KEY ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS - 2018/9

Module code: POLM015

Module Overview

The module provides an opportunity for students to investigate and discuss contemporary developments in international politics. The specific content varies to meet contemporary issues. Typically, the module will cover a range of issues, at regional and international levels, such as: Environment; Globalisation; Nationalism; International Conflicts and Economic Development

 

Module provider

Politics

Module Leader

CHAPPELL LC Dr (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: L240

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content


Following an introduction week, the module is taught around important contemporary issues in international politics. In 2016/17, a number of topics will be chosen reflecting on the rise of new powers, equality, climate change, the European financial crisis and its political consequences and the Syrian refugee crisis. For each topic, a session will be organised as a lecture with student discussions in the seminar. This will allow students to employ the knowledge and skills gained in this course. The topic of the final session will be decided at the beginning of the course. Students will be allocated a country or an institution. The course will introduce various approaches towards the chosen issues and highlights the different perspectives from different actors on these. The close interconnection of the discussed issues is also highlighted.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework POLICY PAPER (2000 WORDS) 40
Coursework CRITICAL ESSAY (2500 WORDS) 60

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore their academic understanding of key issues in international relations through combining theoretical arguments with empirical examples. The assessment pattern enables students to analyse and critique two areas in more depth and to make evident their ability to conduct research and construct a reasoned argument. The first assessment (critical essay) is a theoretical and empirical analysis. The second assessment enables students to critically assess policy objectives and create different scenarios of feasibility, impact assessment and recommendations. Hence the assessments will test students’ abilities to combine theoretical knowledge of policy-making processes with empirical research reflecting the state of play in a particular policy area. Students will connect discussions in the classroom with the real world and be able to illustrate the structures and constraints that policy makers have to deal with. The assessment pattern enables students to analyse and critique two areas in more depth and to make evident their ability to conduct research and construct a reasoned argument.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


Critical Essay (2500 words) – 60%
Policy Paper (2000 words) – 40%

Module aims

  • To provide students with an opportunity to consider, analyse and debate a range of key current issues in international politics
  • To develop a critical understanding of complex issues in international politics
  • To apply social and political theories and models to the analysis of contemporary events
  • To develop skills in researching fast-moving contemporary political issues, using periodicals, databases, newspapers, etc.
  • To develop critical debating and argumentation skills

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand and critically analyse complex issues in contemporary politics with reference to  historical and theoretical background K
002 Gain in-depth knowledge of a specific issue among the areas discussed  and evaluate it within a short period of time K
003 Communicate and present ideas effectively, in written format as policy paper as well as in critical essays PT
004 Relate to different viewpoints on complex and contentious issues and form effective alliances and compromises KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Methods of Teaching / Learning


The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Ensure that students are well prepared for class by providing the key literature which connects with the core debates.
Give students an opportunity to discuss specific questions pertaining to the issues scheduled for discussion on weekly topics.
Enable all students to participate in the discussion. Hence a range of techniques are used as highlighted below.
Develop students’ oral skills through student presentations as well as reporting back from seminar discussions and engaging in debates.
Ensure that all students connect with the topic being discussed and can understand and utilise the key analytical arguments to explain/understand it.


The learning and teaching methods include:

lectures, seminars, presentations, group discussions, independent reading.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for KEY ISSUES IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/polm015

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
International Relations (International Intervention) MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MPA 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.