Global Corporations and Policy (MSc)


Gain a prestigious MSc in Global Corporations and Policy

This MSc programme is designed for current or future professionals in the public, corporate or not-for-profit sectors related to the management and regulation of multinational corporations.

It provides a comprehensive theoretical and practical understanding of the role and dynamics of large corporations in the global economy and international affairs.

This multidisciplinary programme draws on the teaching and research of SOAS's departments of International Politics, Law, Economics and area studies (especially of Asia, Africa and the Middle East).

Programme aims

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the development and activities of Multinational Enterprises (MNE) and their regulation from economic and legal perspectives.
  • Build excellent knowledge of economic, legal and public policy approaches to researching MNE organisation, impact and regulation in the global economy.
  • Develop the ability to analyse and design solutions to regulatory and public policy challenges related to MNE activities.
  • Hone practical skills including policy analysis, project management, advocacy, negotiation and strategic communication.

Programme details

  You study Study period Cost (2017-18)
MSc 4 modules, plus dissertation 2 years £10,000


This MSc benefits from the high-quality teaching and research that takes place within SOAS's Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD).

The mission of CISD is to promote cross-disciplinary teaching that combines the distinctive expertise of SOAS with cutting-edge research and public discussion of international politics in a globalising world.

Career enhancement

The programme will prepare you for a variety of roles in NGOs, government departments, regulatory agencies, and international organisations (such as the OECD or WTO). Become an advisor, manager, researcher or project professional with a multinational corporation, trade union or advocacy organisation.

The programme allows you to balance work with study and to build your career momentum. Consolidate your experience with a world-class master's degree.

Your time commitment

Most students take two years to complete the degree. There are two sixteen-week study sessions and two dissertation sessions during a calendar year. We recommend that you study for 10-15 hours a week during these periods.

Summary of key dates

Global Corporations and Policy
Application deadline 30 September 2017 31 March 2018
Start of session 17 October 2017 17 April 2018
End of session 09 February 2018 TBC



Structure and syllabus

MSc: 2 compulsory core modules, plus 2 elective modules and 1 compulsory dissertation.

Core modules

Global Public Policy

Gain an understanding of public policy making in a context of intensifying globalisation and transnational political contestation. You will undertake rigorous and critical analysis of policy and the complex processes by which it is formulated, adopted and implemented.

Multinational Enterprises in a Globalising World

This module is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the nature and development of multinational corporations (MNC). You will gain an understanding of political economy and regulatory issues related to MNCs in the context of changing international patterns of production. Using theoretical and empirical literature, you will develop your skills of critical analysis to study inter-relationships between MNC operations and their impact in international studies and diplomacy.

Elective modules

Diplomatic Systems

You will learn about the conditions in which diplomacy is stimulated and the nature of different diplomatic systems that arise as a result of variations in these conditions. You will also study historical and contemporary case studies from Byzantium to Ancient Greece and from the French system to a transatlantic system of diplomacy.

Global Citizenship and Advocacy

Develop an understanding of how to influence policy at an international level and how to affect policy changes to meet the aims of non-governmental and international organisations. You will look at how to achieve change at a global level, networking across national boundaries and on global issues.

Global Energy and Climate Policy

You will study the key themes and approaches in the study of global energy and climate policy as two closely interrelated global challenges. You will investigate international regime formation and diplomatic landscapes in the energy and climate change fields, analyse the geopolitical dimensions of energy supply and demand, and examine regulatory approaches to cutting greenhouse gases.

Global International Organisation: United Nations in the World

Examine the context of the United Nations (UN) and the UN system within other International Organisations (IOs). You will examine the ways in which International Organisations came into being and how they evolved into the United Nations Organisation in 1945. Learn how the UN system has changed in recent years, and what the short and medium-term effect of these changes are likely to be with particular attention on peacekeeping, collective security, and human rights.

International Economics

Learn about the theory of international economics and become familiar with the practice of international economic relations through the study of current policy debates about the workings of the contemporary international economy.

International Security

Focusing on developments since the end of the Cold War, you will be given the analytical tools to think critically and independently about the nature of contemporary international security. You will consider a range of contemporary security issues including terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the Iraq War and the future of the Middle East, and the prospects for peace and security in the 21st century.

Corporations in Global Politics

This module provides you with a critical introduction to the global politics of the corporation: its institutional form, practical consequences and wider implications for contemporary world politics. You will gain skills to undertake a critical analysis of the relations between corporations as a political form, understand their patterns in policy formulation, adoption and implementation.

Your Convenors are: Mark Laffey and Sutha Nadarajah.

The Art of Negotiation

This module provides students with an understanding of three interrelated elements of Diplomacy. The first is the key concepts of diplomacy, the second is the institutional development from the Renaissance to World War II, and the third looks at the development of Consular Services and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The main part of the module then looks closely at the 'art of negotiation'. Beginning with a consideration of strategy and tactics, it proceeds through the main stages of negotiations, takes in diplomatic momentum en route, and concludes with an examination of the 'packaging' of diplomatic agreements.

One compulsory dissertation

Dissertation - MSc Global Corporations and Policy

The module provides you with the ability to plan and write a dissertation about your particular area of interest within the field of international relations. It is fully supported by the distance learning team and you will have access to specific resources designed for it. The dissertation is divided into two sections: Pre-proposal - you learn appropriate research skills. Post-proposal – you will work with an academic member of staff.

