Diplomacy and International Relations - BA (Hons) - Undergraduate course | London Metropolitan University
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Diplomacy and International Relations - BA (Hons)

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Entry requirements Modular structure What our students say After the course How to apply Meet the team Visit us

Why study this course?

Explore contemporary diplomacy against the changing nature of world politics in this highly innovative degree course. Lecturers with nationally recognised expertise guide you through issues of international terrorism, climate change and violent conflict, and introduce you to the practices of a variety of international players including Greenpeace, the United Nations, and even celebrities and private individuals.

In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

In the National Student Survey 2017 this course scored an impressive 95% overall student satisfaction.

More about this course

This exciting course provides students with an excellent grounding in the development and dilemmas of diplomacy and international affairs in today’s globalising world.

This degree is practically oriented and you’ll gain experience and develop your skills through formal opportunities to interact with serving and former diplomats and other international actors. You can also take part in simulations, roleplay exercises, and a variety of assessment tasks.

There are also excellent opportunities for you to pursue a specific interest, such as a particular region (eg the Middle East or Africa) or to study a language. Our teaching team can also support you in finding a work placement with a relevant organisation in your final year. We've helped our students secure work placements in embassies, government departments and non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International.

Members of the course teaching team have nationally-recognised expertise in developing students’ employability, and the practical dimension of the course, along with opportunities for reflection through the various methods of assessment, will enable graduates of the programme to promote themselves effectively in the competitive job market.

This course received a 100% overall student satisfaction rate in the 2018 National Student Survey.

Assessment

Modes of assessment on this course comprise practically-oriented assignments such as reports, presentations, portfolios comprising blog entries and other forms of reflective writing, briefing papers, individual and group research projects, and case studies.

This is in addition to essays and a very small number of examinations.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code L251
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate Access or other preparatory courses or who have appropriate work experience.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Thursday afternoon

    • To introduce the main concepts and debates in international political economy
    • To provide the skills necessary for comparative analysis;
    • To introduce and examine the principle institutions of global economic governance
    • To explore the impact of these institutions on the process of development.
    • to provide the skills necessary for comparative analysis;
    • To enhance the ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing;
    • To develop competence in discussion

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Tuesday afternoon

    The broad aim is to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of the study of international relations. In particular to:

    1. Analyse historical precedents and the institutions underlying contemporary international relations.
    2. Understand the contemporary challenges facing the world and the institutional and political factors which hinder, or help provide, solutions to these problems.
    3. Make informed judgements about current international affairs – and future developments – within the larger theoretical frameworks and approaches to international relations.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning
    • all year (January start) - Monday afternoon

    This module aims to:
    1. Provide a detailed account of the development of the Cold War and post-Cold War international systems at global, regional and sub-national levels;
    2. Introduce students to key concepts related to diplomacy, peace and conflict;
    3. Examine the role of diplomatic institutions and peace processes in attempts to contain or resolve violent conflicts;
    4. Encourage the development of the skills of comparative analysis, by comparing conflicts in different regions;
    5. Develop and encourage confidence in the use of appropriate analytical, written and oral skills.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning
    • all year (January start) - Tuesday morning

    This module has two broad purposes. Firstly, it gives students an introduction to the main ideas underlying the study of politics. What are the dominant ideologies that have shaped politics and what are their principal contentions. Secondly, it will explore and systematically compare the principal characteristics of government.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    One of the central questions for the discipline of International Relations is to explain the behaviour of states in the international system. This module explores two of the most important and significant approaches to addressing this question: IR theory and foreign policy analysis respectively.

    The first half of the module explores the various theoretical perspectives which can be used to understand the dynamics of the international system and how they condition state behaviour. It explores both explanatory and critical approaches to this issue, the former seeking to explain how the international system operates, with the latter seeking to transform the nature of world politics in one way or another.

