IR496      One and Half Unit
Dissertation: MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy (1.5 units)

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michael Cox TW1.9.01A


This course is compulsory on the MSc in International Strategy and Diplomacy. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The dissertation will address a topic in the social sciences drawn broadly from the three core courses. This will normally be a library based dissertation. The topic should make central use of concepts in the study of diplomacy and strategy and should demonstrate a good understanding of these concepts and implications. The dissertation will draw on empirical topic areas but should also demonstrate a high degree of conceptual originality. Guidance on standards of presentation will be given in the handbook and conform to the standard laid down for MSc dissertations in the International Relations Department. The subject and title of the dissertation must be approved by the the dissertation supervisor.


Arrangements for supervision. Students will receive advice on how to choose a topic and how to write a dissertation from the dissertation supervisor in two 1.5 hour workshops and two 1.5 hour individual supervision sessions.

Formative coursework

Students submit a 3,000 dissertation plan on which they receive written feedback (see the details of the IR444 course, taken in conjunction with IR496).


Dissertation (100%, 15000 words) in the LT.

A 15,000 word dissertation (100%) to be submitted in September 2017. This course is taken in conjunction with IR444 Strategy in Action (H).

Using the dissertation plan (IR444), the dissertation will include an introduction, theoretical framework, a literature review and methodology followed by chapters, conclusion and bibliography.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 19.8
Merit 67.9
Pass 8.6
Fail 3.7

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2015/16: 1

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: One and Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information