International Relations: Theories and Approaches

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 04 October 2018
Friday 14 December 2018
29 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA R9L2 European Studies with Politics,
BA R9L8 European Studies with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9L8JS European Studies with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L900 International Development,
BA L901 International Development (Including Year Abroad),
BA L902 International Development (Including Placement Year),
BA L250 International Relations (Including Foundation Year),
BA L258 International Relations,
BA L259 International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA L260 International Relations (Including Placement Year),
BA LR59 International Relations and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA LRF9 International Relations and Modern Languages,
BA VL12 Modern History and International Relations,
BA VL14 Modern History and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
BA VL18 Modern History and International Relations (Including Foundation Year),
BA VL1F Modern History and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA L200 Politics,
BA L200PT Politics,
BA L201 Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA L202 Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L203 Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA L903 Global Studies,
BA L904 Global Studies (including year abroad),
BA L905 Global Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L908 Global Studies (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA L225 Politics and International Relations,
BA L226 Politics and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA L227 Politics and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
BSC L222 Politics and International Relations,
BSC L223 Politics and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L224 Politics and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
BA L910 Global Studies with Politics,
BA L911 Global Studies with Politics (Including year abroad),
BA L912 Global Studies with Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA L913 Global Studies with Politics (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the study of international relations (IR). We begin by outlining the main theoretical approaches which aim to explain the behaviour of state and non-state actors in the international system – Realism and Liberalism - as Post-positivist theoretical perspectives such as Constructivism. The questions and issues to be examined in the course are introduced; emphasizing the scientific or theoretical study of international relations.

In this section, we then examine the theoretical approaches to IR in depth, providing the student with alternative sets of theoretical lenses through which the world can be viewed. Here we highlight in detail some of the key disputes and differing concerns which separate the competing schools of thought. Furthermore, we study in detail an application for each school, highlighting an important contribution of that particular school to the study of IR.

Module aims

The aims of the module are to provide a detailed understanding of theoretical approaches to the study of international relations and of how they differ in their application to specific issues.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will have: -An understanding of Realism, Liberalism and Constructivism in the study of IR; -An understanding of how each of these schools of thought can be applied to specific issues and controversies in IR.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

One hour lecture and one hour discussion section


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Paper 95%
Practical Participation 5%
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)
Overall assessment
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Professor Natasha Ezrow
Professor Natasha Ezrow: nezrow@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator: Sallyann West, govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Mohammed Rodwan Abouharb
Available via Moodle
Of 80 hours, 46 (57.5%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
32 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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