Diplomatic Studies

MA, 2 years, by distance learning

This is for you if... you want to increase your understanding of the key methods and outcomes of diplomacy and apply that knowledge to your professional activities.

Course Description

This degree will provide you with the knowledge, language, and transferable skills necessary to prepare you for entry to practical training in diplomacy or a related profession. By taking the MA in Diplomatic Studies you will develop your understanding of the key modes and functions of diplomacy, in both contemporary and historical contexts.

The course will provide you with an advanced understanding of diplomacy as a political activity of central importance to the peaceful, stable and productive conduct of relations between states. You will be encouraged to consider international institutions and areas of the world with which professional diplomats might reasonably be expected to be familiar - such as the European Union.

You will complete one core module - 'The Art of Negotiation' - then choose three option modules from an extensive list of interdisciplinary subjects which, along with your dissertation, allow you to specialise in areas relevant to your profession or career aims.

The course will develop your ability to think both analytically and critically and to produce reasoned arguments encompassing your increased knowledge and understanding of the key issues surrounding diplomatic studies.

This Masters Degree is ideally suited to anyone aspiring to a diplomatic career or professional diplomats requiring additional training. Depending on the choice of options, it is also appropriate if you wish to pursue a career in Government, defence-related work, international organisations, journalism or teaching - or to proceed to a research degree.

If you have any questions about this course, join us for a live online chat with academic tutors and admissions staff.

Key Facts
Start date
March and September each year
Politics and International Relations

Social Science Distance Learning Hub
+44 (0)116 252 3755

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Why Leicester?

Our staff play leading roles in cutting-edge global research networks, actively advising and engaging with global policy communities, civil society, the media and public.

You’ll have the opportunity to share ideas and debate with a diverse and interesting group of students, many of whom work in sectors related to security and conflict.

Politics and International Relations at Leicester offers a wide range of option modules, letting you shape your studies to fit to your own research interests or professional development.

Course Structure

Additional Information

Key Dates

Start date: 6 March 2017
Application deadline for March 2017: 27 February 2017

Start date: 4 September 2017
Application deadline for September 2017: 28 August 2017

Teaching and Assessment

Distance Learning

This course is taught entirely online via our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, therefore it is essential that you have reliable, regular access to the internet (preferably with a broadband connection) in order to participate.

As a distance learning student, you will have access to the University Library's electronic service, the Leicester Digital Library, which includes a large number of e-journals and e-books. You can also make use of the University’s Career Development Service as well as a broad range of other support services.

If you live close to Leicester you can, of course, visit the Library in person. For UK-based students who wish to use other libraries, we can issue you with a card which allows you to do so. This is a national scheme which allows distance learning students to borrow material from up to three other participating libraries.

You will be guided through your modules by a well-trained and experienced tutor who will be available online throughout your studies. You will have access to the library’s special service for distance learning students, access to the internet and database services, as well as the virtual learning support environment, Blackboard.

Teaching and Assessment

You will get a weekly reading list accompanied by questions or exercises to get you thinking and help you engage critically with that week’s literature. Each week you are invited to join our online forums to discuss your reading, ask questions, share ideas and debate arguments.

Alongside your weekly reading and discussions you are expected to complete six E-tivities (or online activities). E-tivities are designed to build a supportive online community of students as well as develop your key scholarly skills. E-tivities take the form of a combination of non-credit bearing and credit-bearing assessments designed to complement and support the learning objectives for your particular module. Credit-bearing assessments for each module include an article analysis and 5,000-word end of module essay.

Your modules are structured enough to keep your studies on track whilst remaining flexible to the unique needs of distance learners, many of whom we know combine studies with demanding jobs.

You will be supported by a dedicated team of tutors and support staff available through Blackboard and email. Administrative support is available by telephone, and you can contact your personal tutor via telephone or Skype. You will be encouraged to contact other students to share views, ideas and issues and to create a virtual student community.

For the MA you must complete a 12,000-15,000 word dissertation.

Entry Requirements

2:1 degree or its equivalent in Politics, History, International Relations or other related subjects.

Equivalent relevant professional experience may be considered.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

  • This is the total course fee. Please note that the fees for our distance learning courses are based on where you will be residing in the world during your studies.

    Starting in September 2017

    • £8,155

    Find out more about how to pay and scholarships and funding.

    Did you know you can apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000, subject to eligibility?


  • This is the total course fee. Please note that the fees for our distance learning courses are based on where you will be residing in the world during your studies.

    Starting in September 2017

    • £8,155
    Find out more about how to pay and scholarships and funding.

Career Opportunities

Our postgraduate degrees are an excellent way to enhance your expertise and career prospects. A postgraduate course in politics and/or international relations provides a foundation for a wide range of career options. You may seek to use your knowledge to work in government service, international organisations or areas of political research and journalism. Or you may opt to look for employment in an unrelated field such as banking, business or teaching where your MA will be respected as a postgraduate qualification.

Our politics and international relations courses are offered via distance learning, enabling you to tailor your study around your other commitments. The wide range of option modules provide you with the flexibility to tailor your course around your interests and also provide you with the skills and knowledge to move into a variety of careers or postgraduate research.

Students who have followed the MA in Diplomatic Studies are now working in the foreign services of Estonia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Uganda, in government departments in Australia, Bulgaria and the United States, UN headquarters in New York, and as First Secretary of the Senegalese Permanent Mission in Geneva.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you – by email, phone or skype – with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience and more. From registration to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
Diplomatic Studies MA 2 years by distance learning March and September each year Apply Now
Diplomatic Studies
2 years by distance learning
Start Dates
March and September each year

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