The need for educational opportunities throughout life is now recognised in all sectors of modern society: an intensive period of initial higher education, even of the highest quality, is simply not sufficient in times of rapid social, economic and technological change. Through the work of the Department for Continuing Education, Oxford is recognised internationally as a leading provider of extended learning for purposes of professional and personal development.
The department provides high-quality, flexible, part-time postgraduate education specifically tailored for adults. Opportunities exist to undertake postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas and taught master’s degrees in a wide range of subjects. Increasing numbers of courses are delivered in mixed mode, combining intensive residential periods in Oxford with tutored online study. Part-time doctoral programmes are also available in a number of disciplines.
The department's courses recruit adult students of all ages regionally, locally, nationally and internationally, and many courses are offered in conjunction with other departments of the University. Subjects available to study at the department span the humanities, mathematical, physical and life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences - encompassing, for example, English local history, creative writing, international wildlife conservation practice, evidence-based health care, cognitive therapy, archaeology and international human rights law.
The Department for Continuing Education offers Commonwealth Foundation scholarships to the very best students from selected African and South Asian Commonwealth countries for the MSt in International Human Rights Law, all Master's and DPhil applicants are considered for Clarendon Scholarships, and the department is committed to seeking to provide scholarship support for other graduate students wherever possible.
The department also offers full-time pre-master’s courses - the Advanced Diploma in British & European Studies and the Foundations of Diplomacy Course. Aimed at students who intend to pursue master’s degree studies at leading British universities, they combine academic study across a number of disciplines with an intensive English language enhancement programme.