PO1IRS-Politics: International Relations and Strategic Studies

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Martin Binder

Email: m.binder@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module provides an introduction to the study of International Relations and Strategic Studies. in essays, presentations and examinations.

The aims of this module are as follows:
•to introduce students to the academic study of International Relations and Strategic Studies;
•to provide an overview of the major theories and empirical issues in contemporary world politics;
•to equip students with the theoretical and empirical foundations for more advanced study of International Relations and Strategic Studies;
•to equip non-Politics students with sufficient knowledge to allow them to conceptualise the international and strategic dimensions of their chosen fields;
•to develop critical and analytical skills through the engagement with a diverse and demanding range of literature and to demonstrate these skills in essays, presentations and examinations.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•identify and compare the key elements of the international political system
•demonstrate a basic understanding of contemporary issues in International Relations and Strategic Studies and the background to them
•identify and analyse the main theoretical approaches to International Relations and Strategic Studies
•assess arguments relating to the process and practice of foreign policy that has been carried out in states with different political backgrounds
•present material, orally and in writing, in a coherent and well-structured form.

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to introduce students to learning through discussion groups.

Outline content:
Content is indicative and may be subject to change but generally the course will examine:
1. The history and evolution of the modern international system.
2. Theoretical approaches to International Relations and Strategic Studies
3. International Organisations
4. Current Issues in International Relations and Strategic Studies

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
16 lectures and 10 classes requiring preparatory reading, oral presentations and written essays requiring independent study. 1 revision class.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 6
Seminars 5 5 1
Guided independent study 60 60 53
Total hours by term 75.00 71.00 54.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 40

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write one c1500 word essay in each of the Autumn and Spring terms. The coursework mark will be the average of the two essay marks. The coursework mark will constitute 40% of the overall assessment.

Visiting students: will follow the same assessments and if enrolled for the full year will also sit the examination. Those visiting students who are here for Autumn and Spring terms only but wish to gain full credits will write an additional 3000 word essay in place of the examination, to be submitted by the first day of summer term. Visiting students who are studying for half credits in the Autumn term will submit one 3000 word essay in total.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will prepare one seminar presentation in each term. Feedback on seminar presentations will be given to students.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One three-hour examination.

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    If a student fails to pass the year at the first attempt there is an opportunity to be re-assessed on one further occasion at the next opportunity in those modules achieving a mark of less than 40%. Students who are eligible for re-assessment have the right to re-assessment in all elements even if they have previously passed one of those elements. It is expected, however, that the majority of students would probably elect not to repeat an element in which they had already passed, in which case the confirmed marks would be carried forward.

    Coursework: Failed or missing coursework should be re-submitted by 1st August, emailed directly to politics@reading.ac.uk, AND submitted on Blackboard.

    Examination: Re-examination takes place in August/September of the same year.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: The core book for the module is John Baylis and Steve Smith. The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, Oxford University Press, 2016 (7th edition). ISBN: 978-0198739852 RRP: £34.99 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy. 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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