• 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
    • Dr Darren Lim
    • Jessica Wilson
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2018
    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 will have the knowledge and skills 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. Critically appraise theoretical works in the field of international relations.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation (10%) (Learning Outcomes 1-4)

500 word research proposal (10%) (Learning Outcomes 1-4)

3500 word Essay (40%) (Learning Outcomes 1-4)

Examination 2 hours [in formal examination period] (40%) (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.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and, b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

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

Art, Robert J., and Robert Jervis. 2015. International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues. 12th Edition. Pearson.




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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2018 $3420
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4860
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8611 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

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