5 Diplomacy Courses You Can Audit for Free

Disclosure: International Relations Careers may be compensated by course providers.

Diplomacy is the main tool of global governance and foreign policy. Countries use diplomacy to resolve problems, negotiate treaties, build trade partnerships, and more. Representatives of states known as diplomats conduct a lot of this work, but leaders themselves need to engage in diplomacy. It can be a very complicated, challenging job that touches on issues like the economy, humanitarianism, and scientific collaborations. Here are five diplomacy courses you can audit for free:

Global Diplomacy – Diplomacy in the Modern World

Offered by: University of London / SOAS University of London
Time to complete: 5 weeks (about 13 hours total)

Over five weeks, students learn what diplomacy is, what counts as success or failure in diplomacy, what makes a good diplomat, what diplomacy in action looks like, and reflections on diplomacy. By the course’s end, students will have a critical understanding of the nature and development of diplomacy, as well as an understanding of changes in diplomatic practices and how those relate to modern politics. Students will also have a firm knowledge of issues in global diplomacy in both historical and contemporary contexts. Skills gained include international relations and policy analysis. The weekly commitment varies from 1-4 hours. In total, the course takes around 13 hours to finish.

Global Health Diplomacy

Offered by: SUNY Online (The State University of New York)
Time to complete: 7 weeks (about 30 hours total)

Global health is usually framed around medical or public health terms, but there are lots of policy and geopolitical concerns, as well. In this course, students learn about the institutions and initiatives that are essential to global health diplomacy today. How do these affect global health outcomes? What are the real-world examples where global diplomacy helped – or harmed – global health outcomes? By the end of the course, students will be able to describe and analyze the opportunities and challenges of global health diplomacy, as well as examine the context of decision-making and the roles of all those involved, such as governments and philanthropists. Weekly topics include how global health is financed and global health security. Weekly hourly commitment ranges from 1-6 hours over 7 weeks for a total of 30 hours.

Cultural Diplomacy

Offered by: European University Institute
Time to complete: 3 weeks (about 9 hours total)

What is cultural diplomacy and how does it work? What are its effects? In this course, students will study whether cultural diplomacy is about intercultural dialogue and engagement or if it’s simply one type of public diplomacy. The roles of state actors, non-state actors, and international organizations will be explored. Students also examine the EU strategy of cultural diplomacy. By the course’s end, you’ll know essential terms like soft power and cultural cooperation, the current economic and geopolitical contexts, and specific examples where cultural diplomacy has succeeded and failed. The course is a good introduction for anyone working in foreign policy, public policy, the arts, or culture and heritage. Plan to spend about 3 hours per week on the course for 3 weeks.

Global Diplomacy: The United Nations In The World

Offered by: University of London / SOAS University of London
Time to complete: 7 weeks (about 12 hours total)

Interested in the United Nations system? This course is a great introduction. It explores the UN’s history and provides an overview of the key UN functions to help learners develop analysis, communication, and policy-based skills. No previous knowledge is necessary, but there’s new research and perspectives that make the class valuable to those with more familiarity or even expertise. By taking this course, students receive a good foundation for further engagement and study. Weekly topics include power in international politics, the role of human rights, and how the UN responds in emergencies. With about 2 hours of study per week, it takes 7 weeks to complete the course.

Communicating with Tact and Diplomacy

Offered by: LinkedIn Learning
Time to complete: N/A

Taught by Tatiana Kolovou, this course helps students build their tact and sharpen their diplomacy skills with the understanding that tact is a self-awareness skill and diplomacy is a mindset about those around you. The course covers what tact and diplomacy are and what they’re not, the benefits of tact and diplomacy, and a review of the model that works in most situations. There’s also an application of these skills in everyday workplace scenarios and an exercise where the students take charge in four tricky situations. The course does have a fee, but you can also access it with a 1-month free trial.