Course specification and structure
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UDDIINRL - BA Diplomacy and International Relations

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Arts Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Arts
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Sciences
Subject Area Politics and International Relations
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Part-time 4 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The Teaching and Learning strategy of the BA Diplomacy and International Relations degree is designed to: ensure that the subject content meets, and improves, on the benchmarks set out by the QAA; encourage the acquisition and understanding of knowledge by students, engendering an enthusiasm for the subject and life-skills learning, including the progression from surface learning to deep learning; facilitate students to develop independent skills and responsibilities for their own learning; incrementally strengthen the subject specific knowledge and skills gained by a students, in combination with the awareness and application of skills needed successfully thrive in the workplace.

This new degree builds on the Governance and International Relations subject group’s reputation for pedagogical innovation, as well as utilising traditional teaching methods. The latter includes a mixture of lectures, seminars, and workshops. Within this a combination of whole group, small group, and student-led and tutor-led teaching occurs. This can included face-to-face teaching and discussion, but there is also an increasing emphasis on the use of blended learning opportunities. Many modules already are paper free, with considerable learning materials and resources being placed on relevant module BlackBoard sites, e.g. lecture notes, module handbooks, video links, recorded lectures, podcasts, first-hand documents, and blogs. Some teaching staff are already experimenting with electronic feedback, the electronic submission of formative assessments, and online office hours. A growing number of materials are also available online through the University library, including access to journals and ebooks. Students may take up to 30 credits of language at levels 5 and 6 as extension-of-knowledge modules.

This is all designed to open up the learning space for students to enable them to have continuous access to degree materials, improving the student learning experience, whilst increasing cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

The Diplomacy dimension of the programme is especially practically oriented, with opportunities for students to learn from and engage with practitioners and to experience the nature of international negotiation through simulations and role-play exercises.

An additional, and important part of the teaching and learning strategy, is the academic research which is conducted by GIR staff. This is used to support teaching through the transferring of staff research skills and knowledge to enhance the student learning experience, as the students gain the benefits of staff expertise and the staff gain a better appreciation of their research projects through discussing them with students.

Staff research specialisms are an essential component of the Diplomacy and International Relations curriculum, with students benefitting from being taught by specialists.

Course aims

The BA in Diplomacy and International Relations is an innovative new degree offered by the Faculty of Law, Governance and International Relations. The degree aims to provide students with a broad perspective on the theoretical, historical, political and economic aspects of diplomacy and international relations to enhance their ability to understand the complex forces shaping the contemporary world. In particular, the course aims to:

  • place questions of diplomacy, international negotiation, decision-making and order at the centre of analysis;
  • ensure that students acquire knowledge and understanding in areas of Diplomatic and International Relations theory and analysis;
  • enable students to understand and use the concepts, approaches, key research methods and methodologies of the discipline and develop an understanding of its contested nature and the problematic character of both Diplomatic Studies and International Relations inquiry;
  • develop in students the capacity to think critically about events, ideas and institutions;
  • encourage students to relate the academic study of Diplomacy and International Relations to questions of public concern;
  • assist students to develop a range of cognitive and social skills relevant to their intellectual, vocational and personal development, with a particular emphasis on employability, e..g students can apply the knowledge gained from the course in a work experience situation through the Honours level work placement project;
  • provide a curriculum supported by scholarship, staff development and a research culture that promotes breadth and depth of academic inquiry and debate

Accordingly, the syllabus seeks to assist students’ understanding of the key issues of diplomatic practice and global politics whether matters of international negotiation, the strength and success of international organisations, security and peacekeeping, conflict and competition between states, the key concerns of the foreign policy of major powers, the international political economy and issues like trade and relations between the developed world and the 'Global South' or 'Third World', terrorism, regional problems like the conflicts in the Middle East, or the salience of ethical issues like environmentalism, democratisation and human rights.

Course learning outcomes

Course Learning outcomes include the following:

a. Subject Specific.

By the end of their course students are expected to be able to:

  • explain the changing roles and functions of diplomatic institutions and processes;
  • understand the nature and significance of international relations and the global context of world politics;
  • apply concepts, theories and methods used in the study of diplomatic studies and international relations to the analysis of ideas, practices and contemporary issues in the global system;
  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the origins, evolution and current nature of the international system and the place of diplomatic systems and processes within it;
  • be aware of the contested nature of inquiry within the disciplines of Diplomatic Studies and International Relations and be able to evaluate different interpretations of key issues.

b. Cognitive skills.

