Academic Summer School

Global Activism and the United Nations (Online)

Key information

Start date
2 weeks
Start of programme
20 July – 31 July 2022
Attendance mode

Course overview

This is an opportunity to work alongside world-leading advocates within the UN system. The key live cases are Southern women in the history and future of the UN ; more effective means of holding war criminals to account ; a global system of weapons elimination and control, finance for a green New Deal, and the creative origins of the United Nations will be studied along with an opportunity to engage in real-time advocacy on one of these themes and learn from the readings. Each of these websites provides a deep dive into the case that will be taught.

Students are encouraged to take the free-start-any-day online course on the United Nations before the summer school starts, but this is not a requirement (MOOC online course: Global Diplomacy: the United Nations in the World).

We are delighted that Andrew Gilmour, recently retired as the UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, will be giving a masterclass to students on The United Nations and Global Advocacy course.

For more information, please download the course handbook: Global Activism and the United Nations handbook (pdf; 61kb)

I most enjoyed the opportunity to discuss material with fellow students and being able to learn from leaders in the field, all of whom are currently involved in work directly related to the course. - The United Nations and Global Advocacy, 2020

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course, you will be able to demonstrate:

  • An excellent ability to comprehend both conceptually and empirically the United Nations, and the UN system within the conceptual framework of Global International Organisations
  • Comprehensive understanding of, and ability to critically review the relevant literature
  • Aptitude in constructing and applying an appropriate analytical approach to issues relevant to the subject matter
  • Capacity to source, integrate, analyse and summarise relevant research and data in the submission of assessments
  • The relevant skills to propose, debate and appraise feasible issues relevant to the subject

For further information on credits, entry requirements and fees, please visit our online learning.

If you have any question, please fill out our enquiries form


Sample reading list

The United Nations reading

  • MacQueen, Norrie, The United Nations: A Beginner’s Guide, Oneworld Publications, 2010
  • Adami, Rebecca, Women and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Routledge 2018
  • Willams, Ian, Untold: The Real Story of the UN in War and Peace, JustWorld Books,2017
  • Weiss Thomas G. Would the World be better without the UN? Polity, 2018.
  • Plesch, Dan, Human Rights After Hitler,Georgetown UP, 2017

Global Advocacy reading

  • Keck, Margaret E and Kathryn Sikkink (1998) Activist beyond borders (Cornell)
  • Della Porta, Donatella, Hanspeter Kriesi and Dieter Rucht (eds) (2009) Social Movements in a Globalizing world 2009 (2nd edition) (Palgrave McMillan)
  • Stark, Gene (1994) From Dictatorship to Democracy (free online resource)
  • Mason, Paul (2012) Why its kicking off everywhere (Verso)
  • Peterson, Abby, 'Review essay: Social Movement Theory' Acta Sociologica 1989 32(4) pp.419-426

Important notice

The information on the website reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. The modules are indicative options of the content students can expect and are/have been previously taught as part of these programmes. However, this information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. 

Fees and funding



Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


  • 10% discount if you apply for two courses over 4 weeks
  • 15% discount for SOAS alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)
  • 20% discount for our partner institutions
  • Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for more information.

Academic Summer School Ambassador Scholarship 2022

Applications for our 2022 Ambassador Scholarship are now open.

The Ambassador Scholarship programme 2022 offers 3 full tuition fee waiver scholarships for highly morivated and academically driven students. Take a look at our Ambassador Scholarship page for more information on how to apply.

Application deadline: 2022-04-30 00:00