Programme specification - MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy 1. Awarding Body

Programme specification - MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy (formerly MSc
Diplomacy and International Strategy)
1. Awarding Body
2. Details of accreditation by a
professional/statutory body, e.g. ESRC;
BPS etc
3. Name of final award
4. Programme Title
5. Duration of the course
6. Based in the Department/Institute:
7. Relevant QAA subject benchmark
8. Application Code
9. First written/last amended
MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy
12 months
February 2012 / September 2014
10. The programme aims to:
Provide a new and unique learning experience for high flyers from the world of international
affairs, defence, international business and finance. It is designed for people who work full
time and is tailored to those who are in high-pressure jobs with little time to spare. The course
aims to establish a reputation as one of the leading courses in strategic thinking in the world.
The course sets out to broaden the participants’ understanding of issues they may have
already confronted and continue to confront in their professional lives whether that be as
policy makers or strategic thinkers. The participants will have the opportunity to explore a
variety of issues through lectures, seminars and workshops which are critical for the
development of their strategic thinking.
11. Programme outcomes: knowledge and understanding; skills and other attributes
Most of the participants will continue in their current careers as policy-makers/ strategists in
the diplomatic services, the corporate world and finance. At the end of the programme of
study, participants should demonstrate an understanding of how to analyse the modern world,
think creatively about policy, strategy, and diplomacy and recognise the various ways in which
security can be understood. They should be able to devise strategies and manage crisis and
will have developed specialised skills that will facilitate their leadership capacities.
12. Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved
and demonstrated
Teaching and learning strategies:
Both classroom and practical elements will be used. The course consists of four one-week
intensive sessions, twenty evening seminars and two policy weekends. The Programme
Manager is also looking into other options such as some institutional visits. Various teaching,
learning and assessment strategies are used to reach the programme outcomes such as
lectures, group seminars, workshops, individual tutorials, self-directed study, meetings with
policy makers and concentrated study weekends. There are also seminars on essay and
dissertation writing (many of these participants have been out of education for many years) and
many hours devoted to individual feedback. The programme also has a dedicated teaching
fellow devoted to essay guidance.
13. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules and awards
For further information see the MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy programme
Additional information
14. Criteria for admission to the programme
Participants need a good first degree - 2.1 or GPA of 3.5 or higher from an accredited
university. Postgraduate degree also beneficial. They also need between 5 – 10 years
professional experience in a related field – international affairs/international finance/legal etc.
Particular attention is also given to referees’ reports and the personal statement provided by the
student. For non-native English speakers the level must be at the higher level/107.
15. Indicators of quality
Clear and steady demand for the programme
High qualifications required for admission;
High fees paid by the participants taking the programme;
Favourable remarks from the current participants
Favourable remarks from the external examiner.
Good final results.
16. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standard of teaching and
The Department takes the feedback on teaching quality provided by the annual
Teaching Quality Assessment survey of participants very seriously;
Regular meetings, twice per term, between assigned Tutors and participants to
discuss student progress and improvement to the course;
Employment of the Programme Manager to oversee on a continuous basis every
aspect of the Programme and provide timely feedback to participants;
Once per term meeting of the Teacher responsible for the programme with the
participants to assess the quality of teaching and learning;
Regular meetings (once per term) between the Teacher responsible for the
programme and programme lecturers to assess student progress and improvements
to the course;
The Department takes seriously the feedback from external examiners.
School mechanisms:
 regular staff appraisal and review;
 improvements in teaching technique are effected by the Teaching and Learning
Centre (TLC) through observations, advice and further training;
 induction programme and mentoring scheme for new members of staff;
 Staff/student liaison committee;
 centrally administered student satisfaction questionnaires by the Teaching Quality
Assurance and Review Office;
 an improved system for ensuring that External Examiner’s
comments/recommendations are fed through to Departments and acted upon;
 the School’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee (ASC) which regulates
all aspects of teaching quality;
annual monitoring of courses and periodic reviews every 3-5 years. The outcomes of
the annual reviews are presented to ASC;
the School’s Undergraduate Studies Sub Committee and Graduate Studies Sub
Committee which oversee all taught programmes and ensure that significant changes
to programmes and courses pass through a sequence of formal stages to ensure that
curricular changes are appropriate and compatible with other developments.