SOAS University of London

Online Academic Summer School

International Relations in the 21st Century (Online) (2022 entry)

  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
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Course Outline

The course will provide a critical understanding of key developments and issues in contemporary world politics for students with no prior background in international relations. Focusing on the period since the end of the Cold War, an era defined by rapid institutional innovation and development, as well as a number of emergent global issues, problems and policy dilemmas, the course locates these in the context of north-south relations. Treating the international system as a dynamic whole, it examines how issues that have become central in international politics including ‘failed states’, nuclear proliferation, armed conflict and terrorism, democratisation, pandemics and the Arab Spring are intimately linked to expanding efforts since the mid-20th century to generate a liberal world order.

For more information, please see the course handbook:  International Relations in the 21st Century online handbook (pdf; 125kb)   

"I can’t tell you how much of a thrill it was to be able to attend SOAS while working full-time in another time zone. It’s something I never thought I would be able to do. The bright spot in the pandemic for me. Will always be grateful." - Vonnie (International Relations in the 21st Century, 2020)

"The course was excellent. The professor's engagement made the course a wonderful learning experience for everyone." (International Relations in the 21st Century, 2020)

What will I learn?

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

  • Apply international relations theory to explain key developments and events in contemporary world politics
  • Demonstrate critical knowledge of contemporary global policy frameworks, such as globalization, neoliberalism and the Global War on Terror
  • Demonstrate critical knowledge of key institutional and organizational developments in world politics since the end of the Cold War

For further information on credits, entry requirements and fees, please visit our Online Learning webpage.

If you have any questions, please fill out our enquiries form.

Venue: Online Learning

Start of programme: 18 July - 29 July 2022

Mode of Attendance: Online Learning

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.

Featured events

2 weeks

Tuition Fees 2022




Programme schedule:

A full programme schedule and updated handbook are being developed and will be available soon.

Sample Reading list:
  • Mearsheimer, John J. (2010) ‘The Gathering Storm: China's Challenge to US Power in Asia,’ The Chinese Journal of International Politics 3(4): 381-396
  • De Graaff, Naná and Bastiaan Van Apeldoorn, (2018) ‘US–China relations and the liberal world order: contending elites, colliding visions?’ International Affairs 94(1): 113–131.
  • Laffey, Mark (2015) A short guide to Constructivism
  • Turner, Oliver. "China, India and the US Rebalance to the Asia Pacific: The Geopolitics of Rising Identities." Geopolitics 21, no. 4 (2016): 922-944.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees


Application fee

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


Save £200 when if apply by 30th April 

10% discount if you apply for two courses over 4 weeks

20% 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.


How to Apply

Apply now to secure your place.

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the course within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis. Apply now to secure your place.

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