University of Sussex Business School

Introduction to International Relations (L2008)

Introduction to International Relations

Module L2008

Module details for 2019/20.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 4

Module Outline

This course introduces students to the academic study of international relations. The course outlines the specific characteristics of International Relations (IR) as a distinct scholarly discipline, separate from other disciplines such as politics or sociology. The course considers what has defined IR as a discipline and what constitutes its core conceptual and methodological coordinates at the present time. The course approaches these questions through a consideration of the historical development of IR through a series of conceptual and methodological debates. Classically these debates are conceived of as tracing a path from idealism via realism to a pluralist methodological position. Understanding these debates, the circumstances that have given rise to them, and the methods they have generated will give students a good orientation in the disciplinary terrain of IR that will help them in contextualizing the ideas they will encounter in the international theory courses in Years 1 and 2.

Module learning outcomes

Understand the reasons for IR as a separate social science.

Develop an initial understanding of the main IR paradigms and subfields.

Understand the relationship between theory and practice in IR.

Produced, in an academically acceptable manner, an essay in which they have demonstrated the ability to write about theoretical issues in International Relations.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT1 Week 8 100.00%
Essay (1000 words)Semester 1 Assessment Week 2 Tue 16:0050.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterLecture2 hours11111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Dr Ida Danewid

Assess convenor, Convenor

Mx Emilia Moscardini-Powers

Assess convenor

Prof Peter Newell


Dr David Karp

Assess convenor

Dr Earl Gammon

Assess convenor

Please note that the University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver courses and modules in accordance with the descriptions set out here. However, the University keeps its courses and modules under review with the aim of enhancing quality. Some changes may therefore be made to the form or content of courses or modules shown as part of the normal process of curriculum management.

The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.