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Key information
University University for Peace (UPEACE)
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
Country Costa Rica, Switzerland
Learning mode Blended, Online
Pace Full-time
Duration 4 semesters
Tuition fee USD 19,500 (Hybrid)
USD 8700 (Online)
Application deadline(s) 31 May 2024 (Hybrid)
20 August 2024 (Online)
Official Website Click here


The Master of Arts in Development Studies and Diplomacy is an interdisciplinary and holistic programme that will broaden students’ knowledge in the field of development studies, sustainability, and diplomacy, and equip them with the required soft skills for a successful international career in any of these areas of expertise.

During this programme, students will analyze the different dimensions of development including environmental, social, economic and human dimensions as well as the theory and practice of diplomacy in the 21st century. Students will also attend skills development sessions that are designed to support their professional career and employability. Careers in this field are broad, leading to prospective employers such as governments, international organizations, development agencies, academia and the private sector.

Target Audience

The programme is designed for graduate students, diplomats, government officers, NGO representatives, international civil servants or private sector specialists willing to strengthen their knowledge in development studies, sustainability, international affairs management, and diplomacy.

Unique Benefits

This unique programme is the only Master of Arts degree jointly delivered by two United Nations agencies. It is designed to provide students with first-hand expertise in the field of development, international affairs, and diplomacy.

The M.A. in Development Studies and Diplomacy is designed to provide students with the flexibility they need. Students may therefore opt to join either a fully online version of the programme, or a hybrid model, combining both on-campus and online classes.

Every summer, students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Development Studies and Diplomacy and the Certificate in International Development Studies and Diplomacy have the unique opportunity to participate in a 5-day field trip to Geneva, Switzerland and The Hague, Netherlands led by UNITAR, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

During this trip, students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the very heart of diplomacy, visit different international organizations and network with other diplomats, personnel of permanent missions accredited to the UN, civil servants of international organizations and civil society representatives. Students will spend 3 days in Geneva and 2 days in The Hague.


At the end of the programme, students should be able to:

  • Master the theory and practice of development studies, international cooperation and sustainable development;
  • Evaluate different dimensions of development;
  • Appraise the nexus between diplomacy, the United Nations System, and contemporary challenges;
  • Apply key soft skills in an international working environment.

Limited Fellowships are available for nationals from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), for this UPEACE-UNITAR programme. More information can be found on the programme page under the tab, “Pura Vida Fellowships“. UN Staff and Costa Rican Nationals are eligible for partial fee waivers. Please email admissions@upeace.org for more details.


University for Peace (UPEACE)
Email: admissions@upeace.org

Apply here