Freestanding course, Bachelor’s level
30 credits
Malmö | daytime | 100%
29 August 2022 - 15 January 2023
Full tuition fee: 39000 SEK
Open for late application
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About the course

The aim of the course is for the students to acquire a basic understanding of public international law and its functions in international politics. The focus of the course is public international law and international politics related to issues of peace and security. Furthermore, students will obtain an understanding of the role of international law before, during and after international conflicts. In addition, students will gain insight to the functions of the United Nations and international tribunals in situations related to peace and security.

This course is for anyone interested in the UN, international law and the politics of the international community. The course will give you insight into how international actors make use of international public law in international politics and in their interactions with each other in questions relating to international peace and security.

The main focus of the course is the UN and its legal framework that determines the principles and goals of international peace and security. We will get a deeper understanding of the workings of the UN and the historical and legal development that has taken place in the post-war world in regards to international conflicts.

We will also focus on the following questions:

Is there such a thing as a just war? Is conflict always illegal?

We will take a closer look at public international law and questions relating to how international peace and security is dealt with within international politics. The UN-charter is the foundation for peaceful international relations and should be upheld by all states. However, despite the aims of the UN-charter and the world organization we live in a world plagued by war, conflict and gross human rights violations. Today’s wars are fought in a variety of ways and with different means such as for instance the war against terrorism, internal conflicts and interstate conflicts. There are as many different political interests as there are states which means that in the reality of political conflicts are interpreted and understood differently. Who is wrong and who is right? And can war and conflict be justified legally?

What rules are applicable in war?

Another focus of the course is on humanitarian law, i.e. what rules apply in a conflict situation and how are individuals protected in a time of war in their capacity as either combatants or civilians.

Can a head of state be tried in a court of law for committing war crimes and crimes against their own population?

Furthermore, the course will dwell deeper into international criminal law. International criminal law is based on a set of agreements between states to try perpetrators accused of committing crimes of a serious nature such as for instance war crimes and crimes against humanity. How are these courts constructed and what possibilities exist to try heads of state for committing crimes of this nature?

The course is concluded with a project work, which aims at trying individuals suspected of international crimes in a mock trial.

The teaching on this course is conducted primarily through seminars that demand active participation from the students. We work with problem-based learning which means that the students actively practice building their knowledge and asking relevant questions that they need in order to analyse or solve problems that they have been assigned. The teaching also encompasses case studies relevant to the course. The seminars demand preparation in different ways, for example, the students may get assignments to complete before the seminar or various problems to present to the other students. In order to get the most out of the course, it’s important to always come well prepared and thereby you will also contribute to productive group discussions.

Course content

Entry requirements and selection

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + English 6


Upper secondary grades 66%, Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (SweSAT) 34%

Course literature

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).