International Institute in Geneva

Equip the students with the necessary skills and competence to accelerate their career in International Relations in the Capital of Peace.



The Master of International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRD) responds to the growing demand to train young professionals in Geneva for decision-making careers in international organizations, diplomatic services and private sector. Situated in the same city as the United Nations headquarters in Europe, the program takes full advantage of Geneva’s unique situation as a world capital of multilateral diplomacy. The MIRD provides substantial resources for its international faculty and student body to network with international institutions (UNHCR, UNECE, UNCTAD, WTO, WHO, ILO, ITU, WIPO, WEF, ICRC) and diplomatic missions.

  • Duration
    1 Year
  • Starting
    September January
  • ECTS Credits

Key Benefits

  • Learning in a dynamic environment in Switzerland with a multicultural student body and faculty working in academia and international institutions
  • Providing knowledge and skills to analyze international issues, prepare policy reports and participate in international decision making via international conferences and meetings
  • Exploring the United Nations system, international regimes, regional agreements and technical cooperation between states
  • Gaining insight into multilateral diplomacy being in the heart of “International Geneva”
  • Optional study tour to Silicon Valley 
  • Participation to Harvard Model United Nations (MUN)
  • Teaching on campus

Program Details

In addition to core international relations courses, with a focus on the United Nations system and the European Union, foreign policy and geoeconomics, global economy and economic diplomacy, the Master of International Relations and Diplomacy curriculum trains young professionals for decision making positions with courses in international trade organizations and statistics, executive communication and negotiations, multimedia and internet.


The Master of International Relations and Diplomacy is composed of 10 courses taken over one year.

Course Descriptions

Trimester 1 Credits
  • LAW 665 – Public International Law between Peace and War This course will cover the concept of war in international law. Specifically, it is divided into two parts. The first classes will provide an introduction to public international law for students of international relations. Its purpose is to acquaint students with the concepts and methods used in public international law. The second part will focus on the laws governing the use of force, the rules regulating warfare, as well as the law applicable in the post-conflict phase. Particular attention will be paid to the interplay between different branches of international law – notably international humanitarian law, human rights, use of force – as well as new challenges such as cyberwarfare and the use of drones.
  • ECO 610 – Global Economics & Development This course aims to examine the working of a national economy and the critical role that businesses play in it. It provides insights into the workings of economic policy and the issues discussed in current policy debates. It studies business cycles and the impact of policies on short-term fluctuations. It then turns to the longer term by examining economic growth and its drivers. It studies development and the strategies pursued by successful developing countries. It analyses the Sustainable Development Goals and contributes to a better understanding of the need for multilateral and regional economic cooperation and national economic policies for sustainable development. The course provides an understanding of challenges confronting the global economic order, impacts of the trade and investment policies, the role of financial system and the regional market integration. 
  • POL 628 – International Security This graduate-level course provides a comprehensive examination of the current state of international security, from internationalized civil wars to nuclear crises. Through lectures, discussions and assignments, students will analyze the various strategies used to ensure security in a turbulent world. They will study the evolution of military technology, the changing nature of contemporary warfare, including the phenomenon of cyber warfare and the role of non-state actors. The course will also provide a thorough overview of current efforts to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the effectiveness of international arms control agreements. Finally, the course intends to broaden students’ perspectives on security issues enabling them to recognize the concept of “security” as a particularly complex and multifaceted one and develop critical thinking on security-related issues.
  • POL 645 – Geopolitics This course explores the growing importance of geoeconomic strategies of states and private corporations in contemporary power rivalries. It examines different approaches to Economic Intelligence (EI), discusses the concept of the Strategic State and looks into the use of geoeconomics instruments by states to achieve various foreign policy objectives. The course addresses as well the issue of information strategies and Cognitive Warfare operations, enforcement, or destabilization of the geoeconomic disposition of the nation state, and state support to important industrial sectors through various strategic instruments. A simulated economic warfare exercise based on a real case scenario, is integrated in the module.
  • RES 100 A – Introduction to Research This module is designed to provide students a solid understanding of the research process with a foundation in research methods and techniques. It will introduce students to how to identify research questions, develop hypotheses, design research, and collect and analyze data. Students will also be introduced to different research designs, such as qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods approaches.
Trimester 2 Credits
  • POL 621 – Global Environmental Politics This course explores the intersection of environmental issues, global politics, and international relations. The course focuses on how environmental issues are addressed, negotiated, and governed by nation-states, international organizations, NGOs, and other stakeholders. Through the analysis of case studies, including climate change, ozone, oceans, biodiversity, forests or transboundary watercourses, students will examine the various approaches to global environmental governance, including multilateral environmental agreements, market-based instruments, and civil society engagement. At the end of the course, student will be able to articulate the interaction of environmental policy with other international regimes, such as the trade and investment regimes. They will be equipped with the knowledge to develop appropriate strategies and solutions to address global environmental challenges.
  • POL 630 – Foreign Policy and Diplomacy: Theory and Practice How do decision makers influence international affairs? Who decides in foreign policy making? What are domestic and international constraints for governments, policy makers and diplomats? This course looks at foreign policy and diplomacy through the lens of grand strategy and statecraft. The course focuses on core concepts and tools to analyze foreign policy and international issues from the decision makers’ perspective. It examines how to assess past events, examine day-to-day political affairs and forecast their possible future developments. International crisis and issues are analyzed as an opportunity for problem-solving by using bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. The course reveals political decisions as strategic response to complex and fast-evolving day-to-day events. Students will learn how to define an issue, evaluate risk, prioritize options and take action.
  • POL 640 – Democracy and Globalization The module offers a broad conceptual and interdisciplinary understanding of democracy and globalization and how they have evolved throughout both the long and the more recent history. Each of these phenomena is studied in terms of their historical roots, the principles on which they rely and their broader consequence – both positive and negative. An analysis is made of the complex interaction between globalization, the current patterns of capitalism and democracy, and the impacts of geopolitics on these processes. Developments that characterize the contemporary world are critically analyzed and assessed: democratic decay, populism, illiberal democracy, neo-nationalism, neoliberalism, financial capitalism, the relevance of nation-state, inequality. Students will acquire conceptual tools to understand deep causes and movers of several major trends and ongoing international and domestic political and economic debates. Students will apply these conceptual tools to grasp different national realities through case studies.
  • POL 665 – Human Rights: Law and Politics In this course students will get familiar with the philosophical foundations, the history and evolution of Human Rights as well as the international and regional institutions where Human Rights are discussed and their practical implementation monitored. Students will study more in depth some specific legal cases in order to better understand the key issues at stake but also the actors and mechanisms involved in order to critically assess the positive contributions and difficulties of the human rights regime. Students will study the controversies over human rights and the role played by human rights discourse in international relations. In the end, students will be equipped with the tools to navigate the international law and politics of human rights.
  • RES 100 B – Research planning and preparation This module is designed to help students to plan and prepare their research projects(Capstone) by developing a clear, concise research proposal with problem statement, key research questions, research methodology, literature review, proposed outcomes. The research proposal forms the ‘gateway’ to the research (Capstone project) itself and the aim is to ensure that students are well planned to implement their Capstone projects.
Trimester 3 Credits
  • POL 698 – Future Issues in International Relations (Capstone Course) The MIRD Capstone Course reviews key political issues which constitute the core of international relations as an academic discipline. The course focuses specifically on the theory and methodology of strategic foresight and forecasting, back-casting and scenario-building, and their application in international relations. The course discusses the concepts of monolithic and infinite futures, continuity and disruption of trends, as illustrated by the futures cone of plausible future worlds. Some of the core approaches in future studies are presented such as horizon scanning, trend monitoring, back-casting, scenario-planning, wild card, counter factual history, futures wheel, and the PESTEL. Current political examples and historical cases of altered pasts and alternative futures are discussed in the form of case studies, brainstorm sessions and creative workshops.

