SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMN225830
Module Leader n/a
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject GCU London
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

In the globalisation era, many of the most profound challenges which imperil the planet - climate change, public health, food security and resource scarcity, to name a few - are rooted in science and driven by technology. Moreover, underdevelopment and human insecurity, far more than religious extremism or political violence, represent fundamental threats to world order. In this context, science diplomacy, and the capability to generate, absorb and use science and technology (S&T) should play a crucial role in resolving differences, reducing inequality and improving security and development prospects. Notwithstanding the present spike in the incidence of armed conflict, there are no military solutions to the world's most pressing problems - security is much more than a martial art. In consequence, addressing the needs of the poor, sustaining broadly-based development and bridging digital divides must become a pre-occupation of both diplomacy and international policy. As a response to the negative attributes of globalisation (especially the tendency to socialize of costs while privatizing benefits) science diplomacy is indispensable. Although poverty reduction contributes to development, and development is a precondition to security, science diplomacy and S&T capacity is largely alien to, and almost invisible within, most institutions of global governance. Foreign ministries, development agencies, and indeed most multilateral organisations are without the scientific expertise, technological savvy, cultural pre-disposition or research and development (R&D) network access required to manage S&T-based issues effectively. If this is to change, diplomacy and development will have to displace defence as the international policy instruments of choice, with structural obstacles overcome and resources re-allocated accordingly. Lasting peace and prosperity will otherwise remain elusive.


Science diplomacy, and how to differentiate between the related concepts and practices of "science for diplomacy", "diplomacy for science", and "science in diplomacy". Extensive discussion and analysis of the following areas: b7 Agriculture, food and GMOs Alternative energy Biodiversity Climate change Cyber security/surveillance Disaster management Environment/ecological issues Food/water insecurity Genomics Global commons Pandemic disease Public health Nanotechnology New materials Population and demographics Remote control war Resource scarcity Urbanization Virtuality Weapons of mass destruction

Learning Outcomes

On successfull completion of the module the students should be able to:-1. Differentiate core concepts and practices such as "science for diplomacy", "diplomacy for science", and "science in diplomacy" or "technology in diplomacy". (CW01)2. Analyse and assess the performance of science diplomacy in addressing contemporary trends and outcomes in a number of subject areas as already listed in the syllabus. (CW01)3. Formulate and present recommendations for bridging the Science and Technology performance gap in international policy and relations framed in the context of persistent insecurity and underdevelopment. (CW01)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning strategy includes the use of a variety of techniques including guided independent study, lectures, and seminars conducted by academic staff to develop efficient and effective understanding of Science Diplomacy. The module delivery will in parts be facilitated by senior practitioners from the field of Science Diplomacy to establish practical understanding of academic topics/issues as the aim is to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Weekly Lectures provide the theoretical aspect of this module, while seminars, case studies, simulation exercises and tutorials are in place to support individual learning. There will also be extensive use of case studies to give students the opportunity of learning from real-time examples. Some of these case studies will be required to resolve in groups to focus on joint/group understanding. The use of cases set in different contexts intends to promote 'situated learning' and to view problems from the perspective of those who are confronted with strategic challenges, choices, and decisions frequently. This is reflected in the assessment strategy for this module. In the context of science and technological innovation, policy is every lagging behind. Students are tasked to analyse one of such emerging innovations and formulate policy recommendations.

Indicative Reading

Due to its integrative nature, there is no core text for this module. Background reading (Indicative) b7 Copeland, D. (2009) Guerrilla Diplomacy: Rethinking International Relations . Boulder, Colorado, US: Lynne Rienner Publishers. b7 Copeland, D. (2009) "Virtuality and Foreign Ministries", Canadian Foreign Policy, 15:2: 1-15. [Accessed 25/12/2018] Available from <> b7 Copeland, D. (2014) "Humanity's Best Hope: Increasing Diplomatic Capacity in Ten (uneasy) Steps" [Accessed 25/12/2018] Available from <> b7 Bradley, T. (2019) 'The Secret to Comprehensive, Scalable, And Effective Cybersecurity' Forbes [ Accessed 11/02/19] Available from <> b7 Holdren, J. P. (2008) "Science and Technology for Sustainable Well-Being." Science 319, no. 5862: 424-434. [Accessed 25/12/2018] Available from <> b7 Lijesevic, J. (2010) "Science Diplomacy at the heart of international relations". [Accessed 25/12/2018] <> b7 d8sthagen, A. (2019) "A Sea of Conflict? The Growing Obsession with Maritime Space". The Arctic Institute. Center for Circumpolar Security Studies [ Accessed 11/02/19] Available from <> b7 Stine, D. (2009) "Science, Technology and American Diplomacy: Issues for Congress". Congressional Research Service. [Accessed 25/12/2018] <> b7 Svoboda, M. (2019) "2018's most significant climate change reports" [ Accessed 11/02/19] Available from <> b7 Sun, W. (2018). "Diplomacy in the post-broadcasting era" [Accessed 25/12/2018] Available from: <> b7 The Open Data Handbook [Accessed 24/12/2018] Available from: <> b7 UN Conference on Trade and Development (2017) "Digitalization, Trade and Development." UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2017. [Accessed 25/12/2018]. <> b7 Velk, T. and Xiao, J. (2018) The complex language of East-West diplomacy [Accessed 25/12/2018] Available from: <> b7 Worthy, B (2013) David Cameron's Transparency Revolution? The Impact of Open Data in the UK [Accessed 24/12/2018] Available at SSRN: <> or <>

Transferrable Skills

-360b7 Communication and presentation skills b7 Problem solving b7 Critical thinking and evaluation b7 Information retrieval Data analysis b7 Data interpretation b7 Teamwork b7 Peer learning b7 Interpersonal skills b7 Negotiation b7 Written and oral communication skills b7 Independent learning and self-management b7 Ethical conduct b7 Time management b7 Reflective learning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 72.00
Tutorials (FT) 2.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00
Seminars (FT) 4.00
Practicals (FT) 10.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 n/a Report - A critical analysis of an emerging science of technology in the context of persistent insecurity and underdevelopment of international policy and relations concluding in concrete recommendations for bridging the gap between innovation and policy.