Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy
The 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.
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).
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.
|Insider's 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 awarded with 90 ECTS credits: 15 for the introductory workshop, 45 for 5 online courses (9 ECTS each) and 30 for the dissertation. Click below to read more about each of these phases.
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.
|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.|
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.
- See the provisional online course schedule for 2022
- See the provisional online course schedule for 2022 for the Internet Governance Specialisation
Courses cover a wide range of both traditional and contemporary topics in diplomacy, many of them not taught elsewhere. Visit our Course Catalogue for a full list of courses and their descriptions.
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.
Note: If you completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy in the past and would like to write your Master's dissertation, please see our page on How to Apply for the Master's Dissertation.
The introductory workshop phase involves intensive daily online study over a three-week period (five to six hours per day). The workshop aims to build skills for diplomatic practice through a variety of activities: reading and discussing course materials, attending live meetings via a video-conferencing platform, joining group exercises and simulations, and completing assignments. Participants are expected to participate fully in the workshop, and evaluation is based on both participation and graded assignments for each topic covered.
During the online courses phase, interaction takes place via the internet through an online classroom. Each week, participants study course materials, adding questions, comments, and references in the form of hypertext entries. Lecturers and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the reading materials. During the week, participants complete additional online activities (e.g. further discussions via blogs or forums, quizzes, group tasks, simulations, or short assignments). At the end of the week, participants and lecturers meet online to discuss the week’s topic. Evaluation is based on discussion contributions and on several assignments for each course.
Writing the thesis during the dissertation phase is largely an individual activity. Each participant will work with a supervisor drawn from Diplo's faculty, communicating via email.
Online courses are delivered by Diplo’s faculty members: practising and retired diplomats, and experts with both theoretical expertise and practical experience.
The introductory workshop team includes:
Amb. Victor Camilleri
Former Permanent Ambassador of Malta to the United Nations in New York and Geneva
Ambassador Victor Camilleri has served for almost 50 years in diplomacy. He has occupied a number of senior administrative and diplomatic posts, including that of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Malta. His latest assignment was as Executive Director within the Ministry for European Affairs, with special responsibility for Malta's presidency of the EU Council in January–June 2017. His latest posting abroad was as Malta’s Ambassador to Libya in 2011–2013. As Ambassador in Brussels he formed part of the Maltese team which negotiated Malta’s membership of the EU. Ambasssador Camilleri was chef de cabinet to Maltese Foreign Minister Professor G. de Marco during his Presidency of the 45th Session of the UN General Assembly. He has extensive experience in multilateral affairs. He is actively interested in the promotion of IT as a tool of diplomacy and for some years served as Chairman of the Working Group on Informatics at the UN in New York. Ambassador Camilleri is President of Diplo's Board of Administrators.
Ms Liz Galvez
Former Senior British Diplomat
Ms Liz Galvez was a senior diplomat with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, taking early retirement in 2006 with the rank of Counsellor. During her 33 year career, she served in a wide range of diplomatic jobs in London and several overseas postings, including Finland, Central America and Romania, and 12 years in multilateral diplomacy: UN Geneva, OSCE Vienna (1989-1993) and UN New York (2003-6). She was seconded to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001-2002 as adviser to the Foreign Minister on OSCE Chairmanship and NATO accession issues, institutional reform, and diplomatic training. She returned to Romania in 2006 to set up and manage the Aspen Institute Romania until 2009.
She has been a course lecturer with DiploFoundation since 2009, providing training in public diplomacy and multilateral negotiating skills, including a programme for the Asia-Europe Foundation for diplomats from European and Asian countries, and a dissertation supervisor for DiploFoundation/University of Malta Master in Contemporary Diplomacy students. She has run workshops on public diplomacy for the Foreign Ministry of Bahrain; the Foreign Ministry and Parliamentary staffers in South Africa; and the Diplomatic Academy of Armenia. In addition, she has co-facilitated a workshop on Conflict Resolution in Bahrain for Diplomatic Heads of Mission and given a short training programme in Geneva on Diplomatic Reporting in the Internet Era for diplomatic officers from several states. She has run training programmes on negotiating skills for the Foreign Ministry of Bahrain, and at the Italian School of National Administration for Italian new entrant diplomats, and on Diplomatic English writing and speaking skills for the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Moldova. She speaks operational Spanish, Romanian, and French. She has a BA from the University of London in Latin and Spanish and an MSc degree from the University of London in Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict, and has recently completed the DiploFoundation course on Internet Governance.
