Netherlands, Amsterdam

Pre-University Honours Programme: International Relations

when 5 July 2020 - 16 July 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
fee EUR 1300

International Relations is one of the most exciting fields in Political Science. In an ever more globalised and interconnected world, events in one place have an impact in places far away. From fleeing refugees strengthening populist and nationalist backlash in the European to Union, to the rise of China and shift of global power centers, and climate change affecting almost every other policy area worldwide, the international realm is a complex and interwoven network of cause and effect that is ripe for study.

The speed and scope with which international developments unfold is unprecedented. In order to make sense of the increased complexity of world politics, we need historical as well as theoretical perspectives. How can we understand contemporary international relations? How is globalisation changing the practice of international politics? Is the world becoming less or more peaceful, and how can we understand and promote international cooperation to achieve common goals? If you are interested in questions like these, and eager to make sense of the increasingly complex world of international relations, then this intensive summer programme is the perfect choice for you.

Participants in this 2-week programme will explore the rich field of International Relations as a sub-discipline of Political Science. We will examine the history of IR, will take a look at different theoretical perspectives and explanations, and will address contemporary issues in world politics, such as climate change, development, and war.

Our summer programme gives students the opportunity to study in an international classroom: participants come from diverse backgrounds, creating an excellent space to explore the field of IR, and to develop intercultural skills. Benefiting from insights from political science, history, and anthropology, this programme provides students with an interdisciplinary exploration of a very exciting field in the social sciences. As our hyper-connected world draws closer together, it falls to present and future generations to understand how this affects the political climate and the practice of world politics. Every aspect of our lives is intertwined with political decisions, and decisions made in faraway places have the potential to affect us as well.

Course leader

Roel van Engelen

Target group

For current high school students (must be 16+ at the start of the programme) interested in politics/political science, and the social and behavioural sciences in general.

Course aim

During the first days of the programme, students will be introduced to the field of IR, to the concept of globalisation, and will get to know the different actors (state, inter-state and non-state actors) that play a role in IR, as well as get a glimpse of some of the main theoretical perspectives in the field. After discussing the history of IR we will address a number of topical issues and challenges in contemporary world politics. The programme includes a number of guest lectures from specialists from academia as well as the practice of IR and an excursion to The Hague. In the last days of the programme, we will round up our course with student presentations and a certification ceremony.

Over the course of two weeks, students will undertake a series of lectures and excursions that will delve into the heart of the issues at hand. We will offer a wide variation in topics and approaches, as well as many different discussion and work forms, which will enable you to position yourself and form an informed opinion on many topics in an increasingly complex international environment

This programme is designed for high school students to experience studying in a competitive, international environment at the Graduate School of Social Sciences of the University of Amsterdam. The lectures and all course materials are in English. Participants in the course will develop study skills and become acquainted with learning methods that will give them an advantage as they continue their education at university.

Credits info

Students will receive an official certificate of participation.

Fee info

EUR 1300: Tuition fee includes all course materials, all excursions and site visits, a public transportation card, lunch on class days and welcome and farewell events.
EUR 400: Housing fee (optional).

Register for this course
on course website