International Security and Strategic Studies POLITIC5009

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

It is impossible to make sense of global politics without reference to security. This concept is ubiquitous in political discourse and the images of actually experienced insecurity appear on our television, computer and smartphone screens almost constantly. This course is about the concept of security - of what, from what and for what. The course is based around an in-depth examination of key theories and approaches from the field of International Security Studies, addressing both orthodox approaches and the turn towards a broader security agenda and the emergence of 'critical' approaches to security.


Weekly: one-hour lecture and one-hour seminar

Please note, whilst one-hour seminar's will all be synchronous ('live'), some/all lectures may be asynchronous (recorded) in light of national/university responses to on-going pandemic.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Ongoing assessment and peer-learning through Aropä - 25%

Two essays of 2000 words each (first compulsory, second optional, highest grade counts) - 75%

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the fields of Strategic and Security Studies and encourage students to critically examine the meaning and practices of security and strategy. To achieve this aim, students will critically examine key theories, theorists, concepts and themes within this field and will have opportunities to apply these to make critical sense of claims, experiences and implications of security and insecurity within contemporary global politics.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

■ Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the changing nature of security;

■ Critically evaluate different approaches to understanding and conceptualising security and strategy;

■ Identify and critically assess the political and normative implications of different claims about security and insecurity;

■ Advance reasoned and factually supported arguments in writing.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.