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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: Theories of International Relations (PLIT10053)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe discipline of international relations is a relatively young academic subject, only emerging as a distinct field within political science in the aftermath of World War I. To differentiate itself from the disciplines of international law and history, its intellectual predecessors, international relations has developed a number of theories of the nature of the international and its constituent parts, which seek to explain, understand, judge and even predict international behaviour. These theories are heavily indebted to previously established traditions in political philosophy and social theory and the ways in which they conceive of the nature of the state and decision makers, history, social scientific explanation and the relationship between politics and morality.
Course description The course is designed to introduce students to some of the major theoretical and conceptual traditions of international relations as a way to make sense of the complex issues, developments and events constituting the international. The key objective of the course is to introduce students to the most significant orthodox and critical theoretical approaches within international relations and to offer them key analytical tools to compare and engage with theories that are the heart of their curriculum. A critical assessment will be made of the principal propositions and arguments of the theories drawn from the diverse traditions of classical realism, neoliberalism, constructivism, poststructuralism, feminism and gender, neo-Marxism and post colonialism.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisites Visiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  96
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2 essays:
Essay 1 (40%): 2000 words
Essay 2 (60%): 3000 words
Feedback You will receive written feedback on each of your assignment. Each marker is available upon request to further discuss the written feedback provided.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of key theories of international relations.
- Exhibit a strong understanding of competing analytical and ideological approaches for understanding the international system.
- Evaluate alternative explanations for particular developments and events in global politics.
- Develop a personal assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the principal theories of international relations.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This course has a quota. Preference will be given to Politics and IR students.
Additional Class Delivery Information Plus 1 hr tutorial per week
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Andrew Robert Hom
Tel: (0131 6)50 4688
Course secretaryMr Ethan Alexander
Tel: (0131) 6 509 975
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