UNU Intensive Core Courses

Short credited courses conducted in collaboration with leading universities.

Application Deadline
10 Jul 2024
Program Level
Programme Location
Tokyo & online
Program Start Date
September 2024

Applications for these courses are now closed. 

The UNU Intensive Core (UNU-IC) courses will be held in September 2024. Two courses will be offered in person at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, and one will be conducted both in person and online. The courses provide analyses of global issues from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, and draw on the research projects undertaken at UNU-IAS and other UNU institutes.  

These courses are designed for: 

  • students who are currently enrolled in a master’s or PhD programme in any discipline; 
  • young professionals (with a college or university degree) in various occupations in Japan and abroad; and 
  • those who wish to pursue careers in international fields in public service or private organizations, including the United Nations, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations, as well as national foreign service organizations.


Course Schedule

For start and end dates, please refer to each course page. There will be approximately fifteen 100-minute sessions per course — i.e., three course sessions per day (10:00–11:40, 12:30–14:10 and 14:30–16:10), though no single course will take the entire three sessions of one day. [Top]

Faculty and Learning Environment

The UNU-IC Courses are taught in a cooperative fashion by a team of scholars and practitioners comprising both in-house and outside experts. One of the unique features of the UNU-IC courses is that many of the instructors come from UN organizations as well as leading universities. Students will have direct access to teaching faculty as UNU-IAS shares a building with many UN agencies, providing a unique learning environment. [Top]

Course Requirements

For each course, students must complete the following requirements (subject to change): 

  • Mandatory reading of approximately 150 pages is required per course per week — a total of 900 pages per course in total (in addition, students are provided with lists of further recommended reading in the range of 150 pages per course per week)
  • Regular class attendance and active participation in class discussions 
  • Short written assignments 
  • Assessment assignments (e.g., group or individual presentations or a summative essay)  
  • Course evaluation form [Top]

English Language Requirements

The courses will be conducted in English. Excellent written and verbal English language skills are required. The expected language test scores are:

  • TOEFL: minimum of 600 on paper-based test / minimum of 100 on online test
  • IELTS: 7.0 [Top]

Credit Transfer

Students who successfully complete a course will be awarded a transcript from UNU-IAS. Each course is designed to be worth 2 credits and comprises over 30 hours of teaching time. While a number of universities have negotiated credit transfer agreements with UNU-IAS, ultimately the decision on whether credits are transferrable will be made by the student’s university. [Top]

How to Apply

Please refer to the application checklist for detailed instructions. [Top]


For more information, please contact UNU-IC Secretariat at icsec@unu.edu [Top]

Elective Courses

Sustainable Development

Principles of International Development Project

Fundamentals of planning and executing international development projects, focusing on development policy.

Sustainable Development

The UN System and Sustainable Development

An in-depth look at selected SDGs and UN efforts to achieve them, with a focus on People, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.

Sustainable Development

Global Change and Planetary Boundaries

An in-depth look at selected SDGs and UN efforts to achieve them, with a focus on Planet, Prosperity and Partnership.