UPEACE – UNITAR M.A. in Development Studies and Diplomacy


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Program Description


The “Master of Arts in Development Studies and Diplomacy” is an interdisciplinary and holistic program that will broaden the student’s knowledge in the field of development studies, sustainability, and diplomacy. It will also equip them with the required soft skills for a successful international career in any of the areas of expertise. It is offered both online and face-to-face at the UPEACE campus in Costa Rica. During the program, the students will analyze the different dimensions of development. Specifically, they will examine the environmental, social, economic, and human dimensions as well as the theory and practice of diplomacy in the 21st century.

Who is it for?

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. (face-to-face)


  • Endorsed and recognised by the United Nations.
  • Taught by experienced practitioners, UN staff, diplomats and leading experts.
  • Includes a study field trip to Geneva and The Hague and skills-based sessions for a successful international career.
  • Endorses an inter-disciplinary approach to provide a holistic education.
  • Accommodates students’ need for flexibility by offering diverse optional modules and weekly seminars).

Learning Objectives

At the end of the master’s programme, students should:

  • Have a deep understanding on the theory and practice of development studies, international cooperation and sustainable development.
  • Be able to evaluate the different dimensions of development.
  • Have a deep understanding on the theory and practice of diplomacy.
  • Be able to appraise the nexus between diplomacy, the UN System and current contemporary challenges.
  • Be able to apply key soft skills in an international working environment.

Fast Facts

  • Dates: 24 August 2020 – 08 June 2021 (on-campus)* / 07 September 2020 – 11 March 2020 (online)
  • Duration: 1 years
  • Tuition: $19,500.00 (on-campus) / $8,500.00 (online)

*The MA has two different track, one on-campus, and one online.

Field Trip to Geneva and The Hague

Student’s professional growth is UNITAR’s priority. The Master’s blended methodology offers particular focus on career-relevant skills development. To this respect, students will have the opportunity to gain first-hand insight from experienced professionals of the international development arena with the Master Field Trips to Geneva and The Hague


Jean-Marc Ferré/UN Photo


The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) provides innovative learning solutions to individuals, organizations, and institutions to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future.

UNITAR was created in 1963 to train and equip young diplomats from newly-independent UN Member States with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate through the diplomatic environment. 

Over the years, UNITAR has acquired unique expertise and experience in designing and delivering a variety of training activities. We have become a leading institute in the provision of customized and creative learning solutions to institutions and individuals from both the public and private sectors.

UNITAR homepage 

UNITAR’s catalogue


The University for Peace was established as a Treaty Organization with its own Charter in an International Agreement adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 35/55 of 5 December 1980, with the mission "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace and with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate co-operation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations."

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

An autonomous UN body established in 1963, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (www.unitar.org) is a training arm of the United Nations System, and has the mandate to enhance the ef ... Read More

An autonomous UN body established in 1963, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (www.unitar.org) is a training arm of the United Nations System, and has the mandate to enhance the effectiveness of the UN through diplomatic training, and to increase the impact of national actions through public awareness-raising, education and training of public policy officials. Read less
Geneva , Switzerland Online , San José + 2 More Less