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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? This on-campus summer programme will bring together high school students from across the world to study an important topic at the university level.

  • Programme at a glance
    Mode of instruction: On-campus (2 weeks) 
    Academic dates: Sunday 2 July - Thursday 13 July 2023
    Housing dates:  Saturday 1 July - Friday 14 July 2023 
    Academic fees: €1450 read more about what is included in the fees.
    Housing fees: €425 and a €75 refundable deposit. Registering for housing is mandatory. Read more about university-organised accomodation.
    Early admission deadline: Wednesday 1 February 2023. Admissions will be processed throughout the year on a rolling basis. 
    Regular admission deadline: Thris programme is closed for application for 2023. 
    Who is this programme for?                                                            For current high school students (must be 16+) interested in international relations and political science (broadly)
  • Programme description

    Participants in this 2-week summer 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 guest lectures from specialists in academia as well as the practice of IR. 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.

    Students will experience studying in a supportive international environment hosted by 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 at the University of 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. 

Facts & Figures
Mode Short-term
Credits 0 ECTS, 2 weeks
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission Open
Starts in July