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Contemporary International Relations Theory (Module)

Module description


This course aims to provide students with advanced knowledge of theoretical controversies in the discipline of International Relations, and their significance for the analysis of policies, practices and issues in the global arena. The course synthesises, compares, and critically discusses advanced concepts, approaches and theoretical debates in International Relations through reading core texts. The module aims to improve analytical, problem-solving, academic and transferable skills through engagement with the selected readings in whole-class discussion, group tasks, writing assignments and exams. 


By the end of the course, students will: 

  • Have developed the capacity to generate ideas through the analysis of advanced concepts and theories at the abstract level.
  • Be able to identify, analyse and communicate advanced theoretical debates in International Relations, and exercise judgement in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of competing interpretations of world political events and issues.
  • Have acquired specialised analytical, evaluative, and problem-solving skills through the judicious application of theoretical models, comparing and selecting appropriate methods, techniques, criteria and evidence.
  • Act with limited supervision and direction, accepting responsibility for determining and achieving personal and group outcomes and adapting performance accordingly, showing awareness of professional codes of conduct.
  • Have developed autonomous and group learning skills essential for progression to BA3 by undertaking research, both individually and as part of a team, to provide new information through identifying theoretical patterns and relationships in International Relations. 

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


Staff information

Dr Emma Mc Cluskey & Dr Aggie Hirst*

Teaching pattern

Typically, 1 credit equates to 10 hours of work. For a Full Year 30-credit module, this will equate to 40 hours of teaching time (2 hours per week) with 260 hours of self study.

Module assessment - more information

Coursework & Exam*

Key information

Module code 5SSW2061

Credit level 5

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 30

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module No