International Relations I


This course is an introduction to dominant theoretical approaches and current research debates within the discipline of International Relations. The aim of the course is to acquire basic knowledge of and ability how to use concepts and theories within IR to analyze and interpret power relations, international norms and other prominent phenomena within world politics.

Admission requirements

General entry requirements + English B.

For Swedish Upper Secondary Grades merit rating will be calculated according to Områdesbehörighet 6/A6


credits 20% final grades 40% national university aptitude test 40%


Syllabus for students autumn 2020

Course Code:
IR110L revision 4.9
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
International Relations
Date of ratification:
20 May 2020
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
31 August 2020
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
25 August 2017

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + English B.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is part of the main field of study International Relations at the 1-30 credit level and meets the degree requirements for the degree of Bachelor, main field of study International Relations.


The aim of the course is to provide students with a foundational understanding of International Relations (IR) as an academic field of study. On having passed the course, students will be able to utilize central theories and concepts in relation to the historical and contemporary development of international politics.


The course consists of three modules that operate together to provide an introduction to the field of International Relations.
Module 1: Theory of International Relations (12,5 credits)
The first module, ‘International Relations Theory’, focuses on current and classical theoretical debate within IR and how IR has developed as an academic discipline.
Module 2: Issues in Global Politics (10 credits)
The second module, ‘Issues in Global Politics’, analyses prevailing trends in global politics and their historical background, for example: evolving debates in IR about economic and sustainable development; the environment; security; gender; globalisation; and foreign policy.
Module 3: Researching and Studying International Relations (7,5 credits)
The third module ‘Researching and Studying IR’ provides a platform for training students’ competencies in engaging with academic texts and research, introduces them to basic methodological approaches, and develops their skills in producing academic work.
The three modules are run concurrently.

Learning outcomes

After completing module 1 (Theory of International Relations) the student shall be able to:
(1) Identify, compare and critically discuss the role of central concepts and theories in the academic subject of IR.
(2) Utilise theories and concepts to analyse specific issues, events and processes in global politics.
(3) Discuss and compare some of the principal international relations theories in an independently written course paper.
After completing module 2 (Issues in Global Politics) the student shall be able to:
(4) Identify and critically consider the impact of both historical and contemporary actors on the process and structures of global politics.
(5) Identify and critically discuss the influence and impact of a specific actor on contemporary global politics.
After completing module 3 (Researching and Studying International Relations) the student shall be able to:
(6) Critically consider what characterises academic work within the subject of international relations and be able to search for and find relevant material in a library catalogue.
(7) Outline the key methodological approaches utilized by scholars conducting research in the field of International Relations.
After completing the course IR110L the student shall be able to:
(8) Utilise established academic practices in writing texts, particularly in relation to structure, clarity, presentation and the referencing of sources.

Learning activities

Teaching takes place in lectures and seminars. In addition to their attendance students are also expected to spend substantial time on studying the course literature and in preparation of work for assessment.


The student’s performance in module 1 (Theory of International Relations) is assessed as follows: Intended learning outcome 1 is assessed through a mid-term paper. Intended learning outcomes 2 and 3 are assessed through a course paper
The student’s performance in module 2 (Issues in Global Politics) is assessed as follows: Intended learning outcome 4 is assessed through a written paper. Intended learning outcome 5 is asessed through an oral and written assignment
The student’s performance in module 3 (Researching and studying International Relations) is assessed as follows: Intended learning outcomes 6 and 7 are assessed through a course paper.
The student’s performanance in IR110L is assessed as follows: Intended learning outcome 8 is evaluated in all written and oral assignments.
Students shall receive on-going feedback on their work through both assessment and commentary on more minor, non-graded, activities and texts. Students who do not pass the regular course assessments have the minimum of two re-sit opportunities based on the same course content and evaluative framework. Students also have the right to take assessments on the same course in future terms according to the same principal. Assessments and re-sits take place in accordance with the dates stated in the course schedule. It is the individual student’s responsibility to inform themselves about where and when a re-sit assessment will take place and to contact the department for registration if this is necessary.

Grading system

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

Course literature and other teaching materials

  • Baylis, John, and Steve Smith and Patricia Owens , (2020) (eds.) The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (8th edition) (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  • Dunne, Tim and Milja Kurki, and Steve Smith (2016), (eds.) International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity, 4hth edition (Oxford: OUP)
  • Roselle, Laura and Sharon Spray (2011) Research and Writing in International Relations (Second edition) London: Pearson.
Additional material in the form of journal articles and other literature may be added to the reading list, c. 200-400 pages.

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

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,
John H. S. Åberg, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657435


31 August 2020 - 17 January 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö Schedule

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 39000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 39000 SEK