1. Introduction

The programme of International Studies and Diplomacy is linked to the Department of History, Archaeology and Political Studies at KenyattaUniversity.  Since 1988, when KenyattaUniversity became a fully-fledged university, the Department mounted coursed in history and archaeology leading to a Bachelor of Education (Arts) and Bachelor of Arts degree respectively.  In response to the growing need for interdisciplinarity of knowledge in the 1990s, the department launched courses in political studies and expanded its history of international relations to the graduate level from the undergraduate.


The need to establish the programme of International Relations and Diplomacy has been a natural response to a number of challenges relating to diplomacy in the globalization area.  For instance, Africa has experienced a lot of developments in the area of security and politics that have wider implications not only on the region but also globally.  In addition, the conflict in the horn of Africa since the 19709s has also impacted adversely on the East African region.  It led to an influx of refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan into Kenya.  This exacerbated the state of insecurity in the northern part of the country.

The political instability in the Great Lakes region has also been a great source of insecurity due to inflow of illicit arms and other criminal activities.  The Kenya government has played an important role in diplomacy and peaceful resolution of conflict in the region.  Kenyan personnel have also played an important role in the United Nations (UN), African Union and IGAD’s Peace-keeping Missions, not only in the continent but the world over.  Moreover, the location of the UN headquarters in Nairobi, which serves as the United National Environmental Progromme and HABITAT headquarters, has also created a need for trained personnel in international relations and diplomacy to cope with the above challenges.

The modern trends in post-cold war diplomacy are giving more emphasis on commercial diplomacy.  This calls for the training of career diplomats with skills to negotiate for commercial treaties and international jobs for their citizenry.

The programme will be interdisplinary and will comprise several components, including conflict management, and diplomacy.

3.   Vision

The vision of the proposed masters programme in International Relations and Diplomacy is to be highly competitive programme that contributes to the excellence in capacity development for training, research, leadership and management in the personal fields of international relations and diplomacy.

4.   Mission

The mission of the proposed masters programme in International Relations and Diplomacy is to focus on the provision of academics and practical skills in the field of diplomacy, mediation, negotiation and international relations, as well as to conscientise the students in diplomacy in Kenya and the continent.

5.    Objective

  1. To consientise candidates on the importance of peaceful resolution of disputes and negotiations.
  2. To develop critical thought and research skills into causes of international disputes such as war, insecurity, problems confronting both the developed and developing world and offer alternative solutions.
  3. To develop theoretical insight into the value of diplomacy, peaceful resolution on conflict and international relations.
  4. To develop critical thinking, explanation and analysis and research as well as retool practitioners in the related fields.

6. Entry Requirements

(a)  The common regulations for all Masters Degrees in the university shall apply.  The general regulations for all Masters Degrees in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences shall apply.

(b)In addition:

(i) A candidate must hold a minimum of Second Class Honours, Upper Division or its equivalent at Bachelor’s level.

(ii) However, a candidate with a Second Class, Lower Division or its equivalent with at least two years working experience will be considered.

7.  Duration and Patter of the Programme

(a) The Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy programme shall extend over a period ofat least eighteen (18) months based on a pattern of coursework, examination and thesis or coursework, examination a project.

(b) Coursework and examination are undertaken during, the first year of study.  For candidates taking projects, additional course work and examination in four (04) units will be undertaken during the first semester of their second year.

(c) A thesis will constitute eight (08) units wile a project four (04) units respectively.

(d)Candidates writing a thesis are expected to do a total of eight (08) units plus one (01) offered at the School level while those writing a project do twelve (12) units plus one (01) at the School level during their coursework, respectively.

(e) In the first year, all students will take four (04) core units and four (04) electives as well as the School (MAA 800).

(f) In the second year students taking option ‘A’ (course and project), will take four (04) units in the first semester two (02) of which will be core and two (02) electives.  In the second semester they will carry out research and write a project equivalent to four (04) units.

Students following option ‘B’ (course work and thesis), will carry out their research, write and submit a thesis that is equivalent to eight (08) units.

8. Examination and Certification

(a) The university examinations regulation governing masters degree shall apply.

(b)Students on the programme will be assessed through continuous assessment tests (CATS) or research papers and a written examination in each unit.

(c)Each unit will be marked out of 100 marks with the written examination and CATS constituting 70% and 308 respectively.

(d) The pass mark per unit will be 80%.

(e)Students must pass all units before embarking on research work for the project ot thesis.

(f)Each student must pass the project or thesis examination and then submit the corrected version before being presented for graduation.


Each unit shall be out of 100.  The mark shall be translated into letter grades as follows:

Range of marks (%)                                                                   Letter Grade

70-69                                                                                                     A

50-59                                                                                                      B

49 and below                                                                                      Fail


 (i)The degree that will be awarded is the Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy.


In order to qualify for the ward of MA degree in International Relations and Diplomacy a candidate must have taken all the registered units (Minimum 9 units for thesis and 13 for project).

ADI 818:  Thesis

Governed by Kenyatta University examination regulations.