International relations

The Local and the Global: IR in Practice

Module code: L2066
Level 4
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar, Lecture
Assessment modes: Portfolio

This module aims to encourage you to:

  • connect your everyday life in Brighton to wider currents in world politics
  • think about why it matters how we theorise international relations and international political economy.

You will undertake a research project (in a group of approximately five) that focuses on a Brighton-based empirical phenomenon or issue. You’ll seek to understand the connections between that issue and world politics more generally. In the course of doing your project, you will be introduced to theoretical debates in IR/IPE and to issues around research design, methodology and method, as well as philosophy of social science.


In this module you will conduct your own research project on the relationship between the local and the global. There are four project topics to choose from: the Royal Pavilion as a WWI Indian Army hospital; refugee settlement in Brighton; the EDO arms factory in Brighton; and decolonizing the curriculum. The goal of the module is to connect the study of International Relations to your everyday life and your experience as a student in Brighton/at Sussex. You will learn how to move from a topic to a research question; how to design a research project; how to conduct research; and how to write a portfolio that demonstrates your learning. Along the way, you will learn about issues of research design, the role of theory in research, methods and methodology, bias objectivity and neutrality, and research ethics - as well as learning a lot about your chosen topic! You will have the opportunity to work in a study group with your peers; the assessment for the module is a 2000 word individual portfolio.

Module learning outcomes

  • connect everyday life in and around Brighton to theories and issues in IR and/or IPE: reflect on the relationships between the local and the global, and between theory and empirics.
  • undertake basic research design, and understand basic issues around methodology, method and philosophy of social science.
  • Develop study and research skills, and transferable skills.
  • Reflect on their role as students, individuals and community members in Brighton.