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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Core Skills & Methods for Intl Relations
Module Code LG122
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Fabrizio Leonardo Cuccu
Semester 2: Fabrizio Leonardo Cuccu
Autumn: Fabrizio Leonardo Cuccu
Module TeachersFabrizio Leonardo Cuccu
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Essay and independent research report

The aim of this module is to break students dependence on passive modes of learning, particularly learning off' and to equip them with the necessary research skills for the early stages of the BA in International Relations. In addition to fostering an independent learning mindset at an early stage in the programme, this module will introduce students to critical analysis, argument formulation, and research techniques relevant to the BA in International Relations, including essay writing and presentation skills, selecting and evaluating appropriate sources, understanding statistics, utilising library resources, citing and referencing, and so forth. The module will also cover some basic research skills including questionnaire design, qualitative and quantitative analysis and research report-writing. The overall aim is to develop analytical techniques at the beginning of the programme.

Learning Outcomes

1. Independently research academic topics and synthesise information from a range of sources.
2. Select appropriate source material for use in academic work and critically evaluate sources.
3. Construct academic essays in a clear and logical manner that integrates theory, appropriate sources and critical analysis.
4. Reference essays using the DCU Harvard system.
5. Deliver group presentations.
6. Deliver group research and write research reports

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Weekly lectures
Tutorial22Weekly tutorials
Assignment Completion100Individual assignments
Group work80Group-based assignments
Independent Study24Revision and required readings
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Weeks 1 to 12
Introduction and Overview; Sources in IR; Library Skills; Citing and Referencing; Critical Thinking; Essay-Writing Skills;

Weeks 19 to 30
Introduction to Research; Ethical Issues in Research; Introduction to Qualitative Analysis; Introduction to Quantitative Analysis; Writing Research Reports; Group Research Projects; Presentation Skills.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentEssay25%Sem 1 End
AssignmentGroup Presentation15%As required
AssignmentTutorial-Based Assessment20%As required
AssignmentLiterature Review15%As required
AssignmentGroup Research Report25%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Cottrell, Stella: 2008, Study Skills Handbook, Palgrave MacMillan,
  • Cottrell, Stella: 2017, Critical thinking skills: developing effective analysis and argument, Palgrave MacMillan,
  • Redman, Peter: 2006, Good essay writing: A social sciences guide, Sage, London,
  • Creme, Phyllis & Lea, Mary R: 2008, Writing at university, Open University Press,
  • Greetham, Bryan: 2013, How to write better essays, Palgrave,
  • Kane, Thomas S.: 2000, The Oxford essential guide to writing, Berkley Books,
  • McCarthy, Patsy & Hatcher, Caroline: 2002, Presentation skills: the essential guide for students, Sage,
  • Marsh, David & Stoker, Gerry: 2002, Theory and Methods in Political Science, 2nd, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke,
  • Burnham, Peter: 2004, Research Methods in Politics, Palgrave, Basingstoke,
  • Hay, Colin: 2002, Political analysis, Palgrave, Basingstoke,
  • Alasuutari: 2008, The SAGE Handbook of Social Research Methods, SAGE Publications, London,
  • Greener: 2011, Designing Social Research, London: SAGE Publications, London,
  • Clark, J. and Cavatorta, F: 2018, Political Science Research in the Middle East and North Africa: Methodological and Ethical Challenges, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
Other Resources

62053, Website, DCU, 0, ExL@DCU, http://www.dcu.ie/ExL/,
Programme or List of Programmes
IRBA in International Relations
Date of Last Revision27-APR-12

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