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MA in International Affairs by Research

Course Description

Course outline

The MA in International Affairs (by research) gives students the opportunity of working on a dissertation in any aspect of this broad field under the guidance of an expert supervisor. As with other London based programmes, students will attend seminars followed by dinner given by leading academic authorities and practitioners in the field, including Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary, Sir Richard Dearlove, former Head of the Secret Intelligence Service and Bridget Kendall, BBC Diplomatic Correspondent.

The programme is London-based and directed by Professor David Armstrong, Professor of Global Politics at Buckingham and author of major works on diplomacy and global affairs. The programme runs from September to August, with thirteen research seminars – three on research techniques and ten by guest lecturers, including some of the leading scholars in the field and some very eminent practitioners.

Find out more about our Department of International Studies on http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/economics-international.

Teaching methods

The MA does not offer systematic instruction in diplomacy and international affairs; instead, the emphasis is on independent research and one-to-one supervision.

At the heart of the Buckingham MA is the close working relationship between student and supervisor. While the final thesis must be an independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final text (which should be not less than 20,000 words). Supervisors and students will meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor shall always be the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support.

This is a London-based course. Seminars will be held at the Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall. The nearest London Underground stations are Green Park and Piccadilly.

There will be three initial research training seminars. These will not be followed by dinner. All the other seminars will commence at 18:45, with dinner following at about 20:00 and will take place between October and March. At the post-seminar dinners there will be an opportunity to continue the seminar discussion in an informal environment. Attendance at these dinners is entirely at the choice of the student, and their cost is not covered by the tuition fee.

Associate students

For those who wishing to attend the evening research seminar programme, but are unable to devote the time to the coursework or to register for the MA degree, there is the option of becoming an Associate Student. This status will enable the student to attend the ten research seminars and to meet the guest lecturers, in the first six months of the programme, but does not require the submission of written work. Associate Students are not registered for, and do not receive, the MA degree. Accredited diplomats receive a 20% discount on the Associate Students’ fees.

Apply here http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/humanities/ma/diplomacy-research.

Visit the MA in International Affairs by Research page on the University of Buckingham website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Alexandre Vincent

"My Master at The University of Buckingham was an amazing intellectual experience. The University has a unique approach in terms of relationship between teachers and student. The close relationship allows student to benefit from a deeper understanding of the concepts studied, thus better quality of work delivered."

(Student Profile)

Sagir Musa

"The University of Buckingham is indeed a centre of academic excellence! The library, computers and internet services as well as the content and quality of education is superb. Its academic and non-academic staff are hospitable and dutifully but politely uncompromising. The environment/ the location is not only serene but is also naturally suitable for learning."


Postgraduate first class scholarship - No. of awards TBC

A first class scholarship is available to both home and international students following a taught postgraduate degree at the University. The scholarship will reduce tuition fees by 33%.

Value of Scholarship(s)

% discount


The scholarship will be automatically awarded to applicants who already have a first class honours degree that is recognised to UK standard.

Application Procedure

The scholarship will be automatically awarded to applicants who meet the criteria.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

First or Second Class honours degree or relevant experience

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