The core curriculum offered by the School of Politics, History and International Relations (PHIR) is International Relations. The school's areas of strength in this field embrace global political economy, international security, multilateral institutions, international development, cross-national relations in the Asia-Pacific, China's foreign policy and regionalism in the European Union and Southeast Asia. What is more, the school offers course modules that look back at the historical record of regions and countries, estimating that a good predictor of what will happen next in the world is shaped in part by key occurrences and weighty trajectories. Course modules include 19th century Europe, modern Asia and the Malay world.
In the first year, students take course modules that provide the basic concepts and frameworks that are needed for the further study of political science and history. In Year two, students focus more closely on specific country experiences and problematic areas whilst those who qualify may choose to study overseas with a variety of exchange partners. Students may also take courses offered by other schools in the faculty, for example in media and culture. In Year 3, the programme's final year, staff teach courses that feature their respective research specialisations, injecting personal experience and focus into study material.
Throughout PHIR's three-year programme students are trained in research & writing skills along with both individual and team-based presentation skills. These things combined provide capacity for argument and debate, which is so vital in today's professional workplace. They learn to compose persuasive position papers, scholarly essays, and lengthier, insightful and substantive works. Throughout their studies PHIR's students learn about themselves, each other, their own social class and society along with the world with whose reward structures and serious challenges they must engage
Why choose this course?
Starting in the 1980s, standard coursework in the discipline has centered on the globalisation of economic and political dealings, democratic transitions, steady development, and international peace-keeping. Since then we have been suddenly confronted by a world of economic de-coupling and bifurcation, democratic recession and outright reversals, intense superpower shifts in ascendancy and attendant rivalries, gross social disparities across countries and within societies, surging populism and finally, hyper-nationalism. These syndromes can be accelerated by social media activity and pandemics raising issues even further. Governments and businesses everywhere are in urgent need of a new generation of young scholars who are able to understand, communicate to others and help to resolve the severe challenges that the world now faces. PHIR's programme in International Relations is conducted in Malaysia, the center point of the Southeast Asian setting and therefore offering an excellent opportunity and incubator in which to begin one’s studies.