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PL50868: International organisations in world politics

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework 1 (Report) (CW 50%)
  • Coursework 2 (Report) (CW 50%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
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).

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.

Skills: 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.

Content: 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).

Programme 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 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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