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Foundations of Diplomacy Course

Key facts

TypeProfessional Development
DatesTue 30 Sep 2014 to Fri 27 Mar 2015
Subject area(s)Diplomatic Studies
FeesTotal Fees £13,480 Includes:

- Course Fee: £13,480

(You may pay by instalment.)
Application statusApplications being accepted
Course contactIf you have any questions about this course, please email judith.arneil@conted.ox.ac.uk or telephone +44 (0)1865 270451.


Pre-Master's Course in Diplomacy 2014-2015

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Our Foundations of Diplomacy is a pre-master's level course and is open to applicants with no previous knowledge of (or experience in) the field of diplomacy/international relations. It would be ideal for you if…

  • you intend to apply for a Master's degree in international relations (or a related field) at a leading British university
  • already work (or are intending to work) for an international organisation
  • you would like to develop practical skills in public diplomacy
  • you would like to boost your English language proficiency
  • you are looking for a rigorous course to improve your academic writing skills in English

This six-month programme (30 September 2014 - 27 March 2015) consists of:

  • An academic orientation week
  • An academic module (Diplomacy & International Relations)
  • An English language module taught over two terms

Native or near native English-speaking students

If your mother tongue is English or you are approaching native speaker proficiency in the language, you are also most welcome to apply. Whilst the English language module would normally be waived, please note that you would be required to follow courses in academic literacy and critical thinking over both terms.

Each term, you would be required to follow up to two academic courses (from a choice of over 60) from the University's undergraduate course options. These normally take the form of lecture series delivered by some of the world's most eminent scholars. For each of your chosen courses, you will be required to write a long essay. In recent years, our students have followed courses in:

  • British politics
  • Philosophy
  • Management
  • British and European History
  • US politics
  • African politics
  • Women's studies
  • International relations

All 'Foundations of Diplomacy Course' students may attend guest lectures and master classes given by the many distinguished visitors to the University each year.

Students are also eligible to apply for membership of the world's most famous debating society, the Oxford Union.

What our previous students say about the course

'… A brilliant experience! I was taught by ambassadors, ministers and distinguished academics. Where else would I get an opportunity like this?' (Vignesh, India)

‘…a most enriching experience…The opportunity to improve my critical thinking skills has given me the confidence to contribute to discussions in a positive, considered and meaningful manner… I feel both privileged and proud to have been a student.’ (Kenneth, South Africa)

'A wonderful and much needed experience that should be offered to all seeking a career in diplomacy.’ (Ginette, DR Congo)

‘Joining the course was the best decision of my life. Thank you, Oxford, for the most amazing opportunity.’ (Gina, Philippines)


Diplomacy & International Relations Module

Experience a rigorous and intellectually stimulating programme of study taught by both academic tutors and former senior British diplomats.

Your academic subject classes (approx 8 contact hours per week) include:

You will also benefit from the following study visits to London:

  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Cabinet Office
  • A foreign embassy


We are delighted to introduce a field trip to the beautiful city of Vienna. This will include:
  • A visit to the Diplomatic Academy
  • A visit to the OSCE
  • A visit to the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • There will be no additional fee for this trip. Please view our new brochure for more details.

    English Language Module

    A team of highly experienced and well-qualified expert language tutors will help you rapidly improve your language skills and media interview techniques.

    Your English classes (approx. 10 contact hours per week) are:

    • Diplomatic & Professional Communication Skills
    • Reading Skills
    • Speaking Skills
    • English Grammar
    • Academic Literacy (academic writing and research skills)
    • Critical Thinking Skills

    Course books and materials

    All course books and study materials for both academic and English language modules are included in your course fees.

    2014-2015 Course Timetable

    Get more information on what your typical study day might look like. View our provisional timetables for 2014-2015 in our Pre-Master's Courses Brochure.


    Course aims

    The Foundations of Diplomacy Course aims to encourage you to:

    • develop your expertise in practical diplomacy
    • deepen your knowledge of European and international affairs
    • enhance your professional and academic English communication skills
    • develop assured effective presentation skills
    • engage successfully in interviews with the media
    • understand Britain, British society and British culture


    We receive many expressions of interest from students from all over the world. Click here to view some of the most frequently asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us by phone (+44 1865 270451) or by email (judith.arneil@conted.ox.ac.uk)


    All students who successfully complete the Foundations of Diplomacy course will be awarded a University of Oxford Certificate of Course Completion.

    Assessment methods

    Assessment consists of continuous assessment in the form of essays, reports and seminar presentations for both academic subjects and English language.

    Students for whom the English Language module has been waived will be expected to write additional academic essays on their elective courses of study.

    Academic Assessment Requirements
    In Michaelmas term you will be required to prepare a total of three assessed assignments and in Hilary Term you will be required to prepare a total of four assessed assignments. These may take the form of an essay, a report or brief, or a presentation. Essays will normally be no more than 2,000 words in length.


    Accommodation & College Facilities

    Assistance in finding suitable accommodation will be provided by the Department.

    Please note that the possibility of applying for a college attachment is available to you. The additional fee for this attachment is £2,657. If your require further details, please contact the Programme Administrator, Judith Arneil (judith.arneil@conted.ox.ac.uk).


    Students on the Foundations of Diplomacy Course have access to some of the finest library collections available anywhere, including the renowned Bodleian Library. Students will also have access to the University’s Language Centre.


    The per person fees for the six-month programme are £13,480 and includes your course fees. Please note, however, that the fee does not include accommodation for which you should budget approximately £130 per week.

    Successful students will be invoiced an offer of a place for a deposit of £1,000. This non-refundable deposit must be paid within four weeks to hold your place. After 20 July 2014, successful students will be invoiced in full.


    We are, unfortunately, unable to offer any scholarships for the Foundations of Diplomacy Course 2014-2015 at present.

    Apply for this course

    How to Apply

    You should send us...

    • your completed application form
    • a completed reference form or a letter of reference from a university teacher/employer
    • an official copy of your university transcript(s)
    • a copy of your IELTS/TOEFL test results. (Please note that you MUST have taken an IELTS or equivalent officially-recognised test of English language proficiency BEFORE submitting your application.)
    • two passport-sized photographs

    Please note that the DEADLINE for applications is 27 June 2014.

    Click here for a course application and reference form.

    When we have received your completed application form and all related documentation, you will be contacted by the Programme Director who will arrange a telephone interview with you.

    Call us:+ 44 (0)1865 270451

    Email us: judith.arneil@conted.ox.ac.uk

    Skype us: oxfordcourses

    Fax us:+ 44 (0)1865 270314

    Write to us: Foundations of Diplomacy Course, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK

    You can also send a message via our new FACEBOOK page

    Please read our Terms and Conditions and Student Contract before applying for this course.
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