• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Michael Zekulin
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings
Introduction to International Relations: Contemporary Global Issues (POLS1006)

What are the most pressing issues facing global politics today?  This course looks at the ideas, issues, and actions that shape our contemporary world.  It asks how we understand the world, how we might understand it differently and why certain issues dominate global politics while others are ignored.  It also examines the capacity for people, organisations, and nations to co-operate in search of solutions to today’s pressing problems. 

In doing so, this course is broken up into two key sections: Global Visions; and Conflict and Co-operation. The first section looks at different approaches to thinking about international relations and world politics and introduces students to the key actors, agents, institutions and ideas that dominate the world today.  The second section, ‘Crisis and Co-operation’ looks at the sources of international tensions, and the possibilities for global co-operation around major issues such as transnational conflict, international political economy, global environmental management, and human and social rights. In each theme this course examines the history of these major areas of contemporary international relations and the competing debates and agendas within them.  It then focuses upon causes and consequences of a contemporary crisis and examines the possibilities of global co-operation in its resolution.

Learning Outcomes

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

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

  1. identify key issues in global politics and understand their historical contexts;
  2. develop the capacity to research key issues in ways that enable them to analyse different approaches to understanding and addressing these issues;
  3. debate and evaluate different approaches to major issues;
  4. write and present a political argument in a clear, coherent, and engaging manner; and
  5. demonstrate reading comprehension of relevant IR literature.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial Participation (10%). Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 5
1 Short Paper, 1000 words (15%). Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 4
1 Research Paper, 2000 words (40%). Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 4, 5
1 Final Exam (sit-down), 1000 words (35%). Learning Outcomes 1, 3, 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.

Prescribed Texts

Weekly readings to support the tutorials will be made available electronically via the Wattle Site


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
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
4081 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

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