BA Politics and German

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to International Politics

Course unit fact file
Unit code POLI10601
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course covers 4 key aspects to understanding global politics:

International Relations Theory
The course introduces students to key theoretical issues and debates that dominate International Relations (IR) such as ideas about the national interest, progress, international co-operation and cultural difference. Students engage with theory through case studies that integrate the other key aspects of IR. This provides a practical, discussion-based tutorial environment in which the complexities of global politics can be studied.

International History
This aspect of the course provides students with an historical context within which to locate current issues in global politics. Specifically focusing on international history since 1945, students will be required to think about how changing historical circumstances have both altered the agenda of the academic study of IR and affect current interpretations of events.

Security Studies
Security issues remain central to the study of global politics, especially in the context of the post-9/11 world. This aspect of the course introduces students to the study of security issues in IR. Engaging with this aspect, students are asked to consider how, and in what ways, security issues have changed since the end of the cold war.

International Political Economy
It is increasingly recognised that the study of international politics is about more than just the study of war and peace. International Political Economy (IPE) considers the linkages between politics and economics (or the state and the market) at the global level. As the course examines the economic aspects of global politics, students are introduced to the study of IPE focussing on the way in which an IPE perspective helps us to make sense of the debates surrounding 'globalisation'.





This course provides an introduction to international politics in an historical context and the intensification of economic exchange between market economies on a global scale ('globalisation'). It introduces students to leading approaches to International Relations, providing a coherent framework within which to examine the main issues in contemporary global politics.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students should be able to;
- identify, describe, and critically assess dominant theories of International Relations
- understand the relevance of a range of different aspects to the study of global politics
- employ a set of key terms and definitions that are essential to the study of International Relations
- identify and relate different forms of security to contemporary issues in world politics
- have a critical understanding of globalisation and its dynamics
- engage with case studies examining the relationship between theory and practice in world politics
- use library and media resources to research essay topics
- write an essay which meets the academic requirements of the course (see further information on essays in the course guide)

Assessment methods

Short Paper (1000 words, 34%)

Long Paper (2000 words, 66%)


Feedback methods

Politics staff will provide feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission.

Students should be aware that all marks are provisional until confirmed by the external examiner and the final examinations boards in June.

For modules that do not have examination components the marks and feedback for the final assessed component are not subject to the 15 working day rule and will be released with the examination results.

You will receive feedback on assessed essays in a standard format. This will rate your essay in terms of various aspects of the argument that you have presented your use of sources and the quality of the style and presentation of the essay. If you have any queries about the feedback that you have received you should make an appointment to see your tutor.

On assessments submitted through Turnitin you will receive feedback via Blackboard. This will include suggestions about ways in which you could improve your work in future. You will also receive feedback on non-assessed coursework, whether this is individual or group work. This may be of a more informal kind and may include feedback from peers as well as academic staff

Recommended reading

J Baylis, S Smith and P Owens (eds), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, 8th Edition (Oxford: OUP, 2020)

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Shogo Suzuki Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Length of course: 12 weeks


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