International Governance and Diplomacy

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1.5 years (3 semesters)

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Credit points:



Full-time studies

Teaching language:


Degree conferred:

Master's Degree of Social Sciences in International Relations (MSc)

Course places:



See Tuition Fees and Scholarships

Start date:

September, for more see the Academic Calendar

Application procedure:

To apply, click here 


Faculty of European Studies, Department of Political Science


International Governance and Diplomacy programme offers a dynamic study process and insight into a wide range of geographical regions and aspects of international relations, with particular emphasis placed on small state international politics. Throughout the study period students master political ideologies and doctrines that shape the actions of various global players. Due to the enhanced research vectors of the teachers in Russia and the post-Soviet region, particular emphasis is devoted to Russia and its place in the global politics. The programme also gives insight into issues related to informal global governance and how global actors cooperate through informal arrangements to achieve their goals, and its effects on global challenges of peace building, policy making and institutional implementation.

The content of the programme corresponds with the title of the programme, i.e., the division of the two disciplines, as well as course category division is as follows: international governance – 70 %; diplomacy – 30 %. Compulsory courses (Category A) constitute 67 % (60 ECTS), but restricted elective courses (Category B) constitute 33 % (30 ECTS).

The programme excels in the Baltic region as studies are done in English only and it offers a shorter period for the degree acquisition – 1.5 years. Diplomas obtained at Rīga Stradiņš University are recognised in all EU and EEA member states.

Aims & Structure

The aim of the programme is to provide graduate training in debates on the institutions and processes of international governance and diplomacy. Through a balance between the two disciplines, the programme aims at providing students with the opportunity to specialise in a wide array of various aspects of international relations, thus enabling to interact with practitioners to analyse international governance and diplomacy issues across a variety of issues.

This degree will also prepare students for a career in doctoral studies and further research career.

Course structure

The study process at the Department of Political Science is organised according to the so-called module system. This provides students with an opportunity to acquire a deeper understanding of their study courses: a maximum of three subjects are taught concurently, and examination is done at the completion of each study course. The small number of students in each group (no more than 15) ensures individual approach to each student.

The programme is structured as follows:

  • 1st semester: provides insight in the global governance theories and diplomacy, as well as various aspects of international relations, including world history (with particular emphasis on war and diplomacy), the role of international economics and international laws on global governance;
  • 2nd semester: provides insight into a wide range of geographical regions and aspects of international relations, with particular emphasis on the role and place of small states international politics. It also provides insight into the various political ideologies and doctrines that shape actions of various global players;
  • 3rd semester: provide insight in writing of scientific thesis to develop students’ skills in critical thinking and ability to analyse and predict the development of political processes.

For more information on Latvian Education System, please see the homepage of the Academic Information Centre.


Below you can see examples of courses, which will be studied over the course of the degree. For more detailed information on the study plan of the programme for 2016/2017, which includes course categories, ECTS and assessment form:

1st semester
Global Governance: Institutions and Processes 4.5 ECTS Category A
Power, War and Diplomacy 4.5 ECTS Category A
Small States and International Governance 4.5 ECTS Category A
International Law and Diplomatic Rights 4.5 ECTS Category A
Theories and Approaches in International Relations and Diplomacy 6 ECTS Category A
EU and International Governance 6 ECTS Category A
2nd semester
Global Economy and Transnational Interests 4.5 ECTS Category B
The USA and the International Order 4.5 ECTS Category B
Energy, Security and Diplomacy: Power Relations and Strategic Perspectives 4.5 ECTS Category B
Politics and Religion: Governing the Middle East 4.5 ECTS Category B
Making European Foreign Policy: EC and EEAS 6 ECTS Category B
E-Governance: Information, Communication, and Policy Making 6 ECTS Category B
3rd semester
Master’s Thesis 30 ECTS Category A


Upon graduation

Upon a successful completion of the 1.5 year post-graduate course, students will receive Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy (MSc). The MSc degree entitles to continue professional and academic growth in other post-graduate programmes.

Knowledge and insight delivered in different aspects of international governance, as well as the extensive knowledge about various state systems and their functions will prepare graduates for a career in national or international organisations, and fields that are closely related to international relations, e.g., various institutions that are closely tied with international affairs – governmental bodies, embassies, and missions. Graduates will also be prepared to work either in non-governmental organisations as well as in private sector.

Graduates from other MSc programmes of the University, e.g., "International Relations and Diplomacy" or "Regional Politics and Public Administration", are employed by institutions of the European Union institutions, NATO, the United Nations. Many of our graduates are employed in the national diplomatic service, ministries and other governmental bodies, as well as various non-governmental organizations, media, etc.

The 1.5 year programme also gives the opportunity to continue studies in doctoral degree programmes.

Additional information on accreditation

There is no centralised EU accreditation for Universities in Europe. Universities, including Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU), are accredited locally by the Ministry of Education and Science with international experts present. RSU study programmes receive official accreditation every 6 years. In addition, all RSU study programmes in regulated professions are developed according to EU directives on regulated professions.

Secondly, given that Latvia is a EU member state since 2004, The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, usually referred to as the Lisbon Convention, applies also to the Latvian universities, including RSU. Besides many others, the main point of the Lisbon Convention is as follows: holders of qualifications issued in one EU member state shall have adequate access to an assessment of these qualifications in another EU member state.

Thus, the Lisbon Convention and the fact that RSU is an officially accredited state University, ensures that qualifications obtained at Rīga Stradiņš University are recognised in all EU and EEA member states.


Entry criteria

1. BSc degree in Social Sciences and/or Humanities

Applicants have to submit proof of their Bachelor’s degree in social sciences and/or humanities (total length of studies must be no less than 3.5 years (7 semesters)) acquired from a university that is recognised by the Academic Information Centre.

If the degree has been acquired in another discipline, it will be evaluated independently by the head of the programme.


2. English language requirements

All applicants, except native English speakers, must demonstrate their English language proficiency by submitting documents that testify their knowledge of English. Preferably you should submit one of the following certificates with a minimum score of:

GCSE (or GCE) C level
Cambridge First Certificate in English Level B2 (CEFR)

Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English

Level B2 (CEFR)

 NB! International English proficiency certificates and corresponding test results are valid for 2 years.

andris spruds

Director of the programme, professor Andris Sprūds is one of the most acknowledged and well known foreign policy experts in the Baltic States. He has earned his doctoral degree from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. He has been a visiting student and scholar at Oxford, Uppsala, Columbia, Johns Hopkins University, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs as well as Japan's Institute of Energy Economics.

Concurrently to the obligations at the University, prof. Sprūds serves also as the director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs.