BA (Hons)

International Relations

Teaching & Learning

 

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic we are currently unable to advise on the mode of teaching for September 2021, however we will keep you updated and provide more information as soon as we can. We continue to follow government guidance and your teaching and learning will reflect the restrictions in place at the time of delivery. We currently anticipate that you may experience a blended approach – this is a mix of face-to-face, on campus and online teaching and learning. You can keep up to date with teaching and learning at Leeds Beckett via our Covid-19 website. Updated course specifications will be available in August 2021. In the meantime, our existing course specifications are available.

What you'll learn

Explore a series of real world concerns as a starting point from which to look at issues in contemporary political theory. By looking at issues such as freedom, equality, violence and rights, you will attempt to provoke critical engagement and reflection on the contested nature of contemporary political theory.
Look at the key actors and institutions in the international system, and more broadly to the study of international relations. You will explore the roles key states, regional organisations and groupings, international organisations, NGOs and transnational actors play in the international order. You will examine how their power, role and significance have been affected by change and evolution in the international system, and how in turn these affect the processes of interaction, cooperation and conflict.
Understand the the nature and structure of the international system, and how modern states evolve and develop. Consider the evolution of the 20th Century States System, beginning with the decline of pax-Britannica, the inter-war crisis, the emergence of pax-Americana, the establishment and design of key international institutions, the Cold War, the end of the Cold War, rise of non-state actors, globalisation, the decline of the west and the rise of China, the ongoing economic crisis and democratisation.
Gain a critical introduction to the history and contemporary evolution of political economy. You will engage with a variety of key historical thinkers and theoretical approaches in order to develop a qualitative understanding of the rich tapestry of political economy.
Study the main theories of international relations, including realism, liberalism, Marxism, the English School and constructivism. You will look at methodological issues in social studies including classical, positivist and post-positivist concerns.
Explore a series of real world concerns as a starting point from which to look at issues in contemporary political theory. By looking at issues such as freedom, equality, violence and rights, you will attempt to provoke critical engagement and reflection on the contested nature of contemporary political theory.
Look at the key actors and institutions in the international system, and more broadly to the study of international relations. You will explore the roles key states, regional organisations and groupings, international organisations, NGOs and transnational actors play in the international order. You will examine how their power, role and significance have been affected by change and evolution in the international system, and how in turn these affect the processes of interaction, cooperation and conflict.
Understand the the nature and structure of the international system, and how modern states evolve and develop. Consider the evolution of the 20th Century States System, beginning with the decline of pax-Britannica, the inter-war crisis, the emergence of pax-Americana, the establishment and design of key international institutions, the Cold War, the end of the Cold War, rise of non-state actors, globalisation, the decline of the west and the rise of China, the ongoing economic crisis and democratisation.
Gain a critical introduction to the history and contemporary evolution of political economy. You will engage with a variety of key historical thinkers and theoretical approaches in order to develop a qualitative understanding of the rich tapestry of political economy.
Study the main theories of international relations, including realism, liberalism, Marxism, the English School and constructivism. You will look at methodological issues in social studies including classical, positivist and post-positivist concerns.

What you'll learn

Examine the various debates within human rights, looking at the different theoretical frameworks scholars employ in the study and practice of this field. Take specific controversial debates within the field and explore them in depth. You will be challenged to see the complex nature of human rights as a moral framework for political action.
You will investigate the complexity of local socio-economic development and livelihood security in the global south. Look at current theories, policy and practice of community engagement and poverty alleviation. The local experience of development policy and the influence of donors and global partnerships for development will be examined along with some key poverty alleviation initiatives such as the livelihoods approach, micro-finance and social protection.
Study the evolution and dynamics of development in the global south from the period of post-WWII state-led development to contemporary processes of neoliberal globalisation. Students will engage with a variety of theoretical approaches in order to understand concrete empirical issues facing development in the global south.
Inequality is everywhere. People are treated differently or affected disproportionately because of their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, disability, and immigration status. In this module you will conduct research on how inequalities are present at local, national and global levels.
Investigate the concept of citizenship and actively engage with it by undertaking a voluntary placement. This placement will be related to the scope of your course and reflect on their experiences to enhance your employability.
Gain an overview of contemporary security issues, encompassing different perspectives from the state to the individual, and how security threats have changed over time and continue to change.
Study an overview of contemporary environmental debates, with a particular focus on climate change and its consequences. You will critically assess the evidence for global environmental crisis, and efforts at global cooperation to address the issues, considering issues such as responsibility, and the role of environmental movements and alternative models of development.
Explore the historical evolution of international human rights law at the United Nations. You will explore what rights are covered by the conventions and how the UN and human rights advocates use these legal mechanisms to promote and protect human rights internationally.
Examine the various debates within human rights, looking at the different theoretical frameworks scholars employ in the study and practice of this field. Take specific controversial debates within the field and explore them in depth. You will be challenged to see the complex nature of human rights as a moral framework for political action.
You will investigate the complexity of local socio-economic development and livelihood security in the global south. Look at current theories, policy and practice of community engagement and poverty alleviation. The local experience of development policy and the influence of donors and global partnerships for development will be examined along with some key poverty alleviation initiatives such as the livelihoods approach, micro-finance and social protection.
Study the evolution and dynamics of development in the global south from the period of post-WWII state-led development to contemporary processes of neoliberal globalisation. Students will engage with a variety of theoretical approaches in order to understand concrete empirical issues facing development in the global south.
Inequality is everywhere. People are treated differently or affected disproportionately because of their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, disability, and immigration status. In this module you will conduct research on how inequalities are present at local, national and global levels.
Investigate the concept of citizenship and actively engage with it by undertaking a voluntary placement. This placement will be related to the scope of your course and reflect on their experiences to enhance your employability.
Gain an overview of contemporary security issues, encompassing different perspectives from the state to the individual, and how security threats have changed over time and continue to change.
Study an overview of contemporary environmental debates, with a particular focus on climate change and its consequences. You will critically assess the evidence for global environmental crisis, and efforts at global cooperation to address the issues, considering issues such as responsibility, and the role of environmental movements and alternative models of development.
Explore the historical evolution of international human rights law at the United Nations. You will explore what rights are covered by the conventions and how the UN and human rights advocates use these legal mechanisms to promote and protect human rights internationally.

Option modules may include

The state plays a fundamental part in social life and in shaping social development and is a central concept in political analysis. Investigate the nature, development and prospects of the state using a variety of theoretical approaches, and consider big questions about the state, such as: why should we obey the state? who has power and how is political influence exercised? does business exercise unrivalled influence? what are the arguments for ‘growing’ or ‘shrinking’ the state? is globalisation forcing the state to retreat?
Explore the UK’s relationship with the EU and investigate the application of appropriate theory in order to understand both the access of the UK and its decision to exit.
Gain an insight into the key concepts, methods and debates within Marxism and develop your capacity to reflect upon the political relevance of Marxism today. The module will be geared towards a critical understanding of capitalism and its evolution as a historically specific mode of production.
Develop an understanding of the key theories of peace, warfare and security, and their relevance to and practice in the 21st century.
Gain an understanding of the key concepts and theories associated with post conflict recovery and peacebuilding. You will examine the range of behavioural contexts and peacebuilding dimensions and develop some of these ideas into defining the goals and processes of building a peaceful (i.e. less prone to violence) society.
The state plays a fundamental part in social life and in shaping social development and is a central concept in political analysis. Investigate the nature, development and prospects of the state using a variety of theoretical approaches, and consider big questions about the state, such as: why should we obey the state? who has power and how is political influence exercised? does business exercise unrivalled influence? what are the arguments for ‘growing’ or ‘shrinking’ the state? is globalisation forcing the state to retreat?
Explore the UK’s relationship with the EU and investigate the application of appropriate theory in order to understand both the access of the UK and its decision to exit.
Gain an insight into the key concepts, methods and debates within Marxism and develop your capacity to reflect upon the political relevance of Marxism today. The module will be geared towards a critical understanding of capitalism and its evolution as a historically specific mode of production.
Develop an understanding of the key theories of peace, warfare and security, and their relevance to and practice in the 21st century.
Gain an understanding of the key concepts and theories associated with post conflict recovery and peacebuilding. You will examine the range of behavioural contexts and peacebuilding dimensions and develop some of these ideas into defining the goals and processes of building a peaceful (i.e. less prone to violence) society.

