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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Social and Political Science

Undergraduate Course: Introduction to International Relations (SSPS07003)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course is for HSS International Foundation Programme students only. It is not available to undergraduate students.

This course is designed for students on the HSS International Foundation Programme. It will give students a broad introduction to International Relations and equip students with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in a social sciences degree.
Course description Week 1
Introducing IR: (i) overview of course; (ii) the historical background; (iii) globalisation.

Week 2
Theories: (i) Realism, Liberalism; (ii) contemporary variants; (iii) Marxist theories of international relations.

Week 3
Theories: (i) Social constructivism; (ii) Poststructuralism; (iii) international ethics.

Week 4
Structures and Agents: War, peace and security. This theme will inform all three tutorials.

Week 5
Structures and Agents: (i) International political economy; (ii) gender; international law; (iii) transnational actors.

Week 6
Key issues: (i) the environment; (ii) terrorism; (iii) nuclear proliferation.

Week 7
Key issues: (i) global trade and finance; (ii) poverty and development; human rights; (iii) humanitarian intervention in world politics.

Week 8
Review; (i) & (ii) continuity and change in international relations; (iii) preparing for the essay.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 3
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two components:
Assessment 1: reflective blog posted by students based on reading. Each student will post 300-400 words once during the course and other students will comment. This will enable comprehension, practice in writing and group interaction. Worth 25% of the total course mark.
Assessment 2: 2000 word essay submitted after the course finishes, worth 75% of the total course mark.

To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40% in the combined mark (and a minimum of 30% in each assessment component).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main theories in IR;
  2. Reflect on the way structures and agents constitute international relations and world politics;
  3. Analyse contemporary issues in the light of different theories and the structure/agent relationship;
  4. Demonstrate an insight into the debate on and effects of globalisation.
Reading List
Baylis, J., Smith, S., and Owens, P. eds., 2010. The Globalization of World Politics, 5th ed. Oxford: OUP.


Lawson, S., 2003. International Relations. Cambridge: Polity.

Web sources

Web sources associated with The Globalization of World Politics
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will enable students to develop skills of critical analysis and the capacity to express ideas and knowledge both in writing and in group discussion. This will be especially helpful in preparing students for first year degree study.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Kate McHugh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1589
Course secretaryMr Benjamin McNab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832
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