    The second half of the module approaches the question from the perspective of foreign policy analysis, focusing on the decisions, structures and processes within states that produce international action. It examines both models of foreign policy decision making and comparative national approaches to foreign policy.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module explores the practice of modern diplomacy. The first half of the module explores the historical emergence and evolution of diplomacy and the classic texts of diplomatic theory, before going on to concentrate on the roles and functions of traditional diplomatic institutions, systems and processes, such as embassies, foreign ministries, diplomatic services and international organisations.

    The second half of the module explores the main challenges posed to diplomatic practice by global change in recent decades: the rise of inclusive multilateral diplomacy in the UN and other fora; the increasing importance of non-state actors in contemporary diplomacy; the impact of faster air travel enabling leaders to conduct their own diplomacy; the revolution in information and communications technology; and innovations in diplomatic institutions (such as the emergence of the European External Action Service).

    A key theme running through the whole module is the evolving nature of international negotiation, which will be illustrated through detailed case studies of environmental, security and trade diplomacy.

    This is a highly practical module. Students will have opportunities to develop their ability to blog and use Twitter, engage in simulated negotiations and interact with practitioners through visits to embassies and other institutions and/or practitioner classes.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    The University has a policy that all undergraduates must, at either Level 5 or 6, take a Work Related Learning (WRL) module i.e. a module which requires them to directly experience and operate in the real world of work and to reflect on that episode in order to identify skill and knowledge areas that they need to develop for their career. This module (and “partner” modules, namely, Creating a Winning Business 2 (Level 6) and Creating a Successful Social Enterprise 1 and 2), are module options available to ALL University students to fulfil the University’s WRL requirement.

    This module challenges students to be creative in identifying a new business opportunity and in examining the viability of all aspects of the idea in the real world context e.g. testing potential customers’ views. As a result of the feedback received and enquiries carried out, the idea will change and develop over the duration of the module. Throughout the module, students are required to not only apply the business development theory taught but also to continuously reflect on how they have applied the theory and the skills and knowledge gained from their work. This reflective dimension promotes the development of practical attributes for employment and career progression.

    The QAA Benchmark on Business and Management (2015) emphasises the attribute of “entrepreneurship” and of “the value of real world learning”. In terms of promoting work related skills, the module specifically focuses on practical techniques for generating and developing new business ideas and so develops creative thinking. In addition, it requires students to examine market potential and prepare a “pitch” as if seeking investment. The module requires a high level of self-reliance to pursue their business idea. Students develop an understanding of the role of new ideas in business start-ups, business growth and development.
    These skills and techniques are of practical relevance to anyone considering starting a new business, working for a Small or Medium sized Enterprise (SME) or taking on an intrapreneurial role within a larger organisation where the business environment is constantly evolving and producing new challenges and opportunities.

    For those students keen to go beyond this module and start their own business, they can apply to the Accelerator for access to “seed” money and advice and support.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday morning
    The module aims to enable students to:
    1. Increase their personal and professional development prior to, during and following gaining work-based learning experience.
    2. Increase and develop critical, self-reflective ability and self-efficacy.
    3. Demonstrate theoretical concepts and transferable competencies in a practical, problem solving context.
    4. Gain critical understanding of current issues, practices and where appropriate relevant policy or legislation within a particular organisational situation.
    5. Explore employment options and consider future career plans.
    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday morning

    The broad aim of this module is to develop a grounding in the fundamentals of US foreign policy making in the context of contemporary international relations. In particular, to:

    • Analyse policy making institutions and historical precedents underlying US foreign policy, and to grasp the way those precedents affect America’s approach to global events since the end of the Cold War and the attacks of 9/11.
    • Assess the processes and limitations of US foreign policy making, the contemporary challenges facing the world and the American role in dealing with them, and the expectations of US influence in the world in coming years.
    • Place American foreign policy within the larger theoretical frameworks and approaches to international relations.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    • This module will critically examine the democratic role of the mass media, audio-visual and communications services in contemporary national political environments.
    • To consider whether the media has a democratic purpose in disseminating free information through plurality and diversity.
    • To assess the political economy of media institutions, the public policy questions concerning their development and status, and the impact of the new forms of communication and information transfer.
    • To consider how political messages are communicated by political elites to the public during elections and periods of government.
    • To consider how political issues are represented through the news media and popular fictions.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module aims to:

