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Specialised Program in
International Law and Politics

Dates: January 10 2022 - April 13 2022
Based: Herstmonceux, UK
Apply by: November 15 2021

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.

You will learn from instructors with real-world experience working in key governmental and supra-governmental institutions including the UK Foreign Office, Canadian Forces, and the United Nations.

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.

Questions Info Sheet (PDF)APPLY NOW!

POLS 398 is an incredible course in an exceptional, unparalleled environment.
Jessica, student 2017

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.
Nirosha, student 2018

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!
Isabelle, student 2016

Read some of our favourite testimonals in full (PDF, 392KB)
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 (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
  • 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 to a maximum of 15.0 units.

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.
Karina, student 2016


  • Course offerings are subject to change for reasons including, but not limited to, enrolment numbers. Students will have access to academic advising services if changes impact their course selections. 
  • Experiential Learning Opportunities and mid-term trip are indicative and may change subject to operational and/or academic requirements.
  • Queen's students: Grades will show on your Queen's University transcript and count towards your CUM GPA.
  • Non-Queen's students: Following the grade release date you can request a transcript from the University Registrar. Transcripts will be sent automatically to students from partner universities.

Sachsenhausen 2

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.
Jessica, student 2017

The experiential learning part of the course really emphasized and brought all the topics to life. The final paper served as a stepping stone for my MA thesis. Can’t recommend highly enough.
Pia, student 2016

Berlin Wall 2 

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.

Experiential learning will continue to be a key feature of the BISC academic experience. As our team begins to plan for your term, protecting the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty is a primary concern. Due to current travel restrictions, the Winter Mid-Term trip will now take place in London and Oxford through a series of 2 day/1-night weekend trips. Weekly experiential learning may take place virtually, on the Castle estate, in Sussex and/or within the local area. Decisions regarding the precautionary health measures taken at the BISC and while on experiential learning opportunities will be made in collaboration by updates, we receive from the UK public health authorities and the Public Health Agency of Canada.


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).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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January 3 Students arrive
January 6 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 26 Classes end
March 27 - April 8 Study/Examination Period
April 9 Students depart
Schedule is subject to change without notice based on availability

Queen's Students

  • Make sure you meet the basic prerequisites:
    • Minimum 1.6 GPA
    • Good academic standing
    • Level 2 standing (by time program starts)
    • 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..)
  • Request to change campus
  • Receive campus confirmation from Undergraduate Admission
  • Register in class on SOLUS(pre-reqs may apply to some courses)
Apply Now

Non-Queen's Students

  • Make sure you meet the basic prerequisites for studying abroad at your home institution.
  • Apply online
  • Register online for your chosen program
  • Submit Letter of Permission
  • Accept your offer
Apply Now

What is a Letter of Permission?


A Letter of Permission (LOP) is an official document issued by your home institution. The LOP allows you to take courses for credit at the BISC for a specified semester/program, transferring the credits back to your home institution for the purpose of completing your university degree.

Your academic advisor or the person issuing the LOP will typically look at the course content and your current transcript to assess whether you will be academically prepared for the course/program. Pre-requisite courses listed on the BISC website are therefore not necessarily mandatory for non-Queen's students, but may be used as part of the assessment process by your home institution when granting an LOP.

We will also make admission decisions based on current transcripts, but please note that without an LOP you may not be able to transfer credits back to your home institution.

The Bader International Study Centre (Queen’s University, Canada) is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment that is fair, positive, and supportive for all members of our community.
We strive to ensure all members’ views are valued and shared in a secure environment through a commitment to upholding equity*, diversity**, inclusion***, and advancing indigenous initiatives.
The BISC supports the fair treatment and opportunity for all by asserting the importance of non-discriminatory treatment either directly or indirectly on the ground of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.   

*Equity: Substantive fairness for everyone thereby ensuring that members of equity-seeking groups are able to achieve full participation in the university (BISC). 

**Diversity: The representation of the population with respect to designated groups. 

***Inclusion: The climate and acceptance of differences that comes with diversity i.e. different ways of living and working. 

Land acknowledgement: Queen’s University, Canada is situated on Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory.

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
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