Diplomas: How to apply


Here, you'll find information on eligibility, how to submit your application, deadlines and how to get help.

Entry requirements

General entrance requirements:

  • A first-class or an upper-second class undergraduate degree or equivalent international qualifications (GPA of 3.5). We will consider applicants who do not hold such a qualification but can demonstrate a particularly strong employment record and/or hold certain professional qualifications.
  • At least 5 years' relevant professional experience.
  • English language proficiency (either TOEFL or IELTS, with minimum scores met, if English is not your first language). A previous degree or work experience in English may be sufficient.

Submit your CV for review for:

When to apply

Applications are open for our 2025 Executive Diploma cohorts.

The application process for all diploma programmes is competitive, and we would therefore encourage you to complete your submission as early as possible.

  • Spring application round closing date: Monday 13 May 2024
  • Scholarships deadline and summer application round closing date: Monday 1 July 2024
  • Autumn application round closing date: Monday 16 September 2024 - This is the recommended final application date for any candidates who are applying for a visa.
  • Winter deadline for Diploma in AI for Business stream one, Diploma in Financial Strategy, Diploma in Global Business, Diploma in Organisational Leadership and Diploma in Strategy and Innovation in-person stream applications: Monday 25 November 2024
  • Final deadline for Diploma in AI for Business stream two and Diploma in Strategy and Innovation online stream: Monday 20 January 2025

How to apply

You will need the following to complete your application:

  • an up-to-date CV
  • two references (at least one professional)
  • academic transcripts (including official translations if appropriate)
  • evidence of English language ability (for non-native speakers)
  • two essays (500 words each)

Your application essays give you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, curiosity and insight into the relevant field. The essay topics are:

  • Please outline why you wish to study for the diploma. You should focus on the organisational, strategic and/or financial challenges you are currently facing and explain how you think the programme will help you address these challenges.
  • What are your main achievements in your current position and what were your reasons for taking this position?

Please note: If you would like to apply for one of our scholarships, you will also need to upload a supporting statement (maximum 500 words) answering the essay question for the award you are applying for (where appropriate).

We are looking for you to demonstrate your knowledge and opinions, but also to include evidence to support your arguments, so be sure to include references for any quoted material within your essays. References will not count as part of your essay word limit. 

Every piece of written work is put through plagiarism detection software. Read the University's guide on how to avoid similarities when writing your essay.

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language or you are not from a majority English speaking country, you must take a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an International English Language Test Scheme (IELTS) and meet all minimum scores. 

Alternatively, you must have a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE).

Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course.

  • Minimum overall score required for TOEFL is 110 (Listening: 22, Reading: 24, Writing: 24 and Speaking: 25)
  • Minimum overall score required for IELTS is 7.5 (minimum required on each component for IELTS: 7)
  • Minimum overall score required for CPE is 191 (minimum 185 per component)
  • Minimum overall score required for CAE is 191 (minimum 185 per component)

English language test waivers

At the discretion of the academic department, the requirement to provide English language test scores may be waived.

You may apply for a waiver if you have completed, or are currently completing, a degree-level course that is:

  • Full-time
  • At least nine months in duration
  • Undertaken at a recognised institution where teaching and assessment throughout the course is undertaken entirely in English
  • Has been completed no more than 2 academic years before the start date of the course to which you are applying

You may also apply for a waiver based on substantial professional experience if:

  • You have worked for a minimum of two years in a majority English speaking country where the main language for the role was English;
  • Your role involved daily professional use of each of the four language components (reading, writing, listening and speaking);
  • You worked in an appropriately technical context to demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in an academic environment; and
  • Your role has ended no more than two years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.

If you meet either the criteria based on your previous education or your professional experience, you will need to indicate this by answering yes or no to the English language waiver questions on the ‘Languages’; tab of the application form. If you choose the professional experience option, you will need to summarise your role and use of English to enable the assessors to judge whether it meets the criteria.

The academic department will consider your request if you are offered a place. If your request is accepted, you won't be required to provide English language test results as a condition of your offer. Otherwise, you will still have to provide English language test scores at the required level for your course, by a deadline stated in your offer letter.


If you require a visa to enter the UK, please allow sufficient time for your visa to be processed.


Total programme fee for both home and overseas participants is £33,900.

Further details about fee status eligibility.

The fee is inclusive of a £500 fee for associate college membership.

Programme fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified, the fee does not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs.


If your application is successful, you will be asked to pay a £4,635 deposit against your programme fees as a condition of your offer. The deposit must be paid in full within 30 days of the offer date stated in your initial offer letter.

Further information about programme fees, including fee status and eligibility and your length of fee liability.

Other expenses

Additional programme costs

As part of your diploma programme, you will need to choose a final integrative assignment topic. Depending on your choice of topic and the research required to complete it, you may incur additional expenses, such as travel expenses, research expenses and field trips. You will need to meet these additional costs, although you may be able to apply for small grants from your department to help you cover some of these expenses. Please note that the majority of diploma streams are taught in Oxford and you will need to incur travel and accommodation costs to attend the programme if you do not live in the Oxford area.

Living costs

Your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must ensure you have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.

For the 2023-24 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study in Oxford, for items such as food, accommodation and study, is between c. £1,290 and £1,840 each month. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2023-24, we suggest you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.

Scholarships and funding


We are pleased to offer a variety of prestigious awards to recognise outstanding talent across our diploma community.

These include:

Candidates who meet the eligibility criteria for multiple awards are able to apply for more than one scholarship, but would only be able to take up one award. The maximum school funding available to any one candidate is 50% of programme fees, as per individual award allocations.

Corporate discount

Are there colleagues within your organisation who could benefit from enrolling on an Oxford Executive Diploma?

We're pleased to offer exclusive discounts to make professional development more accessible:

  • 10% fee reduction: enrol with a colleague and you both enjoy a 10% reduction in tuition fees.
  • 20% fee reduction: if three or more participants, including yourself, join an Executive Diploma programme together, you'll all receive a 20% fee reduction.

These savings are subject to successful application and are applicable to any Executive Diploma programme starting in 2024. Elevate your team's skills and knowledge while maximising your budget with our corporate discounts.

Terms and conditions apply, speak to Hannah Longford, Associate Director of Recruitment and Admissions to find out more.