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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED1511 International Politics

20 creditsClass Size: 440

Module manager: Dr Cristina Stefan/Dr Blake Lawrinson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module starts by providing a brief overview of some key developments in world politics to date. Some of the most important concepts in International Politics are introduced in this context: the international system, war, sovereignty, collective security, inequality, and international organisations. The main aim of this module is to introduce students to the key international issues we face today and the puzzles these raise. This includes explaining what shaped the world we live in, and understanding the patterns of international politics (including how interests, institutions, and interactions matter in international relations). We also discuss some key structures and processes in this context, such as the changing character of war, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation. Students get introduced to the main issues pertaining to transnational politics, such as human rights, the United Nations, humanitarian intervention and ‘the Responsibility to Protect’. The module also introduces students to the importance of regionalism in international politics, using the Asia-Pacific region as an illustration. Essential for comprehending the background behind the events that dominate our daily news, the International Politics module provides the broad foundation for making sense of the increasingly global political world that we all inhabit.


Overall, students will achieve an understanding of the key international issues of our time, and of the fundamental patterns of world politics, including how interests, interactions, rules, norms, and institutions matter in international relations. On completion of this module, students should not only be familiar with the subject matter of international politics, but also be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of the merits and weaknesses of different theoretical approaches in explaining and understanding the key international issues covered in this module, and the contemporary international system.


Part one of the module introduces the foundations of international politics, including a brief account of what shaped the world we live in, as well as some of the key actors, interests and theoretical approaches we engage with in international politics. Part two of the module covers transnational politics such as war, international organisations and human protection. Part three introduces regionalism and globalisation. Part four covers several key international issues in more detail, including terrorism, climate change, gender, inequality and nuclear weapons. (This syllabus is indicative and therefore subject to change).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours11.00
Private study hours156.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are required to read the core and additional publications listed in the module bibliography in preparation for seminar discussions and essays. This requires careful and reflective reading, note taking, summarising, and preparation for class discussion. Students need to consult the questions listed in the module handbook prior to doing the readings to guide their reflection.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored by means of: (1) a 1,000 word mid-term formative essay in preparation for final essay, which will provide an opportunity to receive formative feedback on written work, and (2) student progress and student contributions to class discussions, which will be monitored throughout the course, though not assessed.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2000 word End of Term Essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 27/10/2023 15:26:02


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