The London College of General Studies (CGS) Program, offered only in the fall semester, with classes held at the centrally located BU London Academic Center, provides a unique opportunity for first-semester CGS sophomores to study in London. Over the course of the 16-week program, students take the CGS core curriculum along with one 4-credit elective and a 3-credit British culture course. Excursions to museums and historical sites complement the curriculum.

  • Admission requirements for all programs
  • Boston University first-semester sophomores only
  • All students must complete the 19-credit program

Week 1–Week 6

The first six weeks are spent taking a Natural Sciences, Humanities, and British Culture class. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Students enroll in these courses:

  • CGS BC 201 British Culture and Identity (3 credits)
    • This course will compare British and American experiences of culture, the differences, similarities and cross-influences. The course will aim to make the maximum use of London as a primary source, from its libraries and collections to its spaces of work and leisure. Weight.
    • Syllabus
  • CGS HU 201 Humanities III (4)
    • History of Western Ethical Philosophy is a rigorous course in the history of Western ethical thought from Socrates through Nietzsche. The course also includes selected films and literary works that embody philosophical ideas or dramatize ethical dilemmas. Excerpts from primary texts are used throughout. Sullivan.
    • Syllabus
  • CGS NS 201 Natural Science I (4)
    • The Origin and Evolution: There is probably no question more fundamental than "What is the origin of life?" In this course, we look at the theory of chemical evolution and how it fits in to the broader theory of organic evolution and biodiversity. We will examine the properties of the major macromolecules such as lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and discuss why these properties are important in relation to evolution. Finally, we will consider how energy is transformed in living systems and utilized to drive the processes, which underpin life as we know it. By understanding the theory of chemical evolution, you will be in a better position to evaluate alternative theories of the origin of life. Thompson.
    • Syllabus
  • CGS SS 201 Social Science III (4)
    • Social Change and Modernization builds on the conceptual and historical materials of the freshman experience. The course centres on two case studies in rapid modernization: Russia and China. Russia, and the Soviet Union are considered as an example of revolutionary economic and social change, attention being paid to the way in which Marxist theories were translated into practise. This serves as the basis for a comparison with the problems of modernization in contemporary China. The roots of industrialism, the culture of non-Western peoples as it affects their responses to it, and the dramatic complexities of social change combine to challenge the students' grasp of the problems facing the modern world. Tomes.
    • Syllabus

Week 7–Week 15

In the last nine weeks, students continue their British Culture and Humanities classes along with a Social Science course and an elective, for a total of 19 Boston University credits.

Students have a one-week semester break in between the two phases.

  • CAS AH 381 London Architecture and Urbanism (4 credits)
    • This course provides an introduction to the history of London and its buildings. It is aimed at a wide audience, not architectural specialists, although some familiarity with British history is helpful. London's architecture and urban development will be explored through the themes that shaped the physical characteristics of London as a world city, including mapping the city, the city as representation of national identity, navigating the ever-changing city, and a review of recent developments. The intention is to encourage students to develop their own historical map of the city's architecture based upon their own experience. Donnellan.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS EN 357 Modern British Drama: A Critic’s Perspective (4)
    • This course will provide a broad study of the major developments in British drama over the past 60 years; relate drama to the changes in British society; examine the work of specific writers in detail; stimulate critical analysis through written work and discussion; give practical information about how to write theatre reviews. Sierz.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS EN 368 Seminar in Shakespeare Studies (4)
    • This course aims to provide the student with an appreciation of the nature of Shakespeare’s achievement through the study of four plays in class. Students will have the opportunity to gain an intimate understanding of the verbal and dramatic qualities of Shakespeare's genius, and of the myriad ways in which meanings are expressed through the language, imagery, structure, and dramatic possibilities of the works themselves through close critical reading of various sections of the plays studied.
    • Syllabus
  • COM FT 317 British Cinema and Society (4)
    • This course offers a combined social history and technological survey of British filmmaking since World War II. The selected films provide vivid points of departure for an understanding of how British society has evolved. The course surveys the changing nature of modern British culture and society, using the products of the British movie industry as the main source of evidence. Most films fall outside of the category of British films that have made an impact in the United States market. Students will witness the cinematic version of the "other side" of Britain. One of the main themes of this "other side" is social class, which sets the agenda for most of the themes explored in the class. Special attention is also given to the differences between cinematic and historical versions of such themes. Dodson.
    • Syllabus
  • COM FT 344 European Cinema
    • This course is an examination of contemporary European cinema and asks the key question: what do national cinema products reveal about national identity, culture, and values? The course will combine a study of the economics and cultural politics of national cinemas in Europe and their existence within a global marketplace of film. Through the study of film festivals, and the study of filmmakers and their films, students will have an opportunity to examine how minor cinemas evolve to be significant for national audiences and how these cinemas convey aspects of culture, language, and social life across national boundaries.
  • CAS IR 392/CAS HI 243 Britain & the European Question: The Confluence of History & Politics (4)
    • This course seeks to provide an overview of Britain’s relations with Europe between 1945 and 1992 in the context of ongoing debates concerning national sovereignty and national modernization, losing an empire and maintaining a world role, and the ‘Special Relationship’ with the United States. Thornhill.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS PO 223 Issues in Contemporary Politics (4)
    • Formerly CAS PO 358.
    • Designed to place in context British/EU political and trade relations; crime, punishment, and social justice; race and nationalism; fascism and the extreme right today; feminism, sexuality, and women in politics; Anglo-American problems of public administration; and pressure groups, the police, and industrial relations. Sullivan.
    • Syllabus


The Global Learning Experience: An Online Course

Students in all Fall and Spring programs have the opportunity to enroll in The Global Learning Experience at no additional cost.

  • CAS IP101: The Global Learning Experience (1 credit)
    • All program participants have the opportunity to make the most of their semester abroad with The Global Learning Experience, a self-paced, Pass/Fail course with brief readings and experiential assignments that accompany them while living and studying in a country and culture different from their own. Students post their work, experiences and observations to an online platform to trace and articulate their achievements abroad from an academic, personal and professional standpoint. The course links students with the faculty instructors as well as peers studying on other BU Study Abroad programs around the world. Students earn one credit in addition to the total program credits mentioned below at no additional cost.

Program Residences

  • Accommodations are apartment-style suites in BU’s own housing in the centrally located South Kensington neighborhood. All residences are approximately a 15-minute walk from the BU London Academic Center. Bedrooms consist of doubles, triples, and quads and all bedrooms come with an en-suite bathroom. Limited single rooms are available on a space-available basis for a supplemental fee.
  • Fully equipped kitchens are available within BU housing. Kitchens are shared between approximately 6–14 students.
  • Students are responsible for budgeting their own cost of meals. Board isn’t included in this program.
  • BU London does not have dining hall facilities, but there are ample grocery stores, restaurants, and other amenities in the immediate area surrounding the residences.
  • All buildings are within walking distance to local transportation, including the London Tube and bus systems.
  • Coin-operated laundry facilities are located in the basements of all residences. Cost of laundry is not included in the program fee.
  • Students have access to the BU London Library for research and printing purposes. For recreational and social activities, students may take advantage of the BU London Social Programme as well as the clubs and societies of Imperial College London.
  • WiFi is available throughout all the BU buildings.
  • Fall Semester: Late August through mid December
    Please note: This program is only offered during the fall semester.
  • Fall Semester: March 15
    Notification of admission begins after the application deadline.