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 the MA ISD may have the opportunity to participate in CISD's Study Tour of Geneva, although this is in addition to the Programme of study and cannot be guaranteed.
- 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.
Phone: +44 (0)20 7898 4840
- We will consider all applications with 2:ii (or international equivalent) or higher. In addition to degree classification we take into account other elements of the application including supporting statement and references.
One calendar year (full time).
Two or three years (part time).
One academic year (full time).
Two academic years (part time).
Students take taught modules to the value of 120 credits PLUS a 15,000 word dissertation (15PFFC999) worth 60 credits.
Credits must be taken in the following combination;
• Dissertation (15PFFC999) (60 credits) – compulsory
• General Diplomatic Studies (15PFFH014) (15 credits) AND Diplomatic Practice (15PFFH013) (15 credits) - compulsory
• A minimum of 45 credits from List B
• A maximum of 45 credits from List C OR from Postgraduate Open Options
List B - a minimum of 45 credits
List C – a maximum of 45 credits
Or module(s) from Postgraduate Open Options to the value of 45 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 & 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.
- 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.
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