By the end of their course, students should be able to:

  • gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of primary, secondary and electronic sources;
  • construct a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information, exercise critical judgement and manifest ethical awareness, in both oral discussion and written work;
  • identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to issues and problems in diplomatic studies and international relations;
  • demonstrate a capacity for critical review of the literature and awareness of differing approaches to the study of diplomatic studies and international relations;
  • manage their own learning in a reflective and self-critical fashion and make use of constructive feedback.

c. Transferable skills, including those of employability and professional practice.

By the end of the course, students are expected to be able to:

  • communicate effectively and fluently in both oral and written form;
  • use communication and information technology, including the internet, for the retrieval and presentation of information, including, where appropriate, statistical and/or numerical information;
  • work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management;
  • engage in collaborative learning and demonstrate the ability to inter-relate with other students who may hold different views;
  • think critically about data and evidence and show awareness of ethical considerations (including, where appropriate, ethical diversity);
  • conduct analysis of diplomatic and international relations issues using a variety of theoretical perspectives;
  • design, plan, organise and deliver an individual research project or work placement dissertation and learning log;
  • assess diplomatic and international relations issues in a reasoned manner and apply such knowledge to hypothetical and ‘real world’ situations.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

- Explain the changing roles and functions of diplomatic institutions and processes:

Especially GI5006 and GI6007.

- Understand the nature and significance of international relations and the global context of world politics:

Especially GI4005, GI4007 and GI5005.

- Be aware of the contested nature of inquiry within the disciplines of Diplomatic Studies and International Relations and be able to evaluate different interpretations of key issues:

Especially GI5005 and GI5006.

- Apply concepts, theories and methods used in the study of diplomacy and international relations to the analysis of ideas, practices and contemporary issues in the global system:

Especially GI5005, GI6002, GI6005 and
GI6007

- Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the origins, evolution and current nature of the international system and the place of diplomatic systems and processes within it:

Especially GI5005.

Gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of primary,
secondary and electronic sources:

All subject-related modules.

- Construct a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information, exercise critical judgement, and manifest ethical awareness, in both oral discussion and written work:

All modules.

- Identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and advocate solutions to issues and problems in diplomatic studies and international relations:

All subject-related modules.

- Demonstrate a capacity for critical review of the literature and awareness of differing
approaches to the study of diplomatic studies and international relations:

All subject-related modules.

- Manage their own learning in a reflective and self-critical fashion and make use of
constructive feedback:

All modules.

- Communicate effectively and fluently in both oral and written form:

All modules.

- Use communication and information technology, including the internet, for the
retrieval and presentation of information, including, where appropriate, statistical and/or
numerical information:

All modules.

- Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management:

All modules.

- Engage in collaborative learning and demonstrate the ability to inter-relate with other
students who may hold different views:

All modules.

- Think critically about data and evidence and show awareness of ethical considerations (including, where appropriate, ethical diversity):

All modules.

- Conduct analysis of diplomatic and international relations issues using a variety of theoretical perspectives:

Especially GI5005, GI6002 and GI6007.

- Design, plan, organise and deliver an individual research project or work placement dissertation. Placement and Project Modules at Level 6. Assess diplomatic and international relations issues in a reasoned manner and apply such knowledge to hypothetical and ‘real world’ situations:

Especially GI5006, GI6002 and GI6007.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

The BA Diplomacy and International Relations degree embeds the key components of the QAA benchmarks within its degree structure.

With regards to “Knowledge and understanding”, all students should be able to fulfil the criteria of identified by the QAA, including:

“students should be able to: demonstrate a familiarity and engage critically with the nature and significance of … international relations, including definitions of the boundaries of the political; the contested nature of knowledge and understanding; approaches to the study of … international relations; a range of key concepts, theories and methods employed in the study of … international relations; and the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches; demonstrate a familiarity and engage critically with (international) politics and political phenomena, including … the structure and operation of different(international) political systems; apply different concepts, theories and methods to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and behaviour; examine and evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events.”

