Applying for the diploma

We will assess all applicants based on your individual merits and potential shown in your CV, a statement of your career plans and your referees’ statements. In order to apply for the diploma, you must have:

  • A minimum of a BSc-equivalent qualification in a biology/natural resources-related field, OR in exceptional cases demonstrated equivalent experience in the field of wildlife conservation practice.  If you already have, or currently studying for, a doctorate in the natural sciences, you would not be considered a priority candidate.
  • Considerable first-hand experience (employment for at least two to three years, or equivalent) of field work and conservation issues in the developing world.
  • An adequate level of spoken and written English (see “Evidence of English Language” below).
  • A basic working knowledge of Microsoft Office programmes, in particular Word and Excel, email and internet.
  • The agreement of your employer to allow you time to attend and complete the course.

How to Apply

The University requires you to apply online via the Online Graduate Application Form. A guide to applying online is available here:

You need to include the following documents in your application:

  1. A completed Application Form.
  2. A Statement of Purpose detailing why you want to take the course, and your subsequent career plans. This should demonstrate your motivation and ability to complete the course, and offer a clear and well argued understanding of the benefits of the course to your current employment and future prospects.
  3. Academic transcipt(s) from your degree(s), translated to English.
  4. Evidence of English Language skills. If your first language is not English, or it is English but you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country (as defined by UK Boarder Agency – see here), you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s English language standard for graduate level taught courses in the form of a certificate of an English language test (i.e. IELTS; minimum component scores must be met, otherwise UKBA will not issue a student visa). These certificates must be taken within two years of the date of the course start. Further guidance is available on the University’s Graduate Admissions website. In some cases, you may be able to request an English Language Test waiver, further information can be found here: Qualifications and experience, languages and funding | Application Guide | University of Oxford
  5. References from three referees, at least one of whom is qualified to comment on your academic potential.
  6. A Scholarship Application Form, if needed (see our Financial support webpage for more details).
  7. An Application Fee of £75 (pounds sterling). Residents of certain countries may be exempt from this. Please see for more information.

It is not necessary to request permission before applying. However, if you wish to enquire whether you have the appropriate background to be considered a strong candidate, in particular if you are lacking a relevant first degree, please email your CV to the course coordinator at the address below.

For an indication of the kind of candidates we are looking for, please see the webpages of the early-career conservationists who have participated in the diploma in previous years. These can be found at our members page.

Please note that if your application is incomplete by the deadline it will not be forwarded to the selection panel for consideration.

Guide to Completing the Application Form

An online guide to completing the application form can be found on the Oxford University Graduate Admissions webpage, here:

For online applications, payment of the £75 application fee must be made by credit card through eVision. Please be aware that this is the only form of payment that can be accepted.

For further information on the course and application requirements, please see the Curriculum and Financial support webpages, and the links to Oxford University websites above.  Any queries not addressed on those pages can be directed to the diploma coordinator:


Telephone: +44 1865 611119