United Kingdom, London

International Law: Contemporary Issues

when 24 July 2017 - 11 August 2017
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 7.5 EC
fee GBP 1500

This course provides students with a basic understanding of international law, focusing on foundational structures that are necessary to engage with any international legal issue. Students are introduced to three sub-disciplines within international law: international humanitarian law of armed conflict, international criminal law and international economic law. Through the study of these three areas of international law students are introduced to a range of contemporary issues that require the application of the foundation rules and structures to develop awareness of both the limitations and potential of international law as a tool for change.

Students will leave the course with capacity to address international legal problems with confidence as well as awareness of specific contemporary issues and how international law is dealing with three specific emergent and on-going concerns: the environment, technology (in particular the use of drones and the development of Lethally Armed Weapon systems) and the use of force outside of the collective security structures.

Students will also take part in a Model Security Council Session after a studying critical engagements with security the model session will allow students to understand the political contingencies and procedural restraints on the transformation of the collective security structures. The class will also watch a film screening of ‘Through Their Eyes: Witnesses to Justice’. The film looks at the role of witness testimonies international criminal law cases. This will encourage students to reflect on the space between survivor accounts and legal narratives, the film screening will be followed by an open debate.

This course is co-taught by Dr Gina Heathcote and Dr Muin Boase

Course leader

Dr Gina Heathcote and Dr Muin Boase

Target group

Current students, professionals + leisure learners

Course aim

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

Understanding of the foundations of international law, including the sources of international law and the capacity for state responsibility to be realised for breaches of obligations
Capacity for critical interrogation of specific regimes within international law, in particular international humanitarian law, international criminal law and collective security structures
Ability to reflect and engage with the spaces for transformation of international law to address persistent inequalities within the global order

Credits info

7.5 EC
Please note that summer courses are not accredited by SOAS.

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.

Fee info

GBP 1500: Tuition
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. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.

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 current SOAS students and our partner institutions.
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 our accommodation page.


SOAS, University of London offers a limited number of scholarships. Please check the website for full details