SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

MA/PGDip International Studies and Diplomacy (2019 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning

Overview

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

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

Email: cisd@soas.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0)20 7898 4840

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.

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

Convenors

Structure

Students take taught modules to the value of 180 credits including a 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.

Taught Component - Compulsory Modules

Taught Component - Compulsory Modules

Module Code Credits Term
General Diplomatic Studies 15PFFH014 15 Term 1
International Politics of Transitional Justice 15PFFH010 0.5
Frameworks of International Relations 15PFFH002 15 Term 1
International Relations 2: Contemporary World Politics 15PFFH003 15 Term 2
Foundations of International Law 15PFFH008 15 Term 1
International Economics 15PFFC004 30 Full Year
International Security 15PFFC016 30 Full Year
Sport and Diplomacy: More than a Game 15PFFC032 30 Term 2
History and Future of the United Nations 15PFFC031 30 Term 2
Global Advocacy 15PFFH012 15 Term 2
List B

A minimum of 30 credits from List B

Module Code Credits Term
Energy Policy in the Asia-Pacific 15PFFH011 15 Term 2
Global Energy & Climate Policy 15PFFC017 30 Full Year
Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World - Economic and Legal Perspectives 15PFFC019 30 Full Year
List C

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

Module Code Credits Term
China And International Politics 15PPOC018 30 Credits
China's Economic Transformation 15PECH024 15 Term 1
China and World Development 15PECH023 15 Term 1
Comparative politics of the Middle East 15PPOC026 30 Full Year
Government And Politics In Africa 15PPOC205 30
State And Society In The Chinese Political Process 15PPOC012 30 Credits
Taiwan's Politics and Cross-Strait Relations 15PPOC252 30 Credits
Theory, policy and practice of development 15PDSC001 30 Full Year
International Political Communication 15PMSH009 15 Term 2
International Journalisms in the Digital Context: Theory and Practice 15PMSH006 15 Term 1
D) Dissertation
Module Code Credits Term
Dissertation MA International Studies and Diplomacy 15PFFC999 60 Full Year

 

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 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

Find out more