Distinguished Speakers

Micheline Calmy-Rey

Micheline Calmy-Rey

Former President of Switzerland, Graduation ceremony

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco

Graduation ceremony


Nationalities of Master Students
  • 1. Europe (62%)
  • 2. Asia (28%)
  • 3. America (7%)
  • 4. Africa (3%)


The faculty at IIG in Switzerland, is international in experience, practical in orientation and focused on their teaching. The faculty members are student-centered and committed to foster a stimulating learning environment.

Study in Switzerland

Study in Switzerland

Geneva belongs to a select group of truly “international” cities of the world, making it an ideal place to study international management.

An International Network

An International Network

The International Institute in Geneva has established a strong network, developing exchange programs with 23 universities worldwide.

Your Career with your MIRD

Your Career with your MIRD

MIRD graduates engage in decision-making careers in: international organizations and diplomatic services; corporate business and financial sector; media, NGOs and civil society.

Career Services

Career Services

The International Institute in Geneva provides for counselling to assist students in their career decisions. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge of current international political issues applying the relevant specialized language, develop and advocate for informed and appropriate action to solve complex problems in world affairs.
  • Students will be able to conduct research in an academically sound way and provide a critical analysis of contemporary international issues, drawing on diverse theoretical insights from International Relations.
  • Students will be able to understand decision-making mechanisms in various settings, demonstrate diplomatic and negotiation skills and apply ethical principles to political decisions.
  • Students will be able to work with others giving constructive feedback to peers and doing effective self-criticism. 


Admission Requirements

  • A completed application form (should include your Motivation letter)
  • Official Undergraduate Transcript (certified translation in English) (Minimum GPA recommended 2.7 or above on the scale of 0-4)
  • Official Undergraduate Diploma (certified translation in English)
  • Non-refundable application fee of CHF 150.- or € 140.- or USD 150.-
  • English proficiency test: either TOEFL (min score 80),  IELTS (min score 6.0) or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE). IIG institutional code number for the TOEFL is 0130;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Letter of reference from an employer or a professor;
  • Copy of valid passport;
  • Two passport size photos.

Candidates over 30 years would hardly get a student visa in Switzerland

The following additional requirements apply to MBA program candidates only:

  • A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0
  • At least 2 years of work experience is recommended
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