Singapore University of Social Sciences

Introduction to International Relations

Introduction to International Relations (POL208)

Applications Open: 01 May 2024

Applications Close: 15 June 2024

Next Available Intake: July 2024

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1391.78 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Humanities and Social Sciences

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


POL208 Introduction to International Relations presents to students the key theories and approaches in the study of international relations, and how these theories shed light on historical and contemporary events in the real world. The course begins with an overview of the field and its development, followed by an examination of the dominant paradigms and approaches. It will chart the emergence of international society to understand its foundations, and discuss how well international relations theories explain war, conflict, and peace in history. The structures and processes that shape international security, international political economy and international regimes in the post-Cold War era will be covered next, and the course will conclude with a review of how opposing international relations theories inform current developments in world politics, such as the Ukraine-Russia war and US-China rivalry.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done ENTIRELY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. There are no face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • The Development of International Relations
  • Realism
  • Liberalism
  • Constructivism
  • The Emergence of the Westphalian State System
  • The World Wars
  • The Cold War and Its End
  • International Security
  • International Political Economy and Globalization
  • International Regimes and Institutions
  • Contemporary International Issue I
  • Contemporary International Issue II

Learning Outcome

  • Demonstrate understanding of international relations theories
  • Explain the foundations and structures of the international system and its institutions
  • Discuss the evolution of the international system in the post-Cold War era
  • Analyse the causes of war, conflict and peace
  • Interpret world events in light of international relations theories
  • Illustrate how international relations theories explain world politics
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