IR5005 - Global Governance

What will I learn on this module?

In this module I will learn how international organisations enable and constrain the choices of governments and states; how they impact upon states and the lives of ordinary citizens. In particular, I will find out how the United Nations and the European Union are important within international politics, but also how membership of these organisations can have an impact upon specific countries and how they conduct their internal and foreign policies. I will learn about the various institutions that form the United Nations and the European Union, and key policy areas and practices of these organisations.

Topics covered in this module include:
1. United Nations institutions: General Assembly, Security Council, Secretary-General, ECOSOC, Trusteeship Council
2. United Nations policies & practices: collective security, development, human rights, environment
3. European Union institutions: Commission, Council, Parliament, Court of Justice.
4. European Union policies: including but not limited to economic and monetary union, justice and home affairs, common foreign and security policy

How will I learn on this module?

I will learn on this module by attending lectures where I will be presented with the ideas behind these institutions (why we have them), how they work (institutions) and what they do (policy). I will also attend seminars where I will build upon my reading for the lectures and where I will discuss what I think are the significance of these international institutions.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

My academic development will be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with my peers and academics about my understanding of the literature. I expect to have my notions of international institutions challenged in this module. I will also use seminars and tutorials to further enrich my learning experience.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Analyse and critically discuss the impact and significance of international institutions on the national level and theories of integration
2. Analyse the complexities of selected policy sectors at the European and global levels

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Investigate and analyse problems, applying and connecting concepts and theories to historic and emerging case studies and data to begin to challenge ‘common sense’ explanations of politics and your own understanding of politics

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. The ability to synthesis complex information and to construct an argument based upon evidence
5. Presentation skills, especially presenting my ideas on the literature I have read for the module

How will I be assessed?

Through a process of scaffolding introduced in the lectures and built upon in the seminars, I will be assessed by one 20-minute group debate (50% of total grade) and one 2000-word essay (50% of total grade).

The debate will test my knowledge of a topic through a group debate, where a topic will be allocated and in a group of 3 students I will defend or oppose a position relevant to the topic during a 20-minute debate with one other group.

The 2000-word essay will assess how successfully I have been able to understand and critique the global political institutions introduced in this module.

I will have the opportunity to present my work in the seminars and will receive formative feedback from my lecturer on any presentation I might make. One Debate and one 2000-word essay will test my ability to investigate and analyse problems, and how well I can utilise case studies to illustrate and question the policies and practices of international organisations as well as ‘common sense’ explanations of them.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code LV21

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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