The OUDSP, also known as the Foreign Service Programme, is a course of postgraduate study, specifically designed for foreign policy practitioners, which enters its 50th year in October 2018. The great majority of DSP members are diplomats in early to mid-career, nominated by their governments, who come to Oxford for a career break of a full academic year. The course helps them to upgrade their academic knowledge and practical skills and to familiarise themselves with British, European and international institutions. They also benefit from the many academic and social facilities Oxford has to offer. While in Oxford, each of them is a full member of the University and of one of its Colleges.
Applicants may apply to either the Postgraduate Diploma in Diplomatic Studies or the Master of Studies in Diplomatic Studies.
The Postgraduate Diploma in Diplomatic Studies is a nine-month (October-June), full-time course requiring residence in Oxford. It comprises four taught courses and is assessed by four year-end examinations.
The Master of Studies in Diplomatic Studies is a twelve-month (October-September), full-time course requiring residence in Oxford. In addition to the four taught courses and year-end examinations of the Postgraduate Diploma, it entails completion of a substantial research project.
To be accepted, candidates must have a good degree from a reputable university and a very good command of oral and written English. A wide spread of countries is represented on the Programme.
The syllabus includes international politics; public international law; international trade and finance; and diplomatic practice. OUDSP membership includes access to Oxford’s intellectual, library, sporting and social resources, networking with colleagues and the chance to tackle complex long-term subjects in a way not easily achieved during busy diplomatic postings. In addition to the normal syllabus, some members are accepted to undertake specialized research under individual supervision. Distinguished guest speakers lecture to and dine with the course during the Michaelmas, Hilary and Trinity Terms. The year’s programme normally includes study visits to London, Belfast, Brussels, and Geneva.
Some course members are financed by Chevening (FCO) or other publicly- funded scholarships; others are funded by their own governments or from private sources. The programme is intensive and members are expected to tackle a heavy workload. There is a strong emphasis on active participation in lectures and seminars. In many respects the course offers the diplomatic equivalent of an MBA.
The Course Director, since 2015, is Kate Jones, formerly a British diplomat.
More information is available on the website: www.conted.ox.ac.uk/oudsp