Skip to content

Module Catalogue

Breadcrumbs navigation

IR4516   The International Relations of Sub-Saharan Africa

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 2

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 12 noon Tues

This module provides an introduction to the study of Africa’s relations with the external i.e. non-African world. The international relations of African states in general have two (formal) aims: pursuit of economic development and state survival (the issue of state sovereignty and survival was one of the cornerstones of the OAU’s Charter when it was founded in 1963). Two other aspects also inform the continent’s external politics: economic necessity i.e. the outside world has processed goods and a large market to trade with which Africa does not currently possess; and economic interest on the part of the world—essentially how best to use and trade Africa’s commodities. Africa also has an increasingly important political role to play in various important global issues—the most recent being the “war on terror”. The module provides an overview of major linkages and relationships between today’s sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world, focusing on selected case studies. Thus, we cover the continent’s relations with major external powers as well as non-state actors.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.

Scheduled learning hours: 20

Guided independent study hours: 280

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-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: Miss M N Micheni
Module teaching staff: Dr Makena Micheni

Intended learning outcomes

  • Diligent students should achieve familiarity with:A sense of the diversity of Africa’s linkages with the outside world
  • An understanding of the main political and economic developments between the continent and the rest of the international community.
  • The key policy issues and agendas of major global players and their policies towards Africa.
  • Apply their knowledge of comparative foreign polices and democratisation to this region.