Diplomatic Studies Programme FAQ


Who is the typical DSP student?

There is no such thing as the “typical” student: each application is assessed on its merits by reference to the published selection criteria. Most but not all of our students are established diplomats. Most of our students have at least a couple of years’ of experience of the workplace, some of them many more.

Our students hail from a great array of nationalities. In the last 3 years alone, we have welcomed students from Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Belgium, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Dominican Republic, France, Ghana, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Sao Tome and Principe, Singapore, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UK, Uruguay, USA and Vanuatu.

The age range of students is broad: in the last three years, it has ranged between mid-20s and early-50s. In the last few years there has been an approximately equal number of men and women on the course.

As regards disability and support for learning difficulties, please see the course webpage and the University’s policies

How will you decide whether to admit me for the Master of Studies or the PG Diploma?

The differences in the admissions criteria, and minimum requirements, are below. For the full admissions criteria, please see the Graduate Admissions website.

Second class degree with honours (GPA 3.0 or equivalent). Exceptional references an advantage.

English language IELTS 7.0 or equivalent.

Relevant professional experience is generally expected.

First class or upper second class degree with honours (GPA 3.5 or equivalent). Exceptional references an advantage.

English language IELTS 7.5 or equivalent.

Relevant professional experience is generally expected.

I would prefer to take the Master of Studies, but would also like to be considered for the PG Diploma. Should I apply for both?

No. Candidates unsuccessful for the Master of Studies will automatically be considered for the PG Diploma. If you would NOT like to be considered for the PG Diploma, please let us know on your application form or by email to dsp@conted.ox.ac.uk

Can I study the PG Diploma one year and then take the Master of Studies in a later year?

No. The PG Diploma and Master of Studies are taught together and the examinations are the same in both courses, taken in June. Master of Studies students will remain in Oxford for 3 months after the examinations to complete their dissertations. 

Can I study the PG Diploma in Diplomatic Studies or Master of Studies in Diplomatic Studies on a part-time basis?

No. Both courses are full- time, lasting nine and twelve months respectively, with students expected to be resident in Oxford for the duration of their studies. 

What funding opportunities are there available for DSP students?

The programme typically accepts several Chevening scholars each year. Please see www.chevening.org for information on UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Chevening Scholarships, including how to apply.

Citizens of developing Commonwealth countries applying to the MSt in Diplomatic Studies are eligible for Commonwealth Scholarships. For more information and details on how to apply, please see the CSC website. The vast majority of University and College scholarships are awarded to applicants who submit their application by the January deadline. Those who apply before this date will be automatically considered for scholarships where they fulfil the eligibility criteria.


Do I need to pay an application fee for this course?

Yes, the application fee for 2019 entry is £75.00. Applicants who are resident in low-income countries and low-middle income countries may have the application fee waived for this course. For further information, please contact the Course Administrator.

What are the application deadlines? Will you accept late applications?

The application deadlines are 12 noon UK time (midday) on Friday 24 January and Tuesday 3 March 2020. We recommend that you apply before the January deadline if possible, not least so that you may be considered for University scholarships.

How long before I hear the result of my application?

We hope to notify you of the outcome of your application 6-8 weeks after the application deadline before which you have applied.

Can I apply if my first degree is in a subject not related to diplomacy/international relations?


Can I apply if I am not a diplomat?

Yes. Although the course is designed for established diplomats, we accept some applications from non-diplomats each year and welcome the different perspectives they bring to the course. To be accepted, you will be expected to show experience of a related field or reasons for a strong interest in diplomacy.