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Conflict & Diplomacy (Module)

Module description


This course aims to foster an understanding of two central concerns of International Relations – the recurrence of conflict and the role of diplomacy in relations between international political actors. Through the study of crucial case studies in contemporary conflict and diplomacy, the course enables students to critically analyse the actors, structures and processes that shape foreign and security policy-making. It also explores the changing character of modern conflict, the role of conflict resolution processes and the nature of diplomatic relations between major powers. This course places a particular emphasis on skills development and the enabling of students to

  • engage in independent learning;
  • extend their capacity for critical thinking; and to
  • develop their writing, communication and teamwork skills.


Students who successfully complete this module will:

  • Have completed a number of exercises, introducing them to a variety of practical and academic skills, including research, essay writing, reviewing, class participation, oral presentation, working in groups, and effective time management
  • Have begun to reflect on their learning and development, gaining awareness of their own capabilities and actively engaging in their own skills development
  • Have developed a broad understanding of the relationship between conflict and diplomacy in International Relations
  • Be able to identify and critically assess different interpretations of several critical cases of contemporary conflict and diplomacy
  • Be able to critically analyse the actors, structures and processes that shape foreign and security policy-making
  • Have insight into the complexity of policy-making and problem-solving through, for example, reading participant accounts, academic and policy texts

*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.

Staff information

Dr Frank Foley*

Teaching pattern

Typically, 1 credit equates to 10 hours of work. For a one term 15-credit module, this will equate to 20 hours of teaching (2 hours per week) with 130 hours of self study.

Module assessment - more information

Coursework & Exam*

Key information

Module code 4SSW1008

Credit level 4

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 15

Semester Semester 1 (autumn)

Study abroad module No