International Relations I

Course - first cycle - 1-30 credits

Syllabus for students autumn 2013

Course Code:
IR110L revision 1.2
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
International Relations
Date of establishment:
30 October 2012
Date of ratification:
18 June 2013
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
02 September 2013
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
22 May 2013

Course description

The aim of the course is to provide students with a foundational understanding of International Relations (IR) as an academic field of study. On having passed the course, students will be able to utilize central theories and concepts in relation to the historical and contemporary development of international politics.

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + English B.

Learning outcomes

After completing module 1 (Theory of International Relations) the student shall be able to:

(1) Identify, compare and critically discuss the role of central concepts and theories in the academic subject of IR.
(2) Utilise theories and concepts to analyse specific issues, events and processes in global politics.
(3) Discuss and compare some of the principal international relations theories in an independently written course paper.

After completing module 2 (Issues in Global Politics) the student shall be able to:

(4) Identify and critically consider the impact of both historical and contemporary actors on the process and structures of global politics.

(5) Identify and critically discuss the influence and impact of a specific actor on contemporary global politics in a written text produced in small groups.

After completing module 3 (Researching and Studying International Relations) the student shall be able to:

(6) Critically consider what characterises academic work within the subject of international relations and be able to search for and find relevant material in a library catalogue.

(7) Utilise established academic practices in writing texts, particularly in relation to structure, clarity, presentation and the referencing of sources.

(8) Outline the key methodological approaches utilized by scholars conducting research in the field of International Relations.


The student’s performance in module 1 (Theory of International Relations) is assessed as follows:

Intended learning outcome 1 is assessed through sit-in examination.
Intended learning outcome 2 is assessed through a take home exam.
Intended learning outcome 3 is evaluated through a course paper

The student’s performance in module 2 (Isssues in Global Politics) is assessed as follows:

Intended learning outcome 4 is assessed through sit-in examination.
Intended learning outcome 5 is evaluated through an oral and written group assignment

The student’s performance in module 3 (Researching and studying International Relations) is assessed as follows:

Intended learning outcomes 6, 7, and 8 are evaluated through a take home exam.

Students shall receive on-going feedback on their work through both assessment and commentary on more minor, non-graded, activities and texts.

Students who do not pass the regular course assessments have the minimum of two re-sit opportunities based on the same course content and evaluative framework. Students also have the right to take assessments on the same course in future terms according to the same principal. Assessments and re-sits take place in accordance with the dates stated in the course schedule. It is the individual student’s responsibility to inform themselves about where and when a re-sit assessment will take place and to contact the department for registration if this is necessary.

Course content

The course consists of three modules that operate together to provide an introduction to the field of International Relations.

Module 1: Theory of International Relations (15 credits)
The first module, ‘International Relations Theory’, focuses on current and classical theoretical debate within IR and how IR has developed as an academic discipline.
Module 2: Issues in Global Politics (10 credits)
The second module, ‘Issues in Global Politics’, analyses prevailing trends in global politics and their historical background, for example: evolving debates in IR about economic and sustainable development; the environment; security; gender; globalisation; and foreign policy.
Module 3: Researching and Studying International Relations (5 credits)
The third module ‘Researching and Studying IR’ provides a platform for training students’ competencies in engaging with academic texts and research, introduces them to basic methodological approaches, and develops their skills in producing academic work.

The three modules are run concurrently.

Learning activities

Teaching takes place in lectures and seminars. In addition to their attendance students are also expected to spend substantial time on studying the course literature and in preparation of work for assessment.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Art, Robert och Robert Jervis (eds.) 2012. International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues. Eleventh edition. London: Pearson.
  • Baylis, John, et al., (eds.). 2011. The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. Fifth edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Edkins, Jenny and Maja Zehfuss. 2009 (eds.) Global Politics: A New Introduction. First edition. London: Routledge.
  • Roselle och Sharon Spray. 2011. Research and Writing in International Relations. Second edition. London: Pearson.

Additional material in the form of journal articles and other literature may be added to the reading list.

Course evaluation

All students are offered an opportunity to give oral and written feedback at the end of the course. A summary of the results will be made available on the school’s web-pages. The students are also given a possibility to offer feedback for each module.

Student participation takes place through the course council.