• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Kenneth Fraser
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This subject focuses on the different ways in which theorists have attempted to explain and understand different aspects of international relations. It begins by introducing students to the nature and purpose of theory as well as the major theoretical concepts employed by IR scholars and policymakers before exploring in more detail different theoretical approaches to: power politics (realism(s) and power transition theory), anarchy and interdependence (game theory, neorealism and neoliberalism), decision making (bureaucratic and psychological politics), perceived threats (conservatism/neoconservatism and constructivism), and relationships of inclusion and exclusion (critical theory and feminism).

Learning Outcomes

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

After successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
  1. identify and describe the main elements of the most significant theoretical approaches to the study of international relations;
  2. recognise and interpret key texts that have shaped the development of international relations theory;
  3. apply different theoretical approaches to the analysis of events in international affairs; and,
  4. to write clear, concise appraisals of theoretical works.

Indicative Assessment

2000 - 2500 word Essay (50%) (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 4)

Short-writing exercises (20%) (Learning Outcomes 1, 2 & 4)

Examination (30%) (Learning Outcomes 1, 2 & 4)

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.


Expected attendance and participation in 1 x two-hour lecture followed by a one-hour discussion forum each week. The discussion forum may include:
  • structured group discussion;
  • films relevant to the course followed by discussion;
  • text analysis exercises;
  • short-writing exercises that form part of the assessment in the course; and/or,
  • question and answer sessions.
The lectures will be taped. Students will be required to spend an average of seven hours per week - outside of direct contact hours -preparing for tutorials, researching essay and exam topics.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed12 units of 1000 level POLS courses; or permission of the convenor

Prescribed Texts

Electronic copies of prescribed readings will be made available on Wattle.

Assumed Knowledge

A basic understanding of Political Science and/or International Relations gained from completion of two first-year courses in Political Science.




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:
6 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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3132
2006 $3132
2005 $3132
2004 $2916
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
4801 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

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