POLIS 2114 - Approaches in International Relations

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

This course provides students with the tools to enhance their understanding of the increasingly complex arena of global politics. In recent years, we have witnessed the rise of new powers (such as China), inter-state wars, global economic and political crises, rapid technological change and the growth of non-state groups, such as transnational terrorist organisations. This course prepares you to critically analyze these developments through traditional and critical approaches in the discipline of International Relations, including realism, liberalism, the English School, constructivism and post-structuralism. By using the conceptual tools provided by these approaches, students will be able to make better sense of contemporary trends in global politics. In addition, by studying these approaches, students will gain awareness of the analytical assumptions that underpin policy making and policy analysis on issues of international political concern.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2114
    Course Approaches in International Relations
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Restrictions Students enrolled in Bachelor of International Relations
    Assessment Written research projects, online tests
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Czeslaw Tubilewicz

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Understand the key features and assumptions of a variety of approaches to analysis in International Relations
    2. Evaluate the strengths and weakness of different approaches in International Relations
    3. Apply different approaches to the analysis of case studies of global issues, events and policies
    4. Identify and evaluate the core analytical assumptions in contemporary writings on global politics
    5. Conduct independent research utilising a variety of sources
    6. Undertake analysis of key issues in global politics with analytically coherent and substantiated arguments
    7. Articulate ideas confidently, thoughtfully and respectfully
    8. Work as a part of a team in the exploration of relevant content
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Refer to the course website on MyUni to access the list of required readings.
    Recommended Resources
    Refer to the course website to access a list of recommended readings.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by workshops

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.


    1 x 1 hour lecture per week - 12 hours/semester
    1 x 2 hour seminar per week - 24 hours/semester


    6 hours reading/week - 72 hours/semester
    2 hours research/week - 24 hours/semester
    2 hours assignment preparation/week - 24 hours/semester

    TOTAL WORKLOAD: 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topics to be covered include: 

    - Structural power relations in IR

    - Institutions and regimes in IR

    - Race in IR

    - Gender and sexuality in IR

    - Class in IR

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    ASSESSMENT TASK              TASK TYPE                       WEIGHTING                              COURSE LEARNING OUTCOME(S)
    Quizzes                                 Summative                          45%                                         1,2
    2,500 word essay                   Summative                           55%                                         3,4,5,6,7

    Assessment Detail

    Quizzes - Requires students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of course readings 45%
    Research project - Requires students to conduct research on a topic and convey their research findings in an essay format 55%
    Essays must be submitted electronically, through Turnitin. The relevant link will be available on MyUni.

    The official procedure and form to apply for extensions is: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/3303

    Late essays without an extension will be penalised at the rate of 2% (2 marks) per day.

    There is a cut-off period of 7 days (including weekends and public holidays), after which late submissions without a formal extension will not be accepted/marked. In the case of late submissions with a formal extension approved, the cut-off date is 7 days (including weekends and public holidays) from the revised due date, at 11:59pm.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.