diplomatic service economics


Diplomatic Service Economics

The heart of global macroeconomic policy and international relations


2 Years




London and overseas


Diplomatic Economists work on some of the most diverse and rewarding projects in government. As a Diplomatic Economist Fast Streamer your work will allow you to focus on both country specific projects as well as thematic projects that look across international borders. This will place you at the heart of global macroeconomic policy and international relations.

You will work within the Foreign and Commonwealth office (FCO) assessing programmes and analysing emerging trends in areas such as inequality and globalisation.


  • you must be a British citizen and must have been resident in the UK for at least 2 out of the last 10 years
  • you need, or expect to have, a 2:1 degree or higher or a post-graduate degree in an economic subject
  • for mixed degrees, at least 50% should be in economics

What will you experience?

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Diplomatic Economist Fast Streamers are placed in a wide range of roles with the primary purpose of making sure foreign policy is underpinned by sound economic analysis. No two Diplomatic Economists will share the same career path and you’ll spend a large part of your career overseas. You could end up working on post-conflict reconstruction or manage relationships with our biggest trading partners.

As economists, it is always important to convey our work beyond the boundaries of our profession; working in the FCO provides an excellent learning opportunity for developing these skills.

What do they say

Your progression through the programme

Supporting your learning

Diplomatic Economists have outstanding access to development opportunities through the Diplomatic Academy and Government Economics Service. These services provide a large and diverse array of courses, from macroeconomic and international trade refreshers to master classes on trade policy and how to communicate effectively with ministers.

In your first year, there will be 5 weeks of required learning in the basics of how the FCO works and diplomatic tradecraft.

Up to £55k

If you successfully complete the scheme and are promoted, you'll earn around £45k to £55k.

What benefits will you enjoy?


You’ll have a unique chance to work on issues that really matter. The programme provides a platform for promotion and long-term progression.

Benefits include the Civil Service pension scheme, professional qualifications, flexible working, season ticket loans, sports and social activities, childcare vouchers and more.


Online tests

The online tests consist of Work Style Questionnaires and multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaires, Work Based Scenarios and a video interview.

You'll only move on to the next test, if you've successfully passed the previous one.


Assessment Centre

If you pass the online tests, you’ll be invited to attend a half day assessment centre in either London or Newcastle. The Fast Stream Assessment Centre (FSAC) reflects some of the key elements of a Fast Stream role and will consist of a leadership exercise, a group exercise and a written analysis exercise. Information is presented via an iPad tablet; alternative formats are available.

You can take a virtual tour of the assessment centres at the following links:




Final Selection

If you are successful at the assessment centre, you’ll be invited to take part in a final selection process.

The specialist assessments will assess your broad capabilities and motivation to be part of the profession you’ve chosen. You’ll be sent detailed guidance before the assessments to explain what is involved.

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