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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course is for CAHSS International Foundation Programme students only. It is not available to undergraduate students.

This course will give students a broad introduction to international relations. The course will explore the relations between states and the impact of globalisation on national politics.

An important aspect of this course is the examination of the main concepts used to assess international relations. Students will be introduced to classic key theories and new approaches, and will learn to apply these in a real-world context. Students will also develop skills in critical analysis and the capacity to express ideas and knowledge both in writing and in group discussion.

These theoretical approaches will be related to real world politics and key issues such as the concept of structures and agents, nuclear proliferation, terrorism and humanitarian interventions.
Course description Academic Description:
The course will provide an overview of concepts and methodological approaches in the study of international relations and globalisation. The students will develop skills in critical analysis of international structures, agents and global issues, as well as the capacity to express ideas and knowledge both in writing and in group discussion. The overall aim is to help students acquire a conceptual vocabulary for analysing a variety of aspects pertaining to international relations from a theoretical perspective.

Outline Content:
This course debates the major principles, concepts, actors, and theories of the international system and their application to current
issues in world affairs. It will examine three major theoretical approaches drawn from different intellectual traditions in the discipline: realism, liberalism, constructivism. Additionally, it will look at contemporary debates on power-structures and globalisation. It will also assess current global issues such as security, governance and global institutions, global trade and finance, the environment and poverty.

Student Learning Experience:
The course consists of lectures and seminars. Lecture classes will be a combination of a lecture, followed by small group activities, and ending with a question and answer session. Seminars will be more informal, with more time spent on conversation, implementation of theoretical concepts, class activities and revision. The course material is cumulative, so each class will build on the information from previous classes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  40
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 3
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 49.5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 48 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment 1: reflective blog posted by students based on reading. Each student will post 500 words once during the course and other students will comment. This will enable comprehension, practice in writing and group interaction. Worth 15% of the total course mark.

Additionally, each student will write a reflective comment on their blog post of 400 -500 words taking into account the comments they have received from their peers. Worth 10% of the course mark.

Assessment 2: 2000 word essay submitted after the course finishes, worth 75% of the total course mark.
Feedback The reflective blog will allow students to develop their comprehension and critical analysis in advance of writing their essay. The constructive feedback from their peers will enable them to improve their own research and writing skills.
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. Employ skills of interpretation, argument and critical analysis both in writing and discussion;
  3. Identify key agents and structures that constitute international relations;
  4. Apply theories of international relations to explain contemporary issues in global politics;
  5. Apply the theoretical knowledge gained in analyses of concrete processes and changes in contemporary international relations.
Reading List
Baylis, J., Smith, S., Owens, P., eds., 2017. The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. 7th ed. Oxford: OUP.

Other readings will be made available via Leganto.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course students should have strengthened their skills in: critical analysis; comparative study; participation in group discussion and practical tasks.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Anya Clayworth
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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