Active learning as a means to achieve qualitative, that is "deep," learning has become an accepted form of learning and teaching in higher education. The subject of UN studies has been at the forefront of active learning since the introduction of Model United Nations in the early twentieth century. However, the fact that active learning has become "fashionable" raises the question of whether its application continues to achieve its intentions and therefore its full potential. This article questions the promise of active learning in UN studies by analyzing the way in which students learn about the UN, be that in Model United Nations simulations or in the classroom. It demonstrates how conventions of UN teaching (and research) obstruct the achievement of true deep learning and develops principles for a new curriculum that acts as active learning tool, that is, one that supports students understanding of the subject. These principles are developed into outlines of "best practice" curricula.