Foreign & Commonwealth Office: Diplomatic Academy

Foreign & Commonwealth Office: Diplomatic Academy

Welcome to the Diplomatic Academy’s collection of online courses, created in partnership with The Open University.

These courses are part of the Practitioner Level curricula of the Understanding the UK, Law and Multilateral Faculties. They have been created by practitioners with expert support. More information about each course is available on individual course pages, which you can access below.

You are welcome to use the courses for self-study at your own pace, although we hope that many people will work through them as part of an organised programme of study with colleagues. Faculties will be organising ‘cohorts’ of learners and setting up learning groups to provide a rich learning experience.

Anyone who passes a course’s overall assessment – usually an end-of-course multiple choice quiz – will be awarded a digital Diplomatic Academy/Open University ‘badge’. As well as being internal evidence of completing a Practitioner Level module, these badges can be attached to CVs, LinkedIn profiles and so on.

The courses are open to all UK government staff who might find them of value in their international work. There is no charge for access. Please contact the Diplomatic Academy team on diplomatic.academy@fco.gov.uk if you have any queries, comments or feedback on the course content. Any technical enquiries should be directed to openlearncreate@open.ac.uk.

Before you can begin studying you need to take these steps to ensure you can access the courses:

  1. Please register with OpenLearn Create. You can do this simply by clicking on the ‘Sign in/sign up’ green button at the top right-hand side of this page and following the instructions.
  2. You will need the enrolment access code, which you will be prompted to enter once you select the 'Enrol' button on the module website.  You can find this on the course listing in FCO GLO and in other internal communications.
  3. Once you’ve registered and have the access code, you can click on any of the courses listed below to get started!

If you experience any registration or enrolment issues, please email openlearncreate@open.ac.uk.

The Rule of Law, Foreign Policy and You provides you with an understanding of some fundamental principles of the rule of law and international law. This will give a legal context to your work in the FCO, including legal powers and constraints that underpin it and equip you to make robust decisions.

Devolution and Foreign Policy builds on the knowledge you have built on devolution through your work and from studying the foundation course on devolution. It has been written by practitioner colleagues in the FCO’s Devolution Unit based on their experience of frequently asked questions about regular and sometimes irregular events and scenarios that arise in your area of work when working with the administrations and other stakeholders in the four nations of the United Kingdom; Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Multilateral Architecture is the first of four courses that builds on Diplomatic Academy Foundation Level Unit 5. It provides a deeper understanding of the multilateral system and its role in global politics, and a clear and sophisticated understanding of why and how the UK does multilateral diplomacy.

Conflict provides you with a deeper factual and practical understanding of the complexity of armed conflict and instability, the importance of and how to conduct good quality conflict analysis, and the national and international principles and commitments guiding UK conflict policy.

Conflict Policy Tools and Responses gives you clear and practical knowledge and understanding of conflict policy tools, their individual strengths and limitations, how they differ, and the interplay between them, to gain a better understanding of which policy response to recommend when the UK responds to a conflict.

Human Rights gives you a deeper understanding of what human rights are and the key elements of law, policy and theory, to understand the UK’s position on human rights and the implications for FCO work, and how to develop an effective human rights policy.

  • Devolution and Foreign Policy

    Devolution and Foreign Policy

    The course for Foreign & Commonwealth Office staff builds on your existing knowledge of devolution gained through your work and from studying the foundation course on devolution. It has been written by practitioner colleagues in the Devolution Unit of the FCO based on their experience of frequently asked questions about regular and sometimes irregular events and scenarios that arise in your area of work when working with the administrations and other stakeholders in the four nations of the United Kingdom; Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

    Try this course

    Course

    12 hrs

    Level 2 Intermediate

  • The Law, Foreign Policy and You

    The Law, Foreign Policy and You

    The course is divided into eight units: The rule of law, foreign policy and youThe rules-based international orderInternational lawThe Chilcot Report and the machinery of GovernmentMaking robust decisionsAssessing legal risk – judicial reviewTortious claimsYou and your role

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    Course

    12 hrs

    Level 2 Intermediate

  • Multilateral Architecture (Multilateral 1)

    Multilateral Architecture (Multilateral 1)

    This course will provide you with a deeper understanding of the multilateral system and its role in global politics, and a clear and sophisticated understanding of why and how the UK does multilateral diplomacy.

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    Course

    24+ hrs

    Level 2 Intermediate

  • Conflict (Multilateral 2)

    Conflict (Multilateral 2)

    This course is designed to provide you with a deeper factual and practical understanding of the complexity of armed conflict and instability.

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    Course

    23 hrs

    Level 2 Intermediate

  • Conflict Policy Tools and Responses (Multilateral 3)

    Conflict Policy Tools and Responses (Multilateral 3)

    Conflict Policy Tools and Responses is a course for Foreign & Commonwealth Office staff and is the third in the Multilaterals series of 4 courses.

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    Course

    20 hrs

    Level 2 Intermediate

  • Human Rights (Multilateral 4)

    Human Rights (Multilateral 4)

    This course will provide you with a deeper understanding of human rights law, policy and practice: including why and how the UK takes practical diplomatic action on human rights.

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    Course

    20 hrs

    Level 2 Intermediate

  • Economic Diplomacy: Promoting our Prosperity

    Economic Diplomacy: Promoting our Prosperity

    This online course is for learners who are doing, or preparing to take up, a job involving a significant element of ‘economic diplomacy’ (or ‘Prosperity’) work.

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    Course

    24 hrs

    Level 2 Intermediate

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