International Policy And Diplomacy MA

International Policy and Diplomacy
Location Distance Learning
Duration 3 Years

2018/19 New Entrants, Part Time

  • Home and EU students: £2,115 per year of study
  • International students: £2,115 per year of study
Course start February, September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Distance LearningPart-time2017/18 Academic YearApply Direct
Distance LearningPart-time2018/19 Academic YearApply Direct

Postgraduate loans now available

Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarships 2018.

Before 11.59pm (BST) on June 20 2018, applicants to this course from eligible countries who have received a firm acceptance offer can apply for a Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholarship to help with funding. For more information on scholarship requirements visit the Commonwealth Scholarships web page.

Course outline

The MA International Policy and Diplomacy addresses key issues associated with the way countries of the world co-exist, in the face of rapid change.

The process of globalisation has increased the importance of policy making and implementation in a wide range of universal and regional organisations, as well as between states (and especially in a multilateral context).

A study of diplomacy can be appropriately grounded in the global policy context. State-centric images of the world have come under considerable challenge and there is important scope for a focus on the policy context of this trend. Diplomacy is studied in terms of the complex and wide-ranging means for official communication and in the context of the many types of intergovernmental organisations and their links with a growing transnational environment of international non-governmental organisations.


Course Fees and Finance

The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 60 credits in your first year of study and the other 120 credits in your second and third year of study. If you follow this pattern of study you will pay a fee of £2,115.00 per year of study. You will be invoiced for the modules that you register for each year, so if your study pattern is different from the expected pattern, you will pay more or less each year accordingly.

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.


Alumni Discount: If you have previously completed an undergraduate degree with us, you may be entitled to a discount off your course fee for any subsequent postgraduate taught course. For further information please contact Graduate Relations.”


Postgraduate Loans:

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a loan of up to £10,609 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. You won’t have to start repaying the loan until you are earning more than (currently) £21,000 per year.

For more information and how to apply click here.


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Course content

"I found the programme enjoyable, relevant and intellectually stimulating”.Simon Bromiley, Graduated 2014

MA=180 credits

Core modules

International Relations in the Modern Era examines the historical evolution of International Relations theory in relation to historical events of the 20th Century. It examines the First World War and its aftermath, the establishment of International Relations as an academic discipline, the rise of idealism, and the League of Nations and its failure. Through an examination of debates within International Relations the course compares the ‘political realism’ of the Cold War with a number of alternative perspectives. The increasing importance of international organizations (including the United Nations), the politics of the global economy, US predominance, the experiences of developing countries all in turn inform alternative perspectives including those emphasizing interdependence and dependence.

Diplomacy in a Global World introduces and explains the diplomatic system in relation to concepts and practice.  It charts the development of diplomacy from its early recorded history in the ancient Middle east to the global age, considering the impact of the changing contexts within which diplomacy has operated. It examines the contexts and tasks of diplomacy in the contemporary world and considers how the nature of diplomacy is rapidly changing in response to rapid technological advances, the growth of international law and organization, political transformation and shifting patterns of power. It considers the proliferation of actors involved in diplomacy, not only politicians engaged in ministerial and summit diplomacy, but other state and non-state actors engaged in negotiation on an ever expanding set of international issues. 

Global Policy Analysis offers an overview of international and global policy implementation.  Key actors in the policy process are identified and evaluated in terms of: power, the state, and bureaucracies. A central focus is on the development of global governance with special attention given to global governance regimes.  Detailed cases studies include: the UN system; the EU; the global monetary system; the trade regime; environmental regimes; UN humanitarian interventions; and the migration regime. Theory is used to assist in the assessment of the effectiveness of these examples. 

The Dissertation is supervised by staff but is a student-centred piece of independent work.  Dissertation topics may be drawn from the areas covered in any of the modules taken by individual students.  The core courses will help provide context in terms of the general academic discourse underlying research concerns focused on international relations, international history or international policy and diplomatic issues.  Students would normally be discouraged from adopting Dissertation topics that are clearly outside the specific taught areas taken by them.  The student will be expected to integrate elements of their learning on the programme as a whole, as well as applying skills of research (using primary and/or secondary sources), being cognizant and appreciative of methodological issues, and demonstrating a level of communicative skill appropriate for the Masters level utilizing standard notational and referencing conventions.  The length of the Dissertation is set at 15,000 words.

Option modules

International Security begins with traditional conceptions of security examined in relation to the deployment and use of force. It considers the philosophy of strategy, the work and importance of Clausewitz, the nuclear arms race of the Cold War and arms races, arms control and the arms trade today. The influence of the Cold War, and its aftermath is also explored in terms of the impact on the security structures in Europe and on the security of developing countries. Newer challenges to the conceptualization of security are examined especially in terms of a broader set of post-Cold War issues, including terrorism, state and non-state threats, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.   Furthermore, alternative/newer approaches to security are examined via a consideration of Peace Research and Critical security Studies.

Money, Trade and Development provides an analysis of the main problems facing less developed countries [LDCs] as well as policies designed to address these problems. It will emphasize the role of human capital, technology, trade and government policy in the development process. Alternative trade regimes and their potential contribution to economic development; poverty and poverty reduction policies, and the potential for government policies aimed at growth promotion will be critically examined. The module will also investigate the impact of external financial relations between LDCs, advanced countries, multinational trade organizations and financial institutions (IMF, WB, WTO, etc). 

Foreign Policy Analysis explores some of the most prominent approaches to the study of foreign policy. The roles of states and other actors in the foreign policy-making process are examined. The ways in which international actors and processes influence foreign policy decision-making are considered. Likewise, the module considers the influence of actors and processes in domestic politics and society. The theoretical material of the module is combined with a selection of illustrative case studies including the Cuban Missile Crisis and more recent events.

Entry requirements

2.2 Honours degree or above, or relevant professional experience. Language level has to be at least IELTS 6-6.5 or equivalent.

Graduate destinations

The award will equip you with practical and academic skills attractive to employers. These include independent judgement, self-reflection and critical debate. You may choose to use the specialist knowledge you acquire, to work in one of the many international institutions, national foreign or defence ministries or internationally oriented organisations of many sorts. Alternatively you may wish to continue with an academic career.

Meet the experts

Student experience

Dominik Zimmermann

"My course has been a rewarding and motivating experience. As an international lawyer working in an IGO, I joined to gain a new perspective on the mechanisms underlying international law and the functioning of international organisations in a globalized world.

The course has provided just that, thanks to a challenging and mind-expanding discourse with students from around the world and dedicated and supportive academic staff."

Dominik Zimmermann (Right) (International Atomic Energy Agency), Graduated 2016

"I really enjoyed the course as I gained a lot of new experience and knowledge. The university mentors are highly professional and make the study process very interesting. The degree has significantly broadened my horizons and I’m sure, will positively influence my future career."

Roman Jumanov (UN Aid Worker), Graduated 2015 

What our students say

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