Today’s world is marked by unprecedented complexity and uncertainty. Globalisation, conflict, regional instability, technology, and the changing role of major powers will shape and challenge the world we inhabit. Diplomacy is the framework through which policymakers communicate, contest and negotiate solutions to govern critical challenges. 

The Master of Diplomacy takes a dual approach of rigorous scholarly research combined with a focus on refining practical skills such as research, negotiation, conflict resolution, protocol and advocacy. This program is designed for those wanting to gain the knowledge and practical understanding of diplomacy, professionals already working in foreign ministries around the world, as well as internationally recognised academics and diplomatic practitioners looking to advance their careers to effectively represent their country or organisation.

The program investigates:

  • Contemporary challenges in diplomacy
  • Diplomacy, politics and The United Nations
  • The United Nations and peace
  • Peace and conflict studies
  • Negotiation and conflict resolution
  • Research methods in diplomacy
  • Pacific diplomacy
  • Global governance

The Master of Diplomacy equips you with the knowledge and skills for understanding diplomatic practices of the international system and positions you in the centre of a global network of leading scholars and policymakers.

Relevant to diplomatic practitioners in diverse fields (such as strategic and foreign affairs, inter- and intra-government, international law, journalism, and trade), our unique program brings an international and inter-disciplinary perspective to the classroom.

The Australian National University (ANU) is the only institution in the southern hemisphere to offer a dedicated postgraduate degree in diplomatic studies, a discipline of national importance. Studying at ANU gives you access to the engine room of international affairs and international diplomacy with the federal government, embassies and international agencies based in the capital city, Canberra.

Our Master of Diplomacy students have gone on to become ambassadors, executive level, first, second and third secretaries in foreign ministries; academics; senior staff in the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and transnational corporations. The program is also ideal for careers in public policy, international law and trade.

Other career paths include:


  • Consultancies
  • Diplomatic / Foreign service
  • Humanitarian organisations
  • Government and public service
  • Intergovernmental agencies
  • International trade and business
  • International development and aid
  • Journalism
  • Multinational corporations
  • Private not for profit
  • University teaching and research
  • Think tanks, policy institutes, and research centres

The learning experience

The Master of Diplomacy is a 48-unit program (1 year full-time), providing a pathway to professional advancement, equipping you with knowledge about practices of international affairs and real-world skills to effectively represent your country or organisation internationally.

It combines the knowledge of internationally recognised research scholars with senior officials from Australia and the broader region. Intimate class sizes and dedicated time with academics and practitioners provide students and professionals with both a nuanced understanding of diplomacy and international relations, as well as practical experience and opportunities to network.

We are part of a global network of high-profile practitioners, attracting visits from leading scholars and policymakers, including the Late Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH GCL (22nd Prime Minister of Australia), the Hon Penelope Wensley AC (Former Permanent Representative to the UN and Governor of Queensland), Major General (Retd) Michael A. Smith (National President of UNAA) and Ambassador William Fisher (Retd).

Alternative entry pathways

Graduate Certificate of Diplomacy

For those who do not meet the admission requirements or unable commit to the Master program, the Graduate Certificate of Diplomacy is a pathway option for this degree. This 24-unit (6 months, full-time) certificate provides an introduction to the immersive Masters experience and an option for an early exit. Upon completion, students will receive credits towards the Master degree.

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Graduate Diploma of International Affairs

The Graduate Diploma of International Affairs (GDIA) is a flexible 1-year full-time (or part-time equivalent) postgraduate qualification designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills required for understanding emerging issues in international, political and strategic affairs, both globally and in Asia and the Pacific.

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