MSc Diplomacy and Security Studies (PgDip, PgCert)

Start date(s)
September 2022
Study mode
Distance learning
Course enquiries should be made to Knect365:
+44(0)20 7017 4483

About this course

Understanding the interplay between international diplomacy and security.

This 100% distance learning programme is delivered in partnership KNECT365/Informa.

  • Provides a distance learning programme in Diplomacy and Security Studies for full-time employees
  • Encourages an advance understanding of the principles and developments of Diplomacy and Security Studies
  • Enables students to make an original contribution to the disciplines of Diplomacy and Security Studies and the advancement of professional security practice
  • Produces competent, informed reflectively and ethically competent students who have a developed academic understanding the key issues within Diplomacy and Security Studies and the theories which underpin the disciplines

This programme aims to introduce students to emerging paradigms within security studies, security, and diplomacy at both local and global levels. It will account for what we mean by the concept of ‘Security’ and explore some justifications for the increasing ‘securitisation’ of social life.

You will examine, among other questions, the growing diplomatic presence on the world stage of international organisations, non-governmental organisation 


and other actors, thanks in large part to developments in information and communication technology, and how this development impacts the formulation of treaties and international conventions.

The programme aims to provide an overview of important security events and issues of the 20th and 21st centuries including the evolving tensions of the Cold War. Finally, the modules will connect the conceptual basis of the discipline to some of the practical issues facing the international system and to some of the emerging security threats and issues pertaining to law enforcement, government agencies and the private sector. These include a critical view of threats from terrorism, organised crime, radicalisation, international negotiation and decision-making.


Fees and funding

Money - postgraduate funding informationHow to fund your postgraduate study

You can enrol straight onto the Masters or you will be able to build up to the full Masters in future years if you enrol for the Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma first.

Application fee

An application fee of £400 is payable to KNect365 with your application to enrol. This fee must be paid before your application to enrol commences processing. For convenience the online KNect365 Learning registration form includes the ability to pay this fee securely by credit card in GBP, USD or EUR. On acceptance to the course, this application fee is deducted from the full course fee.

Note: The application fee will be refunded if your application for enrolment is rejected by Liverpool John Moores University on academic grounds. It is not refundable if your application is rejected due to incomplete information being provided, if you withdraw your application before all documents have been submitted or before acceptance.

Payment by instalments

There is an interest free instalment plan available. You may pay in 2 instalments for the Postgraduate Certificate, 4 for the Postgraduate Diploma and 5 for the Masters.

If you are a UK or EU national, or have UK ‘settled status’, have lived in the UK or the EU (or wider EEA) for the last 3 years, will be living on the UK on the first day of your course and haven’t been awarded a MSc, MA, MBA or PhD already, you may be eligible for a loan of up to £10,609 from the UK Government to study this course.

Visit the UK Government site for information, download the PDF guide or call the Student Loan Company on +44 (0)30 0100 0031.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (Graduate Outcomes, 2018/19) of our postgraduates in work or further study 15 months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

This programme is ideal for graduates seeking to enter into or advance their diplomacy and security-related careers in the public and private sectors. Professionals already engaged in such fields who seek to enhance their knowledge, critical thinking and career prospects will benefit from studying on this programme. In addition to this, the programme is particularly valuable if you are interested in policy issues, dealing with diplomatic and/or international security affairs and would benefit from a solid academic grounding in the field.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Something for the weekend...check out the pop-up exhibition at @SlaveryMuseum running until Tues 5 July that featur…

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core modules

Security Studies (PgCert)
20 credits

This two-part module addresses a number of fundamental issues, the most important of which defines what we actually mean by the concept.

This pursuit is dominated by debates between a variety of discourses: namely, those who seek to retain the discipline’s focus purely on military conflict and those who argue that in a globalised world Security Studies needs to be expanded to a consideration of economic, environmental as well as social issues. This module will seek to address these debates in the context of national and international security issues. It will show that the debates between the traditionalists and the advocates of “new thinking” are having a profound impact on the discipline as both military and non-military issues begin to compete for the attention of academics and policy elites.

Intelligence Analysis (PgCert)
20 credits

This module considers what intelligence and analysis means: its overall role and its application to security related issues of law enforcement, governmental and international agencies, and the private sector. It deals with issues pertaining to the use of proactive intelligence and analysis.

