Global Studies (GLST) 205

Building Blocks of Global Studies: Overview of Approaches, Concepts, and Issues (Revision 1)

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Revision 1 is closed for registrations, see current revision

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. It is recommended that students should have successfully completed a first-year university course in development, political science, political economy, sociology, or a related discipline before taking this course.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Global Studies Home

GLST 205 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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The study of transnational processes or globalization is essentially interdisciplinary, engaging insights from fields such as sociology, human geography, political science, cultural studies, and many more. This is necessary to increase the “depth” and “breadth” of understanding of the complex concept of globalization, which is used as a description, as a process, and as an ideology. This course begins with a broad overview of this multi-layered field and an introduction to the tools needed for understanding global issues. It also examines the core issues of Global Studies and the agents of change in our world, which are being continually shaped by complex layers of interactions. Finally, the course considers the various movements resisting global economic policies and wraps up with a critical retrospective on the state of our world.

The issues and concepts in this course have relevance for a number of disciplines, including development studies, environmental studies, international business and finance, philosophy, political science, sociology, women’s studies, etc. Bearing this in mind, the course is primarily intended for 1) students who want to do advanced research in globalization and need an overview of the building blocks of the field; and 2) professionals and practitioners in any field who want to supplement their skills with the basics of a global approach.

Course Objectives

Students who complete this course should be able to

  • define the major concepts in Global Studies.
  • discuss contemporary approaches to understanding global issues.
  • describe and compare politico-economic historical trajectories from various parts of the world.
  • identify the building blocks of the global system, in terms of actors, institutions, perceptions, and ideologies.
  • examine the interconnectedness of the political, economic, cultural, environmental, technological, and social spheres.
  • demonstrate the interrelationship of the local, the regional, and the global experience.
  • apply these objectives for discussion, debate, and the writing of assignments and the examination for this course


  • Unit 1: Global Studies as a Discipline: A “Global” Paradigm?
  • Unit 2: Global History: Globalization―Old or New?
  • Unit 3: Culture, Identity, and Patriarchy: Constructing Difference
  • Unit 4: Global Economic and Political Institutions: Nation States and the People
  • Unit 5: Globalization: Its Contents and Discontent
  • Unit 6: Future of the Global Village?


To receive credit for GLST 205, you must achieve a minimum grade of D (50 percent) on the final examination, and an overall grade of D (50 percent) for the entire course. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 20%
Assignment 2 20%
Assignment 3 30%
Final Examination 30%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Kelleher, A., & Klein, L. (2009). Global perspectives: A handbook for understanding global issues (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Rothenberg, P. S. (2006). Beyond borders: Thinking critically about global issues. New York: Worth Publishers.

Other Materials

All other materials are available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the GLST 205 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least C- (60 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, November 8, 2011.