Governance – MSc

What would be the difference if each politician had to take a course in governance, law, diplomacy and an academic discipline? Would it make for a more peaceful and less corrupt world. Would very expensive mistakes have been avoided?

The prestigious Oxford University offers an MSc in Global Governance. Perhaps there will come a time in the future when whoever is vying for public office will have to take such a course, or once elected, undertake that course within the first year, whether full time, or part time distance learning.

About the course

This nine-month master’s degree investigates a broad range of policy issues surrounding the institutions and processes of global governance and diplomacy – at international, transnational, state, and domestic levels. The course will equips for understand and explain global governance and diplomacy, and prepare you for a career in these areas and beyond.


The aim of the MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy is to provide high-quality graduate training in debates about the institutions and processes of global governance and diplomacy.


Students will take a foundation course; two optional courses from a list of choices; a course on research methods; and write a dissertation.

The foundation course is a two-term course running over 16 weeks and covering fundamental issues of global governance and international diplomacy.

The optional courses cover important aspects of global governance and/or diplomacy. Each option consists of eight two-hour seminars.

There is also a mandatory, two-term course on qualitative and quantitative research methods in the social sciences.

Lastly, the student will research and write a 10,000- to 12,000- word dissertation under the direction of a supervisor, to be submitted towards the end of the final term.

Over the duration of the course students benefit from a series of plenary lectures and other events. These introduce important issues of global governance and diplomacy and/or provide research-led presentations followed by discussion.

More information, including the course handbook and further details about course offerings, is available on our course page on the department’s website.


Most of the department’s teaching takes place in small classes to encourage active participation and enable students to learn from each other. Teaching styles vary and include lectures, seminars, workshops, and student presentations.

You will be allocated a general supervisor who supports your academic development and with whom you meet regularly. Allocation is based on your research interests, fit with the supervisor’s academic expertise, and staff availability.

Graduate destinations

The degree aims to prepare you for a career in diplomacy and/or transnational and regional institutions of governance such as international organisations, nongovernmental organisations, and private sector firms interacting with these institutions.

Graduates of the MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy have joined the United Nations and other international organisations,such as the World Food Programme, the diplomatic service in the UK and other countries, government departments across the globe, NGOs such as Oxfam and WWF, and the private sector in fields ranging from investment to energy.

“GGD brings together an extraordinarily diverse group of students who share a passion for international affairs and development and yet are able to specialise in a wide range of topics of personal interest throughout the programme.” Rafael Saiz Garcia, graduated 2017.