Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations


The Post-Graduate Diploma (PGD) in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations is a nine-months accredited programme that educates students in the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century world of international affairs.

While the majority of our students are new members of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), the AGDA also accepts applicants from government and semi-government organisations across the UAE. In order to be eligible, applicants must be nominated by their respective organisations.

PGD Curriculum

The PGD programme is a 24-credit programme offered throughout one academic year.

The Academic Core Courses (Total of 12 credits)

  • Foundations of Diplomacy I: Global Diplomatic History (2 credits)
  • Foundations of Diplomacy II: Theory & Practice of International Relations (2 credits)
  • Global UAE I: International Law (2 credits)
  • Global UAE II: UAE Foreign Policy (2 credits)
  • UAE State & Society I: History & Government (2 credits)
  • UAE State & Society II: Economy (2 credits)

Elective Courses (Total of 6 credits)

Students take three courses from the following options:

  • Public & Cultural Diplomacy (2 credits)
  • Economic Diplomacy (2 credits)
  • Thematic Issues in Diplomacy & International Relations (2 credits)
  • Modern History & Contemporary Politics of the Middle East (2 credits)
  • Peace Process & Conflict Resolution (2 credits)
  • Global Institutions (2 credits)

Skills Course (Total of 6 credits)

  • Research Methods (1 credit)
  • Negotiation (1 credit)
  • Diplomatic Communication: English (1 credit)
  • Diplomatic Communication: Arabic (1 credit)
  • Protocol & Etiquette (1 credit)
  • Consular Diplomacy & Crisis Management (1 credit)

In addition, students have to complete a mandatory nine-month module in a third language of their choice. Language courses offered at the AGDA include, but are not limited to, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Russian, Korean and Hebrew.

To apply for the AGDA’s Post-Graduate Diploma programme and begin a career in diplomacy, candidates must:

  • Be a UAE nationals or children of Emirati mothers residing in the UAE.
  • Already have a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with a GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, or expect to receive the test result with a score of 6.5 soon..
  • Be 35 years old or younger.
  • Understand that by joining AGDA, they are also applying for employment at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC).
  • Be willing to travel and serve abroad.
  • Have completed their national service (for male applicants).

Candidates must also have:

  • Passion for serving the UAE and representing the country abroad
  • Keen interest in foreign policy and international affairs
  • Team spirit with the ability to encourage and support others
  • Desire to travel the world and willingness to adapt to different cultures
  • Impeccable conduct and the highest ethical standards
  • Analytical and creative thinking
  • Diverse cross-cultural skills and experience
  • Well-developed leadership capabilities
  • Ability to work under pressure

Course Catalogue

  • Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy
    Specialisation Level

    The course enables students to gain a solid understanding of the basics of diplomacy in the digital age with a strong emphasis on communication, negotiation, analysis and character-building through a series of thought-provoking lectures, exercises and workshops by world-renowned diplomats and other industry experts.

  • Theory and Practice of International Relations
    Specialisation Level

    The course explores the concept of the state within the framework of contemporary international relations and examines the most pressing global issues. It places the study of world affairs into a theoretical, historical and current context while bridging the gap between theory and practice in the Middle East.

  • UAE History and Culture
    Specialisation Level

    The course familiarises students with the historic and cultural developments on the territory of the UAE between 1500 and 1971, when the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, established the federation.

  • Contemporary History and International Relations of the Middle East
    Specialisation Level

    The course presents an overview of the major political, economic and social developments that have shaped the trajectory of the Middle East since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. It analyses regional dynamics and offers deep insights into the UAE’s national interests and foreign policy in relation to its regional partners.

  • International Political Economy
    Specialisation Level

    The course outlines basic principles of international political economy and identifies global trends in the field. In addition, it reviews the key drivers of economic development in the 21st century, and examines the effects of international growth, exchange rate valuation and economic policies of major economies on the UAE.

  • International Law for Diplomats
    Specialisation Level

    The course introduces students to international and consular law through reviewing key developments in the field, spurred by global threats such as terrorism and climate change.

  • International Security and Conflict Resolution
    Specialisation Level

    The course analyses primary characteristics of conflict and cooperation with the aim of identifying viable solutions for the prevention, management and termination of conflict. Through leveraging real UAE foreign policy examples, the course offers an insight into the work of multilateral institutions and various means of international cooperation.

  • Research Methods and Capstones for UAE Foreign Policy
    Specialisation Level

    The course equips students with the skills to research information, conduct analysis and develop policy recommendations, as well as to present the outcomes to various stakeholders. An integral part of the course are the Capstone projects, where students work in small groups to produce research that is relevant to the UAE’s foreign policy and diplomacy.

The skills our PGD students acquire:

Knowledge and Global Insights

The programme provides students with in-depth specialist knowledge of diplomacy, diplomatic practice, and international relations. Graduates will be able to assess and analyse economic, political, legal, social and geopolitical trends, as well as the interactions between these aspects in the context of current affairs, particularly in relation to the Middle East region.

Diplomatic and Professional Skills

The programme prepares students to critically appraise and exercise different dimensions of diplomatic practice. Graduates will be ready to carry out the tasks and responsibilities associated with entry-level diplomatic positions through advanced problem-solving, appropriate analytical techniques, and research and communication methods.

UAE National Pride and Civic Responsibility

The programme provides an overview of the UAE’s foreign interests and diplomatic priorities and aims to instil a sense of civic responsibility and pride in the students, with regard to carrying out the mission of UAE foreign policy.

Linguistic and Communication Skills

The programme teaches students to express themselves in formal and diplomatic Arabic and English, while they also acquire the basic understanding of a third language. Graduates will possess advanced communication skills that allow them to present, explain and critique various diplomatic stances, for the benefit of nationals and non-nationals alike.