Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: International Security (PGSP11162)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will introduce students to the main theories and approaches to security through historical and contemporary security issues. The field of security studies has widened significantly over the past 30 years, moving from purely military questions to other issues such as the environment or migration, and from a systemic or state-level understanding to society and the individual (human security).
Course description The course starts by engaging with how scholarly and practical understandings of security have evolved in the past decades, exploring key scholarly developments in the evolution of security studies. The course then explores the conceptual and empirical meaning of 'security' through a number of key issues and topics, including the changing nature of war, counter-terrorism and risk. The goal is to explore what these developing areas of empirical security research mean for the concept of 'security', how different theoretical lenses help us to answer empirical research questions in different ways, how 'new' approaches to security relate to 'traditional' approaches, and develop an appreciation of ongoing limitations and challenges in the field.

The course has 10 weeks of teaching. Each week there is a 1-hour lecture (with all students) plus a 1-hour seminar per week (in smaller groups). The seminars are designed to give students an opportunity to discuss the topic, lecture, and readings, share ideas and try out arguments with other students.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  81
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, 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) Each course must accurately describe the balance of assessment types and their weighting to arrive at the final course mark/grade. See example below from Sociology of Intoxication.

This course is assessed by:
40% Essay 1 of up to 1,500 words
60% Essay 2 of up to 2,500 words

Feedback Each course is now required to provide the opportunity for at least one piece of formative assessment with associated feedback within an appropriate timescale to enable students to learn from this prior to the summative assessment.

The first essay assessment process will include formative feedback to help students with their second essay.

This field should be used to describe the assessment and feedback strategies used on the course, along with their indicative pattern and schedule of feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have an extensive knowledge and critical understanding of some of the major approaches in international security studies
  2. Show a reflextive intellectual grasp of some of the most challenging security issues today
  3. Demonstrate an ability to apply specialised skills and analytical tools to a variety of empirical cases
  4. Demonstrate an ability to identify, conceptualise and define abstract problems and issues related to security
  5. Show transferable research skills such as advanced analytical thinking and communication skills
Reading List
Barry Buzan & Lene Hansen (2009), The Evolution of International Security Studies, (Cambridge University Press).
Roland Dannreuther (2007) International Security: The Contemporary Agenda (Polity).
John Baylis et al. (2010) Strategy in the Contemporary World: An Introduction to Strategic Studies 3rd Edition (Oxford University Press).
Collins, A. (ed.) (2010) Contemporary Security Studies, 2nd edition,. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Williams, Paul (ed) (2008) Security Studies: An Introduction, Routledge
Michael E. Brown et al (2005), New Global Dangers: Changing Dimensions of International Security
Barry Buzan, People, States and Fear: An Agenda for Security Studies (1991)
B. Buzan, O. Waever and J de Wilde, Security: A New Framework for Analysis (1998)
Keith Krause and M. Williams (eds), Critical Security Studies 1996
Bill McSweeney, Security, Identity and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations (Cambridge Studies in International Relations), CUP 1999
Michael Sheehan, International Security: An Analytical Survey
Michael E Smith, International Security: Politics, Policy, Prospects, Palgrave 2010
R Wyn-Jones, Security, Strategy and Critical Theory,1999
Joseph Nye, Understanding International Conflicts (2000)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Stephen Hill
Tel: (0131 6)51 5362
Course secretaryMrs Casey Behringer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2456
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information