Advanced Topics in Politics and International Relations - POLI6650

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2023 to 2024.


This module is designed to offer Stage 3 Politics and International Relations students an opportunity to study a topic in politics and international relations at an advanced level. Participation will be limited to students who have demonstrated strong writing and analytical skills in their Stage 2 coursework (with a minimum average of 60%) and the topics may vary from year to year depending on the research and teaching interests of academic staff. The module will build on the concepts, theories and methods that students have acquired in their previous studies, introducing them to more advanced readings and further developing their knowledge and understanding of the scholarship at the forefront of their discipline in a given issue area. Students will work very closely with academic staff and will benefit from their research expertise and individual feedback in a small group setting. The module will assist students in developing their critical and analytical skills and help them to understand the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge concerning their advanced topic in politics and/or international relations.


Please ignore the information above regarding convenors, the below details are correct for the 2021/22 academic year.
Two topics will be offered in 2021/22, one in the Autumn term and one in the Spring term. Students may only take one topic within this module.

Topic title: The Politics of Climate Change, Convenor: Dr Frank Grundig - AUTUMN TERM

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges global society will face this century. To successfully address this challenge changes will require action at the individual level, the domestic politics level and the international level. This module will look at the politics of climate change by looking at individual attitudes and behaviour, national policies in a comparative perspective, climate change mobilisation / movements, and international institutions dealing with climate change. Since climate change cuts across many academic disciplines this module will also deal with reports that reference the science of climate change as well as economic models dealing with the costs of climate change.

Topic title: The Politics of Technology: Utopia or Dystopia? Convenor: Dr Ben Turner - SPRING TERM

Predictions regarding the consequences of technological developments are rife. We are told that artificial intelligence, automation and big data are poised to transform our lives in unimaginable ways. For some, these technologies promise greater freedom, higher productivity and better lives for all. For others, they exacerbate inequalities, undermine democracy, and grant greater powers of surveillance and control to both governments and private corporations. This module will introduce students to key transformations in the realm of technology and give them the opportunity to critically analyse the political consequences of these changes.

Students will gain an awareness of a range of understandings of technology from political theory and philosophy, including approaches from Marxism, Critical Theory, Feminism and Critical Race Theory, which they will apply to a range of issues in the study of politics. Some of these themes will be explicitly political, such as the relationship between technology, the state, inequality and democracy. Students will also study the impact of technology upon areas of our lives that appear to be distant from politics, but when considered in relationship to technology can be seen to be deeply political. These will include work, the household and the links between technology, gender and race.

Students will benefit from some prior knowledge of political theory in this module, however it is not strictly a 'theory' module and will introduce students to a range of theoretical concepts and case studies. The two-hour weekly seminar will involve the close reading of both theoretical and empirical texts and documents and will emphasise student led learning.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


How to register your interest for PO665 (Advanced Topics)

You will not be able to register for modules PO665 through the online module registration process. Instead, you will need to register for an alternative module for that term, and then complete the registration of interest form stating which module/s you are interested in taking and which module you would drop if you are successful in gaining entry on to your chosen module. The form is available on the Politics and IR Student Guide on Moodle, under 'choosing your modules' in the Undergraduate Student Section.

You should return the completed form by e-mail to by the end of the module registration period i.e. 26 March 2021.

Method of assessment

100% coursework (Assignment (20%), 4000 word essay (80%))

Indicative reading

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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