2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue
PIED2558 Security Studies
20 creditsClass Size: 215
Module manager: Dr Louise Pears
Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable
Year running 2022/23
This module is not approved as a discovery module
Module summaryThis module provides an introduction to the debates on security in international relations. It examines the concept, role and making of security in the contemporary international system. It outlines the main theoretical approaches and conceptualizations used in security studies and analyses a selection of important challenges that have been framed as security threats. The module examines and debates a range of competing theories and conceptualisations of security, exploring the different meanings of the term ‘security’ and whose security we can talk about. The module also examines contemporary security threats with implications for international politics, such as conflict, terrorism, and climate change.
The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to debates on security in international relations. The first objective is to outline what we mean by security and to discuss the limitations of its different conceptions.
The second objective is to analyse the different theoretical schools that examine security, starting with realism and then move onto the newer theoretical approaches such as the Copenhagen school.
The third objective is to examine contemporary security threats, what they mean for the analysis of international politics and how theoretical models can be applied to understand these issues.
The module is in two parts.
- The first part examines and debates a range of competing theories and conceptualisations of security. This part explores the different meanings of the term 'security' and whose security we can talk about.
- The second objective is to examines contemporary security threats with implications for international politics. These will include inter and intra-state conflict, terrorism, organised crime, health and the environment.
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate the principal debates about conceptualising security.
2. Explain the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches to security.
3. Assess the utility of theory in understanding security.
4. Evaluate the security challenges facing policymakers.
5. Critically evaluate the reasons for labelling an issue a security threat.
6. Discuss the dangers of labelling an issue a security threat.
7. Analyze current and potential responses to current security threats.
8. Critically re-evaluate the direction of security studies.
The module examines and debates a range of competing theories and conceptualisations of security, exploring the different meanings of the term 'security' and whose security we can talk about. Towards the end of the semester students will examine th contemporary security threats with implications for international politics, such as conflict, terrorism, and climate change.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||178.00|
|Total Contact hours||22.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private studyStudents are required to read core and additional readings listed in the reading list in preparation for seminar discussion and essays. This entails careful and reflective reading, note-taking, summarising, preparation for class discussion, and developing a sense of a field of literature in addition to engagement with individual readings.
Students are also encouraged to use their initiative and skills of discernment in finding additional material relevant to the course topics.
Opportunities for Formative Feedback- 1,000 word mid term essay (non assessed)
- Student attendance will be monitored on a weekly basis
- Student contribution to class discussion will be monitored throughout the course, but not assessed.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay||1 x 2,500 End of Term Essay||100.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:29:44
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