The need for opportunities to learn throughout life is now recognised in all sectors of modern society. In times of rapid social, economic and technological change, an intensive period of initial higher education may not always be sufficient. Oxford's Department for Continuing Education is recognised worldwide as a leading provider of extended learning, for both professional and personal development.
The department provides high-quality, flexible, part-time graduate education specifically tailored for adults. Students can 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 for some subject areas.
The department's 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. A few examples from this range 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, which aims to provide a stimulating and enriching learning and research environment. The Graduate School fosters intellectual and social interaction between students coming from different disciplines and professions. To this end, it offers interdisciplinary research seminars, training opportunities and other events.
The department offers scholarships 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, and the department is committed to seeking scholarship support for other 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. 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.