Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of our most common questions which we have given answers to.
How do I apply for the programmes offered at CISD?
Please see the admissions pages on the SOAS website for details of how to apply.
What are the minimum entry requirements for the degree programmes offered by CISD?
Normally a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent (for example a USA GPA score of 3.3 or above). However each application is assessed on its individual merits and entry requirements maybe modified in light of professional experience and where the applicant can demonstrate a sustained practical interest in the international field.
We welcome applications from academically strong individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds. It is not necessary to have a first degree in a discipline directly related to the programme.
Is there a deadline for applications to the programmes offered by CISD?
While there is no deadline for applications, we recommend you submit your application and all supporting documentation as soon as possible. This is to ensure you get a reply in time for September entry.
It is advisable to apply as early as you can, especially if you are applying for scholarships and need a decision on whether or not you have a place to study at SOAS.
Overseas students who must apply for a Tier-4 student visa should also consider applying as early as possible. Students will need an unconditional offer before they can be issued with a CAS . Visas procedures can be subject to delays and all students are expected to register as per the programme start date on the offer letter.
How much do CISD programmes cost?
Fees for the 2013/14 academic year are available on the SOAS website.
When should I apply for CISD progammes?
In most cases it is advisable to apply as early as you can. If you are in the final year of an undergraduate degree, there is no need to wait until you receive your results to apply. In such cases where you meet the other requirements for the course, we will typically offer you a place conditional on the final classification of your undergraduate degree.
There is no deposit payable or other cost incured if you apply and later do not take up your place.
What is the standard of English required for acceptance on CISD programmes?
Most overseas non-native English speakers will have to submit evidence of English Language proficiency with their application. Full details can be found on the SOAS website.
If your English language skills fall slightly below the required level you may still be offered a place dependent on attendance of a presessional or in sessional English course.
I have already completed a programme of study in English. Do I still have to supply evidence of language proficiency in English?
In order to conform to UK BA requirements, applicants from outside of the EU are normally required to provide evidence of achieving and appropriate score in a Secure English Language Test such as IELTS or TOEFL. Please refer to the SOAS website for more details.
Does CISD offer any scholarships or busaries?
There is one scholarship per year offered by SOAS to a student wishing to enrol in a full-time programme at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy. Details of qualifying criteria and how to apply can be found here.
Students wishing to study at CISD can also apply for a number of of other scholarships and bursaries. A list can be found on the SOAS website. If you wish to apply for a scholarship it is recommended that you apply as early as possible.
I have an offer to study at CISD, when will I need to choose my Courses?
You will be asked to make an initial choice of courses around one month before starting at CISD.
Once you get here, you will be able to sample all of our courses, and will have access to all of our tutors and convenors. You will then have a chance to make any changes that you want.
What time do the lectures and tutorials start for CISD courses?
Wherever possible our lectures have a start-time 6pm to facilitate attendance by those who are in work. Due to timetabling constraints, lectures for some CISD courses may take place earlier in the day, however where this is the case we will do our best to schedule the corresponding lecture in the following year in the 6pm time-slot. We therefore endeavour to make as many of our courses as possible available over the period of a two or three-year part-time degree. We also offer evening tutorials starting after the 6pm lecture.
What are the term/exam dates?
Term/exam dates can be found on the SOAS website here.
What is an 'elective' course?
An elective course is a course chosen from outside your main programme of study. All of the programmes run by CISD give students the option of doing an elective course. You can choose a course from a wide range of courses run by SOAS including courses in politics, development studies, economics, media studies, area studies and languages. For some suggested elective course please see the CISD programme pages on the SOAS website.
Do elective courses run in the evenings?
Elective courses will normally run during the day so you must contact the relevant faculty or department to find out the time.
Can I pay the fees by instalment?
No, the fees must be paid in full either at or by enrollment. Please see the Fees Office webpage for methods of payment. Part time fees are calculated on a pro-rata basis. The fees for the 2013-2014 academic year are outlined on the SOAS website.
What is the difference between the MA (Masters) and Post-graduate diploma?
The only difference between the two programmes is that the Masters includes a 10,000 word dissertation to be submitted in September of your final year of study. Otherwise in terms of content,cost, entry requirements and the criteria used to assess applications they are exactly the same. We would therefore always recommend that you apply for the Masters option.
Is it possible to work and do the programme full-time?
As well as the commitment in terms of lectures and tutorials, you must also consider the amount of time you will need to read and prepare for the classes. In most cases we would recommend that those working full-time consider the option of doing the course part time over two or three years.
Is there a PhD programme at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy?
Can I take a language course as an elective
You would be able to do a language elective as part of your main programme (i.e. as one of the 3 taught units that make up the taught element of your degree). A basic list of the elective language courses available at SOAS can be found here. Other courses may be available depending on your level. These are run by the Faculty of Languages and Cultures. If you are not a beginner, your language level will be assessed at the beginning of term in order to allocate you to a course at an appropriate level.
Another option for learning a language during your time at CISD is to take a course at the SOAS Language Centre this involves paying a little extra (although as a SOAS student you get a discount on the full price) and would not count towards your degree, however the advantage is that it would free you to take another taught course while pursuing your language studies.
Is it possible to start the course at a time other than September?
We only have one intake date for the campus based MA. You might wish to look at our distance learning option which has two intakes (in April and October).
Do you have a distance learning option?
Yes, we offer an MA in Global Diplomacy by distance learning. Please see here for more details.