International Public Policy and Diplomacy MSc

Fact File

Course Code: CKD56 Full-time, CKD57 Part-time

Course Title: International Public Policy and Diplomacy

College: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

International Public Policy and Diplomacy

Duration: 1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

Qualifications: MSc

NFQ Level: Level 9

Costs: Irish/EU Fee €7,500 (1 year full-time); 2017/2018 Non-EU fee Full-time: To be confirmed. The fee covers the cost of tuition. However, there will be additional expenses related to the two field trips undertaken during the course. You should also be aware of costs associated with undertaking work placements.

Entry Requirements: The course is open to students of all disciplines. The entry requirement is a 2.1 undergraduate degree in any subject. In addition, you are required to submit a personal statement indicating why you wish to take this MSc. [See detailed entry requirements]

Closing Date: See details in Application Procedure below

Next Intake: 10 September 2018


The MSc in International Public Policy and Diplomacy is an innovative, interdisciplinary, taught master’s course that provides graduates with the expertise and work experience required for successful careers in international policy environments.

The course is offered by UCC’s Departments of Government, History, Law and Management and Marketing and will give you access to expertise across a diverse range of subjects. The MSc International Public Policy and Diplomacy is strongly orientated toward vocational skills training, through coursework and the opportunity to undertake a work placement.

The work placement will give you a unique opportunity to develop important professional skills and to immediately apply your learning to the professional world.

The course will be of interest to you if you aspire to a career in, or are already working in, departments of foreign affairs and other government ministries, international political and financial organisations, the armed forces, aid agencies, non-governmental organisations, think-tanks, and international businesses.

Course Details

The MSc in International Public Policy and Diplomacy is divided in two parts.

Part 1:

In Part 1, students take a combination of compulsory and elective modules.

The core modules of Part 1 invite you to engage with:

  • the contemporary global challenges facing policymakers
  • processes of government decision-making in relation to international affairs
  • international economic policies and institutions
  • international law
  • the institutions and policies of the European Union (EU).

In addition, you will develop practical and analytical skills relevant to working in international affairs and gain an insight into personal and group dynamics associated with leadership.

You will also choose from a range of electives offered by the Departments of Government, Law and History.

Part 2:

Part 2 of the course challenges you to apply the skills acquired in Part 1 either by undertaking:

  • an independent piece of policy-oriented research or
  • a work placement in an international policy environment. The length of the work placement may vary from three to five months.

Specialist career advice is available to students through the Work Placement Officer and support is given in the planning for and application to work placement organisations. Our graduates have found the work placement to be an extremely valuable first step in their professional careers giving them unrivalled opportunities to make professional contacts and gain first-hand experience of the international policy world.

On completion of the course, you will be able to identify and assess global policy challenges and global policymaking processes and will have gained expertise in analysis and evaluation, report writing, oral presentation skills and leadership.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar

Detailed Entry Requirements

  • The minimum requirement for applicants is a 2.1 honours degree in any subject;
  • Candidates who hold a 2.2 honours degree will also be considered subject to their 'personal statement' and references;
  • In Exceptional circumstances, substantial professional experience in a relevant field may be accepted as compensating for the absence of an undergraduate degree, subject to approval by the programme director and the School of Business.
  • All applicants will be required to submit a 'personal statement' (indicating why they are interested in taking the MSc (International Public Policy and Diplomacy) and why they think they would be suited to the programme.
  • All applicants whose first language is not English are required to sit either an IELTS test or a recognised equivalent test as approved by Faculty. The minimum requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5 with no individual section lower than 5.5.  An exception may be granted where a candidate has been awarded a university degree where the overall content has been delivered in the English language. Further information on English Language Requirements can be found at
  • If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

Application Procedure

Application for this programme is on-line at Places on this programme are offered in rounds. The closing dates for each round can be found here. For full details of the application procedure click How to Apply.

Please note you will be required to answer specific additional/supplementary questions as part of the online applications process for this programme. A copy of these additional/supplementary questions are available to view here: CKD56,CKD57AdditionalQuestions

 All required documentation must be either uploaded to your online application, or sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway, immediately after an application is made.

Course Practicalities

The taught part of the course runs from mid-September to the end of the following March. You will take the work placement or research dissertation between the beginning of April and the end of September. The length of the work placement may vary from three to five months.

During the taught part of the course, students have approximately 8-10 hours per week of lectures/seminars. This is supplemented by recommended reading, preparation of presentations and other group work and time spent completing assignments (essays, policy reports, research projects, etc). During the taught part of the course you will also take classes in preparation for the work placement.


In part 1, the course is assessed through a variety of course work assignments, including

  • research projects
  • policy reports
  • presentations
  • group work.

The assessment is designed to help you to develop both the understanding of issues and the practical skills necessary to work in international affairs.

In part 2 of the course, the assessment involves

  • a detailed work placement portfolio if you are undertaking the work placement, or
  • researching and writing a 15,000-20,000-word dissertation (if you are completing the dissertation).

Who Teaches This Course

The course is taught by staff of the Departments of Government, Law and History. Our staff have expertise in areas such as global governance/international organisations, foreign policies and foreign policy decision-making, the European Union, international law and human rights, as well as in more specialised areas such as US foreign policy, European security and migration.

You can search UCC's Institutional Research Information System for staff profiles.

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