    • Introduce students to competing theories of peace and conflict
    • Explore the nature and causes of conflict in the contemporary era
    • Provide an understanding of some of the institutions and organisations (governmental and non-governmental) that work in conflict situations
    • Analyse the varied objectives and methods of such organisations
    • Introduce the core practical skills for work in relevant fields, thus enhancing employability

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    The broad aim of this module is to develop an understanding of politics in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, in the context of contemporary international relations, and in particular to:
    • describe and explain the processes by which the states and societies of the contemporary MENA region were formed;
    • explore the main ideological currents that have influenced the political development of the MENA region, particularly those inspired by religion and nationalism;
    • examine the interstate and international relations of the region, focusing on the sources of conflicts and the difficult relationship between the West and the region.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon

    This module explores theories and conceptions of racism and ethnicity, and the practices of racism in contemporary societies. The historical roots of racism will be examined and its contemporary forms studied comparatively. Racism is specifically explored within the context of social and political conflicts.
    Module aims
    • To analyse critically key concepts including racism and ethnicity themselves in order to develop an awareness of their contested nature.
    • To look at these issues as worldwide problems and in a sociological context that explores the meanings ascribed to these terms, their historical origins and key examples of societies where these issues have been or still are important in shaping the social orders in which people live.
    • To consider the impact of racism on specific communities and groups, including national, religious and ethnic groups.
    • To examine the links between class, gender and ethnic differences. 

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module will examine how the nature of power in international relations has changed since the ending of the Cold War. The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s was argued by many to be a triumph of the West’s military and industrial might, ushering in what Francis Fukuyama described as the ‘end of history’ – the triumph of western liberal democratic ideas. However, events since then, not least the attacks of 9/11 and the economic collapse of 2008, have highlighted new threats that exist, the increasing role of non-state actors, and the rise of competing economic powers.

    This module will examine how international politics is changing and how the nature of power - defined as the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes you want - has evolved. It will show that power is not static, but that it may now be more complex in nature, as innovation, technologies and relationships change.

    This theoretical approach will be applied to consideration of how power may be shifting in the 21st Century from the West to the East, or the so-called “Rest”. This will involve a regional analysis, examining how and why some states are rising in global prominence, e.g. China, India, and Russia, and why the West may (or may not) be in decline.

    The module will also consider the role of such factors as religion, media, and cyberspace in relation to notions of power.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning


    The broad aim of this module is to enable students to apply knowledge of strategy-making and strategic thinking as a historical practice to contemporary problems, and, in particular, to:

    1. Understand the development of strategic theory and practise.
    2. Examine how strategy can be applied by the study of significant case studies.
    3. Examine the nature of strategy and how it relates to both policy and action in the 21st Century.
    4. Encourage students to think as practitioners.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    This module has three principal aims:

    1. It will explore the historical origins of Union and its predecessor bodies in the first two decades after WWII. What agents and factors facilitated such a innovative development in European political history?
    3. It will explore the political character of the Union. What sort of organisation is it in political terms? How democratic is it?
    4. It will examine its principal policy outputs, including economic, monetary, social and foreign policies

