Skip to main content


POL2110 : Security Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Katharine A. M. Wright
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This course will consider the historical development of Security Studies as an academic sub-discipline of International Relations. The module aims to equip students with knowledge of the major schools, approaches, traditions and debates within Security Studies.

The module deploys this theoretical vocabulary to examine a range of issues in international security of historical and contemporary significance and consider how they support or challenge theoretical standpoints.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered may include the following:

Topics taught will be drawn from the following:
1.       What is security?
2.       Traditional approaches: Realism and security
3.       Critical Security Studies
4.       Feminist Security Studies
5.       Security as a speech act
6.       Postcolonial approaches
7.       Human Security
8.       Asylum and immigration
9.       Terrorism
10.       Sexual and gender based violence in conflict
11.       Future directions: Should we forget Security Studies?

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00same groups as for the small group teaching/SIMULATION GAME
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery32:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1163:00163:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to the key theoretical approaches within the sub-discipline of Security Studies, in the latter half of the module students will examine how these approaches relate to international security issues of contemporary and historical significance. The seminars and simulation game allow students to participate in clarifying and exploring the approaches and issues underpinning the module. These support students in developing critical, analytical and oral communication skills. The essay and exam help to develop critical-analytical and written communication skills. Time management, planning and organisational skills are developed throughout the module.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M703000 words
Written exercise1M301000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment for this module consists of two components, a critique and an essay. The critique will allow students to engage in-depth with a particular theoretical approach to international security. This will also help reinforce understanding of concepts presented and discussed in lectures and seminars. The critique is designed to feed forward into the essay through equipping students with knowledge of the literature and theory required to write analytically and critically on an empirical topic in their essays. The essay will allow students to critically engage with and apply a Security Studies theory in the context of issues of contemporary and historical significance to international security. Both the critique and essay assess critical thinking, written communication and argumentation.

Reading Lists