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    School of Politics & International Relations Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Politics & Government

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    Please see the University website for details.

  • Last Updated

    24 January 2019


Designed to introduce you to the advanced study of diplomacy, this course will enable you to engage with the latest research in the law of armed conflict, crisis management and contemporary international history.

Diplomacy provides the vital human framework for the development of international society in a globalising world. Increasingly complex patterns of law, culture, history, economics and politics – within and between states – are mediated by the practice of diplomacy. The craft of diplomacy plays a key role in regulating the contemporary world.

This dynamic, interdisciplinary course is offered jointly by the School of Politics and International Relations, School of Law, and Department of History. You will develop a broad understanding of diplomacy and negotiation, including traditional approaches that view it as a specialist form of statecraft, and modern conceptions that embrace areas such as the media and cultural diplomacy.

You can take part in a field trip to Europe visiting sights of political and cultural interest. Recent trips have included Brussels, The Hague and Berlin.

Key facts

  • Visit key diplomatic institutions and organisations on our field trip to Europe
  • Top 100 worldwide for politics and international relations in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018
  • Committed to excellence in teaching, having won 13 Higher Education Academy awards
  • Expert academics who contribute to public debate through national and international media, including appearing on BBC TV, BBC Radio 4, the BBC World Service and in such publications as The Guardian, The New York Times and Le Monde

Course details

Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 60 credits of core modules and 60 credits of optional modules.

You will complete your studies by researching and writing a 60-credit, 15,000-word dissertation, on a subject related to diplomacy. You will be allocated an appropriate dissertation supervisor who will oversee your progress.


Assessment for taught modules takes place at the end of each semester and is through a combination of coursework and/or exams, with some modules also requiring an assessed presentation. Modules offered by the School of Law are usually assessed at the end of the spring semester.


Core modules

Politics and International Relations

  • The Theory and Practice of Diplomacy


  • The Evolution of Diplomacy


  • The Law of War and Peace

 One of:

  • Diplomacy Dissertation
  • LLM Dissertation
  • History Dissertation

Optional modules

  • China and the World
  • Comparative Democratic Development
  • Democracy and Elites in 20th Century Europe and America
  • Designing Political Enquiry
  • Disasters, Rehabilitation and Resilience
  • EU-China: Trade, Aid and Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century
  • Gender and Development
  • Global Asia
  • Government and Politics of China
  • Institutions, Governance and International Development
  • International Law of Treaties
  • Justice Beyond Borders: Theories of International and Intergenerational Justice
  • The Politics of South Asia
  • Quantitative Political Analysis
  • Russia in the World Today
  • Secret Intelligence and International Security
  • Special Project A
  • Special Project B
  • Terrorism and Insurgencies
  • Theories and Concepts in International Relations
  • War, Peace and Terror
  • When Does Russia Expand and Why?

Careers and professional development

This course is particularly suitable if you wish to pursue a career in international representation and negotiation, or in a field that is informed by diplomacy, mediation and negotiation.

It is ideal for trainee or in-service diplomats, those who are mid-career and wish to change direction, aiming to move into policy areas, or interested in taking time out to make sense of their day-to-day policy activities.

It will develop your skills for a career in a range of fields, such as:

  • civil service
  • commercial negotiation
  • defence liaison
  • foreign trade departments
  • international cultural exchange
  • international financial regulation
  • international and non-governmental organisations
  • journalism
  • ministerial advising
  • public information
  • telecommunications consultancy

Many of our previous students have held Chevening Scholarships from the UK Government.


We offer a range of local, national and international placement opportunities, which may be paid or voluntary, part-time alongside your studies or longer placements during University vacations.


If you wish to continue your studies after completing this course, we offer a range of research opportunities with PhD supervision in most subject areas.

Employability and average starting salary

95.2% of postgraduates from the School of Politics and International Relations who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £25,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £42,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Visit the Diplomacy MA page on the University of Nottingham website for more details!




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