SOAS University of London

Summer School at SOAS University of London

Development and Conflict

Duration: Three weeks.

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • How to Apply


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Mode of Attendance: Full-time


Session 3: 24 July - 11 August 2017

Programme Description 

This course examines the linkages between conflict and development, inequality and violence, and the structures and interests which contribute to the continuation of violence within and between nations. Drawing on case studies from a wide range of on-going and recent conflicts throughout the world, the course considers how political and economic interests compete or conspire, and how these processes may create great wealth for some but devastation for many more. It examines how international peacekeeping and humanitarian interventions have proliferated under an international normative architecture based on notions of a ‘responsibility to protect’. The course will consider how the current international aid and development system elaborates policies and processes to reduce poverty and inequality, but how these policies may themselves be contributing to the problems they intend to solve. Looking at current manifestations of violence and possible trajectories and trends in armed violence at a global level, the course explores notions of identity and terror, and the notion of building resilience to violence. The course ends with an examination of violence in non-conflict contexts.

Throughout this course, students will critically examine the relevant literature, popular discourse and media to challenge assumptions and constructively engage with each other, reaching new understandings and strengthening analytical skills.



A tuition fee of £1500 will be charged per 3 week programme. This figure does not include accommodation fees.

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £60 will be charged to cover administration costs. 

  • An early bird discount of 10% is available if fees are paid by 17 April 2017.
  • 15% discount for SOAS Alumni or if you take a combination of sessions 2 and 3.
  • 20% discount for our partner institutions.
  • 50% partial fee waiver for current SOAS students (2 available per course)
  • Other discounts are available for groups, please contact us for further information.

Accommodation is available at an extra fee of £710 for 20 nights. For more details of how to reserve a room please visit our accommodation page.


Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution. Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and transcripts will be available on request.

Social Programme

You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party and an optional river cruise on the Thames for a small additional charge. Details about how to book will be communicated to you once you are registered. You will also receive discount codes for day trips and overnight tours with our partner International Friends.


For more information, please fill out our enquiries form


Contact hours: 46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.   Core hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-3pm, and 2 hours on one specified Friday over the 3 weeks.   Optional hours: In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of 'activities' relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc). On Fridays, all courses open up one of their activities to all summer school students and these are optional. For example, if you have been studying a Development course, you may choose to join an activity belonging to a Politics, Economics and Environment course. All activities will be staggered throughout the day so that you have a chance to take as many as possible. Please note however that the Friday activity relating to the course you are registered on is compulsory.

Week 1: Understanding conflict

  • Concepts, definitions and trends
  • Conflict and Development
  • Political economy of violence

Week 2: Functions, consequences and interventions

  • Natural resources and conflict
  • Conflicts, refugees and borders
  • Peacekeeping, humanitarianism, and protection
  • Reconstruction and peace building

Week 3: Horizons for conflict and development

  • Development assistance
  • Identity, terror and resilience
  • Violence in non-conflict settings

Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a 2000-2500 word essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.


Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

At the end of a course, a student should be able to demonstrate: 

  • how wars and conflicts affect development processes and vice versa
  • the major contrasting conflict and development theories and how they relate to practice 
  • global complex emergencies (wars, refuges and gender-based violence) and critique international response to violent crises


How to Apply

Applications Now Open! Click to apply

Entry Requirements

In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
    Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all sub scores.
    • TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills. 
    • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
    • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
    • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
    • Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
    • Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject based courses with English language support.

Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £60 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

There are still a few places left on our courses and we are delighted to offer an extended deadline for applications:

  • Session1 and session 2 courses: 12th June
  • Session 3 courses: 3rd of July

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