Postgraduate Module Descriptor

POLM502: International Relations: Power and Institutions

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Module Aims

The main aim of the module is to illuminate why the main concepts and theories in International Relations take the form that they do. This involves exploring the emergence of IR theory in its historical context. It ought subsequently to be possible for students to reflect critically on their own theoretical assumptions and how they shape claims about the future of world politics. For example, the rise of China, can be understood as a modern articulation about long standing views about revisionist powers in modern world politics. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate substantive knowledge of modern IR, the origins of the field, the context in which it developed and the major critical positions adopted towards its development;
2. Identify and discuss the key methodological, conceptual and theoretical debates in IR and demonstrate knowledge in relation to the development of IR as a field of knowledge-production;
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Demonstrate advanced critical, historical and analytical understanding of the development of IR as a field of academic knowledge-production;
4. Exercise informed judgement concerning the practical implications of abstract political principles and ability to locate arguments within an historical context and to understand the relationship between context and theory;
Personal and Key Skills5. Conduct independent research, give well-designed presentations, exercise critical judgment, write cogently and persuasively; and
6. Identify spurious conclusions and distinguish rigorous from merely persuasive argument.