Learn about the key concepts of diplomacy and the institutional development of diplomatic relations. You will also gain in-depth knowledge of negotiations processes through the course's core module, The Art of Negotiation. In addition, you will be able to select modules according to your interests and career goals, including International Security, Diplomatic Systems, and America and the World: US Foreign Policy.
Established in 2013 and based on 20 years of experience within Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD), MA Global Diplomacy will allow you to deepen your understanding of international affairs and contemporary diplomatic practice. The programme brings together cutting-edge research in delivering an engaging and stimulating student experience in a dynamic field of study.You will acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to proceed to careers in a range of professional contexts where diplomacy is relevant, while also providing the learning opportunities to enable you, as a postgraduate student, to acquire the interdisciplinary knowledge to undertake further advanced studies and research in the area of global diplomacy.The course has its foundations in an established heritage of high-quality teaching and research within SOAS' Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD). The mission of CISD is to promote multi-disciplinary teaching that combines the distinctive expertise of SOAS with cutting-edge research and public discussion of diplomacy and international politics in a globalised world.
The programme is delivered by the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) 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.
Who is this programme for?
Relevant for those engaged in or embarking on a career in diplomatic or related fields requiring international expertise in government, not-for-profit, corporate or academic environments.
By studying online, students will also have the flexibility to integrate studies into working life without having to take a career break.
Start of programme: April / October
Mode of Attendance: Online Learning
Phone: +44 (0)20 7898 4895
- 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.
- 2 years
Students will study one core modules and a range of elective modules on offer each session. There are also four research mini modules.
- 1 x core modules
- 3 x elective modules
- 4 x research mini modules
- 1 x dissertation
Students are required to rank three elective modules in preferred order from the below sample list for each study session following their core module. All modules are subject to availability and this list is not exhaustive from session to session.
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.
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.
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
|Research mini module
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.
*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 email@example.com
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).
If you have been a resident in England for 3 years you may be eligible. For more information, please see Fees and Finance..
The degree aims to prepare students for such roles as those within a Foreign Service or other government department, international civil service (such as the United Nations or European Union), international NGOs (working in fields such as development, humanitarian assistance and conflict resolution), as well as multinational corporations and international media.
A Student's Perspective
The experience was excellent throughout. Each of the four modules was challenging and I learnt more about topics I was already interested in. The programme also led me to discover research material that I would have otherwise been unaware of.
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 2019 for a 16 October 2019 start
- 31 March 2020 for a 21 April 2020 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 including 7 in both reading and writing). This does not need to be certified and may be received via email.
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