Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2020: Contemporary Theories of World Politics

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Module Aims

This module provides an introduction to, and critical examination of, contemporary theoretical approaches to world politics. The study of conceptual frameworks in International Relations (IR) is important for how it can enhance our understanding of the dynamics of politics, including why and how the political world takes its existing forms. Theory is also the centre of gravity in the field of IR, providing points of collaboration and contestation between scholars on the nature of international political enquiry. On completion of this module, you will have a good understanding of the origins and development of IR as an academic discipline, the way in which theory has shaped this development, and the world-historical events that prompted the development of the theory and the subject itself. The method of the course is broadly contextualist and analytical, inviting you to think about the context of theory development as well as the ways in which theories ‘make sense’ internally and in relation to one another. This module will give you a solid grounding in IR and be of value to all related modules at level 2 and level 3.   

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 an in-depth knowledge of IR theory
2. show knowledge of contemporary issues in international politics
3. articulate your own ethical and political positions on questions of international politics
Discipline-Specific Skills4. critically analyse both empirical and theoretical material in international politics
5. deploy theoretical arguments and apply them to empirical case studies in international politics
6. engage in the critique of theoretical arguments in international politics
Personal and Key Skills7. construct reasoned argument
8. communicate effectively in speech and writing
9. work independently and with peers to achieve common goals
10. use ICT appropriately
11. demonstrate the ability to work independently, within a limited time frame, and without access to external sources, to complete a specified task.