Academic Subject Summer Course
The course offers students an introduction to issues and ideas in International Relations. It is intended for people interested in how modern relations between nations and people have evolved and how they are changing in a globalising world. The course is taught through a series of lectures, seminars, case studies and discussion classes with supporting English tuition.
The course combines lectures, seminars and case studies to explore a wide range of developments in international relations today including: the rise of nationalism in Europe; democratic revolutions in the Middle East; America’s waning hegemony; and the challenges of global warming and nuclear proliferation.
Students will get the opportunity to produce group presentations on a variety of different international questions, and to participate in role-playing exercises that give an insight into the practical diplomacy of international relations.
Click on the structure tab for more details and to see what structure the lectures will follow. View the International Relations flyer.
International Relations can be taken either as a full 9-week course, as a 6-week option starting in either Block 1 or Block 2, or alternatively as a single 3-week course in any block. The content for each block is different.
English language requirements: Students need at least an intermediate level of English in order to understand the lectures, which are delivered at undergraduate level, and to engage in lively discussion in the seminars and tutorials.
Block 1 - International order and change
The focus of this first block is the rise of the modern states-system and the structures of power that shape international politics today. How can states with different national interests maintain peace and security?
- Sovereignty and the modern international order
- Great powers - US hegemony
- Collective security - United Nations
- Global inequality - North-South relations
- The shifting balance of power - China's rise
- Nuclear weapons and arms control
Block 2 - Culture, states and security
The second block explores the influence of domestic institutions and national cultures on the relations between states. What role does liberal democracy play in shaping the dynamics of world politics, and can societies with different cultures live peacefully?
- Nationalism and the modern state
- Democracy and liberal peace
- Autocratic states and the West
- Failed states and new wars
- Human security and development
- Revolution in world politics
Block 3 - Individuals and ethics in a globalising world
The third block shifts the focus to the level of the individual. How are traditional notions of security and power in world politics being transformed by the rise of transnational economic and social relations? Will globalisation give rise to a more cosmopolitan, less nationalistic world?
- Migrants, refugees and citizens
- Transnational actors and global civil society
- Religion, identity and the 'war on terror'
- Universal human rights and international law
- Humanitarian intervention and state sovereignty
- Global environmental politics
How to Apply
Tuition per 3-week course £ 1150
Accommodation per 3 week course (room only, self catering) £700
We recommend you apply early if you want accommodation in SOAS Halls of Residence.
You must complete and send back the acceptance form, and pay online as soon possible. An online receipt will be produced when you use the online payment system.
Refunds of accommodation and course fees are made only at the discretion of SOAS.
Head of Department International Foundation Courses & English Language Studies (IFCELS)
SOAS (University of London)
23/24 Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
A Student's Perspective
When I actually started my studies on the foundation course at SOAS, it confirmed in my mind that I had made a very good choice.