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Combine work with study

This course's unique structure and diverse group of students equipped me with an out of the box perspective on international affairs.

Darshini Subramaniam, Ministry of Agriculture of Malaysia

The next Programme runs for 12 months from September 2024 to September 2054 with:

  • 4 intensive weeks of 5 days in September, December, January, and April
  • 20 evening seminars on Wednesdays from late September 2024 to April 2025
  • 2 policy weekends in October 2024 and February 2025

Download the full 2024/25 programme structure and calendar

Attendance at seminars and lectures is compulsory, but please see the ‘Mode of Participation’ section for options in attendance.

Mode of Participation

The LSE IDEAS Executive MSc Programme offers two options for student participation: Residential Option and Non-Residential Option.

Students on the residential option will participate in all teaching sessions in-person. They will be required to be on-campus and physically present in London for the duration of the Programme. International students on this option will be sponsored by LSE for the Student visa.

Students on the non-residential option will participate in the weekly Wednesday evening sessions remotely. They will join all other teaching sessions in-person, i.e. the 4 intensive weeks and the 2 policy weekends. Please contact the International Student Visa Advice Team (ISVAT) for advice prior to your travel, to arrange the most suitable visa for you.

When applying, you must choose one of the above options. You will not be able to switch between the options during the year. Student visa sponsorship will not be available for the non-residential option at any point during your studies.

Compulsory units

The course consists of 4 compulsory units:

IR443E: Strategy in a Changing World (1 unit)

This course examines five different perspectives on strategy

  • new approaches to strategy in international affairs;
  • the interplay between old and new strategic actors;
  • global strategic and economic trends;
  • political and security developments in the world's key regions;
  • the nature of strategic decisions.

More information here.


2,000 word formative essay  
4,000 word summative essay (25% of final grade)

IR442E: Diplomacy and Challenges (1 unit)

This course looks at six key aspects of diplomacy:

  • the tools of diplomacy and negotiation;
  • new international security and policy challenges, such as climate change;
  • global flashpoints, such as the Middle East, Ukraine and Sudan;
  • policy assessment on a major current international problem;
  • simulations on crisis management and diplomatic negotiations;
  • the future of diplomacy and international affairs.

More information here.


2,000 word formative essay
3,000 policy paper (25% of final grade)

IR444E: Strategy in Action (half unit)

A series of intensive workshops give participants experience in evaluating foreign policy decisions and options, preventative action to reduce near-term risks and threats, and the development of longer term strategies.

Through group exercises, participants will be asked to prepare a strategy and policy paper relevant to the day. In addition, brief sessions on methodology will lay the foundations for the formulation of a dissertation topic which must be in the form of a 3,000 word dissertation plan. This module is taken in conjunction with IR496 Dissertation.

More information here.


3,000 word dissertation plan (12.5% of final grade). This should include the title, an abstract, a problem statement which should identify the features and theoretical concepts associated with the topic, the aims and objectives (including research questions or hypotheses), a literature review and the methodology.

IR496E: Dissertation - MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy (1.5 units)

A 15,000 word 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 strategy and diplomacy 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. This course is taken in conjunction with IR444 Strategy in Action.

More information here.


15,000 word dissertation (37.5% of final grade)

Although the syllabus is wide-ranging, there are no optional courses within the programme. Participants, however, are free to attend any of the lectures given at LSE.

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Contact us


MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy enquiries (+44) 020 7955 6526


MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy enquiries ideas.strategy@lse.ac.uk

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LSE IDEAS, Floor 9, Pankhurst House, 1 Clement's Inn, London, WC2A 2AZ