Course code EDS203

EDS203 Introduction to International Relations

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2018 - 2019 .

Course responsible: 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:

This course is for new students in the master program in international relations (M-IR). Students are introduced to each other and the IR study program. The course introduces students to the various analytical approaches to international relations, such as liberalism, realism, constructivism and critical theories, and basic discussions around epistemology and ontology. The course design aims to enable students to relate these theories to ongoing events in global politics. A key objective is therefore to ensure IR 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 in the master program. Through compulsory group work students are introduced to each other and teamwork, a working form also important for any future employee. Students collaborate on a writing assignment, are introduced to the NMBU Library and the NMBU Writing Centre, and receive further training on searching for relevant academic sources and reference them correctly. 

Through out this four-week intensive course in the August-block, students are also introduced to relevant NMBU rules and regulations pertaining to the study program, to the study administration, etc.. The outline of the international relations program is discussed, in particular the combination of core courses in IR theories and research methods, and the elective courses that can form part of students individual study plan. 

Learning outcome:
The course provides a basic introduction to international relations, main theories and how to use them analytically. At the end of the course, the student has: - Learned the core content of and how to use the main theoretical approaches to international relations, including realism, liberalism, constructivism, and critical theory;   -Experience with teamwork, 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; and - Training in basic principles of academic writing, such as how to properly cite references. 
Learning activities:

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

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. On average, and other commitments notwithstanding, you are expected to give about day a week to self-study on this course, i.e. 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.

The format of the seminars: Each group is expected to use 15 minutes to present their paper in the seminar, each group will also be expected to act as a discussant once, the discussant role requires that the group read up on the topic, 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 presented in Canvas prior to the start of the course. Information about time and place of lectures and seminars is available in Time Edit on NMBU's website under course code (EDS203). 

To be updated. 
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 NMBU Library (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 3 weeks with 10 hours of activities, e.g. lectures, seminars, exercises, every week.
External evaluation shall be used in connection with the assessment arrangements.
Examination details: Continuous exam: Bestått / Ikke bestått