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Pre-University Honours Programme: International Relations

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?

  • Programme at a glance
    Mode of instruction: On-site (2 weeks) 
    Academic dates: Sunday 4 July - Thursday 15 July 2021*
    Housing dates: Friday 2 July - Friday 16 July 2021*
    Academic fees: €1350* read more about what is included.
    Housing fees: €450* and a €75 refundable deposit. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.
    Early admission deadline: 1 February 2021
    Regular admission deadline: 1 April 2021
    Who is this programme for? For current high school students (must be 16+) interested in international relations and political science (broadly)

    *Dates and prices are tentative and subject to change, and will be finalised by 1 December 2020.  

  • Programme description

    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.

    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 one or more exciting excursions. 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.

  • Academic director

    Roel van Engelen (MSc) is a lecturer and assessment coordinator in the Political Science Department of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG), and is Academic Director of the Pre-University Honours Programme in International Relations. Roel has designed and taught undergraduate courses on International Relations and Political Economy, and has ample experience with different teaching methods and activating and interactive work forms. Roel is particularly passionate about teaching International Relations, an extremely exciting field of study that is in constant movement and in which connections to current developments in world politics are never far away. 

  • Explore our community

    Want to get to know more about studying in Amsterdam? Follow us on social media and join our summer community. Get a feel for our summer school vibe and our academic and social community, and learn about studying with us through the eyes of past summer school students. 

    Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter 

    Looking for an alumni perspective? Read this interview with Grace Forrest, who attended the Pre-University Honours Programme: Politics & Identity in summer 2018. 

Pre-University Honours Programme: International Relations
Mode Short-term
Credits 0 ECTS, 2 weeks
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission Open
Starts in July