• Offered by Department of International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject International Relations
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Political Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr David Envall
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces students to a selection of the major theoretical approaches to international relations as well as some of the key issues in contemporary world politics. The aims are to foster familiarity with international relations as an academic discipline, build students' knowledge of debates within the field and to foster an understanding of how the assumptions we make, and the intellectual positions we take, inform our understanding of particular issues. After surveying some of the major approaches to the study of IR in the second section of the course we go on to investigate the development of the modern system of states via consideration of the concept of sovereignty and the relationship between this and the idea of the nation and of the right to national self-determination. In the final section of the course we consider some major issues in contemporary world politics. These include the role of human rights norms in the international system, the future of the sovereign state and conceptions of community in an era of globalization and, finally, consideration of the implications of American power for contemporary world order.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements for the course students will be familiar with the main theories of, and debates in, the discipline of international relations. They will also understand the development of the international system of states and major points of contention in contemporary world politics. By the end of the course students will also have developed the skills to critically analyze competing accounts of world politics, whether this is in the area of theories of international relations. Competing accounts of state building and nationalism or contested views of human rights in world politics.

Other Information

Delivery Mode:

On campus, seminar-style. 

Indicative Assessment

10,000- 12,000 Words of Assessment which includes: short essay 10%; seminar paper 20%; essay 40%; and exam, 30%.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


12 hours per week: two for seminar attendance, and ten for reading and writing. Please note this is a general guide, averaged over the semester and the final hours ultimately depend on the individual's ability in reading and writing.

Preliminary Reading

Reading required before the course begins.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $3852
2014 $5616
2013 $5616
2012 $5616
2011 $5556
2010 $5436
2009 $5340
2008 $5184
2007 $5040
2006 $4380
2005 $4380
2004 $3852
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $7416
2014 $7884
2013 $7884
2012 $7884
2011 $7884
2010 $7884
2009 $7632
2008 $7632
2007 $7632
2006 $7632
2005 $7416
2004 $7416
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3737 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

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