International Relations Theory and Practice - 2016

This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP3 , SP4
  • Assessment: Essay 1 (40%) , Invigilated Exam (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit introduces students to the field of international relations (IR). It examines the connection between IR theories and practices and processes in the ‘real world’ of international relations. The unit reviews changing patterns of state sovereignty, the role of international organisations, changing patterns of world order, and the impact of globalisation. Through the course students will develop an understanding of IR theories, examine key structures in international politics, and use theory to critically analyse contemporary issues in international affairs.

On successful completion of the unit students will:

  1. develop an understanding of the main theoretical approaches in international relations, and the key debates between them over how international politics is organised
  2. have built an awareness of the key practices and processes that define international politics, and how these processes are evolving in the contemporary period
  3. develop critical analysis skills by applying theoretical insights to the understanding of major issues in international politics today
  4. research, develop and deliver written and oral analyses of contemporary issues in international politics. 
  • Essay 1 (40%)
  • Invigilated Exam (30%)
  • Online Discussion (30%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Students must have completed 18 credit points (6 OUA units) at Level 1 before enrolling in this unit.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction Theory and practice in IR
2Realist theories
3Sovereignty and the state
4Liberal theories
5International institutions;
6Critical and Marxist theories;
7US hegemony and world order;
9Human rights in world politics
10Globalisation theories
11Non-state actors and global governance;
12Connecting IR theory to IR practices

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • International Relations

    By:Dunne, Tim

    ISBN: 9780198707561


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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