Thinking Globally: Studying International Relations

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Luca Tardelli CBG.10.05


This course is compulsory on the BSc in International Relations and BSc in International Relations and Chinese. This course is available on the BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Students for whom the course is optional must commit to the course when they choose it.

Course content

The aims of this short course are two-fold. First, to enable you to reflect on and share ideas with other students about why you chose to study international relations and what it means to study international relations. Second, to acquire and develop the key skills you need to study international relations, including analytical skills, communications skills (verbal and written), problem solving skills and team working skills. Students will work together on the skills required for reading and taking notes; conducting research; writing essays and exams; and succeeding as an IR scholar.


This course is delivered through a combination of workshops totaling 7 hours and 30 minutes across Michaelmas term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online lectures and in-person classes/classes delivered online.

Formative coursework

There is no formal 'formative assessment' for the course.  A variety of 'formative exercises' will be used in the workshop setting aimed at developing and enhancing a range of study skills linked to the study of international relations.

Indicative reading

A.C.McKeil, ‘Student Feature – A Brief Introduction to the Study of International Relations’, e-International Relations, 3 July 2017:

Chris Brown and Kirsten Ainley, ‘Introduction: Defining International Relations’, Understanding International Relations, 4th ed (Palgrave: 2009): 1-17. 

LSE LIFE Learning Resources, available at:


There is no summative assessment for this course.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2019/20: 69

Average class size 2019/20: 18

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills