MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy

  • Executive
  • Department of International Relations
  • Application code L2UJ
  • Starting 2024
  • Home full-time: Open
  • Overseas full-time: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

Developed for decision-makers, the executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy is designed to enhance strategic thinking and diplomatic negotiation skills. You will acquire the analytical tools to understand a changing world and the policy expertise to operate within it.

The programme examines the changing landscape of international relations, with a focus on the emergence of new strategic actors, economic trends, security challenges, and global flashpoints.

In sharply-focused seminars, you will challenge conventional wisdom on these topics. Workshops and simulations on crisis management, policy assessment and diplomatic negotiations will provide you with the practical skills to operate in a fast-moving world.

You will learn how to deal with emerging threats and risks by operating strategically, and how to solve problems by negotiating with stakeholders as well as adversaries.

You will be studying with a combination of LSE academics and senior policy practitioners sharing their experience at the highest levels of diplomacy and business.

The one year programme is intended for professionals in the public, private, or NGO sectors with at least four years of work experience aiming to proceed to senior positions. Places are deliberately restricted to ensure high calibre discussion and intellectual engagement. With a select intake, the programme gives you a powerful networking opportunity with a diverse cohort of international students.

The programme is taught in four intensive weeks, weekly evening sessions, and two 'policy weekend retreats'. This structure is designed to allow time-pressured professionals to combine their existing jobs with study.

More about the MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy on the LSE IDEAS website

Programme details

Key facts

MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy
Start date September 2024
Application deadline None – rolling admissions. However, please note the funding deadlines
Duration 12 months. This is a full-time programme at LSE. However, the unique teaching calendar has been designed to allow working professionals to attend all sessions
Applications 2022 108
Intake 2022 28
Financial support This programme is not eligible for LSE financial support
Minimum entry requirement 2:1 degree or equivalent in any discipline (preferably in  politics, history, international relations or a similar discipline), plus a minimum four years professional experience
GRE/GMAT requirement None
English language requirements Higher (see 'Assessing your application')
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy

Upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline (preferably in  politics, history, international relations or a similar discipline), plus a minimum four years professional experience

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you meet the minimum entry requirement, this does not guarantee you an offer of admission.

If you have studied or are studying outside of the UK then have a look at our Information for International Students to find out the entry requirements that apply to you.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on your application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- statement of academic purpose
- two references
- CV

See further information on supporting documents

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

When to apply

Applications for this programme are considered on a rolling basis, meaning the programme will close once it becomes full. There is no fixed deadline by which you need to apply, however, to be considered for any LSE funding opportunity, you must have submitted your application and all supporting documents by the funding deadline. See the fees and funding section for more details.

Reference requirements

Please note that for the MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy, we are willing to consider two professional references, or one academic and one professional reference.

Fees and funding

Every graduate student is charged a fee for their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2024/25 for MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy

Home students: £32,846 (provisional)
Overseas students: £32,846 (provisional)

The Table of Fees shows the latest tuition amounts for all programmes offered by the School.

Fee status

For this programme, the tuition fee is the same for all students regardless of their fee status. 

Scholarships and other funding

There are no internal LSE scholarships for this programme at present.

However, the following organisation offers scholarships. Please contact them for further information.

British Chevening Scholarships

Government tuition fee loans and external funding

A postgraduate loan is available from the UK government for eligible students studying for a first master’s programme, to help with fees and living costs. Some other governments and organisations also offer tuition fee loan schemes.

Find out more about tuition fee loans

Further information

Fees and funding opportunities

Programme structure and courses

This is a full-time programme, however the unique teaching calendar has been designed to allow working professionals to attend all sessions. It is taught via a combination of four intensive weeks, weekly evening sessions, and two policy weekends.

You will take three compulsory courses and complete a dissertation of 15,000 words on an approved topic of your choice.

(* denotes a half unit)

Strategy in a Changing World
Examines five different perspectives on strategy: new approaches to strategy in international affairs; the interplay between old and new strategic actors; global strategic and economic trends; political and security developments in the world's key regions; the nature of strategic decisions.

Diplomacy and Challenges
Examines the six key aspects of diplomacy: the tools of diplomacy and negotiation; new international security and policy challenges, such as climate change; global flashpoints, such as Brexit, the South China Sea and Syria; policy assessment on a major current international problem; simulations on crisis management and diplomatic negotiations; the future of diplomacy and international affairs.

Strategy in Action*
A series of intensive workshops give participants experience in evaluating foreign policy decisions and options, preventative action to reduce near-term risks and threats, and the development of longer term strategies. Through group exercises, participants will be asked to prepare a strategy and policy paper relevant to the day. In addition, brief sessions on methodology will lay the foundations for the formulation of a dissertation topic which must be in the form of a 3,000 word dissertation plan. This module is taken in conjunction with IR496 Dissertation.

Dissertation (one and a half units)
This is an independent research project of 15,000 words on an approved topic of your choice. Your topic should make central use of concepts in the study of international relations, strategy and diplomacy and should demonstrate a good understanding of these concepts and implications. The dissertation will draw on empirical topic areas but should also demonstrate a high degree of conceptual originality. As part of your preparation for writing the dissertation, you will attend workshops and individual supervision sessions with your dissertation supervisor.

For the most up-to-date list of courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page.

You must note, however, that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

This is a 12-month full-time programme, however the unique teaching calendar has been designed to allow working professionals to attend all sessions. You will be expected to attend lectures and seminars and actively participate in group discussions and projects.

Teaching is concentrated in the following units:

  • first intensive week: September (five days)
  • second intensive week: December (five days)
  • third intensive week: January (five days)
  • fourth intensive week: April (five days)
  • 22 weekly evening lectures followed by seminars from September to March
  • two policy weekends in November and February.

You will be assessed via an academic essay (counting for 25 per cent of the final mark) and a policy paper (25 per cent of the final mark). The Spring Term is devoted to writing a 3,000-word dissertation plan (12.5 per cent of the final mark) and a 15,000-word dissertation (37.5 per cent of the final mark) on a topic agreed with your dissertation supervisor.

You can see indicative details of contact hours, teaching staff, and assessment methods for each course in the relevant course guide.

Student stories

Mikki Choman

MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy


This is one of the best investments I have made in myself and my career. This is not international relations in an ivory tower. Topical content and practical simulations with top experts, combined with a group of brilliant and diverse classmates has helped me understand the world in a completely new and useful way.

Lars Hanson

MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy


I applied to the MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy because I wanted to develop my academic skills without giving up my career. The programme gave me that – and much more.

Darshini Subramaniam

MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy


This programme’s unique structure and diverse group of students equipped me with an out of the box perspective on international affairs.


Many graduates have continued to work in their current organisations, bringing new insights to their role or moving to a higher level.

Others have used the programme as a way to change the direction of their career, towards new jobs in government, international organisations, foreign policy consultancy, and NGOs.

The programme will help you advance your career by giving you access to bespoke career coaching. In addition, many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and the Careers Service has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

After graduation, you will also become part of the IDEAS Alumni Network. Our alumni programme allows students to enhance their professional network and connect with LSE expertise through exclusive events and current affairs discussions.

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