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 organisations 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

ANASTASIOU Thekli (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: 37

Lecture Hours: 29

Tutorial Hours: 13

Guided Learning: 42

Captured Content: 29

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Treaties and customary international law;

  • The Interaction 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 Ukraine;

  • The Challenge of Climate Change.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation Paired Oral Presentation 50
Examination Exam (2 Hours) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • Collaborative skills

  • Rhetorical skills

  • Formal essay-writing skills

  • Research skills

  • Knowledge and application of the subject matter covered in the module.


Students are to reflect on the informal feedback received during tutorials and feedback as well as from their first summative assessment and to engage that information in improving their work and meeting advanced criteria stated in the grade descriptors.

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A paired presentation with a partner on the module concerning a ‘research and advise’ task. Participants will be assessed not only on their individual performances but also on evidence of collaboration through their joint performance.

  • An individual, in person 2 hour written examination.



Written feedback will be provided on the oral examination by the examiners. If possible to include a non-examiner external participant from legal practice, the comments of that participant will also be included. Written feedback will be provided on the written examination in accordance with the usual guidelines of the School of Law. Students may engage with tutors during office hours and after the summative examinations through one-to-one meetings to discuss ways to improve.

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
001 Acquire a familiarity with the fundamentals of public international law KC
002 Practise collaborative teamwork PT
003 Develop the ability to orally brief on a legal problem PT
004 Deploy written expression in formal, legal writing PT
005 Practise research skills to understand international law KC
006 Critically analyse public international law KCP
007 Critically explore and evaluate the current laws and policy debates regulating States KCPT
008 Critically engage with and apply knowledge of the primary and secondary legal authorities to solve complex problems and answer complex essay questions KCPT
009 Critically engage in discussions regarding competing policy concerns and values which inform international law and its development 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 questions. 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

Other information

The module will develop each of the five pillars of learning. Employability will be furthered by exposing students to a variety of specialist career paths within international law. Global and cultural capabilities will be promoted by the intrinsically-global and inter-cultural nature of international law in the module content. Resourcefulness and resilience will be strengthened through the mixed assessment methods of the module to promote steady work, including the use of a paired oral presentation to develop mixed lawyering skills. In particular, students will be able to engage with a realistic advisory problem, tailored to their level of knowledge, that will provide them with insight into how international law applies in the real world. They will be able to combine the experience of preparing and delivering a briefing to a workplace supervisor with traditional essay-writing skills to provide a broad sense of the range of skills that will be useful to them in pursuing a career in international law.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law (Law, Environment and Sustainability Pathway) 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 2025/6 academic year.