International Policy and Diplomacy

Study options



Key facts

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Part-time, distance learning
3 Years
Start date:

A successful programme

A wealth of experience and wide-ranging expertise

Distance learning

Designed to fit around work or other commitments

Great support

Regular contact with staff and fellow students

In this thought-provoking distance learning course you’ll address and debate key issues associated with how countries of the world co-exist in the face of rapid change.

The International Policy and Diplomacy MA, with its focus on the analysis of policy-making, is designed for practitioners in related fields and those interested in how and why decisions are made at the global level. The course is taught and assessed entirely online, giving you the freedom to study anytime, anywhere.

You’ll benefit from a global vision and understanding of the complex structures and processes in the contemporary world. This will give context to your specific field of work.   

This course attracts professionals from many countries and in high profile positions including diplomats and experts in NGOs working in the field. This brings a rich variety of perspectives, insights and experiences to share and discuss with fellow students.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MA International Policy and Diplomacy

Part-time study

This course is run as part-time distance learning over three years. However, it can be completed in a minimum of two years, four months. 

The expected study pattern is to complete modules totalling 60 credits in each year of study.

Course content

The core modules provide context for research concerns focused on international relations, international history or international policy and diplomatic issues. 

The dissertation is supervised by staff but is a student-centred piece of independent work. Topics may be drawn from the areas covered in your module selection.   

Optional modules allow you to specialise in your course of study:   

  • examine traditional conceptions of security, the impact of major events and newer approaches
  • study trade and development implications for less developed countries or approaches to foreign policy
  • adopt a more transnational approach to modern history 
Anna Welsh - MA International Policy and Diplomacy

Anna Welsh - MA International Policy and Diplomacy


MA student Anna talks about why she decided to choose to return to studying and her experience on a distance learning Masters degree.


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Diplomacy And The Global World (Vle) 30 credits
International Relations In The Modern Era (Vle) 30 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Global Policy Analysis (Vle) 30 credits
Show 3 optional modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Dissertation In International Policy And Diplomacy (Vle) 60 credits

Entry requirements

Honours degree of 2:2 or above, or relevant professional experience.   

Language level must be at least IELTS 6-6.5 or equivalent. However, you’ll be considered if you have a level of fluency to meet the needs of the course. 

The course is delivered through digital platforms so internet access is a requirement.

Firearms publication gauges extent of global problem


ACADEMICS researching gun-crime have published a book which gives sight of a global problem which claims more than 200,000 lives a year.



After completing the International Policy and Diplomacy MA, you’ll be equipped with transferable skills attractive to employers. These can be adapted to a range of professions including:

  • Education
  • National foreign or defence ministries
  • Armed forces
  • Security services
  • International or regional organisations

Eager for more knowledge? Upon completion, you’ll be ideally placed for further academic study at PhD level.

International Studies Programme

International Studies Programme


An introduction to the flexible interdisciplinary International Studies programme.

Teaching and assessment


As a distance learning student you’ll be expected to study independently. Support is available when you need it. You can contact your tutor by phone, email or in person.

Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are. This includes discussion forums where you can debate subjects with your tutors and fellow students.


There are two types of assessments: practice (also called formative) or formal (also called summative).

Your formal assessments could include essays, virtual presentations or critical reviews.

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you online with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking, presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision and assessment skills (including time management)

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Enabling Centre is here to help sure nothing stands in your way.

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do or through a weekly discussion board.

We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

You will typically need to complete 10 – 15 hours of independent work each week. However, the actual study time will vary from student to student.

Independent learning

The focus of this course is independent learning and individual study time. This could involve:

  • Set reading material or e-text books
  • Researching e-journals and e-books from the library or library books which can be posted to you (UK based students only)
  • Preparing for your dissertation


We are a research-active department with internationally-recognised outputs. This provides our students, not only with world-class subject experts, but with considerable levels of research-informed teaching and pedagogical experience as well.

The curriculum design of this MA is structured around three core modules which have been developed to reflect the research expertise of each staff member contributing to the delivery of the course.

Dr Fiona Robertson-Snape

Senior Lecturer

Fiona's expertise is in international relations theory and international ethics. Her research interests cover international society, human rights and international criminal justice.

Fiona's profile

Dr Simon Smith

Associate Professor

Simon's expertise covers EU-NATO Cooperation, transatlantic security and European and US defence transformation. His research interests include transatlantic security and reforming European defence.

Simon's profile

Alun Thomas

Senior Lecturer

Alun's research interests cover the history of Russia and the Soviet Union and Central Asia; imperialism, colonialism, decolonisation, refugeedom, itinerance; nomadism,nationalism, state-building, urbanisation, memory and patrimonialisation.

Alun's profile

Dr Tony Craig

Associate Professor

Tony's expertise is in Northern Ireland, intelligence and security studies, archive research, conflict resolution. His research interests include Irish and British foreign policy, intelligence history, terrorism, security studies and decolonisation.

Tony's profile

Dr Anthony Mckeown


Anthony teaches International Relations in the Modern Era; Global Policy Analysis and Money, Trade and Development.

Anthony's profile


The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 90 credits in your first year of study and the other 90 credits, in your second year of study. Following this pattern of study you will pay the same fee for each year of study.

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 an alumni discount off your course fee for any subsequent postgraduate taught course. For further information please contact Graduate Relations.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:
Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:
  • Text books are available from the library and online resources, but some students choose to purchase their own copies.
  • Printing
  • Travel costs
  • Any optional field trips
Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,222 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Our students

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 globalised 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

International Atomic Energy Agency

Since completing the MA I have published a book in Germany about “Corporate Diplomacy” and had the pleasure to meet and interview some high ranking personalities to discuss the topic. I do not have the slightest doubt that without the excellent International Relations MA program at Staffordshire University, I would not have been able to write this book.

Wilfried Hoop

Graduate and author of 'Corporate Diplomacy'

I would strongly recommend the International Studies programme at Staffordshire University and to any aid worker out there wondering whether they might be able to do an MA. Staff won't let you drop behind, the support is always there to help you reach the finish line.

Richard Bretherick

International Aid Worker

My experience at Staffs has been incredibly rewarding. The learning environment is supportive and the course was very well put together. This allowed me to know well in advance what to expect which is crucial when combining studies with a full-time job. Both the academic and administrative staff go above and beyond to provide a smooth learning experience whilst maintaining the highest academic standards.

Al Makraz

MA International Policy and Diplomacy


Applications are not currently available for this course.

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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