Doctorate of International Relations & Diplomacy

This programme offers a top-flight education in the field of international politics, economics and international relations. Other subjects include international political economics, international law, policy and strategic management, European institutions and major issues concerning international business. The curriculum is designed to enable students to examine and understand the complexities and processes involved in the relationships among institutions of international governance.

They will examine the dynamics, structural characteristics, humanitarian issues and international political economics operating within the global community. During the course of their studies, students will acquire a range of analytical and practical skills, offering the potential for careers in journalism, public administration and law. Additionally, a degree in international relations provides a good grounding in the expanding sector of international organisations.

This is important as Geneva is home to many of the world’s NGOs and the major international organisations. Students will explore the political dynamics that influence interstate cooperation and assess the specific role that international organisations such as the United Nations play in promoting international peace and security.

Programme structure

The doctoral programme comprises 180 credits:

  • 60 credits for the annual, mandatory common core

  • 10 credits for the pre-dissertation

  • 10 credits for the preliminary dissertation

  • 100 credits for the thesis and defence

Research Fields

In line with the qualifications and competencies of the professors teaching at UMEF, the following research fields are currently open:

  • Managing a research department

  • Intellectual Property

  • Luxury market

  • Human Resources

  • Supply chain in a global economy

  • Structure of commodity markets

  • Antitrust policy

  • Emerging markets

  • Political parties, electoral studies

  • Political thought and theory

  • Environmental management

  • Social movements

  • Governance and public policy

  • Participative democracy

  • International relations

  • Stakes of international relations

  • Globalisation and conflicts

  • International migration

  • Foreign policy and security

  • Contemporary challenges in conflicts and security

  • Asian security system

  • International interventions: political, military, humanitarian and economic

  • Humanitarian crises, finding solutions

  • Colonisation, decolonisation and neo-colonisation

  • Continuity in regional policy

  • New dimensions of international security: democratisation

  • Leadership and ethical crisis in leadership

  • Economic policy and development/Democracy and development

  • Development of policy and economics in emerging countries

  • Regional political security & economic challenges

  • Economic, social and cultural rights

  • Climate change and trade

  • Regional integration

  • Geopolitics

  • Geo-economics


Research subjects proposed by students outside of these fields will be examined by the Scientific Committee.

Duration of the Studies:

The duration of the studies varies from three years for full time to five years for those studying part-time. Should a PhD student demonstrate exceptional ability, for example by publishing high-standard articles in scientific magazines or a high-quality work during their studies, they may be accepted to defend their thesis at the end of their third year. The duration of the studies may not exceed 10 semesters, unless in the case of an exception granted by the Scientific Committee or the UMEF management.


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Château d'Aïre

185 – 187 Route d’Aïre
1219 Aïre – Geneva, Switzerland

+41 (0) 22 732 07 12
(For general inquiries)



Château d'Aïre

187 Route d’Aïre

1219 Aïre – Geneva, Switzerland

+41 (0) 22 732 07 22

(President office related inquiries)


Château d'Aïre

185 Route d’Aïre

1219 Aïre – Geneva, Switzerland

+41 (0) 22 732 07 12
(For admission only)

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