International Relations

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
Foundation College

Module overview

The module provides an introduction to the international political system. It is roughly divided into three segments to provide an overview of the system.

The first segment provides a survey of the historical evolution of the system, from an emerging system of sovereign actors, reflecting changes in European society and politics, to a contemporary international political system of sovereign states encompassing the globe. Historical trends and developments that contributed to this evolution will be identified along the way, including the expansion of European empires, the inter-imperial international system of the 19th century, the collapse of that system in the First World War, the processes of decolonisation, the Cold War and the creation of new organisations and institutions to provide global governance.

The second segment will familiarise participants with the debates about how best to conceive of and analyse international politics addressing the mainstream schools of approach such as realism, liberal institutionalism and constructivism. The third segment will look at a selected number of contemporary issues in international politics such as international security, international economic relations, the international protection of human rights and/or the international politics of the environment.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules