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

Undergraduate Course: Approaches to Politics and International Relations (PLIT10060)

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
SummaryWhat does doing politics and international relations involve? And how can the various approaches in the field help us to make sense of political processes, conflicts and events that take place around the world? This course will provide students with an understanding of the development of the discipline of political science, and it will introduce them to the major fields in politics and IR. The aims are both historical (examining the major stages in the evolution of the discipline of political science, beginning with the behavioural big bang and ending with post-positivist theory) and substantive (considering the self-understanding of the modern political scientist).
Several different analytical perspectives - rational choice theory, psychological approaches to political science, historical institutionalism and social constructionism as well as critical theory, post-structuralism and feminism - will be introduced and applied to contemporary, real world problems. The course will not only help students interpret reality, but also to improve their methods of inquiry into political questions. Critical thinking will be aided by an intellectual exercise, whereby students are required to apply a political science to approach to a fictional political problem, drawing from literature, plays, television and films.
By the end of the course, students will know a lot more about what political science is about, and what political scientists do. Students will also be ready to think about developing their own research and comprehension of the political world (including essays and dissertations) that builds upon the main theoretical and methodological approaches in the field
Course description Not entered
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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand key theoretical approaches to the study of politics and international relations
  2. Critically appreciate theoretical positions held by other scholars
  3. Use and manipulate different kinds of theory in their own work
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 Pontus Odmalm
Tel: (0131 6)50 3926
Course secretaryMiss Katarzyna Pietrzak
Tel: (0131 6)51 3162
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