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International Relations

Graduate Diploma

Developed by academics at LSE, this diploma provides a strong grounding in international relations and helps you to develop critical skills for a wide range of real world professional situations.

It is designed for graduates looking for either a standalone qualification in international relations or a foundation for postgraduate study in related fields.

Study the International Relations Graduate Diploma wherever you are in the world.

Studying this degree, you will gain:

  • a detailed and critical understanding of the core literature and main theoretical debates in the field of International Relations and a more advanced knowledge of at least two specialist areas in the field
  • the ability to work independently, planning and producing lucid, coherent, analytic written work
  • an understanding of the concepts of international order and justice
  • particular courses available will provide a knowledge of the main findings in International Political Theory, International Institutions, Foreign Policy Analysis and the International political economy, awareness of the main events in the post-1914 history of international relations.

Course details

You must complete four courses (or equivalent), at least half of which must be 300 courses.

View courses

Local teaching support

Our courses are designed to be studied independently, but if you would like to attend classes, you can enrol at one of our approved local teaching centres around the world and benefit from local support and the facilities of a campus-style environment.

Study materials

We will send you study materials developed by academics appointed by LSE. These include a Programme Handbook of practical information (such as how to enter exams); a Subject Guide for each course; and past exam papers and commentaries, which give you valuable tips for performing well in exams.

Online support

When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and two other key resources:

  • The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others.
  • The Online Library holds thousands of journal articles which you can access free of charge. A dedicated helpdesk is available if you have any difficulties in finding what you need.


Each module is assessed by an unseen written exam, which is usually held in May or June. You can sit your exams at any approved centre around the world. These centres charge a fee for hosting the exams.

Your exam is set and assessed by academics at LSE, ensuring that your degree is of the same standard as those studying on-campus in London.

If you study the following courses from the Information System selection group, you will also need to undertake a project or coursework:

  • IS1060 Introduction to information systems
  • IS2182 Innovating digital systems and services
  • IS3139 Software engineering: theory and application
  • IS3159 Research project in information systems

More about exams.

To be eligible for this Graduate Diploma programme you must have one of the following:

  • an acceptable Bachelor’s degree;
  • an acceptable Master’s degree (or any other appropriately accredited Level 7 award) provided this is at least 1 year full time in duration; 
  • an acceptable Level 5 or Level 6 award (such as an HND or Graduate Certificate) provided this is at least 1 year full time in duration. In addition applicants must submit evidence of at least 2 years relevant work experience.

English Language requirements

You need to demonstrate a good level of English to be admitted to our programmes. We accept a range of evidence, including proficiency test scores. If you don’t have evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may consider your case.

Do I meet the language requirements?

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.

More about computer requirements.

The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2018-2019 session. These may be increased by up to 7% per annum.

Academic year2018-2019
Application fee (non-refundable)£92
Initial registration fee£935
Further registration fee for Law options (per course)£ 55
Examination entry fee per half course£141
Examination entry fee per full course£282
Continuing registration fee£427
Indicative total, Graduate Diploma£2,155

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for:

  • Textbooks (could extend to around £300 per year)
  • Tuition costs (if you choose to study at a local teaching centre)
  • Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.

We accept most traditional payment methods, including debit/credit card, international money order, and Western Union.

How to pay your fees.

This diploma will help to prepare you for careers in government, diplomacy and various public and private sector organisations if your first degree is in a different field. It could also help you gain entry to master’s programmes in this fields.

Graduate Diplomas will help you to question and analyse information, develop arguments, and boost your analytical and communication skills – all of which are valued by a broad range of employers.

What do employers think of our graduates?

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) provides academic direction for this programme. LSE is regarded as an international centre of academic excellence and innovation in the social sciences.

LSE Academic Co-ordinators

Dr Robert Falkner is Associate Professor of International Relations at LSE. He specialises in global political economy, global environmental politics and the role of business in international relations. He is Academic Director of the TRIUM Global Executive MBA, and an associate of both the LSE Grantham Research Institute and of Chatham House.

Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London diploma anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there may be additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.

About the LSE Summer School

LSE hosts several prestigious Summer Schools around the world, including one in London. Each year, several of our students attend these life-changing events and put their learning into practice.

As one of our students, you receive a 15% discount on the event price. Some of our local teaching centres (such as SIM, Singapore) offer scholarships to attend as well as advice on how to apply.

More about the LSE summer school.

Dr Robert Falkner - Associate Professor, LSE

Dr Robert Falkner - LSE

"In an era of economic globalisation, International Relations is also concerned with the close links between international politics and the global economy.”