Theory and Practice of Global Politics

How to ‘make sense’ of global politics is a matter of theory, for alternative theoretical perspectives offer radically different assessments of real world issues such as globalisation, development, poverty, and war. Across a range of disciplines such as Political Science, International Relations, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Philosophy, Economics, Law, Criminology, and History, scholars contest how best to understand global political, economic and cultural processes. This programme introduces students to different theoretical traditions in the study of global politics, and offers the opportunity to interrogate key scholarly debates and contemporary issues through multiple theoretical lenses.

Theories to be covered:

  • Liberalism
  • Realism
  • Marxism
  • Social Constructivism
  • Poststructuralism
  • Feminism
  • Post-colonialism

Case studies to be covered:

  • The end of History
  • The clash of civilisations
  • Rising powers
  • Development
  • Poverty and inequality
  • Environmental politics
  • Nation states
  • Regionalism
  • Human security

(Please note that the programme plan is subject to confirmation for BISS 2019)

Entry requirements

To be accepted onto the Theory and Practice of Global Politics programme you must:

  • Be aged 18 years or over at the start date of the BISS programme.
  • Be studying an undergraduate programme at a University outside the UK or be registered as an International student at a UK university.
  • Be of good academic standing (based on a translated transcript, verified by your University). 

English Language Requirements

  • Have achieved English Language proficiency of IELTS 6.0 overall with no lower than 5.5 in any band.
  • Have achieved English Language proficiency of TOEFL IBT 80 overall with no less than 19 in listening, 19 in reading, 21 in speaking and 19 in writing.
  • Have achieved English language proficiency of PEARSON with a minimum of 53 in listening, reading, writing and listening.

The following equivalent English language qualifications will also be accepted:

  • Have achieved English Language proficiency of  530 at level 4 or 500 at level 6 in Chinese College English Test (CET).
  • Have achieved English Language proficiency of 60 at TEM level 4.
  • Have achieved English Language Proficiency at HKDSE Level 3.

This three week programme in Theory and Practice of Global Politics will be delivered in a variety of teaching modes. Students will hear a set of lectures; they will also have the opportunity to discuss the content of those lectures in seminar-style sessions, informed in addition by pre-session readings; and lastly, a good amount of time will be given over to group-work as supported by the module lead.

The lectures will cover theories in relation to chosen practical cases studies.

The seminars will be an opportunity to debate the pros and cons of those theories, with particular reference to the extent to which they describe/explain the case-studies well.


In groups, students will carry out more detailed work on chosen theories and cases.  Each group will be invited to deliver a presentation on their chosen theory and/or case at the end of the module, which ought to last no more than 15 minutes, and will count for 25% of the overall grade.

Students will also complete an in-class test which will count for 75% of the overall grade.

(Please note that the programme plan is subject to confirmation for BISS 2019)