US Foreign and Defence Policy

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

Modular value: 20 credits
Duration: Term long 
Contact Hours: 3 hours per week

Lecturers: Adam Quinn

This course is intended to provide a comprehensive understanding of the factors, influences and actors which have shaped and are shaping American defence and foreign policy in the postwar period.  Students will also gain an understanding of the main issues in US foreign and defence policy. No previous experience of American politics is required for this course; the initial lectures and readings will provide some understanding of the processes of foreign and defence policy formulation.

  • Term 1: Outline of history of US foreign policy; actors and institutions; discussion of driving forces behind policy.
  • Term 2: contemporary issues in US foreign and security policy, focused mainly on the Bush and Obama administrations.


  • 1 x 1000-word research proposal (10%)
  • 1 x 4000-word essay, based on proposal (40%)
  • 1 x 3-hr unseen exam paper (50%)

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.