Course specification and structure
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UDDIPLAW - BA Diplomacy and Law

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  
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 Law 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. To reflect the importance of learning languages, students may take up to 30 credits of a language at level 5 as extension-of-knowledge modules, as well as 15 credits of a language at levels 4 and 6.

The BA Diplomacy and Law boasts many pedagogical innovations, such as active learning and practical exercises in the classroom, as well as utilising more traditional teaching methods. The programme is 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.

The more traditional approaches include a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops, within which 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 widespread use of blended learning. Most modules are paper free, with considerable learning materials and resources being placed on relevant module WebLearn sites, e.g., lecture notes, module handbooks, video links, recorded lectures, podcasts and blogs. A large and growing number of materials are also available online through the university library, including access to journals and ebooks. 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.

An additional, and important part, of the teaching and learning strategy is the academic research which is conducted by 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.

Course aims

The degree is designed for students who are interested in law and its impact upon the increasingly interconnected world of international relations and would like to use their legal knowledge in an international, diplomatic or political context. As such, the degree is structured to enhance students’ abilities to understand the complex forces shaping modern global politics. In particular, the course aims to:

• place questions of international order and decision-making at the centre of analysis;
• ensure that students acquire knowledge and understanding in areas of International Relations theory and analysis;
• enable students to understand and use the concepts, approaches and research methods and methodologies of the discipline and develop an understanding of its contested nature and the problematic character of International Relations inquiry and Law;
• develop in students the capacity to think critically about events, ideas and institutions;
• encourage students to relate the academic study of International Relations and Law 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 place situation through the level 6 work placement module;
• 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 global politics whether matters of security and peacekeeping, conflict and competition between states, the key concerns of the foreign policy of major powers, the strength and success of international organisations, the international political economy and issues like trade and relations between the developed world and the 'Global South', terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, feminism, regional problems (such as the conflicts in the Middle East), or the salience of ethical issues such as environmentalism and human rights.

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on systematic understanding of the key aspects of the knowledge base of Diplomacy and Law, including a coherent and detailed knowledge of some specialist areas in depth.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within Diplomacy and Law;

2. devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Diplomacy and Law;

3. describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in Diplomacy and Law, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;

4. manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to Diplomacy and Law);

5. apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects;

6. critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem;

7. communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;

8. exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts;

9. undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference


Learning Outcomes cover LO1-9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Politics and International Relations (2015) and Law (2015)

Assessment strategy

The strategy is designed to maximise the development of subject specific skills and employability skills appropriate to each level of the degree. Assessment and feedback practices are informed by reflection, consideration of professional practice, and subject-specific and educational scholarship. In particular, the course includes many forms of ‘authentic assessment’ and embraces a variety of methods of assessment, including blogs, portfolios, briefing papers, reports, seminar performance, seminar presentations (both individual and group), policy documents and book reviews, as well as more traditional forms of assessment, such as essays and exams. And the volume, timing and nature of assessments enable students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes.

The course combines both formative and summative assessment opportunities. Summative assessments are marked by the tutors, but a number of first drafts or formative assessments will be peer-reviewed in class or online. The extensive use of formative assessment supports students in developing and preparing for summative assessment.

Students are provided with opportunities to develop an understanding of, and the necessary skills to demonstrate, good academic practice. Drawing on the subject group’s experience as a partner in the Higher Education Academy project ‘It’s Good to Talk: Feedback, Dialogue and Learning’ (2009-12), staff and students engage in dialogue to promote a shared understanding of the basis on which academic judgements are made.

Processes for marking assessments and for moderating marks are clearly articulated and consistently operated by those involved in the assessment process. Feedback on assessment is timely, constructive and developmental.

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

Enhancing students’ future career prospects and the development of their practical skills are central to the degree programme and are embedded in many modules. In terms of more explicit work-related learning, there are two core pathways from which students must choose:

• Pathway 1 – career-related learning module and a dissertation: (i) either the 15 credit career-related learning module at level 5 or level 6 (GI5W50) or the Creating a Successful Social Enterprise module at level 5 (MN5W51) or level 6 (MN6W51); and (ii) either the 15 credit (GI6P51 or LL6P51) or 30 credit (GI6P01 or LL6P01) dissertation/project modules at level 6;
• Pathway 2 – work placement: either the 15 credit (LL6W51) or the 30 credit (GI6W01) work placement module at level 6.

