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POL3110 : International Organisation and Diplomacy (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Christopher Wheeler
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


- Introduce and deepen student knowledge about the universal and regional international
organisations (IOs) and the diplomatic practices that state and non-state political actors use to pursue their interests.      
- Examine how international organisations and diplomacy facilitate or hinder the ability of
political actors to address perennial and ephemeral global issues.      
- Analyse the challenges and limitations of international organisations and diplomatic
- Provide experiential learning opportunities in lectures and seminars for students to
practice their diplomatic skills and put their knowledge of international organizations
to use to pursue collective political action on global issues.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module introduces and discusses different international organizations (IOs) and diplomatic practices state and non-state actors use to pursue their interests. Through discussions and analyses of illustrative case studies covering salient political issues regarding peace and security, international law, the environment, gender, and human rights, this module highlights the influential roles international organisations and diplomacy play in shaping political action. Finally, this module provides students with opportunities to use the knowledge and skills they acquire throughout the semester to pursue political action on global issues.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1166:00166:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are structured to provide students with overviews of the theories, concepts, and interpretations relevant to understanding the functions and purposes of international organisations and diplomatic practices found within the international political sphere. During the lectures, students are given opportunities to ask questions and participate in individual and group activities to deepen their understanding of topics addressed in throughout the semester. Content in the lectures is primarily delivered orally by the module leader, but can at times require students to read materials distributed during the lectures.

Seminars are designed to provide students with opportunities to address questions and comments relating to the weekly lectures and assigned reading materials. Seminars are largely organised around discussions and small group activities relating to one or two case studies addressed in the weekly assigned readings. The readings, discussions, and in-class activities help students critically engage with and enhance their understanding of lecture topics addressed each week. The role of the seminar leader is to facilitate and guide student engagement and participation in each seminar, not necessarily to lecture. For each seminar, all students are expected to 1) prepare by reading the assigned materials and attending lectures and 2) provide meaningful contributions to the discussions and activities.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M452000 word essay
Prof skill assessmnt1M10Seminar participation
Report1M452000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The aim of the essay is to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate 1) their understanding of the core theories, themes, concepts, and practices relevant to manifestations of IOs and diplomacy in international political, as well as 2) their ability to construct coherent and robust arguments. The essay also provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills in research, critical analysis, writing, referencing, engaging with (non-)academic literature, and working autonomously.

The report is aimed at providing students an opportunity to hone their skills and abilities demonstrated in the essay and to demonstrate how their academic skills can be put to use outside of academia. In the course of selecting, researching, and writing up the report on a specific international organisation and global issue, students will learn about and enhance their understanding of how international organisations and diplomacy relate to one another. Detailed guidance will be given in advance on what is expected from the report and how it will be assessed.

The assessment mark linked to participation encourages students to take active roles in supporting and enhancing their learning throughout the semester. Remaining sensitive to the needs and comfortability of each student, as well as recognising the value of different forms of participation, opportunities to participate outside of lectures and seminars (e.g. online, office hours) are made available to students and can contribute to final participation marks.

The collective aim of the assessments is to provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their ability to present coherent and rigorous analysis and arguments orally and in writing in various settings and for different audiences.

Reading Lists