Module code: POL1013

Module Overview


This module provides an introduction to the discipline of International Relations, including topics such as history and theory, as well as empirical case studies.

Module provider


Module Leader

GILLESPIE Ciaran (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module considers the historical development of IR, its main theoretical approaches and case studies.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PRESENTATION (15 MINS) 20
Examination 2 HOUR EXAM 60

Alternative Assessment

Written critique of a theoretical approach in place of group presentation (500 words). 

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate analytical and critical skills across a range of topics. Students are given an opportunity to demonstrate learning in three different areas of core competency for politics students; coursework, group presentation and written examination. While these three areas are fundamental to development, they also give an opportunity for students to balance assessment demands across a range of skill-set areas to compensate for initial, experiential learning in these areas throughout first term. 

Module aims

  • Provide students with an overview of the development of International Relations as an academic discipline, considering its relationship to historical eras;
  • Assist students in developing a theoretical vocabulary by introducing them to the major approaches to the study of international relations;
  • Enable students to describe, analyse and understand key issues of historical and contemporary significance, such as war, globalisation and terrorism;
  • Encourage students to think critically about these issues, their own views and the role that different theoretical approaches have in shaping our understandings.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate familiarity with major debates in International Relations, concerning both theoretical and substantive topic matter; KCPT
002 Engage critically with central texts on key issues such as war, globalisation and the environment; KCPT
003 Begin to apply theoretical frameworks (e.g. Realist, Liberal, and Constructivist) to empirical analysis. KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Introduce students to a new topic, and provide room for student-led discussion of the topic.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  •  lecture 1x11

  •  seminar 1x11


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: POL1013

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MPA 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Economics BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 1 Compulsory 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.