The International System Today: Powers and Regions (L2009)

15 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

This module introduces two dimensions of the international system: its regions and its institutions. The module explores how each of the major regions was incorporated into the international system; how its role in the system has changed over time; and which debates are associated with that region in particular. This first part of the module will be followed by a critical discussion of the limits and possibilities of a regional and comparative approach to international relations. The second part of the module will explore international institutions. It will establish the formal purpose/goal of each of these institutions; the way it works and the conflicts it generates; as well as the major intellectual debates it triggers. This will culminate in a critical discussion of the role of institutions in world politics in general.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: