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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

This course provides the theoretical/conceptual underpinning for the PIR component of the MRes in Social Science.  It examines some of the central theoretical approaches in the study of political science and international relations which will be used to critically approach an analysis of a number of contemporary issues. Issues to be addressed will include, but are not confined to, the debates surrounding: participation and disaffection; political engagement; the politics of memory; nationalism and the extreme right.  Upon completion of the course, students should be able to apply these theoretical approaches to the analysis of issues within their own field of interest.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor M. E. Smith

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • PI5019 Theories and Issues in Political Science and International Relations (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Preparation of MRes students for the conduct of original research also requires them to gain an understanding of the state of the discipline. This is a conceptual course; it introduces to and elaborates on core approaches, concepts and themes in international relations and politics. It offers an integrated overview of the joint disciplines of political science and international relations, covering mainstream approaches and dominant debates as well as key methodological controversies surrounding the study of domestic and international politics. The course covers themes such as rationality, political institutions, political behaviour, justice, democratisation and globalisation, as well as theoretical debates surrounding core paradigms of the discipline such as rational choice, poststructuralism, realism, etc.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 8 - 18

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

There are no assessments for this course.

Formative Assessment


Assessment Type Formative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback Word Count 4500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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