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.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

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.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. 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: