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Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy

University of Malta logoThe Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy guides working diplomats and international relations professionals through the theoretical and practical building blocks of diplomacy, with a focus on contemporary issues and challenges.

Participants can focus on contemporary diplomacy, or select internet governance as an area of specialisation within the programme. Those who select internet governance will attend several required courses in this area and write their dissertations on internet governance-related topics.

Offered by DiploFoundation and the University of Malta’s Department of International Relations, the programme is:

  • Relevant: Courses cover traditional and contemporary topics in diplomacy; faculty members include practising and retired diplomats, and experts with both theoretical expertise and practical experience.
  • Flexible: You design your study programme, selecting from our wide range of courses and deciding on the Postgraduate Diploma or Master’s degree.
  • Practical and affordable: Programme fees are competitive compared to similar programmes; with online delivery, you can continue to work and earn an income. All you need is a computer connected to the internet.
  • Personalised: Small group sizes emphasise learning together, drawing on the experience and knowledge of participants as well as lecturers, enabling you to extend your professional network.
  • Effective: The programme is highly rated by former participants, who have seen immediate and lasting benefits ranging from personal development to career advances.
  • Accredited: The degree is awarded by the University of Malta; the programme has European postgraduate accreditation making it recognised worldwide.

Programme details

The Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy involves 16 to 20 months of online study, including writing a dissertation. Areas of study range from the basics of diplomacy (Diplomatic Theory and Practice, Bilateral Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy, and more) to contemporary topics (Artificial Intelligence: Technology, Governance and Policy Frameworks, Internet Technology and Policy, E-Diplomacy, and more). Insider tip: You can complete up to two online courses before enrolling in the programme, for additional flexibility and financial savings. Please see University of Malta Accredited Courses to learn more about this option. The programme is organised in three phases. It starts with an introductory workshop which takes place over a three week period in January/February. Following the workshop, you will attend five online courses, each lasting ten weeks. The final phase includes writing your Master’s dissertation. The programme is awarded with 90 ECTS credits: 15 for the introductory workshop, 45 for 5 online courses (9 ECTS each) and 30 for the dissertation.

Introductory workshop

The introductory workshop focuses on building skills used in diplomatic practice, through an interactive and exercise-based set of seminars. The workshop sets the stage for the entire programme and provides the opportunity to get to know other course participants and faculty members. Participants tell us that they keep in touch with classmates and faculty members long after the programme ends and the resulting professional network is highly valuable in their work. The workshop takes place over a three-week period; you should expect to spend five to six hours of study time per day during this period, including reading and discussing course materials, attending live meetings via a video-conferencing platform, joining group exercises, and completing assignments. Insider tip: To get an idea of how the online workshop functions in practice, please check the 2021 online workshop schedule. N.B. The exact schedule for 2022 will be finalised and shared with applicants in January 2022.

Online courses

During this phase, you complete five online courses of your choice, each lasting ten weeks. Participation in the courses involves seven to ten hours of study time per week. Online class groups are small to allow for intensive discussion with course lecturers and classmates, and rich collaborative learning. Courses cover a wide range of both traditional and contemporary topics in diplomacy, many of them not taught elsewhere. See our full list of courses with the MA/PGD programme. After successful completion of the introductory workshop and five online courses, you may choose whether to receive the Postgraduate Diploma or to proceed with writing your Master's dissertation. In order to proceed to the Master’s degree, you must achieve an average mark of at least 65% for the five online courses.


If you aim for the Master's degree, you will prepare a 25,000-word dissertation on a topic of your choice under the personal online guidance of a research supervisor selected from Diplo's faculty members. You may decide whether to write your dissertation over a four- or eight-month period. Candidates for the internet governance specialisation will write their dissertations on internet governance-related topics.