Global Studies

Tokyo subway


Global actors and the relationships between them have a tremendous impact on everyday life. Multinational corporations, nongovernmental organisations, international organisations, transnational networks, and national governments interact in ways that profoundly shape our local settings. Since interactions among these actors are complex, it is impossible to understand their effects or to develop appropriate policy responses through the traditional disciplines working in isolation from one another.

Tomorrow's leaders and global citizens need to think about issues that transcend national borders and must develop perspectives that cross disciplinary boundaries. The Global Studies major offers an opportunity to gain rigorous and broad-based skills in thinking about contemporary global issues.

The Global Studies curriculum has an explicit focus on problem-based learning. Both the exposure module (GL1101E) and the fourth-year seminars, compulsory for Honours students, are organised around issues rather than fields of study. In the Honours-level ‘Task Force’ students investigate and propose a response to a single major policy problem of the day. Such problem-based learning cultivates practical skills in thinking about important world issues, designing policy responses, and working as part of a team.

Global Studies majors also develop expertise in a particular part of the world. Students are required to read a set of modules in a region of their choosing. Students also take at least two years of language study, which should complement the regional expertise. Through overseas exchange programmes, Global Studies majors can further gain experience in the regions that interest them. A degree in Global Studies prepares students for careers in a variety of fields. Global Studies majors learn critical thinking skills that are important in many careers. The cross-disciplinary nature of the Global Studies major equips students with a variety of analytic tools and the ability to approach current global problems creatively. The regional focus and emphasis on language training ensures that students are trained to apply those tools to concrete problems in specific parts of the world. Finally, the Global Studies major encourages students to adopt a cosmopolitan sensibility toward global problems. The skills gained in Global Studies can be helpful for careers in diplomacy, civil service, international business, law, social enterprise, education, and other exciting fields.