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Collegiate Model UN Semester Course Syllabus

This syllabus was originally used for the Loyola University Chicago delegation’s trip to New York for the National Model United Nations conference. It was developed for a 300-level Model United Nations class, and can be easily adapted to apply to any semester long (approx. 15 week) Model UN class. The faculty members who developed this class were Kendall Stiles and Brian Endless.

Summary.

Part I: Basic Information
Part II: Required Books and Materials
Part III: Schedule of Readings, Discussion Topics and Deadlines

Part I: Basic Information

Course Description

This course is designed to provide an orientation to the activities of the United Nations, as well as providing an understanding of the modalities of international diplomacy. This course will include current events, pressing international issues, the basics of international law and some of the protocol and procedures of diplomacy. All of this will assist students in preparing for their role as a distinguished diplomat at the National Model United Nations conference in New York.

Course Requirements

This course has a heavy emphasis on practical experience and specific tasks. Students are expected to attend each class session, which should be viewed as training workshops which cannot be made up. While in attendance, students must participate actively in class discussion and in various simulations and activities. Students will take a “pre-test” with a required grade of 100% (this can be retaken as often as needed until completed.) Students will also deliver two oral presentations to the class. Additionally, each student will write a “position paper” for submission to the organizers of the Model UN Conference, complete a large binder with background materials and documents, prepare a “fact sheet” for use by other students, and write a debriefing / thought paper at the conclusion of the semester. There will be no final exams, and because each student will be researching different topics, specific readings will be assigned in the first week of classes (after committee assignments are made). Ultimately, the goal of this course is to prepare each student to be comfortable in their role as a student-diplomat and allow each person to distinguish themselves at the Model UN conference.

The grade for each student will be based on the following break-down

Fact Sheet (due during week II) 5%
UN Knowledge Test (first administered during week I) 5%
Attendance and Participation 25%
International Issue Oral Presentation 10%
Assigned Country Position Oral Presentation 10%
MUN Position Paper (due during week V) 10%
Document Binder (due during week VIII) 25%
Debriefing / Thought Paper (due during week XIV) 10%


Part II: Required Books and Materials

Students will need to obtain the following materials at the bookstore

Tessitore, John and Susan Woolfson, A Global Agenda: Issues Before the General Assembly of the United Nations. New York: University Press of America, published annually. [Note: Each year, A Global Agenda attempts to highlight the most current issues facing the General Assembly. Students should be instructed to obtain the most recent edition.]

United Nations Association: A Guide to Delegate Preparation. New York: United Nations Association, published annually.

Students will also be provided with background materials on their individual topics, which are prepared by the National Model UN Conference [substitute materials from other conferences, as applicable].

Some readings may also be required from the United Nations Homepage (www.un.org) and from various web sites dealing with the class’ assigned Member State(s).

In addition to assigned readings, students will be expected to be researching both the assigned Member State and their respective topics throughout the semester. While their are no set deadlines for this research, it will be “tested” periodically through the oral presentations, position paper, and finally the document binder, which should include copies of all relevant research.


Part III: Schedule of Readings, Discussion Topics and Deadlines

[Note to instructor: adjust this schedule as necessary based on the number and duration of class meetings per week. Also note that the schedule may have to be adjusted based on when the conference falls during the semester.]

Week Meeting Topics, Activities and Deadlines
I 1-2

Orientation to the Model U.N. and Research Techniques

Deadlines
UN Knowledge Pre-Test: Meeting 2
Committee Assignments Made: Meeting 2

  3

Begin overview of assigned Member State

Deadlines
First payment of conference fees (TBA): due Meeting 3

II 4-5

Overview of assigned Member State – read assignments from country’s world wide web pages and library reference materials

Deadlines
Complete country Fact Sheet: Meeting 4
Sign up for oral presentations: Meetings 4 and 5

III 5-7 UN System overview – read assignments from A Guide to Delegate Preparation and the United Nations Homepage
IV 8-10 Student presentations on international issues – read assignments from A Global Agenda
V 11-13

Student presentations on international issues – read assignments from A Global Agenda

Deadlines
Committee Position Paper due: Meeting 13
Remaining payment of conference fees (TBA): due Meeting 13

VI 14-16

Complete student presentations on international issues – read assignments from A Global Agenda

Begin student presentations on assigned Member State positions on agenda items

VII 17-19 Student presentations on assigned Member State positions on agenda items
VIII 20-22

Complete student presentations on assigned Member State positions on agenda items

Resolution writing and caucusing exercises

Begin conference diplomacy practice simulations

Deadlines
Document Binder due: Meeting 22

variable 23 Practice simulation with other schools (optional – recommended if possible)
IX 24-26 Conference diplomacy practice simulations
X  

National Model UN Conference in New York, NY

Insert departure, return dates

XI 27-28 Debrief conference participation / learnings
XII 29-31

Preparation for on-campus Security Council simulation

Insert date for on-campus simulation

XIII 32-34 The United Nations, International Diplomacy and International Relations Theory
XIV 35-37

The United Nations, International Diplomacy and International Relations Theory and Wrap-Up

Deadlines
Debriefing / Thought Paper due: Meeting 37


If you have any lessons on MUN teaching or planning, or on substantive UN issues, which you would like included in this listing, please e-mail us at pubs@amun.org. AMUN will gladly credit your organization with authorship and provide links to your conference or program.

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