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. In addition, students are introduced to a number of contemporary problems of world order that require the application of the foundational 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 the capacity to address international legal problems with confidence as well as awareness of specific contemporary issues and how international law is dealing with emergent and on-going concerns including the relationship between business and human rights; refugees; technology; feminism; and the use of force outside of the collective security structures.
On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate:
- Understanding of the foundations of international law, including the sources of international law, statehood, state immunity, and state responsibility for breaches of international obligations;
- Capacity for critical interrogation of specific regimes within international law, in particular, international environmental law; law of the sea; international human rights law; international criminal law; and collective security structures;
- Ability to reflect and engage with the spaces for the transformation of international law to address persistent inequalities within the global order.
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 a Record of Study will be available on request.
Week 1: Foundations of international law
- Introduction to international law
- Sources of international law
- Subjects of international law
- Jurisdiction and Immunities
- State responsibility
Week 2: Contemporary issues
- Law of the Sea
- International Environmental Law
- International Human Rights Law
- Self-determination of Peoples
- International Criminal Law
Week 3: Emergent Problems
- Business and Human Rights
- Technology: Drones
- Collective Security – the authorisation of force
Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a 2000-2500 word essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.
Teaching & Learning
46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.
Monday - Friday, 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc.).
Malcolm Evans (ed.), International Law (5th ed., Oxford University Press, 2018)
Jan Klabbers, International Law (2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2017)
Cases and Materials
David Harris & Sandesh Sivakumaran (eds), Cases and Materials on International Law (8th ed., Sweet and Maxwell, 2015)
Fees and Funding
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.
- 10% discount if you apply by 31 March 2019
- 20% discount for our partner institutions
Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House.
In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:
- A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
- Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
- A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
- IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
- TOEFL Paper-based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills.
- Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
- If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses), you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
- Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
- Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject-based courses with English language support.
Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application.
Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
31 May 2019