Promote British interests overseas and support our businesses and citizens around the world
APPLICATIONS CLOSED: Register your interest below.
London and overseas
The foreign office promotes British interests overseas, and supports our businesses and citizens around the world through our offices in the UK and our network of diplomatic posts overseas.
Our officers work on everything, from negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU, to supporting British nationals affected by natural disasters and terrorist attacks 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 the 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.
Foreign office staff change roles routinely every 3 to 4 years. You apply for each role according to your preferences, career ambitions, and personal circumstances. You won’t be sent somewhere you haven’t asked to go.
All Diplomatic Service Fast Streamers must be granted Developed Vetting security clearance before starting.
In year one, Fast Streamers fill a policy role, as desk officer for a specific country, or policy lead on a thematic issue such as human rights, counter-terrorism or climate change.
In their second year, Fast Streamers take on an operational role, which could include working in a minister’s office, in a media office, in the consular department, or working on commercial issues in the Prosperity department.
You'll get a real insight into the foreign policy challenges that are shaping government policy in the UK and beyond. It’s an exciting, challenging and rewarding job where every day is different.
For the first few months I thought my brain would explode – but it's been the most amazing opportunity.
Fast Streamers are expected to devote around 10% of their time to learning and development. In your first year, there will be 5 weeks of mandatory training in the basics of how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office works and diplomatic tradecraft.
In addition you may need job-specific training, often including a visit to one of our embassies overseas.
You’ll be matched with a buddy from the previous year’s Fast Stream intake, and will have the opportunity to work with a coach or a mentor if you choose.
Up to £45k
Promotion could see you earn around £45k within 5 years
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.
Promotion and successful completion of the scheme will see you earn around £45k, while other benefits include the Civil Service pension scheme, professional qualifications, flexible working, season ticket loans, sports and social activities, childcare assistance and more.
If you pass the online tests, you'll be invited to attend a half-day assessment at one of our assessment centres in either London or Newcastle.
We'll ask you to take part in a series of exercises. This includes a leadership exercise, a group exercise and an analysis exercise.
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 assessment to explain what is involved.
Careers in International Politics, City University London
18:00 - 20:00
Careers in Technology, City University London
18:00 - 20:00
Presentation slot, University of Newcastle
12:00 - 15:00
We host events at universities throughout the country so you can find out the information you need to apply for a place on the Fast Stream. We want to reach the most talented and diverse group of students nationwide.