International Relations Theory (Nankai) POLITIC5078

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will provide students with a thorough and comprehensive grounding in International Relations theory. It will examine the major theoretical approaches to the study of international relations. Particular attention will be paid to key historical, methodological and epistemological debates that have shaped this area of study.


6 x 3-hour sessions

Requirements of Entry

Open to postgraduate students only.

Excluded Courses





 This module will be formally assessed by means of:

■ Coursework in the form of an essay 3,000 words in length (50% of grade)

■ A written exam to be convened in class (50% of grade)

Course Aims

-to provide students with a thorough and comprehensive introduction to contemporary theories of international relations
-to engage the key debates regarding the purpose of international relations theory

-to explore the relation between contemporary international relations theories and broader debates in the social sciences

-to critically examine the claims made in respect of competing theories of international relations

-to identify deficits and gaps in contemporary international relations theory.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


-Engage with theories of international relations in substantive, methodological and epistemological terms;

-Analyze these theories in terms of their core normative problems, units of analysis, and assumptions;

-Identify and address deficits and gaps in contemporary international relations theory;

-Critically examine debates about the purpose and limits of international relations theory;

-Apply international relations theories to current international affairs.

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.