Global Studies Courses

Our Hungry Planet: Agriculture, People and Food Security
ADD FREE starts 18 May 2015
Food security is a complex, global issue in which we all play a part. In this free online course, you'll join experts from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading, to investigate our relationship with agriculture and your own food habits. You'll meet food producers around the world and travel around the world from Europe to Africa to Asia, learning about the challenges of growing crops and managing livestock at the regional, national, community and household level.

Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life
ADD FREE starts 11 May 2015
This free online course explores the building blocks of our political views: freedom, community, place, justice and choice. These words mean different things to different people – such radically different things in fact, that individuals, protest movements and entire states often go to war to assert their understanding of, say, freedom over somebody else’s. Over five weeks, we will explore how and why words come to mean such different things, across time and space. We will look at how individuals respond to the political propaganda they are exposed to, and how political ideas can impact on people’s everyday lives.

The European Union in Global Governance
ADD FREE starts 5 May 2015
The study of the EU as an international actor has become a key element in European and International Law and Relations. At the end of the course students will be able to identify and understand the main challenges of the EU and its Member States in the world today, and how they affect us personally; understand the means which the EU has at its disposal to tackle these challenges, and learn ways to critically evaluate its performance; and situate the EU as an international actor into the main theoretical approaches to International Relations, and harness these approaches to analyse current topics in global politics.

The Changing Global Order
ADD FREE starts 1 June 2015
This course deals with international relations, peace and security and brings together a number of experts from the field and academia to share their perspectives. The course will help students gain insight into conflict resolution and the role organizations such as the United Nations Security Council, the European Union, the African Union and NATO play in a changing world.

From State Control to Remote Control:
Warfare in the 21st Century

ADD FREE starts 13 April 2015
Explore the impact and ethics of using drones, special ops units and private security firms in this free online course. States are increasingly using remote control methods, such as drones and special op units for activities that were traditionally performed by their conventional armed forces. The killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by US Special Forces; the drone strike on Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen; and the engagement of Academi (formerly Blackwater and Xe Services) in Iraq are just a few examples. This free online course looks at the reasons for this trend, including technological innovation; security privatisation; risk aversion among politicians and the public; and the opportunity that remote methods provide to circumvent the law.

Causes of War
ADD FREE starts 13 April 2015
What causes armed conflict in the world today? This free onlien course examines current thinking on this critical question. It looks at a range of modern and historical conflicts and draws on a variety of theories and approaches. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in world affairs.

Over six weeks you will: define what war is and what it is not; become acquainted with Liberal and Realist theories of international relations; explore arguments about the causes of inter-state and non-state wars (such as insurgencies and revolutions); and use evidence to evaluate different theories of war The course will help you develop your capacity for independent learning and increase your understanding of conflict and international affairs.

Religion and Conflict
ADD FREE starts 13 April 2015
Many conflicts in the world today are framed in terms of religion, but there is much discussion and confusion concerning the precise role religion plays in these conflicts. The first step to solving religiously framed conflicts is understanding the role of religion in them, and that is what this free online course is about. We’ll begin with the assumption that religion means different things in different circumstances and to different groups of people.

In the first two weeks, we will discuss how the concepts of religion, conflict and violence have been understood historically and cross-culturally, and address the question of how they are linked. The third week focuses on the question of why religious conflicts have appeared to increase in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In the fourth week, we will analyze case studies like conflicts over abortion policies in the United States and the rise of IS in the Middle East. In week five, we will shift our attention to the role of religion in peace building and reconciliation. The course concludes with an assignment in which you will apply your newly acquired analytical tools to write a briefing paper on the role of religion in a specific conflict situation of your own choice.

Public Policy Challenges of the 21st Century
ADD FREE always open
This course examines the political significance and societal consequences of challenges facing U.S. and international policymakers. It is designed to help students develop skills to analyze policy proposals and advocate for their preferred options for issues on the public policy agenda. The course focuses on future policy challenges, while examining the broad historical context in which policies are adopted and implemented. We’ll evaluate how issues are advanced by private sector interests, non-governmental organizations and government policymakers; how groups become effective policy advocates; how winning coalitions are formed; and how issue framing shapes the outcome of policy campaigns. The goal is not to produce partisan talking points or to favor one governance philosophy over others, but rather to clarify the public policy challenges ahead and enhance learners’ understanding of how policy options are adopted in the real world arena of contemporary politics.

Emergence of the Modern Middle East (Part 2)
ADD FREE starts 12 Apr 2015
This course will discuss the developments in the Middle East from the early 20th century to the present. It will discuss the rise and retreat of Arab nationalism, the problems of internal cohesion of the Arab states, issues of religion and state, and the evolution of Islamist politics. It will also focus on the evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its impact on the region and will conclude with an in depth analysis of the “Arab Spring” by placing these contemporary revolutionary events in their historical context.

Engaging Citizens: A Game Changer for Development?
ADD FREE starts 15 Mar 2015
This free four-week course developed by the World Bank brings together a diverse range of experts to provide students with a comprehensive overview of citizen engagement. It begins by synthesizing the theories and concepts that underlie citizen engagement and goes on to explore how citizens can be engaged in both policymaking and public service delivery. Finally, it investigates how recent innovations are shaking up the field, through detailing both successes and failures of these new approaches. Our presenters, leaders in academia, government and civil society, provide a wide range of perspectives and real-world experience to give participants a deeper understanding of whether citizen engagement can truly enhance the process of development. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with one another and design their own citizen engagement initiatives, putting theories learned in the course into practice.

Jewish Diaspora in Modern China
ADD FREE always open
Jewish Diaspora in China is a unique experience for world Jewry, as China is the only country in Far East that has had Jews living in its society for over 1,000 years. What brought such a large number of Jews to China? Where did these people come from? How did they arrive? Were they all in China at the same time? What happened to them after they arrived? Where are they now? The story of Jews in modern China is fascinating and uplifting, and this course will examine these questions and more.

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Direct links to Global Studies Courses

Computer and Technology Courses
Introduction to Computer Programming
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Internet Safety
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Computer Basics
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