Theory and Practice of Modern Diplomacy (PgCert)
20 credits

Diplomatic studies are concerned with patterns of international communication, negotiation and representation, and this module explores the actors, processes and institutions through which attempts are made to manage the international system and deal with global problems by peaceful means. In the modern era, the theory and practice of diplomacy has been structured around key institutions, such as resident embassies, foreign ministries and international organisations, and the formal procedures and practices that have developed around them. Some theorists and practitioners, however, have argued that faster travel, the revolution in information and communications technology and the rising importance of non-state actors have rendered the formal institutions of diplomacy less important, if not obsolete. This module will examine this central debate about the theory and practice of diplomacy in the 21st century.

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (PgCert)
20 credits

This module examines terrorism and political violence conducted by non-state actors. It is equally concerned to analyse counter-terrorism and other responses by the state, the security services and the police. It aims to explore the phenomena of terrorism, including the different historical definitions of terrorism, and the varying motivational factors for terrorist violence. It also aims to provide an overview of the different theoretical approaches to terrorism studies and an overview of the threat from ‘New Terrorism’ and the ‘War on Terror’. The module engages closely with key texts by leading scholars in terrorism studies, critical terrorism studies and pays special attention to criminological approaches to the subject.

International Relations in the Contemporary World (PgDip)
20 credits

International Relations is a field that seeks to analyse the relationships between nations, the roles of sovereign states, international institutions and organisations, as well as the impact of non-state actors. This module will encourage you to analyse how economic, historical, political and cultural dynamics interact to shape relations between states. In addition, you will have the opportunity to examine complex political issues as diverse as global inequality, the role of international organisations and the impact of failed states on specific regions globally, as well as the rise of identity politics and cultural conflict in the contemporary era.

Contemporary Issues in Crime, Safety and Security (PgCert)
20 credits

This module aims to introduce you to emerging paradigms within criminology, which tackle safety and security at both local and global levels, and to explore some justifications for the increasing ‘securitisation’ of social life. Key theories and policies related to crime, safety and security will be examined and tested and their ethical and legal implications, outlined. 

You will develop your understanding of contemporary trends in security and emerging security threats and how to counter them through relevant scholarly activity, and through reference to the appropriate academic literature and policy documentation. The module also prepares you for further independent research when you embark on your dissertation.

Diplomacy and Security Studies dissertation (MSc)
60 credits

The dissertation allows you to undertake an independent and sustained piece of research into a substantive topic of your own choosing. The dissertation must include appropriate extended piece of empirical or theoretical research on a topic in the security studies field.


An insight into teaching on your course

Teaching methods

The course is taught in a distance learning format, with no attendance required on campus. All aspects of the programme are managed over the internet using a dedicated virtual learning environment platform which manages your learning schedule. The course will include access to online study materials plus tutorial and discussion forums for networking and interacting with tutors and peers. Forum discussions allow you to co-operate across time zones and share knowledge, experience or discuss the course content with other students and course tutors.

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Person sat using laptop


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Course tutors

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a relevant honours degree - minimum 2:2 (such as in criminology, social or political science)


  • an overseas equivalent qualification 


  • a graduate level professional qualification of comparable standard and suitable work experience (such as policing, security or military work) 

Additional requirements

  • Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 575
  • In some cases applicants who do not possess the standard entry requirements may be permitted to enrol at the discretion of the programme leader
  • On application you will need to submit proof of your prior qualifications, your CV, a copy of your passport page and the £400 application fee

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You must apply directly to KNECT 365 for this programme. The link will be available via the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page.

As part of your application you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  1. Copies of any academic/ professional certificates
  2. A copy of your CV
  3. A personal statement explaining your reasons for choosing the course and your interest in the subject
  4. A copy of the back page of your passport showing the photo and passport number

These should be uploaded to the application form or can be emailed direct to if you have problems uploading. These must be submitted before you can be accepted.

Once you are ready, please complete the online application form where you will also be asked to submit credit card details for payment of the application fee as detailed above. Students who do not provide credit card details will be

 invoiced and your application will not be submitted for acceptance until the application fee has been paid. The application fee is refundable should your application not be accepted on academic grounds.

Cut-off date

The application deadline for this course is 4 September 2020.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.