Students are encouraged to act independently in planning tasks and use feedback to
reflect on their performance and re-assess the appropriateness of current levels of
knowledge and skill. They are expected to acquire an ability to think analytically, to
develop frameworks for considering and resolving complex problems, and to
discriminate between good and bad arguments. In addition, an MA graduate will be
used to presenting arguments (both technical and general) orally and in writing and
should be able to present such arguments clearly and concisely. Students will be able
to research a variety of sources in libraries and on the internet, and, in particular, to
research and assess academic literature. Particular elements of the programme expose
students to the use of information technology and encourage the development of
general professional capabilities including recognition of deadlines and time
The MA in Diplomacy consists of 180 credits: a taught component (120 credits) and a
dissertation (60 credits). Within the taught element there is one core module in
Contemporary Diplomacy. In addition, students choose option modules totalling 90
credits [or one 30 credit option plus the full complement of research training (60
credits)], from the list of optional modules outlined below. Students may take up to 40
credits in another MA programme subject to the approval of the Director of GIPIS.
Compulsory modules: Credits Level
Research Methods (for MA w/research training):
-Philosophical Issues in the Social Sciences
-Data Collection and Analysis
-Essentials of Research Methods for the Social Sciences
-Transferable Skills for Social Sciences
Optional postgraduate modules:
-Conflict and Conflict Resolution
-International Human Rights Law
-International Law and World Order
-International Relations of the Mediterranean
-International Security Studies
-International Politics of the Asia Pacific
-War, Peace and International Ethics
-The UN Humanitarian Intervention and Cont Warfare
-Terrorism and Security
-The Practice of Strategy in History
The programme can be taken part-time over two years. In the first year of study, a
student will be required to complete the core module in Contemporary Diplomacy and
one further module; in the second year of study, a student will be required to two
further optional modules and the Dissertation. The programme may not be completed
over more than two years.
Summary of teaching and assessment
Teaching methods will vary from module to module but teaching will primarily be by
means of seminars. Certain modules may be partially taught by means of lectures and
All modules, other than the Dissertation, will be assessed by means of a timed, unseen
examination together with assessed written work or other forms of assessed work (for
example an oral presentation). Details of the methods of assessment in individual
modules are given in the Module Description Forms.
For Masters Degrees
To pass the MA students must gain an average mark of 50 or more overall including a
mark of 50 or more for the dissertation and have no mark below 40 in any module.
The total credit value of all modules marked below 50 must not exceed 55 credits.
Students who gain an average mark of 70 or more overall including a mark of 60 or
more for the dissertation and have no mark below 50 will be eligible for a Distinction.
Those gaining an average mark of 60 or more overall including a mark of 50 or more
for the dissertation and have no mark below 50 will be awarded eligible for a Merit.
For PG Diplomas
To pass the Postgraduate Diploma students must gain an average mark of 50 or more
and have no mark below 40 in any module. In addition the total credit value of all
modules marked below 50 must be less than 60 credits.
Students who gain an average mark of 70 or more and have no mark below 50 will be
eligible for the award of a Distinction. Those gaining an average mark of 60 or more
and have no mark below 50 will be awarded eligible for a Merit.
For PG Certificate
To pass the Postgraduate Certificate students must gain an average mark of 50 or
more and have no mark below 40 in any module.
Support for students and their learning
University support for students and their learning falls into two categories. Learning
support includes IT Services, which maintains several hundred computers across the
university, and the University Library, which across its three sites holds over a million
volumes, subscribes to around 4,000 current periodicals, has a range of electronic
sources of information and houses the Student Access to Independent Learning
computer-based teaching and learning facilities. There are language laboratory
facilities both for those students studying on a degree programme and for those taking
modules offered by the Institution-wide Language Programme. Student guidance and
welfare support is provided by Personal Tutors, the Careers Advisory Service, the
University’s Special Needs Advisor, Study Advisors, Hall Wardens and the Students
Within the Graduate Institute of Political and International Studies, Directors of
Studies will provide help and guidance on academic, and where appropriate, other
matters. A member of the academic staff of the Institute acts a Careers Advisor and
the Institute has a Director and a Deputy Director to provide student support. In
addition, all students receive a detailed Handbook to help them study successfully.
A postgraduate degree will open many doors in more specialised areas of employment
such as academia (with further postgraduate study), the media (journalism and
broadcasting), the civil service and other branches of public service. This degree is of
particular relevance to those wishing to pursue a career in the international civil
service with an international organisation or non-governmental organisation or indeed
in the foreign service of their home State.
Opportunities for study abroad
The programme does not involve study abroad.
Educational Aims of the programme
The overarching aim of this course is to provide a programme of study which affords
a conceptual framework for the study of diplomatic relations between states. As well
as specific knowledge of international negotiation, international law and international
economic relations, students should acquire the intellectual and practical skills
expected of students with a postgraduate qualification.