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This cutting-edge module explores one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding fields of contemporary diplomatic studies and an area which has seen a wide variety of innovations in state practice in recent decades. As public opinion has come to be seen as increasingly influential and important in world politics, states and other international actors have rediscovered public and cultural diplomacy, a form of diplomatic practice in which states engage with publics both abroad and at home. Due to changes in global communications, this form of diplomacy is undergoing rapid change, which makes it especially interesting and important.
    The module examines the changing nature of public and cultural diplomacy in the context of the evolution of global political communications. It explores the nature of international political communication, evaluating key concepts such as propaganda, place branding and strategic communications, and examines the role of culture in world politics more broadly, including media such as film and the internet, as well as key actors such as celebrity diplomats. It explores competing definitions and interpretations of public and cultural diplomacy, along with how their practice has changed in recent decades, especially since the end of the Cold War.
    This is a practically-oriented module which will ensure equitability in student learning experiences towards the overall degree qualification. . Blended learning is encouraged in the classroom through the use of multimedia and internet resources. This is complimented by students gaining experience of the nature of contemporary public diplomacy and international political communication through visits to embassies, guest lectures by serving or former public diplomats, and role-play exercises and simulations.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    The University has a policy that all undergraduates must, at either Level 5 or 6, take a Work Related Learning (WRL) module i.e. a module which requires them to directly experience and operate in the real world of work and to reflect on that episode in order to identify skill and knowledge areas that they need to develop for their career. This module (and “partner” modules, namely, Creating a Winning Business 1 (Level 5) and Creating a Successful Social Enterprise 1 and 2), are module options available to ALL University students to fulfil the University’s WRL requirement.

    This module challenges students to be creative in identifying a new business opportunity and in examining the viability of all aspects of the idea in the real world context e.g. testing potential customers’ views. As a result of the feedback received and enquiries carried out, the idea will change and develop over the duration of the module. Throughout the module, students are required to not only apply the business development theory taught but also to continuously reflect on how they have applied the theory and the skills and knowledge gained from their work. This reflective dimension promotes the development of practical attributes for employment and career progression.

    The QAA Benchmark on Business and Management (2015) emphasises the attribute of “entrepreneurship” and of “the value of real world learning”. In terms of promoting work related skills, the module specifically focuses on practical techniques for generating and developing new business ideas and so develops creative thinking. In addition, it requires students to examine market potential and prepare a “pitch” as if seeking investment. The module requires a high level of self-reliance to pursue their business idea. Students develop an understanding of the role of new ideas in business start-ups, business growth and development.
    These skills and techniques are of practical relevance to anyone considering starting a new business, working for a Small or Medium sized Enterprise (SME) or taking on an intrapreneurial role within a larger organisation where the business environment is constantly evolving and producing new challenges and opportunities.

    For those students keen to go beyond this module and start their own business, they can apply to the Accelerator for access to “seed” money and advice and support.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This core module providing a vocational and advanced undergraduate research element for PIR courses aims to:
    • enable the student to gain a useful experience of the working environment
    • enable the student to enhance and extend their learning experience by applying and building on their academic skills and capabilities by tackling real life problems in the workplace.
    • provide the student with an opportunity to design a research proposal relevant to their placement.
    • allow the student to utilise research and analytical skills acquired during their programme of studies.
    • enable the student to undertake relevant research and write up findings in dissertation form.
    • offer a medium for the student to report upon their work placement experience.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday morning
    The module aims to enable students to:
    1. Increase their personal and professional development prior to, during and following gaining work-based learning experience.
    2. Increase and develop critical, self-reflective ability and self-efficacy.
    3. Demonstrate theoretical concepts and transferable competencies in a practical, problem solving context.
    4. Gain critical understanding of current issues, practices and where appropriate relevant policy or legislation within a particular organisational situation.
    5. Explore employment options and consider future career plans.
    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday morning
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    This module providing an advanced research element for PIR undergraduate courses aims to:
    • enable the student to demonstrate an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, and be able to apply analytical techniques, problem solving and project management skills commensurate with a short dissertation.
    • enable the student to synthesise skills and knowledge and apply them successfully to complex issues in a short dissertation.
    • provide an opportunity to design a short dissertation relevant to their degree.
    • allow the student to utilise research and analytical skills acquired during their programme of studies.
    • enable the student to undertake relevant research and write up findings in short dissertation form.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    For this module students must design a research project relevant to their PIR degree programme, undertake the relevant research and write up the findings in a dissertation. They also write a report on the research process.
    Research Skills and Employability will be an on-going theme throughout the module.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module looks at the alleged ‘crisis’ in contemporary Africa, focusing on problems of economic, social and political development. This module aims to challenge assumptions about the problems of contemporary Africa by examining these problems in detail and by looking at Africa’s place in the world.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module aims to:

