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IR2005   Theoretical Approaches to International Relations

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 20

ECTS credits : 10

Level : SCQF level 8

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: 11.00 am Wed, 10.00 am Thu

Theory is central to the discipline of International Relations. It is theory that distinguishes the field from the study of history, current affairs or journalism and makes the subject area more than simple descriptive thought. This module examines the main current theories in IR and provides an overview of their main theoretical approaches to the study of IR, from Liberalism and Realism; through Constructivism and the English School, to radical Marxist and Neo-Marxist perspectives as well as Feminism, Post-Colonialism and Postmodernism. The main purpose of this module is to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of how major scholars, past and contemporary, have theorised about the dynamics of international relations. The theories generally make a number of propositions which sometimes offer conflicting perspectives, but also occasionally overlap. Our main task will be to outline, critique, compare and contrast the assumptions and values which underlie each of these theories so students may enhance their own critical understanding of IR as well as form their own perspectives.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR1006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2 x 1-hour lectures (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 1 consultation hour with Tutor (x 10 weeks) and 2 consultation hours with Year Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours of exam feedback are given in week 1 of the following semester.

Scheduled learning hours: 29

Guided independent study hours: 180

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 50%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr T D Shepperd