SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Online Programmes Information


The Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy offers flexible online masters programmes that draw on the core strengths across SOAS' portfolio of expertise. Interdisciplinary teaching and learning combines an understanding of key concepts, theories and debates with effective practical skills training.

Online Programmes

The following information also applies to the Department of Religions & Philosophies programme:
MA Muslim Minorities in a Global Context

For More Information:

Teaching & Learning

This programme is taught 100% online through our Virtual Learning Environement (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 fully participating in discussion forums.

Study Structure

Each study session is 16 weeks long. Students may take one module per study session.

Students will study four modules (30 credits each) and complete a dissertation (60 credits) to achieve a masters degree. Research and study skills that will culminate in the submission of your dissertation are completed through mini- modules (6 weeks) that are completed between the taught modules.

CISD Online detailed timeline

Key Points:
  • Students can expect to complete within a 2-year time period.
  • We recommend dedicating 10-12 hours each week.
  • Each module requires you to complete six e-tivities of which four are worth 30% and the final is a 4000 – 5000 word essay worth 70%. The e-tivities are designed to provide an active, peer to peer learning environment.
  • All of our materials and assessments are online in our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), giving you access 24/7, wherever you may be.

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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. Candidates with a lower class degree but with degree-relevant work experience may be considered.

You will be required to have a high level of English language ability in reading and writing, and in study skills. If your first degree was not taught in English, you will need to provide evidence of language ability as tested by the British Council or another registered body. We require
the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0, with no less than 7.0 in each of the writing and reading tests.

Application and Payment Deadlines
Deadlines Start Date
31 March 2019* 16 April 2019 session start
30 September 2019* 15 October 2019 session start

*Please note this deadline is for a complete application and payment for first module.

Supporting Documentation for Applications

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.

You can send us either original or certified copies of your documents. If you send original documents and you would like these to be returned to you, please state this in your covering letter.

If you send certified copies, please ensure that each document has been stamped and verified by one of the following:

  • British Council official. (You can find the location of your nearest British Council office from
  • Local British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission
  • Notary Public
  • The issuing university (in the case of academic qualifications)
2. Copy of an identification document

This must be either your passport or birth certificate. This does not need to be certified, and may be sent to us via email.

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.

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). This does not need to be certified and may be received via email.

4. References

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.

  • Send your supporting documents to the following address:

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London, WC1H 0XG
United Kingdom

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Fees and Funding

Pay As You Learn

Our distance learning programmes can be paid in full at the time of enrolment (£12,000) or on a pay as you learn basis. Pay as you learn means you pay for modules prior to enrolment (£3,000 per module).

Please note that these fees are for the 2019/20 academic year. The fees may go up each year and therefore your second and subsequent years of study may have higher tuition fees. Continuing students, on the same degree programme, are protected from annual increases higher than 5%.

Postgraduate Loans

Under a new scheme from the UK government, UK and EU nationals who have lived in England for three years may be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000. All of our master's courses are eligible.

How to Apply:
  1. Apply for your master’s programme
  2. Register and pay for at least one module
  3. Apply for your loan separately at You must select University of London International Programmes as the registered institution, not SOAS.
  4. The University of London will confirm your eligibility with Student Finance, which will pay the loan directly to you.
    Click here for FAQ’s.

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Phone: +44 (0)20 7898 4895