Our students can follow a flexible programme with a wide choice of modules (part-time students are also welcome). In addition to our three core modules, we encourage students to take our new optional module in the Political Psychology of Conflict and Cooperation. Overall, our programme offers interdisciplinary training focused on the role of values, emotions, and beliefs in shaping the possibilities of conflict, cooperation and security at the international level.
Compulsory core modules
MSc students to submit a 13,500 word dissertation (not applicable to Diploma Students)
In this cutting-edge module, our students develop an informed appreciation of how fear, cooperation and trust shape the contours of world politics. The module explores the obstacles to building cooperation and trust, using a series of case studies. It also investigates whether these obstacles can be overcome through institutions, norms, and personal diplomacy between leaders. A key focus of the module is to introduce students to trust-building strategies and techniques, including the potential for face-to-face diplomacy to build trust and transform conflicts. The module is taught through interactive role-play scenarios in which students take on the role of policy advisors and diplomats in crisis and multilateral negotiation situations (for example, the Cuban Missile Crisis, US-China relations, nuclear non-proliferation, and global climate change).
This advanced module provides our students with the skills to understand and explain how the rule of law, institutionalisation, and governance creates structures under which cooperation can flourish. It examines how academic debates on cooperation and policy-making stand up against the actual experience of implementation. The module explores this issue by identifying models of policy and decision-making, and then testing them against practitioner experience. This will entail an examination of case study evidence derived from primary sources (communiques, memoirs, documentaries) and will draw upon policy cases from multilateral settings, including formal international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, and NATO.
This exclusive module is offered as a unique 5-day training programme which provides students with the opportunity to learn directly from specialists about the complexities and nuances of different approaches to conflict transformation in International Relations. The training programme equips our students with the advanced skills to understand how high-level practitioners wrestle with the dilemmas of trust/mistrust in their practical negotiating settings.
The module offers:
- Practical training in communication and mediation skills
- Specialist lectures with internationally-renowned academics
- Networking with high level practitioners in the field of conflict resolution
- Professional development though a Harvard role play simulation game
You can choose an additional 60 credits of modules from the POLSIS optional modules list
The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.