The MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy is the online version of the successful campus degree of the same name; housed within the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) this programme’s focus is on policy and policymaking in the energy and climate space. The MSc introduces students to the key energy sources, their economic and technical bases and how they are regulated. It further analyses energy and climate governance at the international level, and discusses the geopolitics of energy. This programme places policy and policymaking as the key to enabling change and creating the requisite legal and regulatory environment within which the low-carbon energy system of the future can develop and grow.
The MSc provides students with a detailed understanding of the transformative change in energy systems now underway around the world and equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to play a part in it. It treats energy and climate change policy as inextricably linked, taking an integrated approach to the study of the two fields. Case studies are drawn from around the world, accounting for different conditions in developed, newly-industrialised and developing country contexts.
The ways in which energy is produced, managed and consumed in the 21st century in both the Global North and South are fundamentally changing. While oil, coal and gas have continued to dominate the global energy mix, new players have emerged challenging the status-quo. From large offshore wind parks in the UK to innovative, mobile phone-enabled off-grid solar PV solutions in Kenya; from a booming electric car market in China to high-voltage energy superhighways criss-crossing Germany; from energy storage projects in California to concentrated solar power plants in South Africa – the global energy transition means more renewably-produced energy, more distributed generation, technology leapfrogging, greater energy efficiency of both existing and new installations, and greater investment in new energy infrastructure.
Much of this transformative change has been driven by the urgent need to decarbonize energy systems and the global economy more widely, in order to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to a level consistent with a 2°C (1.5°C) stabilisation pathway. The consequences of increasing global average surface temperatures pose serious risks to ecosystems and physical infrastructure and challenge various actors to cope with extreme weather events, the destruction of habitats, water scarcity, migration, public health and conflict. The global task is therefore not only one of international diplomacy, but one that requires policy makers at all levels of political authority, corporations, businesses, NGOs and others to take the necessary steps to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change.
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?
The MSc is designed for those engaged with or planning a career in professional contexts relating to energy and/or climate policy and who wish to study in a flexible way. By studying online, students will also have the flexibility to integrate studies into working life without having to take a career break.
Dr Feja Lesniewska
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 two core modules and a range of elective modules on offer each session. There are also four research mini modules.
- 1 x core module1 (30 credits)
- 3 x elective modules (30 credits)
- 4 x research mini modules
- 1 x dissertation (60 credits)
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 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.
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.
Fees and funding
*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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 prepares for a multitude of careers in public, private and non-profit contexts, including in public administration and government departments, the diplomatic service and international organisations, strategic policy and risk advisory, government relations and public affairs, policy advocacy, think tanks and academia.
Graduates of the MSc Global Energy and Climate Policy are now working for Abundance Investment, Platts, Intasave, Greenmax Capital, DFID, Grue & Hornstrup, Carbon Smart, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Sustainable Home Survey, S-RM, Fuel Poverty Action, UK Government Investments (UKGI), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN ESCAP and the World Bank.
We welcome applications from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds. It is not necessary to have a degree in a discipline directly related to global energy and climate policy.
Each application is assessed on its individual merits and entry requirements may be modified in light of relevant professional experience and where the applicant can demonstrate a sustained practical interest in the international field.
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!
Apply now using our online application form
If you have any questions please use our enquire here.
The deadlines for applications are as follows:
- 30 September 2020 for a 16 October 2020 start
- 31 March 2021 for a 21 April 2021 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
Only scans of original documents will be accepted. We do not accept black and white scanned photocopies. Please send your documents to email@example.com. Please ensure that you include your full name, student number and the programme you are applying for in the subject line. Please note that we reserve the right to ask for certified copies of the original documents, if necessary.
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.
This must be either your passport or birth certificate.
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.
2. Copy of an identification document
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 and 7 in both reading and writing).
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.
Only scans of original documents will be accepted. We do not accept black and white scanned photocopies.