Study the relations and transactions between states, the international system, and the implementation of foreign policy with our MA Diplomacy programme.
Diplomacy is a constantly evolving phenomenon. Not only is an ever-growing range of actors involved, but the tools, means and methods of diplomacy are becoming increasingly varied.
Contemporary challenges – including financial and economic crises, terrorism and armed conflict, a changing balance of power among countries, climate change, and global health crises – are expanding the range of transnational issues that require global cooperation.
At the University of Reading, our programme provides you with:
- detailed knowledge of the main concepts and theories of international diplomacy and of key contemporary episodes in international diplomacy.
- in-depth understanding of the range of diplomatic actors, tools and challenges that exist in today’s world.
- skills to critically analyse the cooperation and conflict that characterise international diplomatic transactions and interactions and to develop your own arguments.
- a range of practical skills relating to contemporary diplomatic practice, including negotiation, influencing and policy engagement.
Advance your expertise in contemporary diplomacy
Gain knowledge of the main actors involved in, issues addressed by, and tools and methods used in, contemporary diplomacy. You’ll consider entities ranging from ‘traditional’ diplomatic actors, like states and foreign ministries, to actors not historically considered diplomats but who have significant influence on foreign policy, including NGOs, individuals and corporations.
You’ll examine the range of issues addressed by diplomacy and how this is changing as the world becomes more interconnected and networked. In addition, you’ll examine the range of tools and techniques available to diplomats, including:
- coercive diplomacy
- public diplomacy
- digital diplomacy
- lobbying and influencing
- negotiation and mediation.
Learn from experts
Benefit from the direct and substantial input of current and former diplomats. This not only enables you to test theories of diplomacy against actual practice, but to develop diplomatic skills through a range of practical exercises. It also offers opportunities for networking and interacting with diplomats, further developing your employability prospects.
Step into a diplomat’s shoes
Gain ‘first-hand’ experience as a diplomat, through a range of in-class exercises, simulations and written policy-oriented assignments. These are reinforced by direct input from highly-experienced current and former diplomats, providing you with the opportunity to engage significantly with the actual diplomatic practice.
Develop key employability skills
You’ll acquire a wide range of academic analytical skills. These include: the ability to develop coherent, convincing arguments; the ability to test arguments rigorously through the application of appropriate social sciences methods; and practical skills used in diplomacy through in-class exercises, interaction with current and former diplomats, group work, and assessments.
Our MA Diplomacy programme will also support you to become confident in oral and written communication, as our modules are taught in small-group seminars. Additionally, you’ll acquire strong presentation, essay writing and teamwork skills.
Benefit from research training
As part of your degree, you'll complete a research dissertation in an area of personal interest. It's an opportunity for you to conduct independent research, supervised by an expert, and to contribute new insights to the current scholarly debate.
The Qualitative Research Methods module will provide you with a solid grounding in a range of qualitative methods used in social science research. You’ll learn how to identify and frame research questions, gather and analyse relevant data, and apply a variety of different methods in your own research.
Learn more about our experts.
Department of Politics and International Relations at University of Reading
- Recognised for research quality: 97% of our research outputs are rated ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, meaning that the University of Reading is 6th highest in the UK for research outputs (Times Higher Education analysis of the latest REF 2021 – Politics and International Studies, when scoring by GPA Output)
- Wide-ranging expertise: Our areas of strength include Applied Political Theory, Comparative Politics, Public Policy Analysis, Conflict, Security, Strategy and International Relations.
- Research-led, relevant teaching: Our academics regularly feature in academic literature and the media, offering their expertise on current issues. Learn more about how we engage in real-world politics.
- Exciting optional modules: Across all of our master's degrees, you’ll have the flexibility to study the subjects you're most passionate about.
- Wide variety of teaching and assessment methods: Teaching primarily occurs through small discussion-based seminars, supplemented by lectures and other activities. Assessments range from traditional essays and oral presentations to various ‘real-world’ assignments such as policy papers.