Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy (Online)


Program Description

Earn an accredited Master’s degree without taking time off work


The Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy guides working diplomats and international relations professionals through the theoretical and practical building blocks of diplomacy, with a focus on contemporary issues and challenges.

The program, offered in cooperation with the University of Malta Department of International Relations, includes a 10-day residential workshop in Malta followed by 16 to 20 months of online study. Online areas of study range from the basics of diplomacy (including Diplomatic Theory and Practice, Bilateral Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy) to contemporary topics (Language and Diplomacy, Development Diplomacy, E-Diplomacy and more).

  • Flexible: You design your study program, deciding on the Postgraduate Diploma or Master’s degree, and selecting from our wide range of courses. You decide when and where to study.
  • Practical and affordable: Programme fees cover participation and accommodation for the 10-day workshop in Malta and the entire online course tuition. Even better, with the online study, you can continue to work and earn an income. All you need is a computer connected to the Internet.
  • Relevant: Courses cover traditional and contemporary topics in diplomacy, and are kept relevant through discussion of current events and trends. Faculty members include practicing and retired diplomats with both theoretical expertise and practical experience in the field.
  • Personalized: Extend your professional network through your classmates and lecturers. Small group sizes emphasize learning together, drawing on the experience and knowledge of participants as well as lecturers.
  • Effective: The program is highly rated by former participants, who have seen immediate and lasting benefits ranging from personal development to career advances.

The Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy has European postgraduate accreditation through the Department of International Relations at the University of Malta, making it recognized worldwide.

Who Should Apply

This program will be of interest to:

  • Practicing diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.
  • Postgraduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programs or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practicing diplomats.
  • Postgraduate students or practitioners in other fields seeking an entry point into the world of diplomacy.
  • Journalists, the staff of international and non-governmental organizations, translators, business people and others who interact with diplomats and wish to improve their understanding of diplomacy-related topics.

Applicants must have:

  • A Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours.
  • An English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements: Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) – 95 (with a writing score of at least 24); IELTS: 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each element); Cambridge: Advanced Certificate with Grade C or better).

Program Structure and Methodology

The Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy consists of a compulsory 10-day workshop in Malta followed by 16 to 20 months of online learning, including writing a Master's dissertation.

The program's language is English, giving non-native speakers a valuable opportunity to practice and hone their skills at expressing and explaining work-related concepts in this international language.

Faculty members include high-ranking, practicing and retired diplomats as well as renowned academics in the fields of diplomacy and international relations.

Phase 1: Attend the introductory residential workshop in Malta

The compulsory residential workshop focuses on building skills used in diplomatic practice. Seminars are drawn from the following:

  • Bilateral and multilateral negotiation skills
  • Language and influence
  • Communication skills and public speaking
  • Media skills
  • Diplomatic reporting
  • Public diplomacy
  • Online learning study skills
  • Consular crisis management
  • Diplomatic protocol and etiquette
  • E-diplomacy
  • Internet governance
  • Development diplomacy

The workshop combines lectures, exercises, assignments, and simulations in order to build skills used in diplomatic practice. An important benefit of the workshop is meeting other course participants and faculty members face-to-face. This personal contact makes the online learning phase richer and more rewarding. Participants tell us that they keep in touch with classmates and faculty members long after the program ends and the resulting professional network is highly valuable in their work.

Phase 2: Choose your online courses

During the online learning phase, you return home and complete five online courses of your choice, each lasting ten weeks. Options include:

  • Diplomatic Theory and Practice
  • Public Diplomacy
  • Introduction to Internet Governance
  • Bilateral Diplomacy
  • Diplomacy of Small States
  • E-Diplomacy
  • Multilateral Diplomacy
  • Diplomatic Law: Privileges and Immunities
  • 21st Century Diplomacy
  • Development Diplomacy
  • Language and Diplomacy
  • Economic Diplomacy

During the online courses, interaction takes place via the Internet through an online classroom. Each week, you will read provided lecture texts, adding your questions, comments, and references. Lecturers and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the lecture text. You will also complete additional online activities (e.g. further discussion via blogs or forums, quizzes, group tasks, simulations or short assignments). At the end of the week, participants and lecturers meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic. Participation in this phase of the program involves seven to ten hours of study time per week.

After successful completion of the introductory workshop and the online learning phase, you may choose whether to receive the Postgraduate Diploma or to proceed with writing your Master's dissertation.

Phase 3: Write your dissertation

If you aim for the Master's degree, you will prepare a 25 000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice under the personal online guidance of a research supervisor selected from Diplo's faculty members. You may decide whether to write your dissertation over a four- or eight-month period.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

DiploFoundation is a non-profit institution established by the governments of Malta and Switzerland in 2002. Diplo works to increase the role of small and developing states, and to improve global gove ... Read More

DiploFoundation is a non-profit institution established by the governments of Malta and Switzerland in 2002. Diplo works to increase the role of small and developing states, and to improve global governance and international policy development. Read less
Msida , Belgrade , Washington , Geneva + 3 More Less