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PL50868: International organisations in world politics

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework 1 (Report) (CW 50%)
  • Coursework 2 (Report) (CW 50%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
The unit aims to:
* Identify and analyse the main trends in academic and policy debates on international organisations in world politics;
* Study and assess the explanatory power of IR, international law and organisation studies approaches to international organisations;
* Provide an effective insight into the study of international organisations through a detailed study of inter-governmental organisations in different policy domains (Rule, security, etc);
* Equip students with a solid basic knowledge of a major sub-field of international relations.

Learning Outcomes:
Students who complete the unit successfully will be able to demonstrate that they:
* Have a detailed theoretical/empirical understanding of international organisations in world politics.
* Have acquired knowledge of the key concepts in the study, understanding, and analysis of international organisations.
* Are able to analyse how international organisations work in world politics.
* Can critically analyse international organisations in different policy domains (rule, security, etc).

The key skills the unit will hone and further develop are:
* Advanced research skills in identifying, locating and exploiting a wide range of descriptive, evaluative and theoretical literature;
* Intellectual skills of conceptual, original and independent thinking, critical analysis, synthesis and reasoned argument;
* Skills of assessment and judgement in relation to the soundness of competing arguments and scenarios;
* Reading, presentation and discussion of theoretical material;
* Explaining the emergence, functioning and evolution international organisations in context;
* Application of theoretical and methodological skills to case studies;
* Ability to carry out independent research using different sources;
* Develop presentation skills in speech and writing through active oral participation in class, written assignments, and the moodle platform.

The content of the unit will revolve around the following themes:
* International relation theories and international organisations;
* International law and international organisations;
* International organisations as bureaucracies/organisations;
* Negotiation and diplomacy in international organisations;
* Emergence, evolution and effectiveness of international organisation in different policy domains (e.g. rule, security, human rights, environment, etc).
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PL50868 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies

PL50868 is Optional (DEU) on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences

PL50868 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
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