Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Go to…

International Relations (online)

Key information

Subject area:

Public Policy, Politics & Security

Course type:


Course delivery mode:


Credit level:



3 weeks

Available course dates:

To be confirmed

Course overview

Undergraduate Summer School modules are intellectually stimulating, dynamic and highly participative. They are taught by leading King’s academics who are experts in their field. Classes are highly international with students from all over the world.

Each module comprises 150 study hours, including teaching, independent study and group work. Our undergraduate modules are examined to university standards and can be taken for credit towards degrees at other institutions.

This module is based on a 15-credit King’s undergraduate module and therefore typically awarded 3-4 US credits or 7.5 ECTS. To receive credit for King's summer modules, contact your home institution to ask them to award external credit.

What does this course cover?

The study of international relations (IR) helps us understand the circumstances under which conflict and cooperation occur in the world. If we can determine the causes of these events, we might learn to control them. Through interactive, participative activities and case studies, students on this module will discover the different ways in which to analyse fundamental problems of international relations—conflict or cooperation—whether by studying the ‘big picture’, the international system, or the inner workings of the state.

Throughout the course you will be given the opportunity to apply complex and fast-changing scholarship to authentic global problems, including state failure, climate change, pandemics and security, international development, and humanitarian crises, which will enhance your critical thinking skills and help you to situate current international events in complex empirical and theoretical frameworks. You will become an informed consumer of news and policy, and, hopefully, a better citizen of the world.

What will I achieve?

By the end of the module, you should have:

  • Distinguished between realist, liberal-institutionalist, constructivist, IPE and global governance approaches to international relations, including an understanding of the major debates and the diversity within and between these schools of thought.
  • Explained the fundamental principles and entities which structure the contemporary international system, and the debates around them.
  • Appreciated a number of key policy questions of international relations (e.g. the US-China relationship, energy security, the future of the United Nations, globalisation), and situated these issues within a theoretical framework of international relations scholarship.
  • Understood the fundamental ontological and epistemological questions and debates that have influenced all social sciences.

Who is this for?

This module is ideal for students of the humanities or social sciences keen to broaden their understanding of how the world works. It offers a broad introduction to international relations and assumes no prior knowledge.

The King's College London Undergraduate Summer School is open to students who are currently, or have been, enrolled in an undergraduate degree programme. We also welcome applications from professionals who have substantial relevant experience in their chosen subject area.

You should ensure that you are eligible to apply before you submit your application by checking our academic and English language entry criteria.

How will I be assessed?

  • One essay of 3,000 words (100%) (summative)
  • Group presentation of 15 minutes (formative)

What is the teaching schedule?

Undergraduate Online Summer School modules comprise 150 study hours over three weeks, which includes 45 hours of online learning activities and live classes, as well as independent study, team project work and assessment preparation.

Live classes will begin at either 9am or 3pm each weekday (British Summer Time), and students will be grouped according to which session is more suitable for their timezone and the operational requirements of the module. In addition, some of the course material can be studied flexibly and at your own pace.

Teaching is through a variety of formats adapted for effective online learning by our digital education team, such as lectures, seminars and e-learning resources.

Course status:


Full fee £1890

Application fee £60

Express interest


Offered by