A study-abroad semester (or, in exceptional circumstances, year) 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 Politics and International Relations subject group has Erasmus exchange links with a number of European universities and it is also possible for students to study in the United States and Japan. These exchanges are arranged through the university’s International Office.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Every module on this course has embedded within it reflective learning components and personal development planning relevant to the year of study. It will be encouraged in lectures, seminars and workshops and through assessment methods. Students will be directed to reflect on knowledge specific learning, personal and employability skills development. Students will be encouraged to engage positively with all feedback opportunities, be they with tutors or in peer-review situations, and to reflect and learn, resulting in the developing of further learning strategies.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

A number of practitioners will be invited in from governmental organisations, including national diplomatic services, and international governmental organisations and non-governmental organisations, to speak on a variety of modules, concentrating on subject specific skills and employability. Visits will also be arranged to external institutions with diplomatic and broader international relations functions.

Careers guidance, information and education forms part of the course through module content and involvement with university provided skills and employment specialists. The Politics and IR subject group also contributes to a series of Enhancement Weeks offered by the School of Social Sciences, which include sessions focused on employability and skills enhancement.

Graduates enter non-governmental organisations, national diplomatic services, as well as international organisations like the European Union and the United Nations, the media, research and teaching, and international business. Many of our students go on to be successful in postgraduate study.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have won positions within the UK Department for International Development and other government departments, the United Nations, their national diplomatic services, regional organisations and leading non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Members of the course teaching team have nationally-recognised expertise in developing students’ employability, and the practical dimension of the course will enable you to promote yourself effectively in the competitive job market.

The programme is also excellent preparation for further study or research. High numbers of graduates embark on postgraduate courses in diplomacy, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, international relations, international human rights law, and international public policy at prestigious institutions of higher education 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 or above (or equivalent)

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Criminology, Policing and Law Extended degree (including Foundation year).

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 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  
JACS codes 100490 (international relations): 50% , 100485 (law): 50%
Route code DIPLAW

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI4005 Introduction to International Relations Core 30        
GI4007 Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945 Core 30        
LL4001 Legal System Core 30        
LL4002 Contract Law Core 30        
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15        

Stage 1 Level 04 January start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI4005 Introduction to International Relations Core 30        
GI4007 Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945 Core 30        
LL4001 Legal System Core 30        
LL4002 Contract Law Core 30        
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15        

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
GI5006 Diplomacy Old and New Core 30        
LL5002 European Union Law Core 30        
GI5W50 Politics and International Relations: Work-Base... Alt Core 15        
MN5W50 Creating a Winning Business 1 Alt Core 15 NORTH AUT FRI PM
          NORTH AUT THU AM
          NORTH AUT THU PM
          NORTH AUT WED PM
          NORTH AUT WED AM
          NORTH SPR WED PM
          NORTH AUT FRI AM
GI5005 Approaches to International Relations and Forei... Option 30        
GI5008 Peace and Conflict in Theory and Practice Option 30        
GI5060 American Foreign Policy Option 15        
GI5062 Media and Culture Option 15        
GI5063 Politics of the Middle East Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
GI5064 The Politics of the European Union Option 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
GI5065 Shifting Global Power in the 21st Century Option 15        
GI5066 Strategy in the Contemporary World Option 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
LL5001 Public Law Option 30        
LL5004 Property Law Option 30        
LL5007 Consumer Rights Law Option 30        
LL5050 Medical Law Option 15 NORTH SPR TUE AM
SS5006 Racism and Ethnicity Option 30        
OL0000 Open Language Programme Module Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 30 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  

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
LL6005 Public International Law Core 30        
GI5W50 Politics and International Relations: Work-Base... Alt Core 15        
GI6P01 Project 1 Year Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
GI6P51 Project 1 Semester Alt Core 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
          NORTH AUT MON PM
GI6W01 Placement 1 Year Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
LL6P01 Law Dissertation Alt Core 30        
LL6P51 Law Extended Essay Alt Core 15        
LL6W51 Work Placement for Professional Experience Alt Core 15        
MN6W50 Creating a Winning Business 2 Alt Core 15        
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
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        
LL6004 Civil Liberties and Human Rights Option 30        
LL6006 Company Law Option 30        
LL6008 Immigration and Asylum Law and Tribunals Option 30        
LL6009 Family and Child Law Option 30        
LL6050 Jurisprudence Option 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
LL6051 Environmental Law Option 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
SC6052 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Option 15 NORTH SPR THU PM
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA