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Previous degree required


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Tier 4 visa

1-2 Years


Stuart Oliver

Senior Lecturer
020 8240 4075

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Effective international engagement is built on excellent diplomacy. Our Master's degree in Diplomacy will prepare you for a career on the frontline of global affairs.

Please note: this programme is for September 2019 entry.

Why study Diplomacy?

Diplomacy has traditionally been understood as the way in which officials pursue their country’s foreign policy. However, in the contemporary world diplomacy has come to have a far broader application.

Officials working for the United Nations and other international bodies, such as the European Union, conduct diplomacy. So too do staff at major non-governmental bodies and charities. Even business now use diplomacy to advance their goals on the international stage.

This degree programme has been designed to prepare you for a career in diplomacy, whether working for a national foreign ministry, an international organisation, an NGO, or any other body or organisation that works globally.

As well as learning about diplomatic history and theory, you will also develop practical diplomatic skills, such as preparing briefing papers, policy documents and speeches. You will also have the chance to interact with senior diplomats and benefit from the excellent range of diplomatic missions and international organisations located in the British capital.

Why St Mary's?

This postgraduate degree builds on our proven expertise in the fields of diplomacy and international relations.

Prof John Charmley is one of Britain’s leading diplomatic historians and has written extensively on Churchill and the End of Empire. Prof Glenn Richardson is an authority on England’s relations with Europe in the Tudor period and Dr Claire Norton has written on Ottoman diplomacy.

The course is designed and delivered by senior figures with hands-on experience of diplomacy at the very highest levels. Prof Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University, served as policy advisor and private secretary to the prime minister, and has worked as an ambassador and head of the policy unit at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

Visiting professors include Sir Ivor Roberts and Ambassador Noel Fahey. Sir Ivor Roberts  served as British Ambassador to Italy, Yugoslavia and Ireland and is also the editor of recent editions of Satow’s Diplomatic Practice (widely regarded as the most authoritative diplomatic handbook). Ambassador Noel Fahey served as Ireland’s ambassador to Germany, the United States and the Holy See.

The course also includes contributions from other senior diplomats and figures from the worlds of foreign policy and international politics.

Key facts

  • You will be taught by academics with hands-on experience of diplomacy and international affairs
  • Located near international organisations, embassies and think tanks in the capital
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus, with direct public transport into the heart of Central London
Please note: this programme is subject to validation.

Course content


  • Advanced Research Methods 
  • Diplomatic Practice 
  • Dissertation 
  • History and Theory of Diplomacy 
  • International Relations Theory 
  • Issues in International Security 
  • Mediation and Negotiation 
Please note: all information is correct at the time of publication. However, course content is regularly updated and this may result in some changes, which will be communicated to students before their programme begins.

Career opportunities

This course is designed for those wishing to pursue careers in:

  • National foreign ministries
  • International organisations
  • Major charities and non-governmental organisations
  • Companies with an active international presence

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

The taught programme runs over two semesters full-time, beginning in January. Classes are held in late-afternoon and evening. Teaching is through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops. An additional feature of the course are masterclasses by leading diplomats.

Assessment methods

Assessment is based on written coursework and includes assignments specifically designed to build key skills. These include developing negotiating abilities, writing diplomatic cables, preparing policy briefings, engaging with the media and delivering presentations and speeches.

The final dissertation/professional practice independent project will be completed between June to September.

Course qualifications

The degree has three possible exit points:

  • Postgraduate Certificate: successful completion of 60 credits
  • Postgraduate Diploma: successful completion of 120 credits without a dissertation
  • Master's: successful completion of 120 credits plus a 15,000-word dissertation or professional practice report


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Fees and funding

2018/19 fees

  • Home/EU: £7,000
  • International: £13,650

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £7,280
  • International: £13,650

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants for 2019 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


For guidance about financing your studies, including information about goverment-funded loans, please check out Fees & Funding section.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information