Course code EDS203

EDS203 Introduction to International Relations

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2016 - 2017 .

Course responsible: Kirsti Stuvøy, Kirsti Stuvøy
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in August block. This course has teaching/evaluation in August block.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2010-2011
Preferential right:
Course contents:
The students in the master program in international relations come from a variety of backgrounds, and this introduction course is to introduce students to each-other, and at the same time create a foundation for further studies in international relations, ensuring that all students have the basic knowledge to make their further studies in the subject field of international relations easier and enable more in-depth analyses and discussions through the various other courses. The Module introduces the students to the various wider approaches to international relations, as Liberalism, Realism, the English School, constructivism and Postmodernism, as well as to basic discussions around epistemology and ontology, it strives to do so in a way that enable the student to relate these discussions to ongoing events. It also introduces the student to the administrative routines of the department, and the outline of the i-r program itself, and, through compulsory group work, introducing the student to team work, a working form also important for any future employee. 
Learning outcome:

The course provides a basic introduction to international relations. At the end of the course, the student has:

- learned to know and use the main theoretical approaches to international relations, including realism, liberalism, constructivism, and postmodernism.  

- experience with team work, learned to know other students and how to be a team player and a resource to each others learning process. 

- learned how to write a good paper in international relations

- training in basic principles of academic writing, such as how to properly cite references, and has completed a plagiarism quiz (with the submission of plagiarism declaration). 

Learning activities:

Learning methods include lectures, discussions, group work, oral and written presentations, and consultations with advisors.

Attendance: Generally speaking, and across academic disciplines, there is a strong correlation between lecture attendance and a student¿s final mark for any given course. Despite one or two exceptions, poor attendance usually translates into poor final marks. This is because you will not have had the forum to discuss ideas, nor will you have had a comparable guide to the ideas and problems discussed during the lecture course. It is therefore strongly recommended that you attend all lectures. It is also recommended that the students organize so called colloquies , discussion groups in where they can discuss their ideas on religion and politics, however, this is up to the students them-selves. 

Independent work: Of course, independent work is as important as attendance. It is advised that you read broadly and think about what you¿re reading. On average, and other commitments notwithstanding, you are expected to give about day a week to this course. That¿s at least six to seven hours per week. It is recommended that you do at least two hours of preparation a week for the seminars and at least an hour of additional reading before rather than after the lecture. Lectures are to help you with the reading ¿ not to substitute for it. Good preparation will greatly reduce the amount of work you will put into writing your essays, and also the amount of revision work you will have to do before the exam.

The format of the seminars: Each group is expected to use 20 minutes to present their paper in the seminar, each group will also be expected to act as a discussant once, the discussant role require that the group read up on the topic, preferably wider than the required readings list, and prepare questions for the presenting group and their paper.It is expected that the discussant group prepare for at least 10 minutes, the remaining time will be set of for class discussions

Teaching support:

Supervision during group work and collquiums.

Office hours and procedures are established at the first class meeting. A course outline is handed out at the same time. Information about time and place of lectures and seminars is available in Time Edit on NMBU's website. 


Reading is comprised of one major textbook and additional readings. 

Main textbook: Baylis, John; Smith, Steve and Patricia Owens. 2013. The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. 6th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Addition readings: Under each lecture compulsory readings from the main textbook are listed, as well as additional readings, students should strive to read some of the additional readings as well as the compulsory readings, the student is not required to do additional readings but should strive to include some of these works in their reading. It is expected that the students use the library and the internet independently to find the readings other than the text book that should be bought or borrowed. Your ability to conduct independent research will be made evident by the content (and bibliography) of your essays, essays based on a limited number of sources will most commonly receive a lower mark. Please feel free to ask for help and advice. 

Bachelor degree
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Submit signed plagiarism declaration.

Evaluation will be based on a group paper and graded pass or fail. The group distribution will be selected by the module convener, the group is then to plan its meetings and produce a draft paper to present in the seminar. Plagiarism in the draft paper will be seriously stricken down on, as will failure to contribute. The paper should be maximum 10 pages, written in font 12 and the Times New Roman Style, with 1.5 line spacing.

The Harvard system for quotations shall be used. This standard can be acquired from the Library at NORAGRIC (Can be accessed at:, and is based on the Harvard quotation system. The student is expected to follow this reference system, failure to do so will result in marks being deducted, and in the worst case scenario, a fail. 

Exam only in English. 

Nominal workload:
150 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
The course will run over 2 weeks with 4 hours of lectures every day.
Internal and external examiners will grade the paper.
Examination details: Continuous exam: Bestått / Ikke bestått