CAS Foreign Affairs and Applied Diplomacy
In a globalized world, diplomacy is no longer reserved for diplomats. Interest groups such as cantonal governments, regional organizations, NGOs, multinational corporations, and even private citizens are all players on the international stage.
At a glance
Certificate of Advanced Studies in Foreign Affairs and Applied Diplomacy (12 ECTS)
3 months (13 days of instruction), more details about the implementation
Comment on costs:
The price includes course material and networking events during the excursions, incl. accommodation costs in Brussels (3 nights) and Geneva (1 night).
Not included are any accommodation costs in Bern and individual travel costs to and from all excursions
On site in Berne, Brussels, Geneva, Winterthur and Zurich as well as selectively digitally
Language of instruction:
- German, English
- Participants are expected to be proficient in both languages (oral & written communication).
Objectives and content
This CAS is aimed at individuals who work, or would like to work, in foreign relations and related fields. Participants hold, or are planning to hold, positions in public administration and politics (cities/communes, cantonal and federal government), e.g., public affairs officers or representatives of trade and industry associations and NGOs.
- The program focuses on theoretical and practical knowledge needed to operate effectively and convincingly in a globalized environment.
- Theoretical elements include fundamental structures, institutions, and functional mechanisms of key actors involved in international relations, which are explained and discussed. The program also includes analysis of Swiss foreign policy.
- Participants acquire practical skills by taking part in simulated negotiations, interactive workshops conducted by experts, and networking events.
"The theoretical and practical knowledge about today's globalized world and its interrelations imparted in this CAS program is unique and a valuable step forward in an international career."
Yvonne Mueller, Staffing & Mobility Coordinator, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) / Participant, CAS Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy 2013
The curriculum of the CAS in Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy recognizes these new developments in the interdisciplinary scope of international relations at the intersection of business, law, politics, and history.
When the part-time program was launched in 2012, ‘Neue Zürcher Zeitung’ described it, rather aptly, as “international relations for practitioners”. It reflects the diverse, practically oriented curriculum of this course of study. Workshops with business partners and excursions to Bern, Brussels, and Geneva provide ample opportunity for direct interaction with experts.
The CAS Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy is part of the DAS Applied Diplomacy and can be credited to it.
The CAS in Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy is methodologically diverse. Methods of instruction include lectures and presentations, exercises, study of genuine cases, e-learning, and simulation tasks. Another major focus is on discussing and analyzing world events and their key actors.
Module 1 concludes with a practical exam (presentation), Module 2 with a written assignment (policy brief).
More details about the implementation
Part-time course of study
Fridays and Saturdays, 8.45 am to 4.45 pm
- Excursion to Brussels, Thursday to Saturday (3 days). Recommended arrival: Wednesday evening
- Excursion to Geneva: start on Thursday afternoon
Languages of instruction are German and English.
Participants are expected to be proficient in both languages (oral & written communication).
“The CAS has earned the slogan “International Relations for Practitioners” (NZZ) because the structure allows a lot of learning by doing. I was able to build up a wonderful network during the course at the various venues."
Maria Multani, Schweizer Luftwaffe / Participant CAS Foreign Affairs & Applied Diplomacy 2018
Enquiries and contact
- Department International Business
- International Management Institute
- Prof. Dr. Petra Barthelmess Röthlisberger, Senior Lecturer on Intercultural Communication, ZHAW School of Management and Law
- Dr. Thomas Borer, former Swiss Ambassador, Advisor Dr. Borer Consulting
- Khaldoun Dia-Eddine, Lecturer, ZHAW School of Management and Law
- Marco Düerkop, DG Trade, European Commission
- Dr. Lionel Fatton, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Webster University Geneva
- Nicola Forster, Founder of the Foreign Policy Thinktanks foraus, President of the Swiss Society for the Common Good
- Greta Gnehm, Head International Relations, ZHAW School of Management and Law; former Diplomat, U.S. Department of State
- Luca Gobbo, Informationsbeauftragter der Kantone (KdK) in the Europe Division of the FDFA
- Dr. Florian Keller, Head of Center for EMEA Business, ZHAW School of Management and Law
- Thomas Kupfer, former Swiss Ambassador to Singapore
- Harry Landau, Public-Affairs-Advisor, former Swedish diplomat
- Prof. Dr. Jens Lehne, Director of Department Business Law, ZHAW School of Management and Law
- Corinne Momal-Vanian, Executive Director, Kofi Annan Foundation; former Director of Information, United Nations Office Geneva (UNOG)
- Dr. h. c. Max Schweizer, former president of SwissDiplomats – ZurichNetwork
- Felix Stähli, Co-Founder, Impact Hub Geneva
- Dominique Ursprung, Secretary, parliamentary Friendship Group Switzerland-Japan
- Lukas Wegmüller, Public Affairs specialist, Klimaschutz Schweiz; previously Secretary General, Neue europäische Bewegung Schweiz
- Nicolas Zahn, Senior Project Manager, Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI)
Offered in cooperation with
Admission requirements for applicants with a university degree:
Admission to the CAS program requires:
- A degree (diploma, licentiate, Bachelor's or Master's degree) from a state-recognized university or one of the predecessor schools.
- At least two years of professional experience at the time of enrollment.
Admission requirements for professionals without a university degree:
Admission to the CAS program requires:
- Final diploma for an educational program at a college of higher education and training or federal training examination (federal diploma). In exceptional cases, applicants may be admitted if their suitability for participation can be otherwise proven.
- At least four years of professional experience at the time of application and completion of basic vocational training.
The Head of Program reserves the right to ask for references and invite applicants to an interview.
Decision on admission:
Admissions are decided on by the Head of Program
Der CAS Foreign Affairs and Applied Diplomacy can, for example, be credited as part of the MAS Communication Management and Leadership.
Information for applicants
Applications are considered in the order in which they are received.
Please also send the following documents for the admission check with your electronic application
(Note: You can upload the documents directly with the application):
- Curriculum vitae
- Copies of certificates
- Copies of education and training
- Letter of motivation (you can send us this either in the form itself or in a short letter)
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