Skip to main content


POL8020 : American Foreign Policy (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr James Bilsland
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The main aims of American Foreign Policy are:

1. To undertake advanced study of US foreign policy-making, developing a well informed and conceptually sophisticated understanding of the foreign policy process and institutional relationships, in the context of recent and contemporary issues.
2. To develop critical understanding of, and to enhance competence in using, theory, concepts, and models to investigate and explain foreign policy processes.
3. To prepare students for independent study on aspects of US foreign policy processes.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. AFP begins by considering theoretical and conceptual issues associated with foreign policy, and how foreign policy relates to other dimensions of governmental and non-governmental activity. The emergence of the global role of the US after 1945 and major development in postwar foreign policy are briefly reviewed.
2. Particular attention is given to the complex internal dynamics of foreign policy-making in the US, and their associated strains. The roles of Congress, organised interests, media and public opinion will be considered, in addition to those of the presidency, State Department, military and intelligence establishments and other governmental agencies centrally involved in the making and implementation of foreign policy.
3. The final section of the course concentrates on recent changes and contemporary challenges in the foreign policy environment, and actual or potential US responses to them.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1178:00178:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A 2 hour seminar group meeting weekly, with student presentations, is the most appropriate mode for advanced study of this topic. Students are exposed to a range of ideas, information and arguments, and develop their capacities both to express and defend their own views, and to examine critically those of others.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M1004,000 word research paper
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The research paper is chosen from a list, in consultation with the tutor, allowing the student to demonstrate learning outcomes to the best of their ability.

Reading Lists