SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

MA/PGDip International Studies and Diplomacy

MA: One calendar year (full time). Two or three years (part time). PGDip: One academic year (full time). Two academic years (part time).

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. This is a Band 6 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

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. It is not always necessary to have a first degree in a discipline directly related to the programme.

Featured events

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


Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full Time or Part Time

Who is this programme for?:

The MA/PGDip International Studies and Diplomacy (ISD) programme is designed for those engaged in, or planning to embark upon, a professional career requiring international expertise in government, not-for-profit, corporate or academic environments.

ISD aims to prepare students for a variety of roles, such as working 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); multinational corporations and international media. The programme also suits those engaged in or considering research roles within a policy think tank, risk analysis organisation or doctoral programme and seeking to deepen their academic and practical understanding of international affairs and contemporary diplomatic practice.

The programme has a multi-disciplinary structure and draws on the teaching and research strengths of CISD and of the SOAS departments of International Politics, Law, Economics and area studies (especially of Asia, Africa and the Middle East) as well as a wide range of languages.  Students choose a combination of modules to meet their specific professional needs and personal interests.

Students on this course will have the opportunity to participate in CISD's Study Tour of Geneva.

Programme Objectives
  • Excellent inter-disciplinary understanding of key concepts, theories and debates in the study of international affairs
  • Excellent knowledge of international policy debates and principle issues from perspectives of both the global North and South
  • Ability to undertake critical analysis of contemporary international policy issues and challenges
  • Development of module specific practical skills such as policy analysis and policy advocacy, negotiation, mediation, communication and media relations.

We welcome applications from academically strong individuals from a wide variety of fields and backgrounds; however, it is not necessary to have a first degree in a discipline directly related to the programme.

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.

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Dr Dan Plesch, Director of CISD at SOAS, University of London talks about the masters programme


Phone: +44 (0)20 7898 4840



Students take taught modules to the value of 4 full units plus 15,000 word dissertation
  1. One 30 credit module or two 15 credit modules from A
  2. Two 30 credit modules or four 15 credit modules from A or B
  3. One 30 credit module or two 15 credit modules from A, B or C
  4. Dissertation (compulsory) on a topic related to the programme’s core themes

Postgraduate Diploma candidates take modules as the MA, excluding the dissertation.

A). International Studies and Diplomacy Modules

15PFFH001 Sport and Diplomacy: 'More than a Game' (15 Credits)

15PFFH002 International Relations 1: Foundations of World Politics (15 Credits)

15PFFH003 International Relations 2: Contemporary World Politics (15 Credits)

15PFFH006 History and Future of the United Nations (15 Credits)

15PFFH008 Foundations of International Law (15 Credits)

15PFFH009 Contemporary Problems of World Order (15 Credits)

15PFFH010 International Politics of Transitional Justice (15 Credits)

15PFFH012 Global Advocacy (15 Credits)

15PFFH013 Diplomatic Practice (15 Credits)

15PFFH014 General Diplomatic Studies (15 Credits)

15PFFC004 International Economics (30 Credits)

15PFFC016 International Security (30 Credits) 

B). Additional modules available within CISD

*List of guided options LIST B

15PFFH011 Energy Policy in the Asia-Pacific (15 Credits)

15PFFC017 Global Energy & Climate Policy (30 Credits) 

15PFFC019 Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World - Economic and Legal Perspectives (30 Credits) 

15PFFH005 Project Management (15 Credits)

15PFFH004 Global Public Policy (15 Credits)

C). Options

Please note that acceptance onto an Options module is subject to availability of places, timetabling, and the approval of the convenor of that course.

Suggested electives for International Studies and Diplomacy students
Full Unit modules (1.0)

*List of guided options LIST C
15PPOC018 China and International Politics (30 Credits) 
15PLAC106 Chinese Commercial Law (30 Credits) 
15PPOC026 Comparative Politics of the Middle East (30 Credits) 
15PECC334 Economic Dynamics of the Asia-Pacific Region (30 Credits) 
15PECC035 Economic Problems and Policies in Modern China (30 Credits) 
15PPOC205 Government and Politics in Africa (30 Credits) 
15PPOC003 Government and Politics of Modern South Asia (30 Credits) 
15PPOC247 Government and Politics of Modern South East Asia (30 Credits) 
15PPOC251 International Politics of East Asia (30 Credits) 
15PLAC139 Modern Chinese Law and Human Rights (30 Credits) 
15PPOC012 State and Society in the Chinese Political Process (30 Credits) 
15PPOC252 Taiwan's Politics and Cross-Strait Relations (30 Credits) 
15PDSC001 Theory, Policy and Practice of Development (30 Credits) 
15PMSH009 International Political Communication (15 Credits)
15PHIH013 Japanese Modernity I (15 Credits)
15PHIH014 Japanese Modernity II (15 Credits)
15PHIH035 The Making of the Contemporary World (15 Credits)
15PMSH006 The Transnational News Environment: Production, Representation and Use (15 Credits)
15PFMC075 Topics in the Chinese Economy (15 Credits)


This is the structure for 2017/18 applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Faculty.

Programme Specification


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

The programme may be taken in one year (full time) or in two or three years part time (MA only), with the schedule designed to allow participation by those in full-time employment. Participants may choose a combination of modules to meet their professional needs and personal interests. The programme is convened on a multi-disciplinary basis, and teaching is through lectures, tutorials and workshops conducted by SOAS faculty and visiting specialists.

The Centre endeavours to make as many of the modules for International Studies and Diplomacy (ISD) accessible to part-time students. Where possible the majority of CISD lectures are at 18.00; however, lecture times will be rotated on a yearly basis for some modules (between evening and daytime slots) so that part-time students will have access to as many modules as possible over the duration of their degree. Associated tutorials are repeated in hourly slots with the latest taking place at 20.00. Students sign up for tutorial groups at the start of term and stay in the same group throughout the academic year. There is a minimum of two and a half hours formal teaching a week (lecture and tutorial) for each ISD module taken. Practical exercises may take place at weekends.

Teaching includes
  • Wide range of modules: Diplomatic Studies and Practice, International Relations, International Economics, International Law, and International Security
  • Wide choice of electives: Global Energy and Climate Policy, Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World or a module offered by other SOAS departments (e.g. Development Studies, Politics, Economics, Law, Languages)
  • Interaction with diplomats, policy makers, NGO officials and other international practitioners.
  • Training in negotiation, policy analysis, policy advocacy, communication and media and other skills through practical exercises including strategy, communication and media workshops, moots courts, and negotiation and mediation workshops.
Further activities

Included in the degree programme:

  • Week long study trip to United Nations organisations in Geneva
  • Media and communication skills training by current and former BBC staff
  • Guest lectures by leading scholars and senior practitioners, and policy conferences (visit the CISD website to listen to the podcasts)
  • Opportunities to actively participate in Centre research programmes

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 6 tuition fee.

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
£16,315 £21,725 £8,158 £10,863 £5,438 £7,242
Allan and Nesta Ferguson Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-01-29 00:00

John Loiello AFSOAS FISH Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2018-02-20 17:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2018-06-05 00:00

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


Find out more

  • Contact us
    By phone:
    +44 (0)20 7898 4700
    By email:
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  • Apply

    Postgraduate programme applications should be made through our online application system.

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