Postgraduate taught 

International Relations MSc

The Geopolitics of Central Europe CEES5061

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides students with the opportunity to examine key geopolitical developments in Central Europe. The course will review contemporary conceptualisations of Central Europe, examine regional political cooperation, European and Transatlantic integration, new emerging security challenges and national foreign policy development.


Classes will be in the form of 10 weekly 2-hour seminars in Semester 2

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses






One essay of 4,000 - 5,000 words.



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students, and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions are listed below in this box.

Course Aims

This course is designed to appeal to students interested in the politics and international relations of the Central European region, with specific attention given to the Visegrád countries of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

The course aims to:

■ enable students to examine the place of these Central European states within regional, European and international geopolitical discourses;

■ emphasis the strategic priorities and attitudes of the Central European states towards (1) each other, (2) the EU and European states and regions including Germany, the Baltic States and Southeastern Europe, (3) NATO and the USA and (4) states in the eastern neighbourhood region, including Russia and Eastern Partnership countries;

■ encourage the use of a comparative approach to understanding the driving forces behind national and regional positions on key geopolitical matters including European and regional integration, foreign policy development and new security challenges (e.g. energy, military reform).


Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

■ assess the impact of transition and European integration upon the geopolitical environment of post-Cold War Central Europe;

■ compare and contrast levels of power and status among Central European states;

■ utilise theories/perspectives of international relations to help explain how power shapes individual, regional and international political relations of Central European states;

■ explain the role and influence of the EU, NATO and major world powers in Central Europe;

■ describe and evaluate the differing and shared strategic goals of Central European states and how these inform their foreign policy priorities;

■ identify and assess the new security challenges facing Central Europe and explain how they inform international relations across the region.

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.