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International Public Policy & Diplomacy

The MBS 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 MBS 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 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.

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.

Detailed Entry Requirements
◾the minimum requirement for applicants is a 2.1 honours degree in any subject.
◾consideration may be given to applicants who do not meet the above criteria but who have sufficient relevant professional experience, subject to approval by the programme director and the School of Business.
◾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 6.0. 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 see course webpage (link below) to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Part-time option is during weekday working hours.

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
We recognise the importance of equipping our students with the skills they need to progress following graduation. You will be given expert advice on career development by a dedicated work placement officer and also have access to UCC’s Careers Service.

The work placement option gives you a unique opportunity to obtain professional experience as part of your studies and the course has established links with important international policy institutions from which you will benefit. Having completed the course, you will be a skilled analyst of international affairs and have the confidence and experience to apply that expertise in the real world.

Placement and Study Abroad Information
Uniquely, the MSc International Public Policy and Diplomacy offers you the choice of either a traditional minor thesis or the opportunity to undertake a work placement for between three and five months.

Students take work placements in a variety of organisations/institutions working in areas related to international affairs, such as government ministries, international organisations, the offices of elected representatives, think-tanks and non-governmental organisations.

Students are placed in major international cities, such as Brussels, London and Washington DC, as well as in Cork and Dublin. We have relationships with a variety of organisations who take students from the course and students are provided with expert support in sourcing and applying for work placements.

Further enquiries

Dr. Niall Duggan
P: + 353 21 490 3899

Subjects taught

The MBS 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.

Other distinctive features of the course are field trips to Brussels and Dublin and a visiting speaker series.

In part 1 you will visit Brussels to visit key European institutions (the European Commission, the European Parliament and NATO, as well as think tanks and NGOs).

In part 2 you will visit Dublin to meet with policy-makers. The course also includes a visiting speaker series, with policy-makers, researchers and academics speaking to students on a wide range of contemporary issues.

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.


Unique Aspects of the Course
Key features of the MSc in International Public Policy and Diplomacy are its focus on policy issues and the way in which it gives you the practical skills necessary to work in international policy environments.

The work placement, the field trips and the skills focus of the assessment for the course are central to its effectiveness. In this course you will engage with the most contemporary debates and issues facing the global policymaking community and have direct interaction with current and retired policy-makers.

These features of the MSc International Public Policy and Diplomacy give our graduates a competitive edge. Past students repeatedly comment on the value of the skills component of the course and the work placements in exposing them to international environments and in engendering a deep understanding of this exciting and evolving field.

Assessment method

In part 1, the course is assessed through a variety of course work assignments, including
◾research projects
◾policy reports
◾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).

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

2017/2018: Irish/EU Fee €10,500 (1 year full-time). This 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.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11th September 2017

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