Spring 2024 - IS 830 G100

Analytic Approaches for International Studies (4)

Class Number: 5171

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Acceptance into the MA in International Studies Program. Undergraduate course work in methods is highly recommended.



Introduces key methods in international studies, critically assessing them as concepts and as tools for helping understand the world around us.


This course adopts a critical approach to examining the processes and methods of interdisciplinary knowledge production, with the objective of preparing students to become discerning consumers and responsible producers of knowledge. The course is structured around the question: Who gets to produce what kinds of knowledge, for whom, and how? This is broken down into three different components: (1) The politics and ethics of knowledge production; (2) Logics of research and research design; (3) Methods of data collection and analysis. This course will provide students with an understanding of the components of research design and an appreciation for the alignment between the content, the motivation, and the process of research, establishing a coherence between the research question, methodology and methods. Students are expected to make use of the structure of this course and to apply concepts and techniques examined in this course for the preparation of their MA Extended Essays or Thesis Prospectuses.


Students completing the course should:

  • Feel competent to discuss and address the ethical considerations and challenges associated with research in international studies.
  • Gain hands-on experience in crafting research proposals, including problem identification, literature review, research questions, and methodology.
  • Gain proficiency in the collection and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data relevant to international studies, including primary and secondary sources.
  • Understand how the global context and current events impact research in international studies and develop the ability to adapt research approaches accordingly.
  • Develop effective academic writing and communication skills, including the ability to present research findings clearly and persuasively.


  • Class attendance and participation 5%
  • 750-word essay 10%
  • 15-30 min interview 25%
  • Identify 2 different types of audiences for your project 10%
  • 10-15 min presentation 20%
  • 1500-word research proposal 30%



The key readings for each week will be available on our course page on Canvas.  Recommended reading lists for each topic are to help you deepen and expand your knowledge and understanding of a particular theme. You will also find many other relevant titles in the library, as well as in academic journals. You are *not* expected to engage with these readings.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html