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Diplomatic Service

Job in London, United Kingdom

Degree level


Job function

General business

Required language

English (Fluent)

Work experience

0 to 2 years

Start date

November 1, 2019

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On the Diplomatic Service Fast Stream, you’ll promote British interests overseas and support our businesses and citizens around the world.

Duration: 3 years

Salary: £28K

Location: London and overseas


There's no such thing as a typical Diplomatic career. You could be based in London or working in a one of the Foreign Office's small, challenging or remote embassies, or working on global issues in one of our large embassies in Washington and Paris.

You might focus on bilateral work, multilateral work, consular support, media and communications, project management or decide to specialise in a particular region of the world.


  • British citizen (those with dual nationality may apply) who have been a resident in the UK for at least 2 out of the last 10 years
  • you need, or expect to have, 2:2 degree or higher in any subject
  • Existing civil servants can apply without a degree

What will you experience?

Foreign Office staff change roles routinely every 3 to 4 years. You’ll apply for each role according to your preferences, career ambitions, and personal circumstances.

All Diplomatic Service Fast Streamers must be granted ‘Developed Vetting’ security clearance before starting.

Promotion and successful completion of the scheme will see you earn around £45k.

You can also apply for the Diplomatic Service (Economics) scheme provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

Typical FCO policy roles may include being desk officer for a specific country, or policy lead on a thematic issue such as human rights, counter-terrorism or climate change.

Typical FCO operational roles may be working in a Minister’s office, in the media office, in the consular department, or working on finance/commercial issues.

From November 2019, the Diplomatic Service Fast Stream will be a 3-year scheme. This will give DS Fast Streamers opportunities to work in both the UK and Overseas whilst on the scheme. The options for the scheme may include:

  1. A year spent in an operational role, followed by 2 years in policy role that includes around 7 months overseas
  2. A year spent in an operational role, followed by a year in a policy role (or vice-versa). The third year will be spent in an overseas posting.
  3. A year spent in an operational role, followed by a year in a policy role (or vice-versa). Followed by one year in London on FCO priority area.
  4. A year in an operational / policy role followed by priority hard language training and a posting.

Supporting your learning

Your training will help your understand how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office work and also diplomatic tradecraft:

  • Job-specific training, often including a visit to one of our embassies overseas. 

  • A buddy from the previous year’s Fast Stream intake

  • Coaching and mentoring available.

Promotion could see you earn around £45k within 5 years

What benefits will you enjoy?

You’ll have a unique chance to work on issues that really matter, and to gain experience internally and externally. It’s the best foundation for promotion and long-term progression.

Other benefits include the Civil Service pension scheme, professional qualifications, language learning opportunities, flexible working, season ticket loans, sports and social activities, child care assistance and more.

Logo Civil Service Fast Stream UK
About Civil Service Fast Stream UK
to company page

The Civil Service Fast Stream is a talent management programme for graduates who have potential to become leaders of the Civil Service. It’s consistently ranked in the top 10 of The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.
The Fast Stream enables graduates to make an impact on people’s lives in the UK and the world. You could work in areas including education, the economy, foreign affairs, defence policy, health, the environment and many more.

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