Dr Jovan Kurbalija
Dr Jovan Kurbalija is the Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). He was a member of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (2004‒2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006‒2010), and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmundial (2013‒2014). In 2018-2019, he served as co-Executive Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations (UN) High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
A former diplomat, Jovan has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta, and later, DiploFoundation.
Since 1997, Jovan’s research and articles on cyber diplomacy have shaped research and policy discussion on the impact of the Internet on diplomacy and international relations. His book, An Introduction to Internet Governance, has been translated into 9 languages and is used as a textbook for academic courses worldwide. He lectures on e-diplomacy and Internet governance in academic and training institutions in many countries, including Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Belgium (College of Europe), Switzerland (University of St Gallen), Malta (University of Malta), and the United States (University of Southern California).
His publishes regular articles on DiploFoundation's blog, and the Huffington Post.
Amb. Kishan Rana
Professor Emeritus, former Indian Ambassador, and a joint secretary to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
Ambassador Kishan S. Rana is Professor Emeritus, and a Senior Fellow at DiploFoundation. He was awarded a BA (Hon) and MA in economics, St Stephens College Delhi. He was in the Indian Foreign Service (1960-95); and worked in China (1963-65, 1970-72). He was Ambassador and High Commissioner for Algeria, Czechoslovakia, Kenya, Mauritius, and Germany; and consul general in San Francisco. He served on staff of PM Indira Gandhi (1981-82).
Amb. Rana is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi (book review editor, China Report); an Archives By-Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge; a Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Centre, Washington DC; guest faculty at the Diplomatic Academy, Vienna; and Commonwealth Adviser, Namibia Foreign Ministry, 2000-01. He has lectured in about 20 countries to diplomats at foreign ministry training institutions, and at ambassador conferences in several countries.
He is the author of Inside Diplomacy (2000); Managing Corporate Culture (co-author, 2000); Bilateral Diplomacy(2002); The 21st Century Ambassador (2004); Asian Diplomacy (2007); Diplomacy of the 21st Century (2011); India’s North-East States, the BCIM Forum and Regional Integration, (co-author, 2012); The Contemporary Embassy (2013); and Diplomacy at the Cutting Edge (2015). He is co-editor of Foreign Ministries (2007); and Economic Diplomacy(2011). The two books were translated into Chinese; some used as textbooks at several universities. He has written about 100 articles for academic journals and newspapers.
Dr Biljana Scott
Associate of the China Centre, University of Oxford
Dr Biljana Scott was trained as a linguist (BA in Chinese, M.Phil and D.Phil in Linguistics, University of Oxford). She is a Senior Lecturer in Language and Diplomacy at DiploFoundation and an associate of the Chinese Institute at Oxford University. She workshops internationally on political rhetoric, diplomatic language public speaking. Her current research is on implicit communication and the 'unsaid'.
Amb. Olaph Terribile
Malta's Permanent Representative to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva
Ambassador Olaph Terribile is currently Malta's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva. He has served as the personal secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta and as Director of Protocol and Consular Services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Malta for a number of years. In his 30-year diplomatic career, he served at various missions overseas including Beijing (the People's Republic of China), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and London (United Kingdom). Since 2004, Mr Terribile has been a regular lecturer at Diplo where he lectures on protocol procedures including practical exercises on etiquette. He is also a visiting academic member of staff at the University of Malta where he gives lectures in diplomacy. Mr Terribile holds an MA in Chinese literature from the University of Hebei in the People’s Republic of China.
Complete applications must be received by 1 December 2021 (see instructions for sending documents below).
|Insider's tip: If you send your complete application by 1 September 2021 you will receive our EUR 400 Early Bird Discount!|
Applicants for the Master/Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy must meet University of Malta prerequisites for postgraduate study:
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours.
- English language proficiency certificate (see details in list of required documents below).
