Foundations of Diplomacy Pre-Master's Course

Key facts

Level: Pre-Master's

Mode: Full-time

Duration: 6 months

Contact us

Call: + 44 (0) 1865 280191


Skype: oxfordcourses

Address: Foundations of Diplomacy Course, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA, UK

Foundations of Diplomacy Pre-Master's Course

Pre-Master's Course in Diplomacy 2018-19

Are you intending to study for a Master’s degree taught in English? This full-time course will not only teach you how to communicate clearly and confidently in spoken and written English, but will also help you to develop superior analytical, critical thinking, and presentation skills.  It assumes no previous knowledge of diplomacy and would be of interest to those who intend to pursue a career in diplomacy, to work for a government ministry or international organisation, or who would like to engage in research in the field.

The course offers you a thorough grounding in diplomatic theory and practice, as well as introductory courses in international relations, political economy, politics and ideology, and international public law.

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Read our course brochure for more information

Course structure

In addition to the Academic and Practical Module (below), students whose first language is not English and who have an IELTS score of 6.5 or 7.0 are required to take the English Language and Literacy Module (below).

Students who are native speakers of English or who have a high degree of fluency in the language (IELTS 7.5 and above) are required to take the Academic and Practical Module, as well as the Personalised Academic Study Option (below) each term.

Academic and Practical Module

All students take all of the classes below over two terms.

  • Diplomacy in Practice
  • International Relations
  • The Political Economy of European Integration
  • The Challenges of European Politics in the 21st Century
  • Politics and Ideology
  • Foundations of Public International Law
  • Diplomatic Simulations
  • Skills for Public Diplomacy

English Language and Literacy Module

The classes below are taught over two terms.

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

Personalised academic study option

Students who have been exempted from the English Language and Literacy Module must choose ONE academic course of study from a wide range of options in areas such as international relations, politics, philosophy, law and history from the University's varied undergraduate lecture programme. You will be required to submit an assignment of 2,500 words each term on your chosen option.

UK and international study visits

During your course you will visit the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Cabinet Office and a number of diplomatic missions in London. At the end of your first term, you will participate in an international three-day field trip to Vienna where you will visit the United Nations, the OSCE and the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Costs of the UK and Vienna study visits are included in your course fees.

Course books and materials

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

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Programme details

Term dates 2018-19

  • Academic and Cultural Orientation Week (24- 28 September 2018)
  • Michaelmas Term  (1 October - 14 December 2018)
  • Hilary Term (7 January - 22 March 2019)

Who may apply and what are we looking for?

We welcome applications from native speakers of English, as well as from international students whose first language is not English.

Graduate applicants

If you are intending to apply for admission to a Master’s degree on successful completion of the course you should hold a good first degree in any subject. Applicants should note that successful completion of the pre-Master's course does not guarantee progression to Master's degree courses at Oxford for which separate application is necessary.

Non-graduate applicants

We welcome applications from those with a strong interest in the fields of diplomacy, politics and international relations who may have no formal qualifications but who would like to follow an intellectually stimulating and engaging interdisciplinary course. Importantly, we are looking for a high level of commitment, as well as the capacity for intellectual growth and development. Admission will be based on information provided in the application form and at interview. We may also ask you for evidence of written work. If you have any questions concerning your suitability for admission and would like to discuss your interest in the course with us, please contact our programme administrator at or call us on 01865 280191.

Course aims

The Foundations of Diplomacy Course aims to help you develop your expertise in practical diplomacy, deepen your knowledge of European and international affairs and rapidly improve your academic writing skills.

FAQs - Frequently asked questions

View some of the most frequently asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please call us on +44 1865 280191 or email us at


Successful students will receive a University of Oxford Certificate of Course Completion.

Assessment methods

Academic Assessment Requirements

In Michaelmas term you will be required to prepare three assignments and in Hilary Term you will be required to prepare four assignments. These may take the form of an essay, a report or brief, or a presentation.


We are happy to provide students with advice on finding suitable accommodation in Oxford. However, students should be aware that it is ultimately their own responsibility to secure accommodation.

Course fees

The per person course fees for the six-month programme are £15,175. Please note that the fees do not include accommodation.

College fees (optional)

The possibility of applying for associate college membership is available to you. For further details, please contact the Programme Administrator, Thomas Lawrie, at


We are, unfortunately, unable to offer any scholarships for the Foundations of Diplomacy Course 2018-19 at present.

How to apply

You should email us:

  • your completed application form
  • a personal statement of 500 words (max.)
  • a copy of your university/college transcript(s)
  • a copy of your IELTS (Academic) certificate (if applicable). You must have taken an IELTS Test before submitting your application.
  • digital passport photo

In addition to the above, please ask an academic referee to email a letter of reference directly to

The deadline for applications is 30 July 2018.

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

Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course

Sources of funding

Information on financial support