to explore the issues raised in both western and non-western contexts. Upon completion of this module, students will have acquired the methodological expertise to apply themselves to the study of other Muslim minorities in different geographic locations living under different jurisdictions.

Muslim Minorities in a Global Context

An insight into the diversity of Muslim minority communities at a time when political shifts in Muslim majority countries – such as Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran and across the MENA region – have put Muslim minorities into the spotlight and impacted upon their relationship with host countries. You will trace the emergence and development of Muslim minorities in both Western and non-Western contexts, and examine how Muslims have forged new identities as they have negotiated their places within their host societies.

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 Economy of Violence, Conflict and Development

This module provides a grounding in analytical approaches to the political economy of violence, conflict and development by discussing empirical trends, difficulties of data collection and the importance of categorization and boundaries to matters of violence. Foundational theories on conflict and violence including gender perspectives, debates about the origins of human violence (anthropological, historical, psychological sources of violence) and the role of violence in historical change will considered. Against this background, the course explores how development theory has treated violence and conflict at different times before focusing on competing contemporary theories and claims about the causes and dynamics of conflict.The course ends on the links between war/violence, and knowledge production, discourses and ethics, with a focus on terrorism and the war on terror and the ethical challenges of conducting research on violence.

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.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

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
Activity
Duration
Substantive module 16 weeks
Reading weeks 2 weeks
Research mini module 8 weeks
Reading weeks 2 weeks

Assessment

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

* An 'e-tivity' is a framework for online, active and interactive learning following a format that states clearly to the students its 'Purpose'; the 'Task' at hand; the contribution or 'Response' type; and the 'Outcome' (Salmon, G. (2002) E-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning, New York and London: Routledge Falmer.)


Research Training and Dissertation

Research training is a key feature of this programme, the dissertation module is presented in four development parts, which will follow each of your module sessions. Research modules one and three are formative modules only, and are not assessed.

The dissertation is assessed by the submission of a written dissertation of no more than 15,000 words, excluding the bibliography and appendices, which will account for 85% of the mark awarded for the module (research module four). The remaining 15% of the module mark will be based on the mark obtained for a 1,500 word research proposal (research module two).

The research proposal is compulsory for students going on to do a PGDip or MA; MA students must submit a dissertation at the end of research module four.

Fees and funding

MA/MSc PGDip* PGCert*
£12,000 See below See below

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

PG Dip and PG Cert are available as exit awards and interested students should be in touch directly with the course team at glodipadmin@soas.ac.uk 

Note this is a new fee structure, students will continue their programme on the same fee structure throughout.

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 pay for modules prior to enrolment (£3,000).

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

The quality of education and the reputation of the college are excellent and the teaching excels by far what I expected before becoming a SOASian. SOAS is incredibly diverse yet specialised in its approaches to studying the social sciences and the arts.

Cornelia Rottenmoser

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 2018 for a 16 October 2018 start
  • 31 March 2019 for a 16 April 2019 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 4895
    By email:
    glodipadmin@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