University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education

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

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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

Pre-Master's Course in Diplomacy 2019-20

The Foundations of Diplomacy Course offers a unique blend of academic and highly practical classes. It not only teaches you how to communicate clearly and confidently in spoken and written English, but also helps you to develop superior analytical, critical thinking, and presentation skills. If you are considering a career in diplomacy or intending to work for a government ministry, think tank, NGO or international organisation, it would be perfect for you.

Visit our Facebook page

You can also view our course brochure online.

Course Structure

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 public international law. It is suitable for students who have no previous knowledge of diplomacy, politics and international relations.

Your course begins with a dynamic one-week Academic and Cultural Orientation programme, followed by two 10-week terms.

Academic and Cultural Orientation Week (30 September - 4 October 2019)

To ensure you settle into university life at Oxford, our Academic and Cultural Orientation Week has been designed to offer you a smooth transition not only to your full-time academic studies, but also to help you integrate successfully into everyday life in the UK.

Here are some of the sessions you can expect:

  • Oxford and its university
  • Cultural adjustment
  • Introduction to British culture and values
  • Self and time management skills
  • Accessing student support services 
  • Writing a personal statement
  • Interpreting assessment criteria and feedback
  • Sourcing scholarly literature online

After your classes we invite you to join us for:

  • Walking tour of Oxford
  • Welcome afternoon tea
  • Bodleian Library tour
  • Choral evensong at Christ Church
  • Welcome dinner
  • Pre-Master's students' mixer
  • Pub quiz

You'll also have an opportunity to participate in the University's Freshers' Fair.

Michaelmas Term (7 October - 13 December, 2019)

You take all of the classes below:

Academic and Diplomatic Practice Module

English Language and Literacy Module*

You can view a description of each of the classes on our Departmental page, under Michaelmas Term

Weekly Individual Academic Literacy Tutorial

All students receive a weekly individual academic literacy tutorial which provides personalised academic writing support.

*Students who are native speakers of English or who have a high degree of fluency in the language (IELTS 7.5 and above) are exempted from the English Language and Literacy Module and, in lieu, take a Personalised Academic Study Option (below). They are also stongly encouraged to follow classes in academic literacy and critical thinking over two terms.

Hilary Term (6 January - 20 March, 2020)

You take all of the classes below:

Academic and Diplomatic Practice Module

English Language and Literacy Module


Weekly Individual Academic Literacy Tutorial

All students receive a weekly individual academic literacy tutorial which provides personalised academic writing support.


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 participate in a number of study visits to London with your diplomatic studies tutor. At the end of your first term, you will participate in a three-day field trip to Austria. The costs of the UK and Vienna study visits are included in your course fees.

During the 2017-18 course, students made the the following escorted study visits:


  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Department for Exiting the EU
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Department for International Development
  • Chatham House , Royal Institute of International Affairs
  • Centre for European Reform (Think Tank)
  • Conciliation Resources (NGO)
  • Canning House: Meeting with the Ambassador of Honduras
  • Embassy of the Republic of Italy
  • Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
  • Embassy of Ukraine
  • Embassy of the United Arab Emirates


  • OSCE

  • British Embassy

  • United Nations

  • Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign affairs


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.


Programme details

Term dates 2019-20

  • Academic and Cultural Orientation Week (30 September - 4 October 2019)
  • Michaelmas Term  (7 October - 13 December 2019)
  • Hilary Term (6 January - 20 March 2020)


Please click here for a sample timetable

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from native speakers of English, as well as from international students whose first language is not English. The course is open to graduates and non graduates.

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 £15,500. Please note that the fees do not include accommodation.

College Associate Membership (optional)

The possibility of applying for college associate membership is available to you and incurs an additional fee. 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 2019-20 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. Minimum test score of 6.5
  • digital photo (headshot)

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 2019.

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.

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

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

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