Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

US Foreign Policy POLITIC4158

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is designed to offer students the opportunity to explore and analyze the actors, issues, processes and political conditions involved in the making of American foreign policy.


This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





The summative assessment will consist of two essays of 2000-2500 words. Each counts for 50% of the final mark.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable


Course Aims

This course offers students the opportunity to explore and analyze the actors, issues, processes and political conditions involved in the making of American foreign policy in the post-Cold War era. To this end, the course will introduce students to core concepts, theories, and approaches to the study of foreign policy making in the United States, including the institutions and processes of policymaking, the broader societal and cultural contexts of policymaking, the international systemic environment, U.S. foreign relations with specific countries and regions, and foreign policy since September 11, 2001.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

- acquire an understanding of the origins and development of US foreign policy;

 - explore the main theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of US foreign policy, its domestic and external sources, and the institutions and processes involved;

 - apply and extend these theoretical and conceptual frameworks to understanding and explaining contemporary cases and issues in US foreign policy;

- cultivate and apply transferrable academic and non-academic skills, specifically in terms of constructing arguments supported by evidence, utilising broad research skills and subject specific research techniques, as well as apply a range of methodologies studied in the course to complex political problems.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.