Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2115: British Foreign Policy

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover all or some of the following topics:

  • Geopolitical contexts and foreign policy theory: Britain in the world, the world in Britain
  • Historical contexts, 1707-1989: Empire and After
  • Britain in Europe: the EU, Brexit and beyond
  • The UK and US: what ‘special relationship’?
  • Britain and the rising powers – Russia and China: opportunity or threat?
  • London as a world city: cosmopolis, Londongrad or Londonistan?
  • The unfinished Empire? The commonwealth, overseas territories and postcolonies
  • Is Britain still a military power? The arms trade and the nuclear deterrent
  • Aid, intervention and small states: do British values and interests coincide?
  • Scenarios for the future: Global Britain, ‘Brown Britain’ or Broken Britain?

This syllabus is illustrative and cannot be guaranteed year-on-year.  Most seminars will include simulations of parliamentary select committee hearings.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities2211 x 2 hours seminars
Guided independent study63General reading and preparation (4-5 hours per seminar); Familiarisation with Foreign Affairs Committee (reading reports and viewing evidence sessions, 5-10 hours); Email and visits to lecturer in office hours (2-3 hours).
Guided independent study40Reading, writing and consultation with peers and lecturer
Guided independent study25Reading, writing and consultation with peers and lecturer

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).