Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This first year subject is designed to introduce students to the main security concepts and issues in contemporary international relations. Part A explores the historical context of international relations and the conceptual building blocks that underpin the international system, including key ideas like sovereignty and the nation-state. Part B brings in International Relations experts to examine contemporary security issues, beginning with traditional debates concerning American power; the rise of China; Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation; and contemporary armed conflict and terrorism. It then examines new challenges associated with human security and environmental security, which prompt us to re-examine the sources of insecurity in the world today. This subject addresses La Trobe's Global Citizenship Essential, which entails deep appreciation of how we live in an interconnected world, being able to recognize the global context of political issues, and act across cultures and boundaries in international relations.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorBen Habib

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesLecture presentations; expert question and answer sessions; tutorial discussion activities; online activities; research essay; and policy brief

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources

An Introduction to International Relations

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementPrescribed

AuthorDevetak, R., George, J. and Percy, S.



PublisherCambridge University Press


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Global Politics

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorHeywood, A.



PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

COMMUNICATION - Communicating and Influencing
COMMUNICATION - Cultural Intelligence and Global Perspective
COMMUNICATION - Digital Capability
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Creativity and Innovation
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Research and Evidence-Based Inquiry
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Adaptability and Self-Management
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Ethical and Social Responsibility
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Leadership and Teamwork

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Understand the main security issues in international relations and the global historical context in which they have developed.
02. Identify the conceptual building blocks of international relations and use them to analyse global challenges and obligations relating to security.
03. Recognise the diversity of perspectives on security across the globe and policy implications for traditional security issues that centre on inter-state relations and violent conflict.
04. Examine the new global challenges of security posed by complex interdependence.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorBen Habib

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 30 - 42
Two 1.00 hour lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 30 to week 42 and delivered via blended.

TutorialWeek: 30 - 42
One 1.00 hour tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 30 to week 42 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Essay Proposal and Annotated References (500 words)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo15 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3

Research Essay (2000 words)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo50 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3

Policy Brief (1500 words) Take-home exam requiring a policy brief on one security issue covered in the subject.

N/AOtherIndividualNo35 SILO2, SILO4