International Relations Theory

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Second year module

Lecturers: Dr George Kyris and Dr Sotirios Zartaloudis

This module deepens students' understanding of International Relations Theory, and introduces them to the discipline's current theoretical debates. It includes a critical appraisal of traditional International Relations theories, an overview of the current theoretical debate in the discipline, an in-depth discussion of some of central problems and themes in this debate, and a reflection on the consequences of this debate for specific study areas, such as Foreign Policy Analysis or Security Studies.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • Discuss and appraise the main theories of International Relations, and select a theoretical position to do so. 
  • Differentiate between various critical and constructivist approaches to the analysis of international politics, and asses their relevance. 
  • Analyse a particular problem of internal politics in a theoretically consistent manner.


  • Term Two: 1 essay x 2,000 word assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (50%)

Note: If you wish to take POLS 330 Critical Approaches to Security in your final year there is a pre-requisite of either POLS 218 International Security or POLS 214 International Relations Theory.

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.