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International Relations Summer School


This unique summer programme will introduce you to the key debates and issues in contemporary International Relations, whilst giving you the opportunity to explore the capital cities of London and Paris, thanks to its dual city location.

The programme is designed primarily for students who have studied at least one year at university level. In addition to exploring key theories and concepts, you will also learn about particular conflicts, discuss contemporary wars, debate the ethics of intervention and the use of violence, as well as consider the logic and impact of interventions. You will learn how international institutions function, how they respond to global and international threats, and how they attempt to mediate wars and conflicts

  • Understand the basic theoretical and conceptual frameworks used in the study of IR.
  • Apply theoretical frameworks/arguments to contemporary issues of war and conflict resolution.
  • Critically assess the role of international (or supra-state) institutions and interrogate their relationship with domestic and local institutions and actors.
  • Benefit from exposure to the culture and traditions of two major European capitals, giving you the opportunity to develop your language skills.


The programme will run from 2-28 July 2017. Weeks 1 and 2, which will take place at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) are planned to run as follows:

Democracy and the Arab Spring

The popular uprisings beginning in 2011 saw widespread demands for democracy and social justice in North Africa and the Middle East. What are the democratic gains and losses six year on?

UK-EU: Brexit

The United Kingdom is to leave the European Union. Why did the referendum turn out this way? And what does it mean for the UK’s relations with the world?    .


The Israel/Palestine conflict pits two nations against one another. Given the rhetoric of oppression and terrorism, what are the prospects for mutual recognition and respect?

The Future of the EU

The European Union is an unprecedented experiment in the governance of the Nation States of Europe. Can it adapt to deal with the new challenges it now faces?

International Politics of Africa

Globalisation has provided the wider context for development across Africa. How have African states adapted to its pressures and opportunities?.

Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism and ‘New Wars’

Nation-States are not the only actors to engage in political violence. How significant are non-state actors to contemporary warfare and prospects for international peace?

Russia and the Ukraine

Russia-EU/NATO relations are seen as central to the conflicts in the Ukraine. How important are matters of justice and injustice to the international and domestic politics of these conflicts?

The Politics of the Global Climate

The climate continues to change as a result of global warming. What are the obstacles to and prospects for effective political-economic solutions?

Approaches to the Study of International Relations

The academic discipline of International Relations offers a range of theoretical perspectives on the world. What are the competing visions of global politics put forward by IR scholars?

US Global Power

With the rise of global and regional powers, the US is in relative decline. How might a Trump Presidency be able to respond?
Weeks 3 and 4 will take place at the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP). You will explore practical and performative aspects of international politics: how diverse individual and collective actors perform international politics through campaigns, protests, movements, and many other repertoires. There will be a special focus on unconventional actors such as artists and activists who are significantly shaping international politics. The sessions as expected to run as indicated below:

Non-institutional and institutional actors

We explore NGOs, INGOs, activists, artists, and their primary modes of acting in international politics.

The state and non-state actors

We explore proliferating modes of acting by states such as by proxy or by financial and military instruments as well as non-state actors and their engagement with these modes of acting.

Bodies and borders

We explore how people enact themselves as political actors by crossing various borders as refugees, migrants, travellers, professionals, and artists. How do the bodies of become sites of international politics?

Camps and cities

The proliferation of camps within and without cities to detains, hold, imprison, and incarcerate people have brought camps and cities to the forefront of international politics where from sanctuary cities to refugee camps become intense sites of enactment of international politics.  


The spread of hacking as weapons of cyberwar by both stat and non-state actors has now changed how war itself is defined and pursued.


The circulation of images ranging from dead refugees to columns of migrants

Nature and the high seas

From forests to pipelines and from Arctic exploration to high-seas piracy unconventional sites have become intense sites of international politics.


Ways of exploring how international politics is described by those actors who are engaged in international politics.


Ways of judging both conditions and consequences of international politics.


Ways of investigating the meaning and function of what actors do when they perform international politics.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. In addition to the online form, you will need to provide some information about yourself. See How to apply below 

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Once you have filled in the online application form, please send the supporting documents to politics-pg@qmul.ac.uk, putting your name in the subject line of your email, you will need to send:

You will need to send us:

  • Your most recent academic transcript;
  • An academic reference;
  • A CV detailing your professional experience and prior education.

If your first language is not English, you must provide also evidence of your English language proficiency, for example an IELTS or TOEFL certificate. For this course we expect an IELTS (or equivalent) as stated in the Entry Requirements section. You should email your certificate, if required, to politics-pg@qmul.ac.uk, putting your name in the subject line of your email.



Successful completion of the programme will award 15 UK credits, 7.5 ECTS


Course Fee: £3,000 includes the following:

  • Accommodation
  • Tuition
  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Return tickets London/Paris
  • A field trip to Brussels (cost of return travel only)

Additional costs not included in course fee: Evening meals, social, travel, cultural and any other activities not related to the course.

Entry Requirements

ACADEMIC:  Each application will be considered on its merits.  The programme is designed primarily for students who have studied at university level.  Typically this means students in their second year of university, or students who can demonstrate recent academic study at this level.  We are looking at students who have studied International Relations or a similar subject, and if studying in the UK, your grades should be in the 2:1 range.  

We accept equivalents from other international university systems, examples of which are as follows

  • China: GPA of 3.2 out of 4 or higher from a recognised university
  • France: 13 or higher from a recognised university
  • Germany: ‘gut’ or better from a recognised university
  • India: Minimum of 60%
  • Italy: 24 or higher from a recognised university
  • Norway: B or better from a recognised university
  • Singapore: GPA of 3.0 out of 4 or higher from a recognised university
  • Spain: Minimum of 7
  • Switzerland: on a grading from 1 – 6, 5 or higher from a recognised university
  • Turkey: CGPA of 2.80
  • USA: GPA of 3.2 out of 4 or higher from a recognised university

Please contact us if you have studied in another country not listed above.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE: All modules will be taught and assessed entirely in English. Therefore all students whose first language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency. We accept the following qualifications:

IELTS 7.0 or above (minimum 6.5 in each component)
TOEFL (Internet based) 100 or above (minimum 24/30 in reading and writing, 20/30 in listening and speaking)
If you have an alternative English Language qualification please contact us.


Application Deadlines

If you require accommodation, then you must apply by 13 April 2017. 

However, if you do not require accommodation then the deadline for applications is 26 May 2017. The School reserves the right to close applications early.

Please contact politics-pg@qmul.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Withdrawal Policy

Requests to withdraw will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please see the Terms & Conditions information in tab below for more information.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions can be downloaded below:
Terms and Conditions [PDF 228 KB]

Frequently Asked Questions

Read Frequently Asked Questions about this course.

Contact Us

Please email politics-pg@qmul.ac.uk

Find out more about Queen Mary University of London School of Politics and International Relations

Download the flyer: International Relations Summer School [PDF 226 KB]
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