- University of Malta application form filled out in full (download form). At the top of the form please indicate February 2022 as the start date. For Section A please indicate the correct course code and title: Master in Contemporary Diplomacy (PMCDIPFDL8); or Master in Contemporary Diplomacy (Internet governance) (PMCDIGVFDL2).
- Draft research proposal of around 500 words (relevant to Section F of the application form). You will have the opportunity to revise or change this before beginning work on your dissertation.
- Certified true copies of your degree(s) and official transcripts. Documents can be certified by a legal professional or a diplomatic or consular officer or any other professional of good standing, and must be apostilled by the relevant authority in your country.
- English translations of degree(s) and transcripts if they are not in English, signed and stamped by translator.
- English language proficiency certificate:
- TOEFL Internet-Based Test (iBT). (minimum requirements: 95 overall with a writing score of at least 24, obtained within the last two years).
- Academic IELTS Certificate (minimum requirements: 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each element, obtained within the last two years).
- Cambridge English Proficiency Advanced Certificate (minimum requirements: Grade C or better).
- Certified true copy of the personal details pages of your passport.
- If you are requesting partial financial assistance, please include your CV and a motivation letter (300 – 400 words) with your application. The motivation letter should include details of your relevant professional and educational background; reasons for your interest in the programme; and why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this programme, i.e. how will your participation benefit you, your institution, and/or your country. Please note that all financial assistance is partial. We do not offer full scholarships. Financial assistance is only available to applicants from developing countries.
The following documents should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Application form
- Research proposal
- If you are requesting a partial scholarship, CV and motivation letter
The remaining documents must be sent by registered mail to DiploFoundation (attn: Ms Tanja Nikolic), Anutruf Ground Floor, Hriereb Street, Msida MSD 1574, Malta:
- Certified true copies of degrees and transcripts
- Translations of documents not in English
- Certified true copy of English language proficiency certificate
- Certified true copy of the personal details page of passport
Please ensure that your application package is complete as we cannot process incomplete applications.
Late applications will be considered if space remains in the programme. Please contact us at email@example.com if you wish to submit an application after the deadline.
For questions about the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who should apply
This programme will be of interest to:
- Practising diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.
- Postgraduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practising diplomats.
- Postgraduate students or practitioners in other fields seeking an entry point into the world of diplomacy.
- Journalists, staff of international and non-governmental organisations, translators, business people, and others who interact with diplomats and wish to improve their understanding of diplomacy-related topics.
The internet governance area of specialisation will be of interest to:
- Individuals interested in developing a career in internet governance, cybersecurity, and other emerging internet policy areas.
- Diplomats and government officials dealing with internet governance, cybersecurity, and other internet-related policy issues.
- Business people and civil society activists involved in multistakeholder internet governance processes.
- Postgraduate students of diplomacy, international relations, and communications wishing to study the multidisciplinary topic of internet governance, and to gain deeper insight into internet governance through interaction with diplomats and internet governance policymakers.
- Journalists, staff of international and non-governmental organisations, translators, business people, and others who would like to take active part in internet policy-making.
Fees and scholarships
The fee for the Master in Contemporary Diplomacy is €10,800. The fee has two parts:
- Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy: €8,200
- After successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma, participants who choose to write the Master's dissertation pay an additional fee of €2,600
The fee covers:
- Application and registration fees
- Tuition fees for online workshop and five online courses
- Access to all course materials, via Diplo's online classroom
- Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection
- Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff, and other participants
- Use of Diplo’s online databases and resources
- Online technical support
- For the Master's dissertation, personal supervision by one of our faculty members and advising by Diplo staff
DiploFoundation offers a limited number of partial scholarships for the Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Diplomacy fee, to assist diplomats and others working in international relations from developing countries. Financial assistance is not available to cover the additional fee for the Master's dissertation.
To apply for a scholarship, please include your CV and a motivation letter with your application package. The motivation letter should include:
- Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
- Reasons for your interest in the programme.
- Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this programme: how will your participation benefit you, your institution, and/or your country.
As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions.
Maltese applicants can benefit from up to 70% of the fee in tax credits, as part of the Get Qualified scheme. The credit can be set off against personal income.