SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

MA/PGDip International Studies and Diplomacy (2022 entry)

Select year of entry: 2022 2021

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  • Teaching and Learning
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Alexandra Abdelwahab, MA/PGDip International Studies and Diplomacy Student Profile

Overview and entry requirements

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 Interternational Studies and Diplomacy programme has a multi-disciplinary structure and draws on the teaching and research strengths of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (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 the MA ISD may have the opportunity to participate in CISD's Study Tour (e.g.: United Nations in Geneva), although this is in addition to the programme of study and cannot be guaranteed.

See Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD)

Why study MA/PGDip International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS

  • gain an excellent inter-disciplinary understanding of key concepts, theories and debates in the study of international affairs
  • gain in-depth knowledge of international policy debates and principle issues from perspectives of both the global North and South
  • develop the ability to undertake critical analysis of contemporary international policy issues and challenges
  • you will also develop module specific practical skills such as policy analysis and policy advocacy, negotiation, mediation, communication and media relations.

Who should apply

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.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time


Phone: +44 (0)20 7898 4840

Entry requirements

  • We will consider all applications with a 2:2 (or international equivalent) or higher in a relevant subject. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application such as supporting statement. References are optional, but can help build a stronger application if you fall below the 2:2 requirement or have non-traditional qualifications. 

    Please see our 'postgraduate entry requirements' page for Overseas and EU qualifications and equivalencies.

Featured events

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

Fees 2022/23

UK fees:
Overseas fees:

Fees for 2022/23 entrants. This is a Band 3 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found on the Postgraduate tuition fees page




Students take taught modules to the value of 120 credits, PLUS dissertation (15PFFC999) worth 60 credits.

Credits must be taken in the following combination:

Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation MA International Studies and Diplomacy 15PFFC999 60 Full Year
List A 

Compulsory modules

Module Code Credits Term
General Diplomatic Studies 15PFFH014 15 Term 1
Diplomatic Practice 15PFFC033 30 Term 2
List B

A minimum of 30 credits from List B

Module Code Credits Term
History and Future of the United Nations 15PFFC031 30 Term 1
Frameworks of International Relations 15PFFH002 15 Term 1
Risk and Policy Analysis 15PFFH007 15 Term 2
The Politics of Global Security 15PPOH015 15 Term 1
International Economics 1 15PFFH016 15 Term 1
Emergence of the Contemporary World 15PPOH076 15 Term 1
Foundations of International Law 15PLAH021 15 Term 1
List C 

A maximum of 45 credits from List C (maximum of which can be 30 credits of language options)

Module Code Credits Term
Global Energy & Climate Policy 15PFFC017 30 Full Year
Global Advocacy 15PFFH012 15 Term 2
Global Public Policy 15PFFH015 15 Term 1
International politics of the Middle East 15PPOH047 15 Term 1
Artificial Intelligence and Human Security 15PPOH048 15 Term 1
International Relations of South Asia 15PPOH058 15 Term 2
International Security Politics in East Asia 15PPOH059 15 Term 2
Methodology in the Social Sciences 15PPOH060 15 Term 1
International Politics of Africa 15PPOH078 15 Term 1
International Political Communication 15PMSH009 15 Term 2
International Criminal Law 15PLAH055 15 Term 1
Gender and the Law of War 15PGNH005 15 Term 1
The Afghanistan Wars, 1979 to the Present 15PHIH056 15 Term 2
Theory, policy and practice of development 15PDSC001 30 Full Year
China and World Development 15PECH023 15 Term 1


Programme Specification

Important notice

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

The International Studies and Diplomacy 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 6pm; 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 8pm. 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 dedicated study tour, e.g. United Nations in Geneva. 
  • Media and communication skills training by current and former BBC staff
  • Guest lectures by leading scholars and senior practitioners, and policy conferences (listen to CISD's podcasts)
  • Opportunities to actively participate in Centre research programmes.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees for 2022/23 entrants, per academic year (Band 3 tuition fee) 

Full-time  Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
Home Students Overseas Students Home Students Overseas Students Home Students Overseas Students
£17,000 £24,650 £8,500 £12,325 £5,610 £8,135

Fees go up each year, therefore your tuition fee in your second and subsequent years of study will be higher.

Our continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Postgraduate tuition fees page.

Allan and Nesta Ferguson Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

Felix Non- Indian Scholarship

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

Felix Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-01-28 15:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – East Asia

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Europe

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – India

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – Pakistan

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

International Postgraduate Scholarship – The Americas

Application Deadline: 2022-05-31 00:00

SOAS Master's Scholarships

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Application Deadline: 2022-04-05 00:00

Tibawi Trust Award

Application Deadline: 2022-05-02 00:00

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


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