International Relations III


Syllabus for students spring 2024, spring 2023, spring 2022, spring 2021, spring 2020, spring 2019, spring 2018, spring 2017, spring 2016

Course Code:
IR103L revision 5.2
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
International Relations
Date of ratification:
18 November 2015
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
18 January 2016
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
18 November 2015

Entry requirements

International Relations, 31-60 hp.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is part of the main field of study International Relations at the 61-90 credit level and meets the degree requirements for the degree of Bachelor, main field of study International Relations.


The general aim of the course is that students should be able to further develop their analytical competence for independent analysis and critical reflection regarding complex issues in the field of International Relations.


The course consists of two modules.

Module 1. Critical Assessment of Selected Literature and the Research Process, 15 credits
This module consists of two interrelated parts.
The first part consists of selecting and critically assessing of the relevant literature for the thesis in module 2 together with a supervisor. The main learning activities are self-study, independent critical reflection, and group discussions.
The second part consists in selecting the appropriate method for the thesis in module 2. This part of the module builds on the IR II methods module. The learning activities focus on the following main areas: (1) philosophy of science in relation to concrete research in International Relations; (2) the interrelationship between the different elements of the scientific research process; and (3) the aspect of critical self-reflection in International Relations research. The module requires self-study of literature, and student participation in seminars and lectures. It is examined through written assignments.
Module 2. Thesis, 15 credits
This module consists of individual thesis work (15 credits). The student chooses his/her thesis subject in collaboration with a supervisor. The learning activities of the module include design of a research plan, text seminars, supervision, and examination seminar.

Learning outcomes

Module 1. Critical Assessment of Selected Literature and the Research Process, 15 credits
After finishing the module, the student can
1. Identify and critically assess the relevant literature and scientific discussion of a selected field of IR study.
2. Define, analyse and compare the key epistemological, ontological and methodological positions, relevant for the planned thesis.
3. Pose relevant scientific research questions and critically argue for methodological and theoretical choices.
4. Identify and describe the elements of the scientific research process – research question, theory, method, material, analysis and results – and discuss and clarify their relation to one another.

Module 2. Bachelor Thesis, 15 credits
After finishing the module, the student can
5. Identify research problems, and independently articulate the purpose and research questions relevant to the subject.
6. Identify, correctly describe, critically discuss and articulate the relevant theory and methodology in relation to previous research.
7. Critically process material in an independent and structured scientific analysis and locate your contribution in relation to the scientific debate.
8. Produce an academic thesis demonstrating a good command of language and with a correct and consistent referencing system.
9. Orally present, defend and discuss the student’s thesis and give constructive criticism on other theses.

After completing the course International relations 61-90, the student shall be able to:
(10) Utilise established academic practices in writing texts and making oral presentations, particularly in relation to structure, clarity, public and graphic presentation and the referencing of sources

Learning activities

Teaching takes place as lectures, seminars and workshops. In addition to their attendance students are also expected to spend substantial time on studying the selected literature and in preparation of work for assessment.
A student who has not finished the project work during the course, or has not received a passing grade on the project work at the end of the course cannot be guaranteed continued supervision.


The student’s performance in module 1(Critical Assessment of Selected Literature and the Research Process) is assessed as follows:
Intended learning outcomes 1-4 are assessed through individual written assignments.
The student’s performance in module 2 (Bachelor Thesis) is assessed as follows:
Intended learning outcomes 5-10 are assessed through the student’s thesis, the student’s oral defence of his/her submitted thesis and comments on another student’s thesis.

Intended learning outcome 14 is assessed through all written and oral assignments in IR 61-90.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Required readings

  • Lamont, Christopher. 2015. Research Methods in International Relations. London: SAGE.
  • Selected articles on the philosophy of science and IR, c. 100-150 pages.
  • Additional literature in connection to the choice of method is selected in consultation with supervisor, c. 100-300 pages.
  • Literature for the BA thesis selected in consultation with supervisor, c. 800-1200 pages.

Recommended supplemental readings

  • Halperin, Sandra, and Olivers Heath. 2012. Political Research and Practical Skills. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Roselle, Laura, and Sharon Spray. 2012. Research and Writing in International Relations. Second edition. London: Pearson Longman

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

If a course is no longer offered or has undergone major changes, students will be offered two re-take sessions based on the syllabus in force at registration during a period of one year from the date of the implementation of the changes.

Other Information

The language of instruction is English.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the Department of Global Political Studies.

Further information

GPSstudent - Malmö universitet,
Michael Strange, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657216


18 January 2021 - 06 June 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 39000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 39000 SEK

17 January 2022 - 05 June 2022 Day-time 100% Malmö

16 January 2023 - 04 June 2023 Day-time 100% Malmö

15 January 2024 - 02 June 2024 Day-time 100% Malmö