[skip to content]

School of Law

International Law and International Relations

Course Code:
Unit value:

This course is designed for students interested in the complex issues at the nexus between international law and international relations.  As such, the readings will address traditional approaches to international relations and international law, in particular realism and legal positivism , but focus on the extensive recent developments challenging both from expanded conceptions of the domain of international law and norms to constructivist interpretations of the role of norms.  The course will complement existing offerings in the School of Law in international law generally and specialized topics such as international law and use of force and international humanitarian law and international criminal law.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate:

  • a clear understanding of the fundamental debates in the international relations and international legal literatures and the relations between them;
  • a clear understanding of contemporary problems and new developments in international law and practice, including in relation to the use of force, the development of human rights regimes and international criminal responsibility;
  • the capacity to apply what has been learned to analyse, assess and answer critical legal questions in contemporary political debates in written form;
  • the capacity to present and debate key legal and political issues.


This course will run in term 1 and will consist of one 2 hour lecture per week for 11 weeks (10 weeks plus revision week).

Method of assessment

Assessment Weighting:  100% coursework as follows

one 5,000 word essay (75%) - this coursework can be resubmitted; one discussion memo (20%) - this coursework cannot be resubmitted; one 5-10 minute in class presentation (5%) - this coursework cannot be resubmitted.