Doctor of Diplomacy (DDipl)

University of Stirling

Program Description

Doctor of Diplomacy (DDipl)

University of Stirling

A highlight of our doctoral studies programme is the unique DDipl (Doctor of Diplomacy) degree. It is unique because it is specially designed for working professionals and is taught at a range of venues, often with direct input from senior practitioners. The course brings together best practice in academic learning and professional expertise.

A unique feature of the face-to-face aspect of the course is weekend seminars allowing maximum opportunity for discussion of key issues, linked with the use of multiple study venues in London, Brussels, Moscow and Washington DC, to name just some.

The DDipl consists of two parts. The taught part will last two academic years for a full-time student. In their final year, Ph.D. candidates will complete a thesis in which they will reflect on pertinent issues of diplomacy in light of the theory and conceptual knowledge they have gained over the course of their degree as well as independent research.

What makes us different?

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

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


  • 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/life experience are encouraged to apply

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.

Structure and content

Common to all professional doctorates is the completion of an original piece of research. The research is presented as a thesis (or as part of a thesis) which is examined by an expert in the chosen field. Usually, the research project would relate to real life issues concerned with professional practice. In many cases research is carried out within the student’s own organization.

Most professional doctorates include a substantial taught or directed study element, which is formally assessed and could also be taken à la carte by those who wish to acquire specific skills. These components frequently include both the teaching of research methods and also components related to broadening or deepening the students' understanding of the disciplines in which they are researching. They can also provide students with appropriate transferable skills to enhance their professional practice. Students take three core modules at level 11 in research methods, face-to-face-inquiry-methods, and diplomatic negotiation and choose three from a list of elective modules, ranging from diplomatic history to new media and communication for diplomats.

Delivery and assessment

Modules will be delivered flexibly 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.


  • (1) DIPPRM: Research methods (core) (40 credits, Level 11)
  • (2) DIPPFI: Face-to-face inquiry methods (core) (40 credits, Level 11)
  • (3) DIPPDN: Diplomatic negotiation (core) (40 credits, Level 11)

and at least three elective modules (E) (40 credits each at level 12) from:

  • DIPPDH: Diplomatic history: its role and relevance to today’s issues
  • DIPPGP: Global problems in national or international settings
  • DIPPIP: International political economy
  • DIPPNM: New media and communication for diplomats

Doctor of Diplomacy candidates will produce a thesis of 40,000-60,000 words (maximum)

The 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. A student must submit the thesis for examination within the maximum period of study and shall undergo an oral examination on the thesis and related topics. A candidate may submit only once a revised thesis for examination.


This is the first professional doctorate in diplomacy in Europe. It is taught and delivered by a number of leading academics and practitioners in a range of fields, from history and politics over the law to business and management.

  • The only such programme in Europe, if not the world.
  • Uniquely combines academic rigor with the demands of diplomacy in practice.
  • Flexibility: modules can be taken on a bespoke basis, and timing is such that it allows students to combine the degree with a busy international career.
  • Direct involvement of senior diplomats and businessmen.

Career opportunities

Successful completion of the course leads to careers in:

  • diplomacy
  • international organizations
  • international non-governmental organizations
  • international business
  • finance
  • commerce and industry

Cost & Fees


  • £5,640 per module
  • £16,400 for thesis

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 14, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
Part time
Full time
United Kingdom - Stirling, Scotland
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Stirling, Scotland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Price £5,640 per module; £16,400 for thesis