Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time
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.
- 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.
Students take taught modules to the value of 180 credits plus 15,000-word dissertation:
- One 30 credit module or two 15 credit modules from A.
- Two 30 credit modules or four 15 credit modules from A or B.
- One 30 credit module or two 15 credit modules from A, B or C.
- Dissertation (compulsory) on a topic related to the programme’s core themes.
Postgraduate Diploma candidates take modules as the MA, excluding the dissertation.
A) International Studies and Diplomacy Modules
- General Diplomatic Studies
- Diplomatic Practice
- International Politics of Transitional Justice
- International Relations 1: Foundations of World Politics
- International Relations 2: Contemporary World Politics
- Foundations of International Law
- International Economics
- International Security
- Sport and Diplomacy: More than a Game
- History and Future of the United Nations
- Global Advocacy
B) Additional modules available within CISD
*List of guided options LIST B
- Energy Policy in the Asia-Pacific
- Global Energy & Climate Policy
- Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World - Economic and Legal Perspectives
Please note that acceptance onto an Options module is subject to availability of places, timetabling, and the approval of the convenor of that course. Suggested electives for International Studies and Diplomacy students Full Unit modules (1.0) *List of guided options LIST C.
- China and international politics
- China's Economic Transformation
- China and World Development
- Comparative politics of the Middle East
- Government and politics in Africa
- Government and politics of modern South Asia
- Government and politics of modern South-East Asia
- International politics of East Asia
- State and society in the Chinese political process
- Taiwan's politics and cross-strait relations
- Theory, policy and practice of development
- International Political Communication
- Theoretical Approaches to International Journalisms
- Topics in the Chinese economy
Students may select 30 credits from SOAS online-learning modules. This is subject to approval from the programme convenor.
- Dissertation MA International Studies and Diplomacy
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.
Admissions and Applications
You can apply for this course via the online application form.
We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.
Consideration of Application
The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.
Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.
Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.
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.
English Language Entry Requirements
Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).
For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.
If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.
About the School
SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.