Module code: POLM041

Module Overview

This module introduces students to one of the sub-disciplines of International Relations, Foreign Policy Analysis and explore the world of public diplomacy. Studying a variety of actors in world politics, students will be encouraged to apply the insights of Foreign Policy Analysis to improve their understanding of contemporary international relations and public diplomacy issues.

Module provider


Module Leader

CURTIS Simon (Politics)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The first half of the module will explore the logic of the emergence of Foreign Policy Analysis as a subfield of International Relations and introduce students to a variety of theories and concepts at different levels of analysis, such as the role of individuals and theories of public diplomacy. The second half of the module will utilise Foreign Policy Analysis insights on a series of key actors' foreign policies, such as the United States, China, the European Union, and Iran, as well as cases of public diplomacy.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay 30
Coursework Research Paper 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

  • Essay on Foreign Policy Analysis theory (30% of module grade) This assessment will require students to reflect on a key concept or theory in Foreign Policy Analysis, showing understanding of the sub-discipline and demonstrating their critical evaluation skills. This essay will relate to the first half of the module.

  • Research paper on contemporary foreign policy issue (70% of module grade) This assessment will require students to utilise concepts and theories in Foreign Policy Analysis in the context of a foreign policy / public diplomacy case study of their choosing from the second half of the module (and beyond, subject to course convenors approval).

Module aims

  • To explore with students the key concepts and theories in Foreign Policy Analysis
  • To familarise students with the foreign policies of a range of actors in the international system
  • To encourage students to develop their critical thinking by evaluating and applying the value of Foreign Policy Analysis theories in understanding contemporary issues in world politics

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Be able to review the important theories and concepts in Foreign Policy Analysis and Public Diplomacy CK
002 Be familiar with the foreign policies of a range of actors in the international system CK
003 Be an expert on a specific foreign policy issue or public diplomacy issue CK
004 Be able to apply and evaluate Foreign Policy Analysis concepts and theories in understanding contemporary foreign policy and public diplomacy issues in world politics CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The module will be taught via two-hour seminars. These classes will begin with a short interactive lecture to introduce students to the core issues and debates being covered. For example, the lecture on the relative importance of individuals in state's foreign policies would situate the essential readings in the context of the broader academic debates in Foreign Policy Analysis on this issue. The rest of the classes will be exclusively student-centred and focus on active, student learning to encourage knowledge accumulation and the development of critical thinking skills. Classes will include a range of teaching and learning activities to ensure student participation such as debates, simulations, student posters and whiteboards, and the use of online learning technologies such as Padlet and OneNote. Students will also Every class will finish with 'one minute papers' where students are encouraged to reflect on their key takeaways from each session as a form of critical reflection and knowledge consolidation

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: POLM041

Other information

Students will be encouraged to submit short plans for the first assessment to be discussed in Feedback and Consultation hours with the course convenor. For the second assessment, students will present plans for the research paper in the final seminar of the term to offer and gain constructive feedback from their peers

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.