Queen's University

Specialised Program in International Law and Politics

Website Welcome5

Information for...

Search the BISC

Search and Sign In

Specialised Program in
International Law and Politics

Dates: January 5 2019 - April 10 2019
Based: Herstmonceux, UK and Paris, France
Apply by: November 15 2018
Cost: $20,959

The Specialized Program in International Law and Politics is an upper-year study abroad program that explores specific aspects of international law, including international criminal law and the law of armed conflict, examines the phenomenon of genocide and other forms of mass violence in historical and contemporary contexts, and situates the central statutes, customs, and institutions of international law within the broader context of global governance. Over the course of 3 modules comprising POLS 398/9.0 You will explore the key norms and players in international law, be introduced to its history and actors, explore the United Nations and address key contemporary issues in international law.

Whether you are considering a career in politics, international relations, journalism, global development, human rights or plan to pursue further education in law or graduate school, you will be differentiating yourself from your peers when you enroll in the Specialized Program in International Law and Politics. This program will allow you to acquire a combination of knowledge, analytical skills, and international experience – all sought-after assets for a variety of potential employers – that are simply not available in more traditional learning environments.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Info Sheet (PDF, 669KB) APPLY NOW!

POLS 398 is an incredible course in an exceptional, unparalleled environment.

POLS 398 taught me more than just international law and politics. It opened the door to a new form of learning: one that was interdisciplinary and intersectional. Truly one of the best educational experiences of my academic career.

I came out of the program with a greater confidence in my academic abilities and a clearer understanding of what I wanted to do after my BA. I would definitely recommend the experience to any student!

A view of the crypt at the Shoah Holocaust Memorial in ParisThe crypt at the Shoah Memorial in Paris
  • A unique undergraduate program specifically designed for upper-year undergraduate students (ideally in their third or fourth year), offering foundational knowledge about the relationships between international politics and international law.
  • One course, three modules POLS 398/9.0 is a single course split into 3 modules - International Law and Politics, Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, and The Law and Politics of Armed Conflict
  • A focussed international experience only available by studying abroad
  • An exceptional learning environment with small class sizes and graduate-style contact with instructors
  • Satisfy plan requirements for POLS Major and POLS Medial, as well as the PPEC-POLS stream
  • Program alumni destinations include internships with the UN in Kosovo and with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Royal Military College, and graduate studies in the UK

Participants enrol in POLS 398/9.0, and 2 elective courses from the general program.

POLS 398/9.0 can be used to satisfy POLS Major and POLS Medial plan requirements, as well as the PPEC-POLS stream.

POLS 398/9.0 Introduction to Law and Politics

You will begin your program by studying the key norms and players in international law and the role of law in limiting the use of force, governing environmental politics and trade, as well as in structuring international governance bodies. With this legal foundation, you will be ready to explore the field of comparative genocide studies and international criminal law, and to address more complex legal concepts in the areas of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the law of armed conflict. Numerous historical and contemporary case studies will be used to illustrate the core course content and provide you with the basis for more robust discussion about complex legal and political topics. Case studies analyzed include Armenia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Syria, Iraq, Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Nazi Germany, USSR as well as the role of International Tribunals and the International Court of Justice.

Prerequisite: 12 units in POLS at the 200 level or above and a GPA of 2.0 on all units in POLS, or permission of the Program Director (Sonia Dussault - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Choose 2 courses from the offerings in the General Program.

Courses of interest:

  • IDIS 305/3.0 British Studies II
  • INTS 306/3.0 Culture, Identity and Self
  • PHIL 259/3.0 Critical Thinking
  • POLS 338/3.0 European Integration

Although it was a challenging course, I felt it pushed me to excel and I exceeded all of my own expectations. The support I had from my instructors and the small class sizes really set me up for success, and I would definitely recommend it to any students who are interested in the program.

Westminster tube station

Experiential Learning Opportunities

  • EU Commission Representation: The head office of the UK Representation is based in London, co-ordinates the European Commission's activities in the UK and takes specific responsibility for England.

Not only did we learn about international legal topics, we were able to witness key places pivotal to the development of International Law.

International memorial by Nando Gild at Dachau concentration camp.

Mid-Term Trip

The mid-term trip allows you to explore important institutions in the historical development of international criminal law. Formal and informal seminars will be conducted at each of the sites visited.

The Winter 2019 Mid-Term Trip is planned for Paris, Nuremburg, and Dachau.

Proposed Experiential Learning Opportunities may include:

  • Shoah Memorial, Paris: Mémorial de la Shoah is the holocaust museum in Paris, France. The memorial is in the district of Le Marais, in the third and fourth arrondissement, which had a large Jewish population at the beginning of WWII.
  • Palace of Justice, Nuremberg: The Nuremberg trials were a series of military tribunals held by the Allied forces under international law and the laws of war after World War II.
  • Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds, Nuremburg: An 11-kilometre square stage previously used for Nazi rallies, the documentation centre examines the context and the consequences of the National Socialist regime of terror.
  • Dachau concentration camp, Germany: Dachau concentration camp was the first of the Nazi concentration camps opened in Germany, intended to hold political prisoners.

Please note that Mid-Term Trip itinerary is subject to change, though we always work to provide the most robust learning and travel experience for students.

Phillip Drew CD, BA, JD, LL.M, Dr. iur.

Program Founder and First Director
Phillip Drew is currently Associate Professor at Australian National University College of Law, and since 2013 a Qualified Expert for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and a Senior Consultant for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Read More

Andrew Murdoch

Visiting Professor, Module 1 – International Law and Politics
Andrew Murdoch is a Legal Director at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Before then he was a Legal Counsellor and Head of the FCO’s International Institutions and Security Policy team responsible for work including sanctions, security policy, United Nations and International Organisations, and maritime.
Read More

Sonia Dussault

Program Director
Visiting Professor, Module 2 – Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes
Sonia Dussault is a polemologist and pedagogical expert with more than twenty years of teaching experience. She has been part of BISC’s Specialized Program of International Law and Politics teaching team since its creation.
Read More

Warren John Fensom, CD, J.D., BA

Visiting Professor, Module 3 – The Law and Politics or Armed Conflict
Warren Fensom currently works for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as a Maritime Crimes Advisor to the Federal Ministry of Justice of Nigeria in Abuja.
Read More

Students talking about homework

January 5 Students arrive
January 7 Classes start
Week 1 - 4 International Law and Politics
Week 5 - 6 Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes
Week 7 Mid-term trip
Week 8 Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes
Week 9 - 12 The Law and Politics of Armed Conflict
March 28 Classes end
March 31 - April 9 Study/Examination Period
April 10 Students depart
Schedule is subject to change without notice based on availability
Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
Fax: +44 1323 834499
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
Fax: (613) 533-6810
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facebook Small Instagram Small Twitter Small