IR496E      One and Half Unit
Dissertation: MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy (1.5 units)

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Chris Alden


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. The topic should make central use of concepts in the study of International Relations, 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. 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 dissertation supervisor.


Arrangements for supervision. Students will receive advice on how to choose a topic and how to write a dissertation from a 1.5 hour workshop and from three half 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. 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.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: One and Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information