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UK Foreign Office Scholarships for Strategic Communications 2023-24

The United Kingdom Foreign Office (FCDO) is offering scholarships to study for the first stage (Postgraduate Certificate for 30 ECTS) of a Masters programme in Strategic Communications. 

The Masters courses will be taught by leading international Strategic Communications academics and media professionals under the aegis of Sympodium, United Kingdom (Institute for Strategic Communications) and Vidzeme University for Applied Sciences, Latvia. The programme offers full accreditation under the Bologna Agreement within the European Union.


Study will begin in late November 2023 and finish in late April 2024. Teaching will be conducted primarily online but also during two study visits to Riga, Latvia in early 2024.


All student fees will be covered. Travel and accommodation costs for two study trips to Riga, Latvia are included in this scholarship


This scholarship scheme is a closed programme. Only potential students from civil society organisations and UK embassies in the following countries are eligible: Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Belarus.

The application period for this scholarship has been closed.

  • What is the programme structure?
    The programme will include the following 14 courses (subject to confirmation): · Strategic Communications - Theory and Concepts · Understanding Audiences: Target Audience Analysis & Measurement of Effect · Geopolitics, Geoeconomics and Geoecology · From Grand Strategy to Campaign Strategy · Geopolitical Communications in the Digital Century · China: Tropes and Competing Ideologies · Truths and Lies in the Modern World · Emotions, Memory, and Identity · Russia’s Information War · Indo-Pacific Strategic Communications Theatre · Influence & Behavioural Change Models · Strategic Communications and Artificial Intelligence · Gaming Strategic Communications Scenarios
  • What is the period of study?
    The study calendar is (subject to final approval): Week 1: 27.11-03.12.23 online Week 2: 04.12-10.12.23 online Week 3: 11.12-17.12.23 online Christmas/New Year Break Week 4: 15.01-21.01.24 online Week 5: 22.01-28.01.24 online Week 6: 29.01-04.02.24 in Riga Week 7: 5.02-11.02.24 in Riga Week 8: 12.02-18.02.24 online Week 9: 19.02-25.02.24 online Week 10: 26.02-03.03.24 online Week 11: 04.03-10.03.24 online Week 12: 11.03-17.03.24 online Week 13: 18.03-24.03.24 online Easter Break Week 14: 15.04-21.04.24 online Week 15: 22.04-28.04.24 in Riga
  • Can I study the whole programme online and not attend the sessions in Riga?
    Unfortunately not. The periods of teaching in Riga are intense and require participation in person. They also offer students an opportunity to build professional and friendship networks.
  • What is the expected study load online?
    A typical online teaching week will include 3 blocks of 3 hours each (total 9 hours). In addition, participants are expected to allocate time for preparation and producing assessments.
  • What is the expected study load in Riga?
    During in-person sessions in Riga, there will be 6 hours of teaching each day.
  • How long will I spend in Riga?
    There are 2 periods of study in Riga. The first in January 2024 will run for 2 (two) weeks. The second in April 2024 will run for 1 (one) week.
  • Is a Certificate issued upon completion of the Programme?
    Upon completion of the Programme, you will receive a Postgraduate Certificate in Strategic Communications (30 ECTS). It allows you later to continue to the next stage of study and convert to a full Masters degree (at your own expense).
  • Who will issue the Certificate?
    The Certificate will be issued by Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in association with Sympodium Institute for Strategic Communications. It is recognised under the Bologna Agreement within the European Union.
  • What is the standard entry requirement?
    A high standard Undergraduate degree in any subject (equivalent of above 65 in the UK higher education system). Communications, international relations, political science, social sciences or another related subject will offer the most suitable preparation for this programme.
  • My degree has a lower mark or it is in an unrelated subject. May I still apply?
    Your application will be considered if you can demonstrate significant relevant work experience, or offer another graduate qualification (such as another Masters).
  • I am a national of a country that is not on the list of eligible countries. Can I apply?
    Unfortunately, no. This is a closed scholarship. The list of eligible countries is restricted to: Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Belarus. However, it is regularly reviewed, and your country might be eligible for one of the future intakes.
  • I am a national of a country that is on the list of eligible countries, but I reside in a different country that is not on the list. Can I apply?
    Yes, you are eligible to apply.
  • Is there an age limit for the programme?
    There is no age limit.
  • Is an English language test such as IELTS/TOEFL required?
    The Programme is taught in English and language proficiency is required. All short-listed candidates will have to pass an interview to show their level of English. and an internal test of spoken and written English. No IELTS/TOEFL test is required.
  • When will I be notified about the outcome of my application?
    If shortlisted for an interview, you will be notified by the week of 25th September 2023.
  • I am shortlisted for an interview, how should I prepare?
    You should expect to be asked about your professional work and your earlier academic study.
  • When will I be notified about the outcomes of the interview?
    You will be notified of a successful application in the week of 2nd October 2023.
  • Whom should I contact if I have a question about the programme or the application process?
    Please contact
  • What costs will be covered for participants?
    The programme fees are fully covered. So too is the cost of travel to and from Riga, and accommodation during the two study visits to Riga. Visa fees (if required) will be covered.
  • What costs am I expected to cover?
    Participants are expected to cover the following costs: - Laptop and Internet connection for online lectures and seminars. - Travel/medical insurance for the teaching periods in Riga. - Living expenses in Riga beyond travel and accommodation.
  • Can my family travel with me to Riga, and is there any financial support for this?
    No. This is an intensive programme of study. Students are dissuaded from bringing family members. The costs for the Programme apply only to the student.
  • Will I need a laptop?
    Yes. You will need to bring your laptop for study in Riga. You will require computer access for study throughout the months of this programme.
  • How will I access reading materials for the courses?
    A dedicated online site containing reading materials will be available for all students. Further links will be made available to access online libraries.
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