Doctor of Diplomacy (DDipl)
The DDipl degree is one of the highlights of our doctoral studies programme. It’s unique because it’s specially designed for working professionals, and is taught at a range of venues – often with direct input from senior practitioners.
- Award DDipl
- Start date October or January
- Duration DDipl full-time: 24 to 48 months, DDipl part-time: 24 to 72 months
- Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Stand-alone modules
This course brings together best practice in academic learning and professional expertise.
A unique feature of the face-to-face and practical aspect of the course is weekend seminars, which maximise your opportunities for discussion of key issues and flexible delivery. The suite of modules includes diplomatic simulations and negotiation exercises, which can also be taken à la carte.
The DDipl consists of two parts. Full-time students can expect to complete the degree in three to four years. The taught part of the course will last for two academic years if you’re a full-time student. In your final year (with the option of applying for a one-year extension), PhD candidates will complete a thesis within about one year. This thesis will enable you to reflect on pertinent issues of diplomacy in light of the theory and conceptual knowledge you have gained over the course of your degree – as well as through your independent research.
Most working professionals are likely to choose part-time study for this degree. If you choose the part-time degree pathway, the completion of the DDipl will take proportionately longer.
Top reasons to study with us
If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.
In REF 2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
A minimum of a second-class Honours degree or equivalent (2.1 degree or equivalent preferred) in a relevant subject with a minimum of six years professional experience in a relevant context, and/or a Masters qualification in a relevant subject with a minimum of three years professional experience in a relevant context (merit degree or equivalent preferred).
Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate work and life experience are encouraged to apply
English language requirements
Due to disruption in English Language testing caused by COVID-19, we are accepting alternative English Language tests (including online English Language Tests).
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS Indicator 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-skill
- Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
- Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 169 in each sub-skill
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with 60 in each sub-skill
- IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
- IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking
- Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
- Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
- Duolingo 105 overall with a minimum of 95 in each sub-skill
- LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - Pass with minimum 33 in each sub-skill
Last updated: 1 February 2021
If you are from India, Ghana or Nigeria please also check your country/region specific page for any additional, or changes to, English language requirements.
For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.
Pre-sessional English language courses
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.
Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.
Common to all professional doctorates is the completion of an original piece of research. Doctor of Diplomacy students will produce a thesis of 40,000-60,000 words (maximum).
Your thesis will be expected to make an original contribution to knowledge and will be judged by the convincing evidence it offers of competent and independent scholarship and research, wide and critical reading, and an ability to relate academic knowledge to professional interests. You must submit the thesis for examination within the maximum period of study and shall undergo an oral examination on the thesis and related topics. You may submit a revised thesis only once for examination.
2020/21 module changes
Please note, for 2020/21 entrants, the New Media and Communications for Diplomats and International Political Economy modules in Semester 2 have been withdrawn and replaced with a single module in Diplomacy. Professionalism, theory, history (DIPPDDH).
Modules will be delivered in weekend seminars. These require a significant amount of independent preparation and study.
The modules are assessed through both an essay on selected case studies, as well as brief policy papers or blogs that apply concepts and theories to real-life scenarios.
Fees and funding
Fees and costs
|UK / EU students||Overseas students|
|Full course fee||£57,550||£57,550|
|Annual fee minus thesis||TBC||TBC|
|UK students||Overseas students|
|Full course fee||£54,800||£54,800|
|Annual fee minus thesis||£12,176||£12,176|
You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every module you enrol on. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.
For more information on courses invoiced on a modular fee basis, please read our tuition fees policy.
If you're domiciled in England or Wales you may be eligible to apply for a doctoral loan of up to £25,700 from your regional body:
- English students can apply for a loan from Student Finance England.
- Welsh students can apply for a loan from Student Finance Wales.
There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.
Scholarships and funding
Cost of living
If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.
European Union and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.
We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay
After you graduate
Successful completion of the course leads to careers in:
- international organisations
- international non-governmental organisations
- international business
- commerce and industry