PIR-10041 - Introduction to International Relations
Coordinator: Moran Mandelbaum Room: N/A Tel: +44 1782 7 33513
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module is designed to provide a clear introduction to the academic study of International Relations and is useful to both beginning International Relations students and to students who would like simply to find out what the subject is about and explore a few topics or issues in the module that particularly interest them. The module shows how the modern `society of states┐ came about and was affected by various factors such as nationalism and other ideologies, technology and a globalising capitalist economy. It also gives students a basic understanding of the more traditional schools of thought in the academic discipline of IR.

1 - To introduce students to the academic study of International Relations (IR), including some of the more `traditional┐ schools of thought in the discipline.
2 - To consolidate study skills which would be necessary for future modules.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Explain the development of the modern `society of states┐ and how its evolution has been shaped by various factors such as nationalism, technology, international law and organisations, war and security, and a globalising capitalist economy: 1,2
Interpret and compare the more `traditional┐ perspectives in the academic discipline of International Relations: 1,2
Recognise the important functions performed by lectures and be able effectively to identify and coherently summarise their key points: 1,2
Develop and strengthen essential study skills including the ability use search engines in order to find relevant scholarship; read and summarise key ideas and arguments in scholarly sources; develop an argument and coherently explicate and evidence it in an essay form, whilst drawing on scholarly sources; and properly deploy the Harvard referencing system: 1,2

Study hours

10 hours attendance at lectures
10 hours attendance at seminars
50 hours preparation for the ten plenary seminars
20 hours reading, researching and writing the journal review
60 hours researching and writing the essay

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Review weighted 30%
A 600-word critical journal review
Students will choose one journal paper from a list and write a 600-word critical review whilst engaging with at least two other sources (i.e. journal papers/books/chapters) from the module guide/independent research. The critical review will entail the following: 1. The puzzle or phenomenon under study: What is the paper about and what problem is it addressing? 2. The argument(s) and approach of the paper: Is the paper deploying a specific theory or approach to the study of IR? 3. Critique: what are the potential problems with the journal paper┐s argument/approach? What alternative arguments/approaches can we engage with? (This is where you should engage with other sources).

2: Essay weighted 70%
A 1400-word essay chosen from a list of questions
Students should choose one question from the list of questions and follow the guidelines of academic writing whilst deploying the Harvard referencing system.