FutureLearn and The Open University team up with Foreign and Commonwealth Office to Explore Diplomacy in 21st Century

FutureLearn, the leading online social learning platform in Europe, has teamed up with owner The Open University (OU) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to provide a new free course exploring diplomacy in the 21st century.

Diplomacy in the 21st Century has been developed by the Diplomatic Academy of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and will help learners broaden their understanding of modern diplomacy by learning from diplomats and other experts.

The course will provide a platform for a broad discussion about diplomacy and, while it has been designed from a British perspective, aims to stimulate global discussion.

Subjects on the course include: diplomatic representation; digital diplomacy; women, gender and diplomacy; theories of diplomacy; leading diplomatic missions; and diplomatic tradecraft including networking and reporting.

Diplomacy in the 21st Century will appeal to individuals with some exposure to diplomacy but is open to all and expected to attract a high level of enrolment following the success of recent BBC documentary series: Inside the Foreign Office.

Nigel Smith, MD of Courses and Learning at FutureLearn, said: “We live in uncertain times and so long as diplomacy can serve as the bridge between conflicting views its artful application will always be important.

“Diplomacy can be wielded in both the professional and personal worlds and there can be no better teacher than the Diplomatic Academy of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We’re delighted to be partnering with our owner The OU and working with the FCO in delivering this course, and expect the universally important subject of diplomacy will appeal to a broad learner base.”

Jon Benjamin, Director of the Diplomatic Academy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said: “The Diplomatic Academy is working hard to equip the FCO with the knowledge and skills required to meet the ever-evolving challenges of contemporary diplomacy. Now, for the very first time, I’m delighted to invite the public to join us. The Diplomacy in the 21st Century course is a fantastic opportunity to get under the skin of the FCO: to explore our history, understand how we work today, and see how we might shape the future.”

Dr J Simon Rofe, Reader in Diplomatic and International Studies, Global Diplomacy Programme Director, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy SOAS, University of London & Lead Educator team, said “understanding the essential characteristics of diplomacy: Communication, Representation and Negotiation, are as salient in 2019 as they were in ancient Greece, or medieval Europe, or at the end of the First World War. In addressing issues such as global climate change, migration and refugees, and international terrorism, the opportunity this course provides to work with the FCO’s Diplomatic Academy, and with other diplomatic practitioners around the world, should not be underestimated. It has been a thrill to work with FCO colleagues, and those at the Open University and FutureLearn, in bringing together this course: I hope learners will get as much out of the experience as we put into building it”.

Diplomacy in the 21st Century begins on the 14th January 2019 and is free to enrol onto today.