Queen Mary Summer School

Issues and Debates in International Relations

add description here


During this Summer School course, you will be exposed to a broad range of seminars, lectures and discussions about the issues facing us in a globalised world. The course will provide you with a sophisticated theoretical and applied understanding of international relations including areas of expertise such as war and security, globalisation and development, and EU foreign policy. Subjects that will be covered include an overview of international relations since 1945, the major international institutions and actors, war and security in a global era, and the European Union as a global actor.

Course content is subject to change.

Course aims

The course aims to provide you with knowledge of the debates and ideas within international relations, with a critical understanding of key theoretical and conceptual approaches, and with an understanding of various contemporary conflicts and dilemmas within international politics. You will also be introduced to a variety of study skills for undertaking further study, particularly case study and comparative analysis of different conflicts, institutions and practices. You will also receive guidance in preparing short reports, summaries and analyses, and presentations with the specific aim of improving your writing, study and presentation skills.

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, external visits, and talks by invited speakers and lecturers. 

Learning outcomes

You will learn:

  • to understanding the basic theoretical and conceptual frameworks used in the study of international relations
  • how to apply theoretical frameworks/arguments to contemporary issues of war and conflict resolution
  • how to critically assess the role of international (or supra-state) institutions and interrogate their relationship with domestic and local institutions and actors.

You will be able to:

  • prepare short summaries of arguments and debates within international relations
  • undertake a comparative analysis of empirical case studies
  • deliver effective presentations
  • develop fluency in oral presentation
  • improve your academic writing (both in style and content)
  • develop your research skills.


The Queen Mary Summer School costs: £1,650 per session, which includes tution and social programme. 

We offer a 10% discount to:

  • Students and staff from partner institutions
  • Alumni
  • Current Queen Mary students 


The cost of accommodation is approximately £500 per session. For further information, please visit our  page.

Additional costs and course excursions

There may be additional costs for field trips, such as entry to exhibitions, which will be in the region of £10-20.
All reading material will be provided online, so it is not necessary to purchase any books.

Please note there is no deposit payment required for the Queen Mary Summer School.

Entry requirements

To join our Summer School, you should have completed a minimum of two semesters’ study at your home institution.

We welcome Summer School students from around the world. We accept a range of qualifications:

  • if your home institution uses the four-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale, we usually require a 3.0 GPA
  • if your home institution uses the letter scale, you will need to have a B+

We welcome international qualifications and we consider every application individually on its academic merit.

English language requirements

All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English isn’t your first language, you must meet one of the following English Language requirements in order to join the Queen Mary Summer School:

  • If you hold a degree from a majority English speaking country plus Canada you may use this degree to satisfy the English language requirements for entry, provided the degree was completed no more than 5 years before the start date of the course to which you are applying.
  • IELTS, 7.0 overall or higher, with at least 6.5 in all sub scores or equivalent
  • China UEE (University Entrance Exam) -  110
  • CET 4 – 550 or CET 6 – 490
  • Applicants with an alternative qualification should check it is equivalent to the above or contact us at summerschool@qmul.ac.uk

How to apply

Applications are open! 

Have a question? Get in touch, one of the team will be happy to help.

Application deadline: 26 May 2019.

What do I need to apply?

You’ll need to upload the following documents together with your online application:

  • your current academic transcript or your record of studies to date
  • evidence of your English Language proficiency, if your first language isn’t English 
  • a written statement explaining why you'd like to attend the Summer School
  • a copy of your passport

What do I do next? 

  • work with your home university adviser to select the courses you want to study at Queen Mary and ensure they are approved/can transfer back to your own institution
  • gather your transcripts and your proof of language proficiency (if applicable)
  • check that you meet the eligibility criteria
  • Fill out our online application form

What happens then?

  • we make a decision on your application within 5 days of your application date and send you an offer letter
  • you accept our offer
  • apply for a visa (if you need it)
  • book your flights to London**
  • read all of our pre-departure emails carefully before you arrive
  • pack and get ready for your stay in London
  • arrive in London and move into your new home with us on campus
  • join the welcome programme and start your course
  • complete all your welcome programme/orientation tasks
  • enjoy your time at the Queen Mary Summer School

** Please don’t connect or enter the UK via Ireland, as there are visa restrictions.

Teaching dates
Session One: 1 July - 19 July 2019
Course hours
150 hours (of which 45 will be contact hours)
1,500-word written portfolio (75%), presentation (25%)

Apply now

Ask a question

Our location