What you'll learn

Focus on a subject of your choosing related to International Relations and your own future aspirations. You will be required to select an International Relations based dissertation topic and to engage with theoretical, methods and empirical material that is appropriate to study in this field. You will identify, plan and deliver a sustained and in-depth piece of work, linking it to theory, and critically reflecting on their subject matter and research findings.
Investigate the operation, practice and context of contemporary diplomacy and international relations. You will explore traditional forms of and approaches to diplomacy and analyse the impact of changes in the international system on the practice and operation of international relations in order to understand contemporary forms of diplomacy. You will analyse diplomacy in the context of the cold war and post cold war, the rise of new actors in international diplomacy and the impact of technology and the media on international relations.
Gain an introduction to the ideas of global governance and globalisation and the intersection between them. You will begin to think critically about future patterns of world order and their institutionalisation.
This module will introduce the key issues in understanding development and change at a community, grassroots level. You'll study the policy contexts that influence community development. And you'll tackle key issues including funding, diversity and accountability.
Focus on the politics of human rights movement, the context within which it operates and its key players. Workshops will allow you to explore these issues in greater depth as well as providing the opportunity for group work and practical exercises.
Focus on a subject of your choosing related to International Relations and your own future aspirations. You will be required to select an International Relations based dissertation topic and to engage with theoretical, methods and empirical material that is appropriate to study in this field. You will identify, plan and deliver a sustained and in-depth piece of work, linking it to theory, and critically reflecting on their subject matter and research findings.
Investigate the operation, practice and context of contemporary diplomacy and international relations. You will explore traditional forms of and approaches to diplomacy and analyse the impact of changes in the international system on the practice and operation of international relations in order to understand contemporary forms of diplomacy. You will analyse diplomacy in the context of the cold war and post cold war, the rise of new actors in international diplomacy and the impact of technology and the media on international relations.
Gain an introduction to the ideas of global governance and globalisation and the intersection between them. You will begin to think critically about future patterns of world order and their institutionalisation.
This module will introduce the key issues in understanding development and change at a community, grassroots level. You'll study the policy contexts that influence community development. And you'll tackle key issues including funding, diversity and accountability.
Focus on the politics of human rights movement, the context within which it operates and its key players. Workshops will allow you to explore these issues in greater depth as well as providing the opportunity for group work and practical exercises.

Option modules may include

This module will provide an advanced introduction to current debates about the persisting relevance of colonialism to thinking about politics today. It will introduce you to the critical theoretical literature around 'coloniality' and race from post-colonial and decolonial perspectives and applies these ideas to contemporary political issues.
Discover the field of study known as International Political Economy (IPE). You will engage with a variety of theoretical and empirical debates in order to situate and understand the field of IPE and its major object of study globalisation. Emphasis will be placed on how different theoretical approaches seek to understand, reform and critique the contemporary global political economy.
Explore the actors, mechanisms and practice of policy making, and the drivers of policy change, via a focus on specific case studies. You will engage with key decision making theories and models of the policy process, exploring how institutional analyses and other theoretical approaches help to understand the complexity of the policy process.
Investigate the related issues of terrorism, security and human rights. You will explore the synthesis between the fear of terrorism which is a pervasive threat felt by both states and individuals, the response to these threats that states adopt in creating security policy, and the impact upon human and civil rights.
Develop the knowledge and skills to understand, evaluate and critically appraise the range of approaches in international peacekeeping.
Consider the key issues and challenges in British politics today. You'll study the 'postwar consensus', Thatcherism, the rise and fall of New Labour and Brexit Britain. You'll examine important issues such as the potential fracturing of the UK (given resurgent Scottish nationalism), how the British government can adapt to its post-Brexit future, the effect of social media on British politics and electoral campaigning. You'll also look at the role of structured inequalities in British politics and society.
Through a series of workshops, you will focus on the politics of social justice and nonviolent resistance, the context within which activism takes place, and the key players that undertake the work of social change. You will explore these issues in greater depth through case studies of activism undertaken in particular geographical areas (i.e Africa, Myanmar, Russia, Brazil) as well as on different issues (i.e Corruption, landrights, oppression and environmental protection).
This module will provide an advanced introduction to current debates about the persisting relevance of colonialism to thinking about politics today. It will introduce you to the critical theoretical literature around 'coloniality' and race from post-colonial and decolonial perspectives and applies these ideas to contemporary political issues.
Discover the field of study known as International Political Economy (IPE). You will engage with a variety of theoretical and empirical debates in order to situate and understand the field of IPE and its major object of study globalisation. Emphasis will be placed on how different theoretical approaches seek to understand, reform and critique the contemporary global political economy.
Explore the actors, mechanisms and practice of policy making, and the drivers of policy change, via a focus on specific case studies. You will engage with key decision making theories and models of the policy process, exploring how institutional analyses and other theoretical approaches help to understand the complexity of the policy process.
Investigate the related issues of terrorism, security and human rights. You will explore the synthesis between the fear of terrorism which is a pervasive threat felt by both states and individuals, the response to these threats that states adopt in creating security policy, and the impact upon human and civil rights.
Develop the knowledge and skills to understand, evaluate and critically appraise the range of approaches in international peacekeeping.
Consider the key issues and challenges in British politics today. You'll study the 'postwar consensus', Thatcherism, the rise and fall of New Labour and Brexit Britain. You'll examine important issues such as the potential fracturing of the UK (given resurgent Scottish nationalism), how the British government can adapt to its post-Brexit future, the effect of social media on British politics and electoral campaigning. You'll also look at the role of structured inequalities in British politics and society.
Through a series of workshops, you will focus on the politics of social justice and nonviolent resistance, the context within which activism takes place, and the key players that undertake the work of social change. You will explore these issues in greater depth through case studies of activism undertaken in particular geographical areas (i.e Africa, Myanmar, Russia, Brazil) as well as on different issues (i.e Corruption, landrights, oppression and environmental protection).