University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education

Pre-Master's Course (Foundations of Diplomacy Course) 2016-2017

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Accommodation Homestay / Residence

Price Includes All course books, materials and UK study visits.

Beginners Not for beginners

Class Size 20 maximum

Town / City & Region Oxford , South Central England

Tuition Style Combination of Group and One to One Tuition

Tuition Hours Per Week 15.0

Ages 21

Course Type Diplomatic Studies

Other Information

University of Oxford Pre-Master's Course

Foundations of Diplomacy Course 2016-2017

Our Foundations of Diplomacy Course is an academically challenging full-time pre-Master's level course taught over six months and is open to applicants with no previous knowledge of the field of diplomacy/international relations. It aims to equip you with a thorough grounding in diplomatic theory and practice and offers a number of introductory courses in areas such as international relations, political economy, politics and ideology and international public law. It also seeks to introduce you to the expectations of graduate work in the UK by helping you practise and develop your critical thinking skills to enable you to find and evaluate reliable sources of evidence, develop a questioning approach to your reading and to evaluate differing viewpoints objectively.

You will benefit from weekly classes in academic literacy, as well as from a weekly individual academic writing tutorial. These aim to teach you how to use your reading in your writing to rapidly improve your study and writing skills. You will also receive detailed, ongoing personalised feedback on the development of your academic literacy skills.

This pre-Master's course also aims to equip you with valuable transferable skills which can be used beyond a university environment including enhanced communication, presentation and negotiation skills.

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 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 Module

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


English Language Module

The classes below are taught over two terms.

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


Personalised academic study option

Students who have been exempted from the English Language 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. You will also participate in a number of briefings by senior diplomats.

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 modules are included in your course fees.

Programme Details

2016-2017 course date are:

  • Academic and Cultural Orientation Week (26 - 30 September)
  • Michaelmas Term 2016  (3 October - 16 December)
  • Hilary Term 2017 (9 January - 24 March)


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.

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 270451.

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.


Click here to view some of the most frequently asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please call us on +44 1865 270451 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 £14,300. Please note, however, that the fee does not include accommodation.

College fees (optional)

The possibility of applying for associate college membership is available to you and is £1,956. For further details, please contact the Programme Administrator, Daniel Fisk, at

Entry Requirements

  • A good first degree
  • A minimum IELTS score of 6.5



We are, unfortunately, unable to offer any scholarships for the Foundations of Diplomacy Course 2016-17 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) Test certificate (if applicable). Please note that you MUST have taken an IELTS Test BEFORE submitting your application.

In addition to the above, please post/courier us original copies of the following:

  • Original University/College transcript(s)
  • IELTS (Academic) Test Certificate (if applicable)
  • Two passport-sized photos

Please note that the DEADLINE for applications is 26 June 2016.

Click here for a course application form.

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.


More Information

We would be pleased to answer any of your questions. Please contact us by email or by phone:

Tel: +44 (0)1865 270451


Skype us: oxfordcourses

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

« Back to School Enquire about this Course Visit School Website »

« Back to School Enquire about this Course Visit School Website »