The need for new learning opportunities throughout life is now recognised throughout society. An intensive, initial period of higher education is not always enough in times of rapid social, economic and technological change. The Department for Continuing Education is known worldwide as a leading provider of extended learning for professional and personal development.
The department provides high-quality, flexible, part-time graduate education, tailored for adults. Students can undertake graduate-level certificates, diplomas and taught master’s degrees in a wide range of subjects. Increasing numbers of courses are delivered in mixed mode, combining intensive periods of residence in Oxford with tutored online study. Part-time DPhil courses are also offered in some subject areas.
Courses recruit adult students of all ages on a regional, national and international level. Many courses are offered jointly with other academic departments around the University. Subjects offered span across the humanities, mathematical, physical and life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences. Some examples include English local history, archaeology, creative writing, international human rights law, evidence-based health care, and cognitive therapy.
All students on the department's courses are members of its Graduate School. The Graduate School aims to provide a stimulating and enriching environment for learning and research. It also fosters intellectual and social interaction between students coming from different disciplines and professions. Interdisciplinary research seminars, training opportunities and other events are offered by the Graduate School in support of this goal.
The department contributes to scholarship schemes for the MSt in International Human Rights Law and the MSc in Sustainable Urban Development. All masters' and DPhil applicants are considered for Clarendon Scholarships. The department is also committed to seeking scholarship support for other students wherever possible.
The department also offers full-time pre-master’s courses and the Foundations of Diplomacy Course. These courses are 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.