The term ‘global diplomacy’ might evoke images of world leaders gathering for a summit or high-octane backroom negotiations.
But in reality, its reach extends much further: world powers continue to compete for influence using every tool at their disposal, ranging from sports competitions to arts and culture.
“We encourage people from different walks of life to understand this,” says senior academic Dr Ashley Cox, who is keen to attract students from a range of backgrounds to this area as they each bring unique perspectives.
Dr Cox is a programme director for the University of London’s MA in Global Diplomacy, which equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to analyse global events and develop an in-depth understanding of diplomacy around the world.
“If you really want to get deep beneath the headlines, this is what this programme does. It helps you understand all the pieces of the puzzle,” says Dr Cox about the MA, which does not require students to have prior knowledge of global diplomacy before enrolling.
The broad-based degree, launched earlier in 2022, is designed to prepare students for a range of careers in foreign ministries, non-governmental organisations, international organisations, the corporate sector and beyond.
Whether you go into the third sector, government or corporations, the ability to identify a problem, develop a solution and present it in a clear concise way to somebody who might disagree with you and try to convince them, is an essential skill.
“In the end diplomacy is about talking and convincing people,” says Dr Cox.
The dissertation module enables students to test arguments and develop valuable transferrable skills through a piece of extended writing and independent research.
The programme also allows students to become experts in their own field by specialising in the diplomacy practices and policies of one of four regions: central and South America, Europe, North America and Russia, and eastern Europe.
Its two-pronged focus on both global and regional issues is one of the programme’s unique features. “That ability to have a speciality in a region while not neglecting the global situation is what sets us apart from other programmes. It gives you the global perspective but a regional focus.
Another key draw is “the flexibility of it, that they can develop their own learning path,” says Dr Cox. If students pick a region at the start and then find their interests going another way, they're not locked in. They choose their modules one at a time.
And the programme’s flexible online format ensures students can work towards a University of London degree from anywhere in the world, fitting their studies around their other commitments.
“It’s certainly set up to accommodate the rest of students’ lifestyles. If you are going to get real-world experience or do an internship, you can work the programme around that. It's not going to cut you off from doing all those other things.”
Start your journey on the University of London’s MA in Global Diplomacy.