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Unit information: Issues in World Politics in 2021/22

Unit name Issues in World Politics
Unit code POLI10001
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Herring
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to introduce you to thinking about issues in world politics. It examines the ways in which we interpret and explain the systems, institutions and processes that govern world politics and important beliefs, values and discourses. The unit starts with a discussion of how states, power, people and borders relate to each other. Building on this the unit outlines the profound challenge facing the world of how to have sustainable development, that is meeting the needs of the people of the world within the limits of the environment. Related to that, the unit considers the dangers we face and responses to them; global patterns of poverty and inequality; and idea of neoliberalism. We then examine how our thinking about issues in world politics is shaped by the news media, the digital age and the controls on and flows of information. After that the issue considers as set of key themes – violence; human rights and humanitarian intervention; identity and making positive change happen. The unit is rounded off with revision discussion of the essay topics and essay writing. Throughout we will seek to uncover the assumptions behind the framings of questions and texts, and discuss what questions are left unasked and what frames have not been used.


  • To provide a scholarly introduction to issues in world politics.
  • To explore those issues by means of lectures, forums, essays and seminar discussions.
  • To develop transferable skills in small group discussions and in writing.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the unit, the student will have demonstrated achievement of the following learning outcomes:

  1. knowledge at an introductory level about world politics;
  2. an ability to synthesise, interpret and apply critical thinking to information and ideas about world politics;
  3. an ability to present an argument about world politics clearly in written form;
  4. an ability to reference written material in a scholarly manner.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

25% for the first essay of 2,000 words.

75% for the second essay of 2,000 words.

Both essays are summative. The first essay will also play a formative role in the unit. Both essays will assess all four learning outcomes specified .


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. POLI10001).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.