The BISA Learning and Teaching Working Group (BLT)

Welcome to the BLT Website
The BISA Learning and Teaching Working Group (BLT) was founded in 2010 to promote scholarship and innovation in learning and teaching in the discipline of International Relations. Over the past six years we have organised workshops, colloquia and conference panels on a range of pressing pedagogical issues, from employability through teaching research methods to the rise of MOOCs.

For more information about our activities, please contact the working group convenors Michael BarrSteven Curtis and Simon Rofe. To join our emailing list, please email Steven. For more information about BISA, including how to become a member, go to the association's website

Call for Papers at the 2017 BISA Annual Conference
The 2017 BISA annual conference will take place in Brighton from 14 to 16 June. We invite and welcome proposals for papers, panels and roundtables on any themes related to learning and teaching in the discipline. Please send all proposals including titles (less than 10 words) and abstracts (less than 200 words) to Steven Curtis by 5pm on Friday 2 September.

8th Annual PSA/BISA L&T Conference 2015

Last year's annual two-day conference on 8-9 September was a very stimulating event. It addressed the theme of student engagement and participation and was hosted by Dr Aida Abzhaparova at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Once again it was great to see some new faces at this annual event, including Mark Shanahan from the University of Reading (pictured above), as well as to hear the student voice in a presentation by recent graduates on the benefits of placement learning (below). Check out what we got up to on Twitter with the conference hashtag #psalt15.

Register now for the 9th Annual BISA/PSA Learning and Teaching Conference, Newcastle University, 13-14 September 2016
Register here for this year's conference, which is entitled The Winds of Change: New Challenges and Opportunities for Teaching Politics and IR and is convened by Dr Michael Barr, Dr James Bilsland and Dr Valentina Feklyunina (all at Newcastle University).
The conference will focus on new challenges and opportunities for students and teachers of Politics and IR. In particular, it explore the impact of and our responses to three types of changes: (i) the major political and geopolitical changes that we are witnessing at the UK, European and global levels; (ii) technological changes; and (iii) changes in the institutional environment of Higher Education (including the proposed TEF in the UK as well as the implications of changes to the politics A-level syllabus).

The conference will explore the ways in which we can engage with these changes at the levels of curriculum design, skills acquisition, student engagement and participation, innovative pedagogic techniques and broader questions of the purpose of university education in the changing world.

Exploring the Implications of the TEF

On 14th December 2015, BLT ran a one-day workshop at Newcastle University's London campus, organised by Michael Barr, on the implications of the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework. The event involved leading figures in learning and teaching in Politics and IR and the results of the meeting have been fed into the deliberations of the joint working group on the TEF organised by BISA, UACES and the PSA.