Courses & Units

Politics of International Relations HIR402

Hobart, Launceston, Cradle Coast


unit offered subject to sufficient numbers


This unit provides an introduction to the theories, issues and powers of the contemporary international system and surveys the academic and policy debates about these issues. It is intended for students who seek to expand their knowledge of the structures of the modern international system and the way it shapes many of the central issues in the world today. The unit is a graduate level survey course on contemporary issues and institutions in international affairs. The unit begins with an examination of the foundational aspects of the international system with a focus on how different theories of international relations explain the workings of the international system. We then move on to some key debates that provide us with further insights into the workings of the system, including debates on the ongoing ramifications of globalization and the spread of democracy. The unit then examines the distribution of power in contemporary international relations. Here it considers: the domestic foundations of America's international role; contemporary American foreign policy; the rise of China and its regional and global consequences; and the process of European integration. The unit concludes with an examination of a number of issues and cases, human rights and humanitarian intervention and the politics of nuclear proliferation.


Unit name Politics of International Relations
Unit code HIR402
Credit points 25
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Social Sciences
Discipline Politics and International Relations
Teaching staff

Dr Matt Killingsworth (Coordinator)

Level Honours
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus Off-Campus International International Domestic Domestic
Launceston Semester 1 Off-Campus International Domestic
Cradle Coast Semester 1 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

Units are offered as On-campus where the majority of teaching will occur at the campus identified.  Units offered Off-campus generally have no requirement for attendance at a physical university campus unless the unit has practical or fieldwork components*:  the campus indicated for an Off-Campus unit is the one at which teaching is administered from.

*Please read the Unit Introduction in the Course and Unit Handbook for attendance requirements for units offered in Off-campus mode.

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 27/2/2017 23/3/2017 17/4/2017 2/6/2017

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2017 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2017 will be available from the 1st October 2016.

About Census Dates



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
1 2017: $1,587.00 2017: $3,806.00 090101

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

Internal: 2 hour seminar weekly (13 weeks)

Distance: Web based delivery


Internal: Seminar presentation and report {500 words} (10%), 1500 word Event brief (25%), 6000 word major essay (65%)

Distance: Article critique 1500 words (20%), Theory Testing 1500 Words (20%), Event brief 1500 words (20%), Major essay 3500 words (40%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Information about any textbook requirements will be available from mid November.

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The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.