Study materials

How you study

This programme is based on a proven model of Distance Learning delivery that places the student experience at the centre of our collective endeavours.

The programme’s design is particularly structured to draw out the relevant working experience of students during their studies on the programme.

Students take one subject module at a time which is studied over a sixteen-week study session.

There will be two sixteen-week study sessions plus two dissertation study sessions during a calendar year. Support and feedback for students will be available from your dedicated Associate Tutor. Your expectation should be to graduate within a 2-year time period.

The programme will employ a range of innovative and engaging student-focused assessments appropriate to the distance learning mode of delivery.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

You will be able to access all learning materials through the VLE including:
  • Current module materials
  • Learning activities (E-tivities) specifically designed to meet the module learning outcomes
  • The University of London Online Library
  • A dedicated Associate Tutor to facilitate student learning.


Fee per module£ 2,500
Total MSc£ 10,000
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Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.


If you are a UK or EU national and you have lived in England for three years, you could be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan.


Fees are subject to annual revision and typically may be increased by up to 5% per annum. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.


Student learning is intimately linked to assessment in the programme to ensure students do as well as they can.

Each module with the exception of the Dissertation module, will be assessed by the completion of six e-tivities*.

The tasks and weightings for each e-tivity for a module are as follows:

  • E-tivity 1: Access and socialisation – 0%
  • E-tivity 2: Library information retrieval – 5%
  • E-tivity 3: Literature critique (directed) – 5%
  • E-tivity 4: Essay proposal – 15%
  • E-tivity 5: Literature critique (bespoke) – 5%
The sixth e-tivity in each module will be assessed in the form of  a 4000 – 5000 word  coursework essay submitted via Turnitin.
The grade awarded for the module is based on the mark obtained in the written coursework submission (e-tivity 6) and on the combined mark for the e-tivities on the module. The ratio of the written coursework to continuous assessment (e-tivities 1-5) is 70:30.
The assessment for all modules is progressive and designed to be completed in sequence.
The Dissertation is assessed by the submission of a written dissertation of not more than 15,000 words which will account for 85% of the grade awarded for the module. The remaining 15% of the module grade will be based on the mark obtained for a 1,500 word research proposal.
*an 'E-tivity' is a framework for online, active and interactive learning following a format which states clearly to the students its 'Purpose'; the 'Task' at hand; the contribution or 'Response' type; and the 'Outcome' - Salmon, G. (2002) E-tivities: The Key to Active Online Learning, New York and London: Routledge Falmer.

Academic Requirements

In order to be considered for admission as an International Programmes student, applicants must also submit an application that is in accordance with the procedures and deadlines set out on the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy [CISD] website.

To be registered for the MSc Global Corporations and Policy, an applicant must have, either:

• in a relevant discipline, a 2:1 Bachelor’s degree from a UK university or other institution

acceptable to the University, or an equivalent international qualification (qualifications in other subjects will be assessed on their merits)


• in a relevant discipline, previous education and experience without a UK Bachelor’s degree, or international equivalent, that satisfies the University and has included suitable preliminary training.

Applications will be welcome from applicants with unconventional career paths and consideration will be given to work experience.

Language Requirements

For all of our modules you are required to have a high level of English language ability in reading and writing and in study skills.

If your first degree was not taught in English, you will need to provide evidence of language ability as tested by the British Council or another registered body. This is equivalent to a score of 7.0 overall in the IELTS test, or 7.0 in both reading and writing.

Computer Requirements

You must have regular access to a computer (or mobile device*) with an internet connection to use the University of London International Programmes website and the Student Portal. These are where your programme’s study resources are located. Through the Student Portal you can register as a student, enter exams and use your programme’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The VLE provides you with electronic learning materials, access to the University of London Online Library, networking opportunities, and other resources.

To get the most from your studies, your computer should have at least the following minimum specification: 

  • a web browser (the latest version of Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer). This must accept cookies and have JavaScript enabled
  • screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater
  • sufficient bandwidth to download documents of at least 2 MB

and the following applications installed:

  • a word processor that reads Microsoft Word format (.doc)
  • Adobe, or other pdf reader.

Certain courses may have addtional requirements, such as:

  • Microphone and speakers
  • software to manage spreadsheets and run macros
  • software for playing mp3 and mp4 files.

* Full mobile access is not available for all programmes.

Academic leaders

Global Corporations and Policy - Academic leadership

Lead College

The Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) at SOAS, University of London, is committed to the promotion of excellence in teaching, scholarship and research, the development of applied international studies and to ensuring that its work impacts key international debates.

The mission of CISD is to promote cross-disciplinary teaching that combines the distinctive expertise of SOAS with cutting-edge research and public discussion of international politics in a globalising world. The Centre's research on corporate governance, on disarmament and globalisation and on the origins and future of the United Nations exemplify this approach.

SOAS offers an education that goes beyond the Euro-centre approach that has dominated such programmes in the past. It is able to do this because the width and depth of its scholarly resources make it the leading centre for the study of Asia and Africa in Europe.

If you are interested in developing an international career and are seeking a professionally relevant postgraduate programme, we hope what we offer will be of value.

Your Academic and Support staff

You will have a dedicated Associate Tutor who will work with you and your fellow students throughout the modules you take. At no point will you be without someone to assist you on your learning journey.

Your programme convenors are:

Apply online

Webinar (September 2017)

Student watching a webinar at home

The course convenors are hosting a webinar about the programme on 20 September 2017. Sign up today.