Module code: LAW2083

Module Overview

Introduction to International Law will provide students with an introductory overview of the international law as a discipline in its historical context and in light of topical, contemporary case studies. The first half of the module will entail a historical narrative of the development of international law, particularly the role of international organization and the individual in it, in the modern era. The second half of the module will present the interconnectivity of various sub-fields of international law within the prism of engaging and topical case studies in current affairs.  This will be extremely useful for those students who wish to choose other International Law-related modules in Level 6 (Public International Law I, Public International Law II, International Criminal Law, International Human Rights Law) in their studies and for those who wish to undertake an international legal career as a profession.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

SARVARIAN Arman (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 122

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Treaties and customary international law;

  • The Inreraction Between Domestic Law and Int’l Law;

  • The Development of Int’l Organizations;

  • Feminism and Int’l Law

  • Jurisdiction & Immunities in Int’l Law

  • The Legacy of the Iraq War;

  • Guantanamo Bay and Detention;

  • The Syrian Civil War;

  • The Crisis in Crimea and the Ukraine;

  • The Challenge of Climate Change.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 2 HOUR EXAM 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The exam will allow students to undertake detailed research on the application of international law in specialist areas. The exam questions entails broad themes enabling students to flexibly draw upon and synthesise various subject areas covered in the module. The assessment address all learning outcomes listed above.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A 2-hour closed book exam where the students will choose to answer two topics out of an assorted selection.

Formative assessment and feedback

  • A 1-hour closed book practice exam where the students will choose to answer one topic out of an assorted selection. In addition, students are able to gain group feedback through tutorials and personalised feedback from the course convenor during office hours.

The assessment method for each module has been selected to test a variety of key skills, competences and outcomes as required by QAA. As such, assessment method cannot be changed. Reasonable adjustment may be made on application subject to ALS approval AND  only where such adjustment still allows for the required skills, key competences and outcomes to be assessed at an equivalent level.

Module aims

  • To provide an introduction into the historical development and contemporary challenges in international law;
  • To understand the interconnectivity and interdependence between different areas of international law;
  • To explain the role of various international legal actors, including States, international organisations and individuals;
  • To understand and critically assess the role of PIL in regulating relationships between states and individuals;
  • To understand and critique the role of individuals and non-governmental organisations in the progressive development of international law.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Apply the methods and established techniques tied to the traditional sources of international law. KCPT
2 Undertake to critically analyse the role that the growth of alternative approaches within international law, including those tied to feminism and international relations. KCPT
3 Effectively communicate the challenges of applying international law theories and approaches to specific real world case studies. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. A list of required and recommended readings, with notes and questions that will be used to guide class discussion and reflection. The module will be delivered by a combination of lectures and tutorials.  There will be eleven 2-hour lectures and six 1-hour tutorials.  Materials will be posted on SurreyLearn, where students will also engage with the lecturers and their peers through ad-hoc discussion forums on topical question. Tutorials will provide students with the possibility to answer essay questions, to deal with scenarios and to make oral presentations.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW2083

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% 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 2020/1 academic year.