In terms of generic intellectual skills, again the degree is designed to meet the standards determined by the QAA. Thus, on graduating with an honours degree in Diplomacy and International Relations, students should be able to fulfil the following QAA benchmarks: “describe, evaluate and apply different approaches involved in collecting, analysing and presenting political information, including how to identify issues for political enquiry; assess their ethical implications; and gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information from a variety of sources; identify, investigate, analyse and advocate solutions to problems; develop a reasoned argument, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement; reflect on their own learning and seek to make use of constructive feedback; manage their own learning self-critically.”

Personal transferable skills are also central to the degree. For example, on graduating, students should be able to meet the following QAA benchmarks: “communicate ideas effectively and fluently, both orally and in writing; use communication and information technologies for the retrieval, analysis and presentation of information. Presentational skills may include a focus upon delivery (in addition to content), time management, usage of audiovisual resources and an ability to stimulate debate; work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management; collaborate with others and contribute effectively to the achievement of common goals.”

Assessment strategy

The course combines both formative and summative assessment opportunities, embracing a variety of methods including: essays, blogs, learning logs, exams, seminar performance, seminar presentations (both individual and group), portfolios, dissertations, and book reviews. The majority will be tutor assessed, but a number will be peer-reviewed in seminars. The strategy is designed to maximise the development of subject specific skills and employability skills appropriate to each level of the degree.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Employability and the development of practical skills are central to the course. All modules have employability embedded within them. (See each module specification for further details.) At Level 6 students have the option to take a work placement module designed to apply the knowledge they have developed on the course in practical situations and to develop employment-related skills.

A study-abroad semester (or, in exceptional circumstances two semesters) can be undertaken as part of the degree programme. The Course Leader (or a delegated representative) must approve the programme of study proposed at the overseas host institution. The Governance and International Relations section has Socrates exchange links with a number of European Universities – Bologna, Bordeaux, Istanbul, Madrid, Stockholm, and Trier. It is also possible to study in the United States. The University has exchange links with a number of universities, such as the State University of New York, City University New York, East Carolina, Roosevelt University (Chicago) and a number of colleges in the University of California state system. These exchanges are arranged through the University’s International Office.

Career opportunities

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.

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 from 2017) 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.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes L250 (International Relations): 100%
Route code DIINRL

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI4004 Introduction to International Development Core 30        
GI4005 Introduction to International Relations Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
          NORTH SPR+SUM TUE PM
GI4007 Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945 Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
          NORTH SPR+SUM MON PM
GI4008 Politics and Government Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED AM
          NORTH SPR+SUM TUE AM
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH AUT    
          NORTH SPR    

Stage 1 Level 04 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI4004 Introduction to International Development Core 30        
GI4005 Introduction to International Relations Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM TUE PM
GI4007 Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945 Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM MON PM
GI4008 Politics and Government Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM TUE AM
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI5005 Approaches to International Relations and Forei... Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE PM
GI5006 Diplomacy Old and New Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
GI5W50 Politics and International Relations: Work-Base... Alt Core 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
MN5W50 Creating a Winning Business 1 Alt Core 15 CITY SPR WED PM
          CITY AUT WED PM
GI5008 Peace and Conflict in Theory and Practice Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
GI5060 American Foreign Policy Option 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
GI5062 Media and Culture Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
GI5063 Politics of the Middle East Option 15 NORTH SPR TUE AM
GI5064 The Politics of the European Union Option 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
GI5065 Shifting Global Power in the 21st Century Option 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
GI5066 Strategy in the Contemporary World Option 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
SS5006 Racism and Ethnicity Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI PM
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI6007 Public Diplomacy and Global Communication Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
GI5W50 Politics and International Relations: Work-Base... Alt Core 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
GI6P01 Project 1 Year Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
GI6P51 Project 1 Semester Alt Core 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
          NORTH AUT MON AM
GI6W01 Placement 1 Year Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
MN6W50 Creating a Winning Business 2 Alt Core 15 CITY SPR THU PM
          CITY SPR WED PM
          CITY AUT WED PM
GI6002 Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
GI6005 International Security in an Era of Globalisation Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM
GI6009 The Politics of Modern States Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM
GI6064 African Politics Option 15 NORTH SPR TUE PM
GI6065 Latin American Politics Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE PM
GI6067 Human Rights and International Conflict Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE PM
SC6052 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Option 15 NORTH SPR THU PM
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT