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The University of Southampton

PAIR1001 Introduction to International Relations

Module Overview

• Introduce students to the study of structures, actors and policy processes in international politics • Enable students to distinguish between competing explanations of international relations • Develop students’ ability to restate arguments and apply them to relevant aspect of and actors in • the sphere of international relations • Build student capacity to interact with peers in discussion of pertinent themes in international relations • Enable students to make extensive use of library resources and build capacity to include wide-ranging bibliography in their work Pre-requisite for PAIR2001, PAIR2005, PAIR2014, PAIR2033, PAIR2034, PAIR3014, PAIR3041 and PAIR3042, 2019, 3028

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Key theoretical debates and issues of current global politics
  • The key principles of particular arguments in application to specific dimensions of international relations
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify actors and processes in international politics, providing examples and framing opinion based on theories of international relations
  • Demonstrate extensive knowledge of the literature and good use of bibliographic references.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Express your understanding of a module through written communication
  • Apply critical thinking


This course is an introduction to the major principles, concepts, actors, and theories of the international system and their application to current issues in world affairs. The module is divided into two parts. The first part of the course examines a number of different theoretical approaches drawn from different intellectual traditions in the discipline, including Classical and Contemporary Realism, Liberalism, and Radical approaches to IR as well as contemporary debates on Governance and Globalisation. The second part discusses a number of current International Issues.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module includes traditional one to many lectures sometimes with short videos embedded in the lecture slides. There are also tutorials centred around key issues pertinent to the course

Independent Study121
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Art, Robert J. and Robert Jervis, eds. (2007). International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues. 

Nye, Joseph (2013). Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation: An Introduction to Theory and History. 

Mansbach, Richard W. and Taylor, Kirsten L. (2012). Introduction to Global Politics. 

Bull, Hedley (1977). The Anarchical Society. 

Heywood, Andrew (2014). Global Politics. 

Baylis, John et al., eds (2013). The Globalization of World Politics . 


Assessment Strategy

The arrangements applicable to students repeating the year are the same as the ones for referral.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Exam  (2 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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