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Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

The main aim of this module is to examine some of the more significant theories, issues, and debates in the study of International Relations, such as those pertaining to the schools of thought known as realism, liberalism, feminism, and constructivism. This will be achieved through a close reading of a number of international relations texts, each of which cover theories, issues, and debates that are core to our understanding of international affairs.


The assessment is set up so that students can begin to specialise in certain aspects of IR, while keeping an eye on the wider history and theoretical context of the discipline. The reading lists have been designed to familiarise students with the various approaches that are used to explain IR, and the seminar discussions will apply these theories to events in the international sphere. As a result it is important for each student to read the required readings before class. By the end of the module students will have developed a strong grasp of the nature of IR theories, and be able to use their understanding of these theories to construct complex intellectual arguments. The module content will be particularly valuable to students when they come to construct the theoretical framework for their dissertation.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

On completion of this module, students should be able to: Demonstrate knowledge of the main paradigms in international relations theory. Compare and contrast different IR thinkers. Appraise literature on international relations. Use communication and information technology to retrieve and present information. Identify the main information sources on international relations. Present literacy skills through assigned readings, discussions and written papers. Present explanatory arguments systematically, including analysing evidence and applying general approaches or theories to organise, analyse and clarify choices.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

On completion of this module, students should be able to: Understand the assumptions, arguments and norms that underpin the theory and practice of contemporary international relations.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)

Not applicable

How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

The module is taught in a seminar format, in which students converse with each other and the lecturer about classical and cutting edge research developments and findings in the field of international relations. Students are encouraged and expected to proactively and creatively articulate their knowledge and opinions of the research discussed during the seminars in a collaborative and responsible manner.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens (2011) The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Fifth Edition , Oxford University Press
Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis (2007) International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues, 8th Ed. , Pearson-Longman
Bradley A. Thayer and Nuray V. Ibryamova (2010) Debates in International Relations , Pearson-Longman
Peter J. Katzenstein (1996) The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics , Columbia University Press
John T. Rourke (2004) Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in World Politics, 11th Ed. , McGraw-Hill
Mark Charlton (2010) Crosscurrents: International Relations, 5th Ed. , Nelson Education

Other Relevant Texts:

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

MAPDSTTFA - Peace and Development Studies
MAINSTTFA - International Studies
MAPOLITFA - Politics
MAEPGOTFA - European Politics and Governance
MAPUADTFA - Public Administration

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Module Leader: