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In an increasingly interconnected world, having a strong understanding of foreign policy is crucial. Whether you are a student, a professional looking to enhance your skills, or someone passionate about global affairs, taking a foreign policy course or certification can provide you with valuable knowledge and insights. Luckily, the digital age has made it easier than ever to access high-quality education from the comfort of your own home. In this article, we have compiled a list of the 10 best foreign policy courses and certifications available online, ensuring you can develop a deep understanding of international relations and diplomacy.

1. International Relations by the University of Oxford

One of the most prestigious universities in the world, the University of Oxford offers an online course on International Relations. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the field, covering key concepts and theories. Taught by leading experts, it offers a unique perspective on global politics. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, this course will undoubtedly enrich your understanding of international relations.

2. Foreign Policy Analysis by Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University, renowned for its School of Advanced International Studies, offers an online course on Foreign Policy Analysis. This course delves into the processes and factors that shape foreign policy decisions, giving students a deep insight into how policymakers think and act. By examining case studies and applying analytical tools, learners will develop critical thinking skills essential for understanding and evaluating foreign policies.

3. Diplomacy in the Modern World by the University of London

If you are interested in the art of diplomacy, look no further than the University of London’s online course on Diplomacy in the Modern World. This course explores the historical development and practice of diplomacy, equipping students with the necessary knowledge to analyze contemporary diplomatic challenges. Through interactive modules and multimedia resources, learners will gain a comprehensive understanding of how diplomacy shapes international relations.

4. Global Diplomacy – Diplomacy in the Modern World by SOAS University of London

SOAS University of London offers an online certification program called Global Diplomacy – Diplomacy in the Modern World. This program is designed for professionals looking to advance their careers in foreign policy and international relations. With a focus on practical skills and real-world applications, it covers various topics such as negotiation techniques, public diplomacy, and multilateral diplomacy. Upon completion, participants receive a certificate recognized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

5. Understanding International Relations Theory by the University of Queensland

For those seeking a thorough understanding of international relations theory, the University of Queensland’s online course is an excellent choice. This course explores different theoretical perspectives, allowing learners to critically analyze the complexities of global politics. By examining case studies and engaging in lively discussions, participants will sharpen their analytical skills and gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse range of approaches within international relations.

6. UN and Global Challenges by Sciences Po

Sciences Po, a renowned institution in the field of political science, offers an online course on the United Nations (UN) and Global Challenges. This course provides a detailed overview of the UN’s role in addressing pressing global issues such as poverty, climate change, and conflict resolution. Through interactive exercises and simulations, students will gain a practical understanding of the UN’s inner workings and its impact on the international stage.

7. Global Health Diplomacy by the Graduate Institute Geneva

In a world facing unprecedented health challenges, understanding the intersection between health and foreign policy is vital. The Graduate Institute Geneva offers an online course on Global Health Diplomacy, exploring how diplomacy can shape health policies and outcomes. This course delves into topics such as international cooperation, global health governance, and the role of non-state actors. By examining case studies from around the world, learners will develop a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of global health diplomacy.

8. International Human Rights Law by Leiden University

Human rights constitute a crucial aspect of foreign policy, and Leiden University’s online course on International Human Rights Law provides a comprehensive understanding of this field. Through the study of international legal instruments and case law, participants will gain a thorough knowledge of human rights principles and their relevance in the context of global affairs. This course is particularly valuable for those interested in working in non-governmental organizations or diplomatic institutions.

9. Security and Privacy for the Internet of Things by Delft University of Technology

As technology continues to shape the world, understanding the implications of the Internet of Things (IoT) on foreign policy and national security is essential. Delft University of Technology offers an online course on Security and Privacy for the Internet of Things, which explores the challenges and strategies related to securing IoT devices and networks. By gaining insights into cybersecurity and privacy concerns, learners can comprehend the broader implications for foreign policy decision-making.

10. Global Prosperity Beyond GDP by Erasmus University Rotterdam

Beyond traditional measures such as GDP, global prosperity encompasses economic, social, and environmental well-being. Erasmus University Rotterdam offers an online course on Global Prosperity Beyond GDP, examining how policymakers can measure and promote holistic well-being. By exploring alternative indicators and sustainable development goals, participants will gain a nuanced understanding of how foreign policy can drive global prosperity and tackle pressing challenges.


With the convenience of online education, you no longer need to be physically present at a university or diplomatic institution to gain expertise in foreign policy. The 10 courses and certifications discussed in this article offer a variety of options for deepening your understanding of global affairs. Whether you are interested in international relations theory, diplomacy, or specific topics like global health or the Internet of Things, these online courses provide invaluable knowledge and insights. By investing your time and effort in these programs, you can enhance your skills, broaden your perspectives, and make a meaningful impact in the world of foreign policy.