    • Examine a range of approaches to the cessation of contemporary conflicts and the conditions that may be necessary for peace
    • Explore the differing mechanisms and strategies for securing peace, including negotiation, mediation and arbitration
    • Focus upon both the domestic and international actors involved in these processes
    • Provide students with an understanding of relevant theories and empirical material for comparative analysis

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module engages with the contemporary debate about the theory and practice of human rights, about their origin, the ideal of their universality, their imperfect institutionalization, and the challenges facing their implementation in a world of domestic populisms and international conflict.

    Module aims

    To provide a historical and critical introduction to ideas and institutions of human rights, and to evaluate their relation to state sovereignty and international conflict.
    To provide an understanding of the relation of theory to practice, facts to values, politics to ethics, and ideas of universality to both cultural tradition and relativical relativity.
    To relate philosophical theories and propositions to practices and issues of political, social, economic, legal and international justice.
    To elaborate arguments that are at once logical, evidenced and reflectively ethical.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    The broad aims of this module are to understand the fundamentals of security studies and its importance in an increasingly connected world. In particular to:

    • Think in broad, conceptual terms about the changes in international security occasioned by the impact of globalisation, especially since the end of the Cold War in 1989, and evaluate the differing interpretations of its development and assess the processes through which it has occurred over time.
    • Understand “Security” conceptually in both its international and national contexts.
    • Evaluate the contested military and non-military terrain of globalisation and security issues.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    The broad aim of this module is to question the assumptions about contemporary Latin America as a region and its place in the world and, in particular, to examine:

    • the underlying political ideas and trends instrumental in shaping Latin American politics today, including the role of the USA;
    • the internal politics of modern Latin American states and the role of these states within the region;
    • the impact due to globalisation and the rise of political and economic importance of other developing regions;
    • to encourage students to think about the complexities of problem-solving in this context.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    The module aims to:
    1. examine the debate over of the origin of a variety of forms of ideological, nationalist and religiously motivated violence in the form of 'terrorism'.
    2. explore the dimensions of the new ‘terrorist’ threat.
    3. examine the contemporary range of counter terrorist agencies and policies in the
    national and international context.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module aims to:

    • Examine competing theories of the modern state
    • Evaluate the historical evolution of modern states
    • Compare and contrast the range of different types of state across the globe, from democracies to authoritarian states
    • Analyse the state in relation to contemporary 21st century issues, such as globalization, social welfare provision, and protest movements
    • Encourage confidence in the use of appropriate analytical, written and oral skills, to enhance students’ transferable skills and employability

    Read full details.

Modules for this course are to be confirmed. Please check back at a later date or call our course enquiries team on +44 (0)20 7133 4200 for details.

What our students say

“Studying at London Metropolitan has without a doubt been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The enthusiasm and commitment of the staff has been so encouraging and the cultural diversity of students has been an enormous inspiration, both profoundly challenging my way of thinking. The academic quality has exceeded my expectations with great debates and continual support from my teachers which has made me feel confident about and well-prepared for the future.” Kimie Frengler

After the course

Graduates have found positions with organisations involved in international negotiation and global governance including the UK Department for International Development, the United Nations, national diplomatic services, regional organisations, aid and development agencies, international business and national diplomatic services.

The programme is also excellent preparation for further study or research. High numbers of our graduates have embarked on postgraduate courses in diplomacy, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, international relations, international human rights law, and international public policy at prestigious higher education institutions both in the UK and around the world.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats - key information set

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

Apply to us for September 2018

It's not too late to start this course in September.

Applying for a full-time undergraduate degree starting this September is quick and easy - simply call our Clearing hotline on .

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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